News Article

3DS Patent Can Tell When You've Returned Home

Posted by James Newton

Not as creepy as it sounds

Back to the Future Part II's vision of 2015 was an intelligent house that greeted people as they walked in. "Welcome home, Marty!" it would say. "Lord of the manor, King of the castle!" Well, this new patent application from Nintendo might lead to that mythical home of the increasingly-near future.

The patent shows a wireless connection between a home console and portable game system — let's say Wii and 3DS — used to share information like who's at home but potentially much more.

It's a simple premise. After pairing the two devices, a Wii console left in standby mode would communicate with a 3DS console via wireless. If the 3DS leaves range, the Wii would know the user had left; when the machine comes back into wireless range, it'd know the user had returned. The patent explains the TV screen could display a message, or the console could make a sound or illuminate an LED bulb to let people know someone was back. The 3DS too could display a "welcome home" message to its owner.

It sounds straightforward, if unreliable: what if you simply switch off your 3DS, or you have a large house and leave wireless range? Using the 3DS's pedometer and internal clock functions, the software would be able to calculate if you'd actually left the house and come back or simply wandered out of range. It could also see if you'd tried to trick the pedometer by shaking the console by plotting number of steps against time elapsed. Clever stuff, really.

The best part of all is that using WiiConnect24 in conjunction with this new ability would allow the Wii to download new content for 3DS games — a map, a weapon and so on — and push it to any 3DS consoles within range. SpotPass is capable of this function too of course, but we like the idea of a home console sending new content to handheld users.

Nintendo has repeatedly said its intention with Wii and Wii U was to make them integral to the living room; this is just another step towards those high-tech 2015 homes Robert Zemeckis promised us. Next we want one of those hydrating microwaves, please.


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User Comments (26)



NintyMan said:

With the Wii U and the 3DS apparently getting the potential to connect and interact frequently with the Miiverse, I can see something like this happen. Sure, there can be some flaws, but it would be nice to see the Wii U greet you after you came back from a day of streepassing.



Cipher said:

A highly interesting concept. I can certainly see some form of interaction between 3DS and Wii U beyond the obvious "let's use the 3DS as a controller in multiplayer games" and into a more advanced type of data swap. Further into the sort of thing we see in StreetPass exchanges. HomePass, if you will.



metafaniel said:

I can't see the magic here unfortunately... Sounds somewhat interesting but, at least in my case, mi Wii remains turned off until I want to play with it. Once my videogaming session ends, I turn it of completely (I mean I don't leave it in stand by mode nor my TV)
So for people like me, who their main TV where we see the TV and stuff it's not the same one as the one for videogaming and it remains turned of, it's not so useful...

They could do something similar if the 3DS detects the access point denominated previously as your home connection, don't you think?



RVN said:

does it also get jealous if it detects a vita on your 2nd pocket?



SkywardLink98 said:

That's kinda creepy when you think about... you turn on your TV... "Welcome Home" and then you open your 3DS... "Welcome Home"... I'd be kinda creeped out...

I'd like to see them do something like that with DLC (Free of course) so when a 3DS comes within range of the Wii it starts downloading it. That'd be cool



Burning_Spear said:

I guess there are practical uses: If I want to sneak out of the house undetected, all I have to do is power up the Wii and the 3DS.

Wife:"Where's Spear? Wii, have you seen Spear?"

Wii: "Signs point to yes."



Raylax said:

...Why would the Wii need to be involved?

3DS connects to your local wireless router = you're at home.

If you're not at home, then it means a remarkably imaginative scoundrel has pinched your router, connected it to a 17-mile long piece of extension, and is stalking you with it. But that seems unlikely.

Unless I'm around.



lanabanana said:

Sounds cool So basically, I'll be able to know if my sister has taken my 3DS somewhere... cool



Alienfish said:

Now all they need is, um, GPS like all other devices. Anyway I don't really see the point in this since I'm usually on the ball in knowing when I'm home or not. Of course, I have been pretty smashed once or twice and kind of lost track. I don't think I need a console to tell me I'm home.



Jaco said:

Interesting... I like the idea about the downloading to the wii while your gone them pushing it to 3ds, neat



Phle said:

I'd never get the "Welcome home!" message because then I'd have to leave the house... Kinda depressing thought that I would go out just so I could get "Welcome home!" on my 3DS screen. That's even more depressing than my Mii Plaza population.



ccomix615 said:

ADT... this is the perfect chance for you to make some money here with a new security system app.

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