Since its announcement in January this year, Nintendo intrigued and confused some observers when it outlined plans to produce a Quality of Life — or QOL — platform. It was explained that it would be an entirely separate product from game systems — with some potential for overlapping apps and games in future — that would be focused on Health as a theme. Satoru Iwata explained that it would be non-wearable technology, and the latest Investor Briefing from the company's Q2 Financial Results has shed some light on this product.
The focus is sleep and fatigue, with the goal of helping users improve their rest while following five key principles for the final product — Non-Wearable, Non-Contact, Non-Operating, Non-Waiting, Non-Installation efforts. These five priorities are designed to ensure that users don't forget or decide not to use the tool, meaning that it can be helpful without requiring input or management from the consumer. This will be done with a QOL sensor, placed beside the bed — a concept image and description from Iwata-san are below.
Inside the QOL Sensor is a non-contact radio frequency sensor, which measures such things as the movements of your body, breathing and heartbeat, all without physically touching your body. This automatically gathered data will be transmitted to the QOL cloud servers, which will then analyze the data measured by the sensor and visually represent sleep and fatigue results.
Nintendo has partnered with key academic figures in Japan and US tech company ResMed; the latter "manufactures and markets medical equipment for the treatment, diagnosis and management of Sleep Disordered Breathing, COPD and other chronic diseases", and is producing and providing the key technology.
Readings from the sensor will be automatically uploaded to the Cloud (online), and there'll be methods — potentially including apps on smart devices and even Nintendo systems — of notifying users and recommending specific exercises or diet improvements. The QOL aspect is in daily results and, all going well, tracking improved sleep and reduced fatigue.
Iwata-san emphasized that this is an expansion of Nintendo's markets, much like its move from Hanafuda cards into toys and video games throughout the 20th Century. The first QOL product is slated for 2016 and will expand Nintendo's "definition of 'platform'".
Are you intrigued by the QOL product and pleased to see Nintendo broadening its horizons, or would you prefer that all company resources were simply pushed into the video game market? Let us know what you think in the comments below.