Patent reveals Wii Vitality Sensor details

US Patent reveals how upcoming Wii add-on will measure metabolism, reveals stretching game--possibly titled Wii Relax.

Those wondering how the Wii Vitality Sensor will work got some answers this week, courtesy of a patent filing uncovered by gaming blog Siliconera. The patent lays out not only how the finger-encasing add-on will work, but also possibly unveiled its first game, which may be titled Wii Relax.

According to the patent filing, the sensor works by shooting infrared light through a person's fingertip in order to determine how fast the blood is flowing. That flow reveals a person's pulse, which is an indicator of stress.

Insert "relax fluid" joke here. Image credit: Siliconera.

The pulse indicator determines a person's "relax fluid," a measure of a person's stress. The relax fluid level is then compared to what is considered standard for a person's age, much like Wii Fit compared a person's weight to the standardized Body Mass Index (BMI) to determine his or her fitness level.

Also included in the patent are the details of stretching game to help players relax. Players must tilt the Wii remote while stretching in order to control a character onscreen. Using the vitality sensor, players must also breathe in and out in sync with onscreen prompts to control the character's hat, which rises and falls in sync with a player's breath.

Siliconera surmises that the game described might be titled "Wii Relax," since Nintendo filed a trademark application for said title last year. If accurate, the game will likely be bundled with the Wii Vitality Sensor, as it is described in the patent.

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Discussion

70 comments
gamedude2009
gamedude2009

Wow, now you're just insulting. First of all, I don't see how I was being an arrogant jerk. I was stating my opinion in my first paragraph (which is similar most other opinions here) and then stating another opinion about what these dumb games are; examples. Do you think Nintendo is really dumb enough to think that people buy this stuff for the games? And even if this isn't new tech, Nintendo is the first to put this stuff in games, and either way, this tech is pretty trippy. And lastly, I stated more fact: "...there are only a few games out there for fitness and hundreds of Wii games of a different genre" Don't tell me that's not fact. And another opinion about the classic controller having a wire. Yeah, I'm a punk, aren't I? Now, I don't wanna waste my time or energy on you, so if agree with me, great. If you don't, that's just as great. But if you're just going to insult people, then quite frankly, I don't want to hear it.

SlickkWilly
SlickkWilly

@gamedude2009 This is not new tech. I'm not saying it's bad tech. It just is not new and amazing. I'm not a big fan of exercise in video games in the first place. I was a martial arts instructor for years and the idea of relaxing and stretching with a game and a mall heart rate detector on your finger cracks me up. There are far better ways to do this. I can understand if it does help you get into exercise, then good for you, but REALLY? Also, there is a difference between having and sharing an intelligent opinion and thinking and showing that you think you know everything, obviously. go cool that head dude.

Blink3r
Blink3r

@verify79 you've got some pretty sweet ideas... i really hope they use this sensor like that... maybe they could make Eternal Darkness 2... that would be AWESOME... and this add-on would be great there!

verify79
verify79

Perhaps they can use this sensor to control game play? If you stress gets out of control, the game play gets a little less intense (or stops altogether). If you have little stress, the game play ramps up a bit. You could then tie all that into how hard the game is or what kinds of unlockables you get. Who here remembers the first time they beat the original Zelda or Mike Tyson's Punch Out for the first time? I was like eight or nine and I thought my heart was going to explode!

krytorii
krytorii

I can understand having something like this to measure stress levels, though to be anywhere near accurate it should have a few other things. As for the wii relax... It's like wii fit and the plethora of games that do the whole "its good for you" stuff. I dont particularily like nintendo's marketing right now (dragon quest ad saying it was a puzzle game?) but if it gets sales, why not? I'll just wait for their next console with hopefully improved wiimote, simpler online and a few other additions.

gbrading
gbrading moderator

I thought Nintendo had forgotten about the Vitality Sensor when Iwata neglected to mention it at all while at E3.

gonzalezj1
gonzalezj1

I'm willing to bet that this won't make it out of Japan. Japan actually has a viable market for games for old people (by "old" I guess I mean 40+) and this looks to be squarely aimed at the aging casual. Then again, we do seem to be getting all of Nintendo's things originally targeted at older Japanese people like the DSi XL and Brain Training. So, who knows?

AlphaCommando
AlphaCommando

A game where you win if you relax? I could win that. Even if I couldn't, I'll just cheat and take an ice bath or sit in the freezer.

Spectacular66
Spectacular66

They could develop a game that progressively throws scary things at you by measuring your heart rate, and will only let up if you calm down, or at least if you can. LOL

Trogeton
Trogeton

Hopefully it will also make gamers stop being so lazy and force them to get off the couch every once in a while

SicklySunStorm
SicklySunStorm

so it doesn't measure vitality at all. It measures your heartbeat. Which can be accelerated by artificial means and still a person can be relaxed *insert stimulant here*. Sounds like lame add on to be honest, but who knows, if the right programmer makes good use of it, it could be good. I just don't like false advertising - it doesn't measure your vitality or metabolism at all. It measures your heart and makes assumptions based upon it. Big difference.

shani_boy101
shani_boy101

Wii stretching game? seriously? Why not just get on the internet, find some stretches and do them for free?

namdar
namdar

here's a thought... how bout 2 wii motes being used by one player for something... light sabres anybody? unless i'm missing something?

Miketendo
Miketendo

One interesting use that came to mind was a survival horror game for the GC titled Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem. The game played around with what the character was exposed to and a sanity level and for those of you who remember playing it , the game would play differently at different levels of sanity. If your heart races for example, a game could play off that. Problem here is that you would be playing a game while hooked into your Wii mote so outside of a few stupid health/fitness games i don't see developers utilizing this.

xblane
xblane

*face palm* has anyone ever considered they're not targeting this device at core gamers?

y0ur_grandma
y0ur_grandma

Ay baby, ay baby... ay baby get some relax fluid in this mother effer.

Marvi_I
Marvi_I

That can't be the only indicator of stress...this is not exactly the brightest idea. I'm still waiting for some good games to be made for wii speak. Like someone said before, a wireless nunchuck would be better.

jayd02
jayd02

....... I don't know what to say other then why is Nintendo wasting there money on this stupid thing. Only 100 will buy it and then all if not most will hate it and never use it. Only one company will ever make a game for the thing and Nintendo might make like two games for this stupid thing. Nintendo why???? Can't you use your money to make us something we will use. Even little kids wouldn't like this because it would take away from playing real fun games.Can't you make.....I don't know a Wii HD??? I know they already denounced it but hey you can still dream right? Also that horse riding thing better not come back...yea I know you people remember that stupid thing.

guyguyguy1234
guyguyguy1234

So Nintendo announced this thing all stoked. And now they realize how stupid it is, and arent saying much about it now.

emptyjuicebox
emptyjuicebox

I'll spray my relax fluid all over you, baby

Hevion
Hevion

@ da_chub dont get me wrong i love the wii. and i love the party games and all that. what i hate is that a wireless nunchuck with wii motion plus would open a whole lot more possibilities for real gamers than a vitality sensor thing. it could be awesome in a silent hill game or something but a stretching game? the 'nunchuck' would open a whole lot of posibilities like dual swords, sword and gun sword and sheild. it would be like a wii motion plus with a nunchuck. that is why i think move is going in a better direction. the kinect just fails

Tevi
Tevi

MOVE IS BETTER AND PADRES ARE LOSERS HA HJA HA

Gooper_Blooper
Gooper_Blooper

How on Earth is this thing still in development? We heard about it AGES ago. How hard can it possibly be to make? I really don't see how it could be worth anything, let alone the amount of time Nintendo's wasted on it, but who knows. I never thought Wii Fit would be worth anything either and look at what it did.

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

mmm... I dunno. IMO, the non-gamer ship has been drifting off for quite a while now. Most have realised that Wii Fit never had any real lasting appeal, just like most fitness fads, so I think they will be more wary of shelling out for a new one from Nintendo, just so they can end up with another peripheral that'll end up next to the TV, gathering dust. I can see it selling, but probably not to the degree that Nintendo is expecting.

VirtualTofu
VirtualTofu

Uh, so how am I supposed to play games with this thing on my finger? With one Wiimote held vertically only?

gamedude2009
gamedude2009

Now, this thing sounds pretty neat. But will it be useful? Or practical? The idea of adjusting difficulty according to stress would be a great idea, or even using this thing for horror games. Not to brag, but I've gotten pretty good at games. I've gotten to the Water Temple in OoT in just a couple days. And because they just make games easier and easier, games aren't worth $50 for 2 days of entertainment. But it might not be very comfortable with this thing on your hand. If this thing is over $30, then no deal. Also, they need to have good games for this. If all they have is lame games like Wii Relax, there is no chance I'll get it. Which brings me to my next point; shut up. All these people saying "oh wii relax is just a load of $". It's SUPPOSED to be mediocre! Did anyone REALLY like Wii Sports? Of course not! It's just supposed to tell you how the controls work! It's not supposed to be a 10/10 masterpiece, just an example! So hopefully Nintendo puts this thing to good use. Btw, thumbs-down me if you want. It doesn't make any difference in my life. @tyskenfan Yeah, but if I remember correctly, there are only a few games out there for fitness and hundreds of Wii games of a different genre? @flazzle Kudos to you. @Hevion I can understand the nunchuck having a wire, but the classic should not. The Wiimote doesn't, why does the classic have a wire? @SlickkWilly There's a difference between liking the technology and wanting the game, obviously.

Oozyrat
Oozyrat

I think they should just give up on this. They've been talking about this thing for around 2 years haven't they?

mario-nin-freak
mario-nin-freak

It's pretty cool but can't be used in games very well.

SlickkWilly
SlickkWilly

yea there is nothing amazing tech about this. this is old tech and to use it for video games is just down right weird. what ever. check out the fake poster below that says they want this game. this place is becoming over run with fake people selling stuff through forum post.

bbkkristian
bbkkristian

People think its a terrible idea, but thats actually pretty amazing technology. Its also something different.

unbentonslaught
unbentonslaught

Dumbest idea ever, but at least it's better than the kinect.

dennis8
dennis8

sounds like its gonna be an overpriced pulse oximeter (that equipment they use in hospitals to check the heart rate and oxygen level).. and u can buy a cheap one for like 50 bucks.. if this thing costs more than 50 greens then it aint worth it XD

da_chub
da_chub

@hevion u right no idiot is buyin a wii thinking it will get u in shape, instead u buy it for the tons of great 1st party games and niche 3rd party titles. Nintendo has made such good descions this gen that even the hardcore competitors just released their versions and are even marketing them as gimmiky addons that no 1 will is going to waste as miuch money on when they can just buy a Wii for a few $ more.(well, i did play w/move the other day, and it wasnt any better then the WIimote)

Hevion
Hevion

nintendo is going in the worst directions possible. the wiimote should have had motion plus with it on release but no its coming now...and the nunchuck should have motion plus itself and be WIRELESS. i understand the classic controller having a wire but the nunchuck? and now this? a vitality sensor? speechless. no idiot would buy a wii for fitness. if u want fitness go outside and run. and you dont need a console to do stretching!

nbba2
nbba2

This patent is garbage.

tyskenfan
tyskenfan

Wii is beginning to be a fitness machine rather than a game console

Freezezzy
Freezezzy

While the idea of a horror game utilizing this sort of peripheral sounds interesting, the chances of that actually happening are slim, if that. Besides, could you imagine playing a game with that thing stuck to your finger?

death_dealerK
death_dealerK

this will be helpful in horror games. It should be that the game would amp up the scary elements if the motion sensor is telling the game that you aren't scared

g1rldraco7
g1rldraco7

Oh this sounds soooo cool. A game that measures you're pulse and fear. I want this game badly!!!!! :)

exedeath
exedeath

Can you imagine a system that could sense your fear. THEY HAD IT ALL WRONG!!!!!!!!! IT'S NOT SKYNET..........IT'S NINTENDO!!!! Anyway, if they put some time into it they could make another Eternal Darkness game that could sense what bothers you, and the game could adapt to mess with your head even more.

HellaStoned
HellaStoned

i will be sure to inform my mom of this new development.

missonrs
missonrs

I doubt it will be good, but we will see.

OldStupidGeezer
OldStupidGeezer

they should make a fear effect game using this thing

OmegaGear
OmegaGear

Make this work with Nike+ and maybe I'll give it a sliver of validity.