Nintendo isn’t usually associated with health. While the Japanese gaming giant has a few Wii health-based titles, it is seldom referred to as a health tech company. That could change soon, with the launch of the first Nintendo sleep and fatigue tacking system, made to encourage healthy rest habits for users.
Announced by the company’s CEO Satoru Iwata, the product will be created in partnership with U.S.-based ResMed, which is a specialist manufacturer of sleep disorder treatment products. The device will be roughly the size of a hand and designed for use on a bedside table, where it will use microwaves to monitor sleep data throughout the night, and then analyze the information collected to provide users with tips on how to get a better night’s rest.
This, as far as we know, is the first device of the newly developed healthcare division within the company. Said division is still in the nascent phase, but Nintendo doesn’t hide the great potential it sees in this market. According to Iwata, Nintendo will “only start something new if we think we will be able to create a big market.”
Nintendo’s health division is still in the nascent phase, but the company doesn’t hide the great potential it sees in this market.Rather than buying the device for a one-off price, users will have to sign-up for a subscription service that will tie into Nintendo’s “Quality of Life” platform, helping the company grow its cash-flow with recurring income.
It’s early days to say whether or not this move by Nintendo will pay off. Iwata thinks that Nintendo’s gaming legacy gives it a great advantage over other players; it can “create something fun” out of sleep and fatigue analysis, he said.
Looking into the future, we gotta wonder whether Japanese are also eyeing other segments of the consumer health market. In the wearables space, they’ll be facing stiff competition from the likes of Apple, Samsung and an army of Google’s Android Wear partners. Or, on the other hand, they could limit their efforts to non-wearable products, which too play an important role in the modern health space. We’ll see how that pans out…