New details have emerged on Nintendo's heart-beat monitoring Vitality Sensor, as a new patent from the Japanese gaming giant leaked online.
Game blog Siliconera ran details on the Vitality Sensor from the alleged patent application, which claims to break down details on how Nintendo plan to use the somewhat left-field heart-beat monitoring game peripheral, (which was derided by many gamers when first announced at E3 2009).
Since that initial launch back in July 2009, Nintendo has remained tight-lipped about any further plans to use the Vitality Sensor. Until now, it would appear.
According to the illustrated document, Nintendo plans to measure a gamer's "Relax Fluid" levels, determined by a cardiac cycle of 100 pulses, using the Vitality Sensor placed over the user's index finger.
A heart-beat monitor contained within the Vitality Sensor will relay this data for use in gaming and interactive entertainment software on the Wii.
The patent illustrates a game where players tilt the Wiimote up and down to steer a character through a 2D landscape, where the character's head rises and falls in line with the player's breathing pattern – requiring the gamer to control their breathing in order to control the on-screen avatar.
Red blood cell monitoring
The Vitality Sensor fires a light beam from one end and has a photodetector on the other end, according to Siliconera.
Haemoglobin in red blood cells absorbs some amount of infrared light, with a player's index finger placed in the Vitality Sensor inbetween the light source and the photodetector.
As the pulse rate goes up, blood flow to the tip of the finger increases, which is how the peripheral measures you heart-rate.