Nintendo Unveils First 'Quality of Life' Device: a Non-Wearable Sleep Tracker

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Former Staff Writer
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Today, Nintendo chief executive Satoru Iwata shed some light on the company's formerly announced foray into Quality of Life (QOL) devices, or non-wearable tech products aimed to help consumers monitor their health.

A hand-sized sleep monitor will be the Japanese gaming giant’s first product launch from its QOL initiative. Placed on users’ bedside tables, the device incorporates radio frequency sensors to measure body movement, breathing and heartbeat, Iwata said today at an investor presentation. Fatigue measurement and other sleep deprivation data will then be transmitted to cloud servers, analyzed and sent to users in graphs.

The device marks a collaboration between Nintendo and US-based ResMed, a medical equipment developer, according to Reuters. It is slated to launch in the fiscal year ending March 2016.

Related: What You Can Learn From Nintendo's Weird and Wonderful 125 Years

As Nintendo is primarily known for its landmark video game franchises like Super Mario Bros., Pokemon and The Legend of Zelda, Iwata noted that the QOL products would boast a gamification aspect. “By using our know-how in analyze sleep and fatigue, we can create something fun," he said.

While Nintendo has had success before in the health and fitness space with its Wii Fit series, that product launched long before a slew of popular fitness wearables from Fitbit, Jawbone, Nike -- and today, Microsoft -- flooded the market, notes The Verge.

However, in announcing the QOL strategy back in January, Iwata said that Nintendo would employ a “leapfrog strategy,” bypassing mobile phones and wearable tech to develop standalone devices.

While Nintendo has struggled in recent years in the wake of hugely popular mobile games, the company reported surprisingly triumphant second-quarter earnings yesterday, stating it was on track to post its first annual profit in four years.

Related: How Much Sleep Do You Really Need?

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