Wii Vitality Sensor Cancelled

Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata confirmed that the Wii Vitality Sensor has been cancelled.

The Vitality Sensor was announced in 2009. It is a heartbeat sensor that is worn on the player’s finger with the aim of tailoring game’s pace according to its player’s psychological state.

"We thought it would be interesting to understand how the human autonomic nerve functions while using the Wii Vitality Sensor," Iwata told investors recently. "We pushed forward its development on the academic assumption that by observing the wave patterns of the human pulse, we could quantify how tense or relaxed a person is, or to be more specific, how much the sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves work as functions of the autonomic nerve."

The device was cancelled for two reasons. First, it failed to function properly for as much as 10% of test subjects. Second, Nintendo found that it has "narrower application than we had originally thought".

"After a large-scale test of a prototype inside the company, we found out that for some people the sensor did not work as expected," admitted Iwata. "We wondered if we should commercialize a product which works as expected for 90 people out of 100, but not so for the other 10 people."

"We could not get it to work as we expected and it was of narrower application than we had originally thought."

But that doesn’t mean that the project has been cancelled for good. "We would like to launch it into the market if technology advancements enable 999 of 1,000 people to use it without any problems, not only 90 out of 100 people," said Iwata.

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