Revealed in 2009 the Wii Vitality Sensor was a peripheral device which basically was a heart beat sensor that had plans to “help us relax in a videogame” and “help people to unwind or even fall asleep”. As exciting as that may sound Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata has now confirmed that they’ve actually decided to scrap the Wii Vitality Sensor.
“We thought it would be interesting to understand how the human autonomic nerve functions while using the Wii Vitality Sensor” said Iwata to investors. “We pushed forward it’s 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,” he continued.
The main reason for Nintendo’s decision was down to user compatibility. According to Iwata the Wii Vitality Sensor failed to function correctly with as many as 10 percent of it’s test subjects.
“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,” said 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 originally thought,”.