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Nintendo Wii Vitality Sensor Still Puzzles Tech Observers

Nintendo's Vitality sensor, the latest appendage for its uber popular gaming Wii console, is still drawing blanks from a wide range of tech outlets.

Speaking to Fast Company, Reggie Fils-Aime, the Nintendo US Boss, did not make it easier when he failed to deliver some convincing arguments. Unsurprisingly, he pointed out that the software would ultimately be the main reason why anybody would like to buy it.

He told journalist N'gai Croal that "Until you have that software, it's tough to understand. If I told you that you would be standing on an oversized bathroom scale, and having fun doing it, you probably would have said, "Reggie, I don't get it." And yet here we are with the balance board arguably as the third largest development platform across the globe."

The device, which is set to be the equivalent of a body-powered input peripheral, will connect to the Wii console and possibly give you indications about your general welfare and how you can improve your health and lifestyle by exercising - using the Wii Fit for example.

Arguably, this is not the first time that the Nintendo Wii is being considered as a medical device. There are countless examples of the NHS deploying the Wii to help its patients.

Back in February for example, NHS Grampian provided OAPs with Nintendo Wii Fit packages to help them improve their standard of life.

So is the Vitality sensor an idea that could change the fortunes of Nintendo? Well, if well executed, it could be the company's most profitable product yet.

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Our Comments

The combined budget for the health services in the UK and in the US alone (forget about the rest of the world) is likely to reach $1 trillion - that's one thousand billions - in the next few years. A significant amount of it will be linked to conditions linked with one's standard of living.

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Désiré Athow
Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.