A Nintendo patent just surfaced for a strange horseshoe-shaped controller and there are a wide variety of possibilities about what it could mean.NeoGAF/Nintendo
According to documents uncovered by NeoGAF user Rösti, Nintendo filed a patent back in October of 2014 for a u-shaped controller made of an aluminum alloy.
Here are the main takeaways from the patent:
- The two ends of the controller can measure grip strength and acceleration. More specifically, “When a user applies force so as to bring the two grips towards each other or applies force so as to separate the two grips, the load thereof is detected by the load sensor.”
- There is an additional diagram showing a device that can be slid over one end of the controller and squeezed, likely to be used in concert with the controllers load sensors.
- The patent mentions several times that the controller could be used while a person sits on a balance ball or while squatting, lending weight to the idea that this is will be a fitness-related offering.
- There is an additional diagram showing a device that can be slid over one end of the controller and squeezed.
- Illustrations indicate that the controller can be used as a sort of movement tracker during other physical activities. One of the patent’s illustrations shows someone holding the controller to their chest as they do lunges and twisting exercises.
- One diagram shows someone performing exercises in front of a “portable terminal.” There are no details yet as to what that is.
So, what does all of this mean?
In the past, Nintendo has said that it’s looking to develop technology that will enhance people’s “quality of life.” Given the overwhelming evidence that this controller enables different fitness exercises, there is a strong possibility that this is related to that initiative.
We also know that Nintendo is planning on releasing a new console, codenamed “NX,” sometime this year. Perhaps this controller will be sold with a new edition of “Wii Fit,” a wildly popular game for the Wii and Wii U meant to help users reach their fitness goals.
There’s also the simple and somewhat anti-climactic possibility that this could be nothing. Patents get filed for devices all the time that never see the light of day, especially at a company like Nintendo which is known for developing odd and experimental gaming hardware.