Wii

Nintendo Files for Personal Weather Station Patent

by Aaron Kaluszka - February 28, 2012, 11:46 am PST
Total comments: 16 Source: http://www.freepatentsonline.com/y2012/0046767.htm...

Is it a secret Wii U feature or just a Wii idea that didn't pan out?

Nintendo is considering an environment sensor unit that could interface with the Wii, a recent patent application reveals.

The filing reveals a number of possible applications. The sensor data can be used to predict the weather, estimate the time of year, and detect which room in which the device is located. The sensor readings can also be used to alter in-game content.

The unit includes an atmospheric pressure sensor, a temperature sensor, and a humidity sensor, as well as a dedicated microcomputer and memory. The latter components allow the unit to run the sensors at periodic intervals, while otherwise remaining in sleep mode so that data can continue to be collected and transferred later. The sensor reading history can be plotted on-screen. This information can be shared with others, and graphs comparing different locations can be shown.

Atmospheric pressure sensor data can be used to predict weather (a decrease in pressure is associated with rain). This data can also be sent to a server, where, once corrected for elevation based on the location of the system, it can be used to generate a large-scale map of atmospheric pressure known as an isobar chart.

The temperature and humidity sensors can detect patterns over time, which can infer whether the room is occupied (an example is given where an office runs the air conditioner during the day on weekdays). This information can be send to other users to tell them if a person may be present. Over a longer period of time, this sensor data can be used to infer the time of year. From this information, in-game environments can be changed to match the real-life season or weather.

A number of possible applications are mentioned. The system can correlate sensor readings with various historical data to generate indices such as beer index, an influenza epidemic index, a comfort or discomfort index, and a laundry index. Additionally, the system can generate recommendations, such as what clothes should be worn that day.

Furthermore, the unit can be equipped with a radio or an infrared communication system, which would allow it to control other devices, such as an air conditioner. The application also notes that the Wii Sensor Bar's infrared lights could be used for such communication.

The patent application also explores the combination of other sensors, including a smell sensor, dust sensor, human sensor, camera, illuminance sensor, and an ultraviolet sensor. The latter sensors can be used to infer sunlight information.

Nintendo originally filed for the US patent on August 12, 2011, following the Japanese filing on August 20, 2010. The inventors are listed as Yasuyuki Shimohata, Ryoji Kuroda, Kazuhiro Hosoi, and Takanori Okamura. While it is not clear how Nintendo plans to use the technology, they note that it could be applied to fixed console systems, PCs, phones, PDAs, and hand-held game systems. Some recent cell phones include such sensors.

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Talkback

CericFebruary 28, 2012

I would love an outdoor weather station that I can monitor and view from my TV.  I would also like a sensor that could talk to my thermostat saying "hey this room is to X."  This could be cool.  I do love me some random stats.

ShyGuyFebruary 28, 2012

part of the weatherunderground? wunderground.com

Fatty_The_HuttFebruary 28, 2012

Quote:

the unit can be equipped with a radio or an infrared communication system, which would allow it to control other devices, such as an air conditioner. The application also notes that the Wii Sensor Bar's infrared lights could be used for such communication.

Hey, it's raining! Turn on Da Wii!

Also, this bit

Quote:

A number of possible applications are mentioned. The system can correlate sensor readings with various historical data to generate indices such as beer index, an influenza epidemic index, a comfort or discomfort index, and a laundry index. Additionally, the system can generate recommendations, such as what clothes should be worn that day.


Beer index? Laundry index? WTF?

KITT 10KFebruary 28, 2012

This sounds like a really cool feature to have with the Wii U. (I sure as hell would like to have it.)

Quote from: ShyGuy

part of the weatherunderground? wunderground.com

Though this seems intended for indoor use, this is what I first thought of. Presumably, Nintendo would be able to make it cheaper and get it more wide-spread.

Ian SaneFebruary 28, 2012

You know the actor that everyone loves and everyone wants to hear him talk about his most famous roles and yet he can't shut-up about his stupid band that nobody gives a shit about?  Or the musician who talks endlessly about his clothing line?  Sometimes Nintendo is like this.  They're the best videogame designer in the world and yet it often seems that what they really want to talk about is their weather station or weird video network or vitality sensor or software to learn English or whatever goofy ass gadget they've come up with to get grandparents playing videogames.  "Well I guess there is that videogame stuff but what I'm REALLY excited about is our new digital cook book!"  ARRGH!!

I can imagine this introducing realtime weather effects in games which sounds awesome for about three seconds until you realize that when it's a miserable rainy day outside you probably are playing videogames because you can't do anything else.  Do you really want the game to be raining as well?  "I will escape the bad weather by... playing a videogame where I'm stuck in bad weather."

Sounds like they need to make a "bad mood" sensor. Nintendo is still a toy company in some ways. It's not necessarily about trying to expand their audience with grandparents specifically, they just like experimenting with new ways of interacting with technology, which is a very good thing. It's not like you've heard of any of these guys with respect to Nintendo's marketing, and you haven't heard anything about the Vitality Sensor since it was announced. Some things work, and some don't, but you don't know until you explore the possibility. Yet, this type of stuff is exactly what keeps Nintendo going despite what the outside world wants them to do. In that way, the actor comparison is very apt.

Guitar SmasherFebruary 28, 2012

Quote from: Ian

You know the actor that everyone loves and everyone wants to hear him talk about his most famous roles and yet he can't shut-up about his stupid band that nobody gives a **** about?  Or the musician who talks endlessly about his clothing line?  Sometimes Nintendo is like this.  They're the best videogame designer in the world and yet it often seems that what they really want to talk about is their weather station or weird video network or vitality sensor or software to learn English or whatever goofy ass gadget they've come up with to get grandparents playing videogames.  "Well I guess there is that videogame stuff but what I'm REALLY excited about is our new digital cook book!"  ARRGH!!

I can imagine this introducing realtime weather effects in games which sounds awesome for about three seconds until you realize that when it's a miserable rainy day outside you probably are playing videogames because you can't do anything else.  Do you really want the game to be raining as well?  "I will escape the bad weather by... playing a videogame where I'm stuck in bad weather."

They filed a patent.  That's all...

broodwarsFebruary 28, 2012

I guess this is how they decided to respond to Operation Rainfall... ;)

Chozo GhostFebruary 28, 2012

Doesn't the Wii already have a channel that tells you the weather? I guess this would be a good thing for those who don't have their Wiis online enabled, though.

broodwarsFebruary 28, 2012

Quote from: Chozo

Doesn't the Wii already have a channel that tells you the weather? I guess this would be a good thing for those who don't have their Wiis online enabled, though.

From my experience, the Wii's Weather Channel is pretty terrible, usually anywhere from a half hour to 2-3 hours out-of-date.

oohhboyHong Hang Ho, Staff AlumnusFebruary 29, 2012

Maybe you should, you know, look out the window? Basic meteorology is not that hard to learn and you don't need fancy sensors for it. It's not like you going to be flying a aircraft into the weather requiring you to have a much deeper understanding along with raw data from radars, charts covering a 1/10 of the earth, super computers and some good local knowledge.

Unless you live in one of those places that get 4 seasons a day, your prediction is going to hold up for a day until the next time you look out the window.

All this gadgetry seems to be a really crapshot way to guess the weather based on incomplete information, criteria and calibration. Without multiple points of data, the isobaric chart is going to look like some sort of sick meteorological joke.

Quote from: oohhboy

multiple points of data

The application goes into great detail about using this.

EnnerFebruary 29, 2012

Quote from: broodwars

Quote from: Chozo

Doesn't the Wii already have a channel that tells you the weather? I guess this would be a good thing for those who don't have their Wiis online enabled, though.

From my experience, the Wii's Weather Channel is pretty terrible, usually anywhere from a half hour to 2-3 hours out-of-date.

Hmm, I like using it get a 5-day forecast.

Quote from: MegaByte

Nintendo is still a toy company in some ways. It's not necessarily about trying to expand their audience with grandparents specifically, they just like experimenting with new ways of interacting with technology, which is a very good thing.
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Yet, this type of stuff is exactly what keeps Nintendo going despite what the outside world wants them to do.

I say thank god for that. Six years ago the outside world wanted them to go the way of Sega.

Chozo GhostFebruary 29, 2012

Does this violate Nintendo's patent?  ;)

http://www.americasbestmyspacecomments.com/graphics/redneck/3/pics_redneck-weather-station.jpg

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