How did it feel linking up the Fit Meter and Wii Fit U?
It feels like I’m gaming even when I’m not playing the game. It’s mysterious how storing up records in the Fit Meter always links to the game.
When you sync data from the Fit Meter to Wii Fit U, the day’s activity stores up like dropping change in a piggy bank.
Yeah. When you press it in your hand, that kerching-kerching sound like coins flying away has a pleasant sense of movement.
It actually feels like something is flying away from your hand.
Right. That tied well with what we were originally doing with Wii Fit U. When the Fit Meter and Wii Fit U connected, I felt like it worked well. It will store up to one month of data, but when I lined up the graphs for one week, the contrasting difference between weekdays and weekends was striking.
It’s fun to look back at your own activity.
You can check burned calories per minute on a graph, with different colours for going up and down stairs or for walking , so you can grasp it at a glance. And if you sync the data after storing up a few days, you think, “Come to think of it, I climbed those stairs” – so the recollection aspect is a bit like Brain Training16.
16. Brain Training: Dr. Kawashima’s Brain Training: How Old is Your Brain?, a Nintendo DS game released in June 2006, that provides stimulating mental activities designed to help users recall information more capably.
Brain training with Wii Fit U?! (laughs)
Yeah! (laughs) I think it’s fun to think back over your activities, sort of like remembering what you had for dinner the night before.
An important point is how you no longer play Wii Fit only when in front of the television. How did it feel to you, Sugiyama-san?
Unfortunately, we couldn’t adapt the Fit Meter to bicycles, but our first goal was having the atmospheric pressure sensor show ridgelines17 when climbing a mountain, so it was a relief when we were able to do that.17. Ridgelines: The profile of a mountain stretching from peak to peak.
I'm sure it was! (laughs)
In the end stages of development, we added something called the Fit Meter Challenge. This feature applies your distance walked or height climbed to city jogging courses or famous mountains and so on . I recommend this without hesitation.
When a goal is displayed, people suddenly get serious. By the way, there’s a way to set it to zero metres when at ground level.
Yes. The atmospheric pressure sensor measures the altitude changes, so shifts in the environment can cause an error in the atmospheric pressure that it detects. So we made it possible to reset it at any time.
I suppose since it is an atmospheric pressure sensor, it could be affected by weather elements such as high atmospheric pressure and typhoons.
Yes. And Sugiyama-san said he wanted to climb a mountain after setting it to zero, so we changed it.
Another change in the specs?
I said it later on, so they got pretty upset.
And if you know about atmospheric pressure you know, for example, that even when you aren’t moving but the altitude is rising, this means a low-pressure system is approaching. During a typhoon, for example, altitude changes by about 100 metres. And when you arrive at a subway station or pass through a tunnel, atmospheric pressure changes drastically, so peaks form in atmospheric pressure when getting on and off a subway. When you look at that on a graph, you can tell how many subway stations you passed through.
Oh, the change is that noticeable? I often get on an airplane when I go on overseas business trips. When I wore the Fit Meter on an airplane, it was neat the way that the atmospheric pressure rose on the graph, drawing a large curve. I hope our readers will check out how the atmospheric pressure changes for themselves.
I think so too. (laughs)
Kitado-san, when you saw the Fit Meter and game together, what was your impression?
I thought that the way you can play the game in order to burn calories so you could reach your daily goal was really smart. The activity meters we usually make don’t have game-like functions – they only offer advice like “Walk 30 more minutes.” And I think it’s great how Mii characters appear on the Fit Meter.
It makes it feel your own. How about you, Tooyama-san?
The biggest difference that I noticed was its presentation and form. The function to compare activities that was added along the way was an idea that we would have never come up with ourselves, so I learned something new! (laughs)
What kind of function is that?
Placing two Fit Meters so they face one another to communicate would allow two users to see how compatible they are with each other. It compares the two users’ activity patterns over the past 24 hours, and the more similar the activities are, the better a match for each other they are.
Oh. People whose lifestyles exhibit similar patterns have greater affinity.
Right. You’re more likely to have the same pattern as a spouse or pet you walk every day, so your affinity goes up.
That part about the dog surprised me! You can put the Fit Meter on a dog, but calling the units of dog activity “kWoofs!” (laughs) would never have occurred to us! (looks at Kitado-san) Right?
You can’t accurately measure calories burned for a dog, so we call those units kWoofs.
Yeah. Some cooler ideas came up, but we decided on kWoofs because they were straightforward. (laughs)
That’s right. They fit better.
(after a silence, loud laughter)
I mean, at our company, we’d be like, “How do we get this okayed?” I mean… we’re talking kWoofs here!
That idea would never pass. (laughs)
It’s interesting how you each experienced culture shock. (laughs) But without this encounter, Wii Fit U would not have turned out this way, and the Fit Meter wouldn’t have turned out to be that different from conventional activity meters already out on the market.
I get the sense that Wii Fit U will become something slightly different if you take the Fit Meter with you to all sorts of places – even away from the TV – so you are aware of how much you move your body. Thank you for today.
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