Luigi, Mario and Toad having a conversation while playing Nintendo Switch Online
Image Source: Nintendo

New Nintendo Patent Shows Mario-Themed Sleep System

Not something to be slept on.

In a new patent with the United States Patent Office, Nintendo appears to register Mario-themed sleep-monitoring software and hardware. It looks to be similar to Pokemon Sleep which was launched last year, as it seems to gamify positive sleep habits.

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Patented Hardware

First spotted by curious Reddit user NefariousnessFit9350, it was posted on the r/Nintendo subreddit.

The patent shows several aspects that differentiate it from its Pokemon-themed counterpart. The first is that the patent also covers a dock-like peripheral to be used in tandem with the sleep software.

The patent states that this “terminal system” is made up of a “hand-held terminal” and “base device”. It would send its “health information (sleep and fatigue) and game result” to a server. This data would then be accumulated and evaluated.

A phone on a dock
Image Source: Nintendo / The United States Patent and Trademark Office

The hand-held terminal would most likely be a mobile phone with a specific application installed, similar to Pokemon Sleep. It’s stated that this would then “calculate sleep and fatigue game progress”, so it seems as though the processing power would come from the mobile device.

The base device, however, would contribute through “sensing by sensor”. This hardware’s sensor sits alongside a camera, speaker, projector, and other utilities. This is what seems to differentiate this patent from other similar ideas that have been commercially available by Nintendo.

The Gamification of Sleep

The patent appears to show Mario waking up and gaining positive attributes. This seems to be a result of a positive sleep cycle from the user. The software applies an “improvement bonus” to incentivize regular and extended sleep:

Mario waking up
Image Source: Nintendo / The United States Patent and Trademark Office

The Game Itself

The most intriguing aspect of this patent, however, is its inclusion of a game for users to play – using the amount of sleep gained as a currency to spend. The patent shows an illustration of Mario “off to an adventure”, with the number of ‘lives’ gained through sleep shown underneath:

Mario going off on an adventure
Image Source: Nintendo / The United States Patent and Trademark Office

It is unclear as to whether this software would work similarly to Nintendo’s other mobile application offerings. If so, then it may act somewhat like Niantic Labs’ 2021 Pikmin Bloom or even Nintendo’s own StreetPass titles. In Pikmin Bloom, the player can actively participate in many of its systems. However, at some point, they will have to wait in real-time for their Pikmin to return with what miniature spoils they have recovered.

Boss Fights

Regardless of wait times, the patent seems to show exactly what kind of encounters our favorite plumber would get into. As seen in the patent, Mario would seemingly be able to fight against enemies – perhaps in a similar system to Niantic’s extremely popular Pokemon GO.

The patent shows that, through Mario, “today you gave 80 damage points” to Bowser, and that “you gain 10 coins” as a result. Whether those coins would be used through an in-app store is, of course, up for speculation.

Mario fighting Bowser.
Image Source: Nintendo / The United States Patent and Trademark Office

Ambient Display

The bulk of interest does, of course, come from the hardware specified and Mario-themed software of the patent. However, the patent also shows a more subdued element of the display. It appears that, while the hand-held terminal and base device are connected, the software can enter a sleep state of its own.

Without user input, the software would present subdued animations on the display – shown in the patent as a miniature aquarium. While not the most exciting aspect of the patent, the idea of this device being a central device of a room is an interesting one from Nintendo.

An underwater aquarium
Image Source: Nintendo / The United States Patent and Trademark Office

Road to Nowhere

While it’s always interesting to speculate on the avenues video game patents may head, they often lead to nothing tangible.

Patents are often used to stake a claim on ideas and specifications. This is often so that the companies in question can rest easy knowing they have their hands on them. The projector system on the base device, for example, is similar to one patented with WIPA in 2016. That patent sent gamers into a frenzy, as many considered that it may eventually be incorporated into the Nintendo Switch system.

Regardless of the outcome, the idea of a Mario-themed health app is something we have never seen before. To see Nintendo go so far as to patent it makes for a very enjoyable read. Don’t hit the snooze on this one!

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Connor Wright
Connor is a Freelance Writer at Twinfinite. Hailing from the east coast of Scotland, with experience in the development and retail spaces of the industry, he uses his passion about games and Scottish charm to write features and guides. When he's not writing, Connor loves dissecting his favourite fictional worlds and plundering on the virtual open seas.