When Global President of Nintendo, Satoru Iwata announced the Wii Vitality Sensor, many people may have said “What the fuck?”, but I on the other hand said “What the if?” if that makes any sense whatsoever.
I began thinking to myself, what could this Vitality Sensor possibly be used for in a video game? Iwata referenced being able to achieve “greater relaxation”, and I then began thinking in the inverse. What if instead of measuring relaxation, certain games perform the opposite and measure your stress level?
Imagine playing a survival horror game, like Silent Hill Shattered Memories and having the game see just how stressed out it's making you? This can have many effects, like toning down the game if people are stressed to the point that they may go under cardiac arrest, or it could help with the pacing of a horror game, to wait for you to be relaxed and then all of a sudden something comes out of nowhere and scares the bejesus out of you.
Additionally, the Vitality Sensor could be helpful in, say Wii Fit if you're doing meditations. Of course, knowing Nintendo they'll probably roll out Wii Fit Plus Vitality in a year or so. Then again, maybe Nintendo might just use it in one of their upcoming 1st party titles. Imagine playing Metroid: Other M where it reads your vitals and a calm, relaxed heart could maybe, if they'd want to go this route, replenish health quicker than an excited heart. Of course, the easy cheat would be to press pause and break the gameflow every 50 or so seconds.
Now, as we all know, small, progressive steps is the key to new technologies down the road. For all we know, the Vitality Sensor could lead the way for a full engaging game/universe a la The Matrix (without those painful cable connectors). Only time will tell, and who knows, maybe Nintendo might just beat SONY to having a proof-of-concept PS9-like thing.