Wearable manufacturers exploring using Heart Rate data to improve Gaming experiences

Wearables Heart Rate data for gaming design

And you thought your heart rate was all about closing activity rings on your SmartWatch and keeping an eye out for Afib?

Oh well, think again…

Wearable technology companies are evaluating numerous potential applications that can be designed using the heart rate data provided by your wearable fitness tracker of SmartWatch.


The maker of Amazfit, Xiaomi and other fitness tracker brands, Huami is exploring ways to use heart rate data to change how you play games on your mobile.

Your Progress on the PubG game getting a little boring as you shift through the usual battleground scenes?

Wearable trackers would soon be able to influence and change the game scenes on a real-time basis depending on your heart rate. 

It can bring in exciting game scenes to keep your heart racing or it can calm you down by toning down the action sequences, all based on your heart rate on your watch.

In an interesting Huami patent filing that was approved today, 10744403, the company discloses the following:

Heart rate data from wearable for game design
Patent approved 08/18/2020

Methods and apparatuses for adjusting a game scene are set forth herein. The method includes receiving heart rate information of a user, wherein the user wears the computing device to play the game, and based on the received heart rate information of the user, adjusting at least one element in the game scene of the game. 

“By using a smart wearable device to acquire the heart rate information of the user playing the game, the game scene of the game can be adjusted according to the heart rate information. Therefore, the game can be made to be more interesting by receiving multi-dimensional interaction information of the user.”

The gaming industry revenue is expected to top $159 billion this year according to a Reuters report.

According to the Reuters story, the biggest growth is in mobile gaming, with many internet cafes closed during the pandemic and the accessibility to mobile devices growing. According to Wijman, mobile gaming will account for $77.2 billion in revenue in 2020, an increase of 13.3 percent from 2019.  esports and VR gaming are also rapidly evolving and growing.

Heart Rate Variability (HRV) linking to Emotion Fluctuations

Now, add in a new variable such as Heart Rate Variability into the recipe of how games are designed, and you have more adrenalin boosting games that can transform how players interact with mobile games.

The process explained by Huami goes much further than just measuring heart rate of a gaming player and offering customized gaming scenes.Determine emotions from Heart rate variability

The gaming console or the mobile can determine one or more emotion fluctuations of the user based on the variations within the heart rate measured by the wearable.  HRV (Heart rate variability) can be used to determine an emotion fluctuation and detect the excitement or nervousness based on the sudden acceleration of the heart rate of the user. 

Based on the emotional response detected, a dynamic game plot could be added into your game progress.

Here’s the catch: An item purchase could be dangled in order for you to continue with the predicted game sequence.

A few years back all this would have sounded like a scene out of a potential sequel to Spielberg’s Minority Report. 

Not any more….

The power of harvesting emotions from heart rate and HRV data from your fitness tracker has the potential to dramatically change how we interact with technology moving forward.

There is definitely a big trade-off to be thought through. How much individual privacy will a user need to sacrifice in the future in order to get more adrenaline via technology?

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Sudz Niel Kar
I am a technologist with years of experience with Apple and wearOS products, have a BS in Computer Science and an MBA specializing in emerging tech, and owned the popular site AppleToolBox. In my day job, I advise Fortune 500 companies with their digital transformation strategies and also consult with numerous digital health startups in an advisory capacity. I'm VERY interested in exploring the digital health and fitness-tech evolution and keeping a close eye on patents, FDA approvals, strategic partnerships, and developments happening in the wearables and digital health sector. When I'm not writing or presenting, I run with my Apple Watch Ultra or Samsung Galaxy Watch and closely monitor my HRV and other recovery metrics.


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