Pokemon will track user’s sleep in new app

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(NBC) – On the back of success with the major mobile hit “Pokemon Go,” The Pokemon Company has a new game app in the works: “Pokemon Sleep.”

Details on the new smartphone-based title out of the company behind the “Pokemon” franchise are scant, but one thing is clear — this one’s all about tracking your sleep.

The aim is to turn sleep into a form of entertainment, the company says. It will collect data on how long a player sleeps and what time they wake up to impact gameplay.

“After walking, we decided to focus on the act of sleeping,” The Pokemon Company’s CEO Tsunekazu Ishihara said at a press conference Wednesday.

“Everyone spends a large part of their life sleeping, and turning that into entertainment is our next challenge at Pokemon.”

Exactly how that works is something of a mystery at this stage. The game is set to be released in 2020.

Also announced Wednesday was a sleep-tracking device from Nintendo called the Pokemon Go Plus +, which comes equipped with an accelerometer to track time slept and send the data to a user’s phone through Bluetooth.

The Pokemon Company said the gadget, which resembles a Pokeball, has the same functions as its predecessor. The original Pokemon Go Plus lets users catch creatures from the franchise without taking their phone out of their pocket.

The move could be interpreted as a combination of gaming with health and wellness. “Pokemon Go” was remembered for encouraging players to step outside of their home and walk about, instead of the sedentary approach seen in a lot of games consoles.

Based in Tokyo, The Pokemon Company was established in 1998 with joint investment from Nintendo, Game Freak and Creatures, which all hold copyright to the franchise.

Its augmented reality game “Pokemon Go,” made in partnership with San Francisco-based Niantic, became the top-grossing app on Apple’s U.S. App Store following its 2016 release.

Mobile gaming has grown rapidly, taking up almost half of all global games revenues — equivalent to $63.2 billion — according to industry research group Newzoo.

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