(Pocket-lint) - Nintendo seems to be pressing ahead once again with its plans for a line of "quality of life" products.

A passion project by the late Satoru Iwata, when he was president of the Japanese firm, the idea for the company to branch out was seemingly shelved by his successor, Tatsumi Kimishima, in 2015.

However, a new patent has been discovered - filed by Nintendo last September and published 14 May 2020 - that shows Nintendo is still keeping the dream alive. Literally.

The patent was found by website Japanese Nintendo and shows a mobile phone dock that doubles as a sleep tracker.

Nintendo (patent)

It can sense sleep patterns through respiration and pulse tracking, and can project images onto a wall or ceiling, which could "prompt the user to fall asleep or wake up". It could also show an evaluation image on how well the user slept.

As this is a Nintendo product, it also includes a mini-game to help a user to fall asleep through repetition, such as a puzzle game.

Nintendo (patent)

Of course, for every patent that is eventually made into a real product, there are thousands filed each year that never see the light of day.

But considering how high Nintendo is riding right now thanks to the enormous success of the Switch, it could be the right time to branch out to other smart devices. Certainly more so that when the concept first appeared, in the midst of the Wii U crisis.

Writing by Rik Henderson.