While digging through Japan’s trademark database last week we discovered Nintendo registered a trademark for a DS card that could detect direction. The unique card is real and now we know what it’s being used for. Sorry to disappoint anyone, it’s not for a new Zelda game with a realistic compass feature.
AstroArts is using the technology for Hoshizora Navi literally translated as “Starry Sky Navigator”. This Nintendo DS title is not a game, it’s software that helps users appreciate the night sky. Hoshizora Navi has star charts covering 9,300 stars, planets, suns, and moons from 1900 to 2099. While you can use the software to analyze past and future of deep space AstroArts seemed to design it with the present in mind. Hoshizora Navi uses the DS direction sensing card to figure out you current orientation and it adjusts the on screen star chart accordingly. So, when you move the screen changes to fit your view. A very neat concept that reminds me of the PSP star gazing software Homestar, which was made by Sega for Japan only.
Images courtesy of ASCII Media Works.