This Pokémon-themed pedometer came free with Heart Gold and Soul Silver back in 2010, with a unique feature to send Pokémon from your Heart Gold or Soul Silver game over to the PokéWalker to simulate players taking their Pokémon for a walk. The Pokémon assigned to the PokéWalker gains a single level upon being put onto it, no matter the amount of steps taken or the time spent on the device.
Other features include the ability to catch wild Pokémon, some of which are unavailable until travelling to Kanto or fighting the Johto League, or find items by spending “watts,” which are accumulated through steps the PokéWalker counts. Every 20 steps, 1 watt is gained.
When I got my PokéWalker, I took it practically everywhere with me, and found that in an average school day, I would walk approximately 6,300 steps. I still take it almost everywhere with me, but there was always one thing I wondered about the PokéWalker…
Is it really that accurate?
I always found it quite difficult to fake steps on the PokéWalker. I had to angle it and then hit the device against my hand at the right time to fake even one step. This was in an attempt to mimic the pattern of an actual step, something which I had not had to do for previous, random pedometers that would count a step after a simple shake. This told me that the PokéWalker measures steps in a more precise way, although I could never be sure.
The other day, I came across an article on the accuracy of PokéWalkers, which immediately piqued my interest. A study done by the Iowa State University in 2011 revealed that PokéWalkers are indeed quite accurate, especially when compared to other pedometers they used.
“In comparing all those measures, the Pokéwalker did very well,” said Lanningham-Foster, who researches the measurable health benefits of active video games. “It’s very accurate and precise. So as a tool that can be used to actually change behavior and a child can use to truly understand and learn about how much they’re walking, it could be a good tool.”
To read more about their findings, visit this page: Iowa State PokéWalker Article.
Images from Nintendo and TheNinentdo.com