Apple has just been granted a patent for fitness-related gadgets that would be able to give weight lifters and runners specific feedback during their workout routine.
The document, first spotted by Apple Insider, appears to describe two devices — one that could attach to a weightlifting bar and another that would strap to a runner’s shoe.
The weight-lifting fitness gadget would include sensors that could monitor the number of repetitions a user completes during his or her workout.
The device would include a screen for displaying the results, and could also sync with a smartphone or MP3 player, presumably an iPhone or iPod Touch in this case.
The patent also mentions that results could be displayed on a smartwatch, hinting at potential integration with Apple’s long-rumoured iWatch if either product ever comes to market.
The second device would be able to tell a runner whether he or she’s shoes are worn out. Apple writes:
As a shoe wears, physical support provided by the shoe decreases, thereby reducing associated protection from injury.
The device would contain sensors that could detect a physical metric that changes as a shoe wears out, and if it determines that a shoe is worn out it would sound an alarm to alert the wearer.
The device doesn’t appear to be only for runners, as Apple’s patent drawings show the device housed in a dress shoe.
The patent is published just days after Apple unveiled HealthKit, which will debut in the fall with iOS 8. HealthKit acts as a central hub for all of your fitness apps, and you’ll be able to track your health stats over longer periods of time.
To be clear, Apple patents gizmos all the time. Just because Apple owns the patent, doesn’t mean it will actually make the device. But it’s interesting to see that the company is experimenting with new types of fitness devices that haven’t really caught on with consumers just yet.
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