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Apple looks at fitness system integration for iPod

updated 11:25 am EDT, Thu March 27, 2008

Apple fitness system?

Apple may be expanding its reach to include a new fitness system integration for its iPhone and the iPod touch, patent filings indicate. Although Apple already has a similar system, developed in tandem with shoemaker Nike, the Nike+iPod kit currently only works with Nanos, restricting both iPod owners and the marketing options of the corporations. The new system would likely have four components: iTunes-style software, physiological sensors, a rewards tracker and a means of coordinating group activities.

The software described is used to create an exercise routine, and tailors it to an individual by asking a series of questions, such as general interests (martial arts, swimming, etc.), the purpose of the exercise (weight loss, muscle tone, etc.) and any impediments like asthma, back pain or medications. The synthesized routine could involve not just walking and running, as with Nike+iPod, but elements such as weight training.

Once this information was synched to a Touch or an iPhone, mobile software would guide users through each step, recording results. To facilitate this Apple describes a variety of possible body sensors, including some that could be built into future portable devices.

Pushing people to exercise would be the rewards and group activity schemes, similar to that presently used at the Nikeplus website. What would constitute a reward is unknown, but each one would be customized for a person's particular achievement.

One illustration supplied with the patents depicts potential sling, holder and sensor designs, but notably, exchanges a Touch/iPhone for an iPod classic.

by MacNN Staff



  1. simdude

    Joined: Dec 1969



    When Apple first introduced the iPod years ago, my first though was "that's dumb. there are a million mp3 players out there. what are they thinking."

    Eventually I got one and now I use it in ways I never even had though of. I have exercise instruction, audiobooks, news including daily Wall Street Journal reports, language instruction etc. Oh yeah, and there's that music stuff it can do too.

    I would love to see more applications and a better use of the technology and this looks like a possibility. I think eventually, the ipod line will evolve into the iPod touch and various sizes. This will allow developers to write applications for any need. It's not hard to imagine with a just a little more power, we take our iTouch/iPhone home, plug it in a dock with a big screen and keyboard, and use that as our computer too.

  1. dmsimmer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I'm in.

    Wonderful idea.

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