updated 01:05 pm EDT, Thu April 28, 2011
Would push beyond Nike+ technlogy
A new Apple patent application hints at the possibility of an official fitness center app for iPhones. The software would have hooks for social networking, one example being the ability to find a workout buddy, whether at a specific fitness center or anywhere in a given city. A gaming aspect would allow people to challenge each other, say by beating running times.
More practical aspects would allow people to locate centers, check on available classes, and access promotions. News, scheduling and reminders might also be integrated. Boosting the exercise experience itself would be training and how-to modules, and methods of tracking workout performance.
Any such app would likely be an extension of the Nike+iPod technology Apple has developed for some time. While originally just meant to track running using special shoe sensors, the concept has since been expanded to allow plugging an iPhone or iPod into compatible cardio machines at a gym. An enhanced fitness app could be used to promote both Nike+iPod-ready devices and support from gyms, as a relatively small number of facilities have compatible machines.