On March 11, 2010, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals one of the next chapters for Apple's media players used in the gym or private workouts. Apple's latest patent is all about the user creating their own custom workout templates so that they could kick start their workouts faster than before. No more starting your workout from scratch. I enjoy using the Nike + iPod system that provides me with all the stats that I need. In the future, I'll be able to set custom templates for other types of workouts be it for using a rowing machine, weight lifting or other type of exercise. Apple indicates that voice commands will be available in the future which is interesting. Apple also revisits the "virtual competitor" which was first covered in September 2009. This will allow users to compete on a treadmill against friends working out at another gym across town – to help with the monotony of routine workouts.
Currently, an electronic device may allow a user to choose a type of athletic workout and the electronic device may also play back one or more media items to accompany the workout. The electronic device may provide information about the workout in real time to a user, in conjunction with a sensor that may transmit the information to the electronic device. However, a new workout and new media must be selected each time that the user wishes to use the electronic device during the workout, even if the newly-selected workout or media match a previous workout selection or prior media selections made by the user using the electronic device.
Therefore, it would be beneficial to provide systems and methods for storing a workout and related media selections as a template for future "quick start" selection by the user. The systems and methods may include storing a change of media within a new workout template. In addition, it would also be beneficial to provide systems and methods for calibrating or re-calibrating an electronic device using a completed workout.
Apple's invention mainly covers the use of their media players such as the iPhone and iPod touch in context with a new quickstart workout tool of templates. Once a workout template is created and stored, a user may select the template in a quickstart fashion to restart the same workout. It is to be understood that "quickstart" selection of a workout template by a user of the electronic device may include any suitable number of inputs from a user to make the selection, including for example, only one input (e.g., one click or one touch input gesture by the user).
The electronic device also may include any suitable mechanism or circuitry (e.g., a receiver) for receiving and processing signals from a transmitting device, such as a sensor. The signals may contain any suitable information about a user's workout.
The sensor may be linked to the electronic device in any suitable manner, and the sensor also may be coupled to the user in any suitable manner, such as being affixed to the user's shoe or to an exercise machine used by the user – very much like the way the Nike + iPod system works.
The electronic device may be used to create, review, and organize new workout templates, review workout template settings stored in the electronic device, and perform calibration activities.
The workout template may be defined at least in part by a selection of any suitable number of workout goals by the user. For example, the workout goal may include a time elapsed, distance traveled, calories burned, desired pace, a particular activity on an exercise machine, or any other suitable goal.
One or more workout goals may be defined using a default value stored within the electronic device or may be defined using any suitable custom value selected by the user. The workout template also may include any suitable media playlist or playlists to accompany the selected workout goal or goals.
Each media playlist may include any suitable number of media items of any suitable media type, including music, videos, photographs, podcasts, other audio or video files, or any other suitable media types or combinations of media types therein. Playlists or individual media items may be presented to the user in any suitable order.
Apple's patent Figures 2-7: FIG. 2 is an illustrative display screen for selecting a workout application; FIG. 3 is an illustrative display screen for managing workout template options; FIG. 4 is an illustrative display screen for generating a new workout template; FIG. 5 is an illustrative display screen for defining a workout goal; FIG. 6 an illustrative display screen for defining a custom goal; FIG. 7 is an illustrative display screen for associating media with a workout template.
Quickstart Workout Templates
An iPhone/iPod Touch (media device) user may select New Workout option 310 to create a new quickstart workout template. Settings option 315 may be selected to review workout template settings stored in the media device to perform calibration activities. History option 320 may be selected to review, organize, and upload workout template information stored in the media device. Each of templates 325, 330, or 335 may be selected by a user to quick start a previously stored workout template.
Each of templates 325, 330, and 335 noted above may be used with any suitable type of exercise, such as running, machine-based exercise, walking, rowing, or any other suitable type of exercise. In some embodiments, templates 325, 330, and 335 may be used with any suitable combination of types of exercise (e.g., running and weight-lifting for a circuit training workout).
Regardless of the type of exercise, each workout template may include any suitable number of workout goals, such as time elapsed, distance traveled, calories burned, desired pace, an activity to be accomplished on an exercise machine, or any other suitable goals to define at least part of the workout template.
Each template also may include any suitable media type or types to accompany the selected workout goal or goals, such as music, video, photos, podcasts, a combination of these media types, or any other suitable media type. If the media associated with a template is changed, a new workout template may be created using the same workout goal or goals associated with the changed media.
Display screen 400 may include several options for selecting different workout goals. Options may include, for example, Basic option 410, Time option 420, Distance option 430, Calorie option 440, or any other suitable option. In some embodiments, display screen 400 may also include goal options related to workout pace or a particular activity on an exercise machine (not shown).
In response to a user selecting Time option 420 or Calorie option 440, the user may be taken to display screens (not shown) that permit the user to create new workout templates based upon default times or calorie amounts or, in some embodiments, custom settings.
Once the user has selected any suitable number of workout goals (e.g., a default or custom time, distance, calorie amount, pace, or an activity on an exercise machine), the user may be taken to a display screen that permits the user to associate any suitable media with the selected workout goal using any suitable approach.
Apple's patent Figures 8-11: FIG. 8 is an illustrative display screen or selecting one or more media playlists; FIG. 9 is an illustrative display screen for summarizing a new workout template; FIG. 10 is an illustrative display screen or monitoring a workout. FIG. 11 is an illustrative display screen for viewing a workout menu; FIG. 12 is an illustrative display screen for viewing a workout summary; FIG. 13A an illustrative display screen for calibrating electronic device.
In some embodiments, a workout may be started using the new workout template in any suitable fashion. For example, the workout may start when the user provides a verbal command, depresses click or scroll wheel 252 or button 254, or touches display screen 900.
Once the user begins a workout on the media device using the new workout template, the sensor may transmit signals containing workout information that the media device may store as workout statistics (e.g., distance traveled, time elapsed, number of calories burned, or pace or activity achieved).
Display screen 1300 may be displayed in response to the media device determining that a completed or otherwise ended workout may be used to calibrate the media device with respect to a particular sensor (e.g., transmitting device 102). For example, the user may complete a workout and may be shown display screen 1200, which may include statistics related to the workout. After reviewing the statistics, the user may realize that one or more of the reported statistics is incorrect. The user may provide any suitable input (e.g., an extended press of button 254) to the media device causing it to analyze whether the completed workout may be used to the media device. If the media device determines that the workout may be used for calibration purposes, display screen 1300 may provide any suitable options for the media device.
Apple's patent Figures 8-11: FIG. 13B is a front view of an electronic device with an alternative illustrative display screen for calibrating the media device; FIG. 14 is a an illustrative display screen for defining a calibration; FIG. 15 is an illustrative display screen for selecting a workout history; FIG. 16 is a an illustrative display screen for reviewing a summary of workouts; FIG. 17 an illustrative display screen for reviewing a summary of workout achievements.
Apple credits Benjamin Rottler, Allen Haughay JR and Ryan Perry as the inventors of patent application 20100062905. For more information, view this temporary link.
Another Related and Noteworthy Patent Application Published Today
Real-Time Interaction with a Virtual Competitor While Performing an Exercise Routine: A portable electronic device for providing real-time interaction between a user performing an exercise routine and a virtual competitor. Some embodiments of the portable electronic device may include a sensor for receiving a plurality of user performance metrics associated with the user, a processor for generating a comparison between the plurality of user performance metrics and a competitor workout file associated with the virtual competitor, and a display for displaying a summary of the comparison in real-time. For more information on this patent, see 20100062818.
For more information on this topic, please review Patently Apple's September 2009 report titled "Apple Patent Rocks the Gym."
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