Apple Wins an AirPods Patent Related to Exercise Guidance that assists the user how to Stretch & Exercise in Proper Form
In the last two years Apple has already been granted three AirPods related patents focusing on sports oriented AirPods with built in Biometrics & Noise Cancellation Features (01, 02 & 03). Apple's work on this project actually began in 2009 covering sports monitoring and head gesturing systems. Apple's first granted patent for this invention was issued back in 2014. Today, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued Apple yet another granted patent titled "Wireless ear bud system with pose detection."
As noted earlier, Apple's AirPods system for sports and head gesturing takes shape by specifically presenting a sporting scenario.
Apple notes that their granted patent covers a system wherein AirPods (ear buds) are used to provide audio information to a user while using orientation sensors such as accelerometers to gather orientation information.
The ear buds may communicate wirelessly with the ear buds (= AirPods). During operation, the AirPods may be used to provide a user with exercise routine coaching such as audible instructions while a user is performing an exercise routine such as a head movement routine.
The head movement routine may involve, for example, moving the user's head into a sequence of predefined head poses (e.g., left tilt, forward tilt, right tilt, and back tilt).
While being coached, the AirPods may gather accelerometer data in a first reference frame such as a reference frame associated with the ear buds and may use a rotation matrix to rotate the data in the first reference frame into a second reference frame such as a neutral reference frame.
The data in the neutral reference frame may be analyzed using a user head pose look-up table with threshold accelerometer values for different head poses to categorize the data as corresponding to respective user head poses.
Feedback such as audible feedback may be provided to a user based on evaluation of user performance of the head movement routine. Other suitable actions may be taken such as issuing performance reports and alerts.
If desired, additional sensors may be used in gathering orientation data during user movement routines and additional evaluation, guidance, and feedback operations may be performed.
The exercise that may use head movements such as left tilt, forward tilt, right tilt, and back tilt does in fact in one scenario relate to "yoga" according to Apple.
Though in the bigger picture, the invention relates proper form in stretches prior, during and after a workout. Apple provides specific context that defines the title of Apple's invention as follows: "These stretch positions, which may sometimes be referred to as user head poses, user head tilts, neck stretches, poses, etc., may be used to help stretch and relax the muscles in a user's upper body."
Apple's patent FIG. 2 below is a perspective view of an illustrative ear bud / AirPods; FIG. 3 is a side view of an illustrative ear bud located in an ear of a user; FIG. 7 is a flow chart of illustrative steps involved in using a system having wearable electronic devices such as AirPods.
Apple notes further into the patent that the system can provide a user with exercise routine guidance that may be audible, visible, and/or haptic and may involve text, spoken commands, diagrams, videos, prerecorded audio clips, and/or other information that helps guide the user through the routine.
For example, the guidance may include an overview of the goals of the routine, information on suitable preparation for the routine (e.g., preparatory head movements and body stance), and real-time guidance such as step-by-step directions provided during the routine.
When using a Mac for further sports program information via videos and diagrams, Apple notes that the user will be able to use voice commands with their AirPods.
Apple notes that a user may launch software in a system related to monitoring the user's performance. For example, the user may launch an application on their Mac or iDevice (e.g., by selecting an icon on a touch screen display, clicking on a desktop icon, providing a voice-based device with a voice command, etc.).
If desired, the user may provide AirPods with a voice command, tap command, or other input command that launches an exercise routine application in the AirPods.
It would be easy to see how this invention could apply to Powerbeats Pro in the future, as exercise and hard workouts are what distinguish them from AirPods.
Apple's granted patent 10,277,973 was originally filed in Q1 2018 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office.