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Apple Granted Patent for Weightlifting Tracker That Utilizes Watch-Like Device

Apple has been awarded a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (via AppleInsider) that details a weightlifting tracker that could pair with a watch-like device to provide live progress-tracking to users, offering a potential scenario where Apple's highly-rumored iWatch could be used.

The patent details how a transmitter could attach itself to a weightlifting bar to count repetitions in real time. The transmitter itself is described as having a number of components, including an accelerometer, processor, Hall effect sensor, and display. While some scenarios describe the sensor as showing live information all by itself, a few note that the small beacons could transfer data to devices such as a watch or phone.

lifting_patent_sensor_on_bar
A sensor (500) shown on-top of a body bar
In one embodiment, display 512 is part of a watch (or a MP3 player or a cell phone) that may be seen when worn or used by the user when performing exercises; and measurements determined by processor are transmitted to the watch (or to the MP3 player or cell phone) for display.
In a situation where data is transferred to a watch, the patent notes that the watch's housing could include a processor to store data and inform the user of repetitions for workouts over time. This would allow the device to breakdown a user's workout with the use of multiple sensors, even giving information about the body bar or other equipment used.

Whether Apple integrates the technology described in the patent into a specific product remains to be seen. However, recent reports surrounding the iWatch have described the device as having a multitude of biometric sensors to track a number of health-related metrics, including activity levels.

Furthermore, it is likely that the iWatch will integrate with iOS 8's recently introduced Health app, which provides an easy to read dashboard of health and fitness data that can be pulled from different sources. Apple also debuted a new TV ad called "Strength" last week that focused on fitness accessories and apps.

Apple's iWatch is expected to launch later this year, with a recent report stating that the company is aiming for an October unveiling and release date.

Related roundup: Apple Watch

Top Rated Comments

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27 weeks ago

Come on guys, samsung will be frist!!!


Just like Samsung, you rushed to make a comment and made a mistake in the process. :p

On topic, seems like Apple has thought of everything fitness-wise. I wonder if they got the idea from Nike.
Rating: 17 Votes
27 weeks ago
usually weight lifters(at least the ones willing to purchase a device to help keep track of things) doesn't need a count helper. Its burnt into my brain the way i do things in the gym i don't see a device helping with that. Now keeping track of heart rate is good for me and some sort of calorie counter but not rep count thats a little ridiculous. Especially for the addicted to weightlifting people like me.
Rating: 6 Votes
27 weeks ago

Thats what Im talking about!!! Bring it Apple. May or may not ever see this product come to shelves, but as a serious weightroom junkie, this shows me that Apple GETS true health tracking.


A true weight junkie does NOT care about gadgets like this. Chalk and a barbell is all we need :P
Rating: 5 Votes
27 weeks ago
This thing wouldn't have to be just a rep counter. It could also detect how quickly you're doing the reps. Are you using inertia to cheat and powering through, or are you going slow and steady for maximum benefit? Depending on what exactly the sensors are and how good the software is, this could be very useful indeed, even for those who can count :p.
Rating: 5 Votes
27 weeks ago
I demand a rendering!
Rating: 4 Votes
27 weeks ago
One day, not so far away, we won't be able to pee without the help of an app telling us the exact the direction of the wind to make sure we're not against the wind.
Rating: 4 Votes
27 weeks ago

Do you even lift?

Sounds cool, but I personally prefer excercises that don't rely on me going to a gym or buying equipment (although I have a pull up bar that I can attach to a doorway... that's the only thing in my house that's exclusively used for exercise, I think).


I assume you are asking me....Trust me I lift. weightlifting is essential to bone health. Those who just do weight free cardio or those who just lift weights and no cardio are missing the point. The body needs a well rounded fitness routine. Dont just be a bike rider. Dont just be a body builder and dont just be runner.[COLOR="#808080"]

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I think more people who would use this would benefit more from a real time form feedback, not rep counter.



Definitely, but this patent shows that Apple is conscious of weightlifting and its importance to health. They have to start somewhere and this is a good start. The future is now bright.
Rating: 3 Votes
27 weeks ago
Thats what Im talking about!!! Bring it Apple. May or may not ever see this product come to shelves, but as a serious weightroom junkie, this shows me that Apple GETS true health tracking.
Rating: 3 Votes
27 weeks ago

A true weight junkie does NOT care about gadgets like this. Chalk and a barbell is all we need :P

You're thinking too one dimensionally. Look at the bigger picture. We won't buy an iWatch to count reps, that's just one of the many functions it can perform. In combination with other features, you may find yourself using new iWatch weightlifting apps that take your workouts to a new level.

Maybe it will be good for lifting newbies. Maybe there will be apps that use the gyroscope to teach proper form for exercises. Maybe it will spur millions of people who aren't serious lifters to just incorporate more resistance training into their workout.
Rating: 2 Votes
27 weeks ago
To those who think this would just count reps:

I'm a Sport Scientist and i think this would be a big (and surprising) step by Apple. Sport scientists already use linear transducers and accelerometers attached to the barbells to measure velocity, acceleration, force development or mechanical power (among other variables) in weightlifting exercises. These technologies are like the heart rate monitors to endurance training: they help monitoring the intensity of the training and they really help to prescribe exercise programs. For example, there is a very strong relationship (in fact, bigger than the relationship between running pace and hear rate) between barbell velocity displacement and the intensity (%Repetition Maximum) of the resistance training.

These technologies are not widely used as heart rate monitors because of its high price (from 1000$ to more than 3000$), which make them unaffordable beyond labs or high-performance clubs. If Apple is planning to release a weight-lifting accelerometer for, lets say, 200$ or less, that methodology that we use with elite athletes would become popular.

So, no, Apple is not developing this for counting repetitions. I'm really excited with this patent, lets see what happens.
Rating: 2 Votes

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