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Apple developing full-fledged digital lifestyle fitness companion

post #1 of 62
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Electronics maker Apple Inc. is developing a digital fitness companion system based around its iPhone and iPod touch players aimed a helping americans, and folks in general, live a healthier and more fit lifestyle.

A series of patent filings discovered by AppleInsider this week provides an overview of four distinct components that will comprise the system, including an iTunes-like software application, hardware-based heart rate and physiological sensors, a rewards tracker, and a component to facilitate synchronous group activities.

Akin to a more advanced version of the company's Nike + iPod sport kit, the companion system would utilize a new software application for Macs and Windows PCs that would serve to "interview" the user via a series of dialogs.

The first segment of the interview process would poll the user on their fitness goals, desired activity level (moderate, advanced), fitness interests (such as jogging, pilates, and swimming), fitness goals (lose weight, firm and tone, and get back into shape), weight goals, desired workout schedule, and so forth.

A second segment of the interview process would then question the user about his or her health history (allergies, asthma, back pain, and diabetes), current medications, and family health history.

"The lifestyle companion system also can interview the user about non-health related topics, e.g., spirituality/religion, identity (e.g., sense of belonging), relationships, career, financial condition, environment, hobbies, interests, other personal information, and goals regarding the same," Apple wrote in one of the filings. "An identity (sense of belonging) interview may address, for example, the organizations to which the user belongs socially and/or professionally. A relationships interview can address, for example, the marital and/or familial status of the user. The relationship interview also can address the quality of the user's relationships with his/her family. A career interview can address, for example, the length of time the user has worked in the present job, the user's current occupational position, and/or the user's level of enjoyment of the user's occupation. A finance interview can address, for example, net wealth, credit situation, spending habits, etc. An environment interview can address, for example, the user's home, office, clothing, transportation, fitness memberships, access to exercise equipment, etc."

Once the interview process is completed, the computer-based application would create a profile of the user and a workout regimen based around their feedback on goals and fitness interests. For instance, a user interested in weight training would be provided a work out schedule broken down into warmup cardio exercises and a weight training session comprised of sets, reps and weight levels.

The regimen would then be synced to an iPhone or iPod touch, allowing the user to step through their predefined workout and track their progress while at the gym. In one of the four filings, Apple also suggests a number of hardware-based companion products consisting of sensors for real-time feedback, in addition to raising the possibility that future iPhones and iPod touch's would include their own assortment of built-in sensors.























"In one embodiment, the present invention can include a headset having integrated physiological sensors. The present invention also can include a sling having one or more integrated physiological sensors. The sling can secure a portable electronic device to a user's body or clothing," the company said. "The present invention also can include a portable media device having one or more integrated physiological sensors. In one embodiment, an electronic device of the present invention can accept data from multiple sensors, including one or more sensors that track a user's movements. The electronic device can be configured to condition data from physiological sensors using data indicative of the user's movements."

As a motivational tactic, the digital lifestyle system would also include a rewards system and a system for facilitating group activities in which users can pit themselves against their peers in terms of workout performance, similar to the way Nike + iPod users can challenge and compete against each other by uploading their workout summaries to nikeplus.com.

















"Once the subordinate user has input data about his activities, the rewards system can determine the appropriate rewards to distribute to the subordinate user account based on the data and the rewards allocation parameters," Apple said. "A rewards system of the present invention also can permit a user to challenge one or more users to a competition. Based on data about the competitors' activities and user-defined allocation parameters, the rewards system can automatically distribute rewards to the user account(s) of victorious competitor(s)."



The four filings, each made on March 27, 2007, are credited to a number of Apple employees, including Glenn Gilley, Sarah Brody, and iPod chief Anthony Fadell.
post #2 of 62
I can't wait for Apple to release a digital lifestyle sex companion a la Woody Allen's "Sleeper".

post #3 of 62
Amazing! I want one of those ASAP
post #4 of 62
In all seriousness, this looks like a real winner! Before anyone derides this as too specialized and not appealing to a wide market, realize that there are millions of people out there (more women than men) who want to exercise more and have someone (or something in this case) push/train them. Most are too self-conscious or too financially strapped to have a personal trainer. This product will take care of both issues. If Apple does release this product, I would look for a serious increase in iPod adoption rates in much older age groups than have been seen thus far.
post #5 of 62
And Balmer has pointed the public to Microsoft's patent filing for a new Chip Bag they are developing. Sources indicate that the bag is designed to look similar to what Doritos was marketing in the '80s. According to the filing the bag features sensors which calculate the user's calorie intake and identifies ways to enhance/increase the intake of the contained chips. The bag also interfaces with Microsoft's Big A$$ Table which can recognize if the bag has been stolen and will automatically facilitate a charge to the user's credit card for the product.

In a related filing, MS appears to be developing a complimentary product to the Chip Bag, a Chip Bowl. The chip bowl is intended for use during the consumption of chips by groups of people, where groups are gatherings of more than 1 people. The chip bowl will recognize how much is consumed by each individual user, again sending this information back to MS who can sell it to retailers, producers, and spammers alike. Also, according to the filing, the Chip Bowl can recognize a Double Dip and features a LASER which will shoot the double dipper in the eyes, thus blinding them.


Balmer was heard to comment that the MS lard-assed customer's are slurping up these bloated products like honey coated jelly-beans. He seems to think these new products will sell like hot-cakes.
post #6 of 62
I have to say, the phrase "digital lifestyle fitness companion" has to give some bureaucrats, marketing weenies and analysts some wood. It's almost a phrase that only they can take seriously.
post #7 of 62
been wearing the BodyBugg for awhile now and it's great but the software is some mix of Java and only runs on Windoze. I didn't look thru all the panels but one would hope there would be a way to log/track your food in addition to partnering with, say, Gold's Gym or some other outlet for one-on-one coaching. Certainly like to see how accurate and "think different" an Apple product would be.
post #8 of 62
Wow, that software looks pretty.........complete.
post #9 of 62
How do they make those awesome pictures? Do they keep a mimeograph machine just for that purpose?

/Adrian
post #10 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lifino View Post

And Balmer has pointed the public to Microsoft's patent filing for a new Chip Bag they are developing. Sources indicate that the bag is designed to look similar to what Doritos was marketing in the '80s. According to the filing the bag features sensors which calculate the user's calorie intake and identifies ways to enhance/increase the intake of the contained chips. The bag also interfaces with Microsoft's Big A$$ Table which can recognize if the bag has been stolen and will automatically facilitate a charge to the user's credit card for the product.

In a related filing, MS appears to be developing a complimentary product to the Chip Bag, a Chip Bowl. The chip bowl is intended for use during the consumption of chips by groups of people, where groups are gatherings of more than 1 people. The chip bowl will recognize how much is consumed by each individual user, again sending this information back to MS who can sell it to retailers, producers, and spammers alike. Also, according to the filing, the Chip Bowl can recognize a Double Dip and features a LASER which will shoot the double dipper in the eyes, thus blinding them.


Balmer was heard to comment that the MS lard-assed customer's are slurping up these bloated products like honey coated jelly-beans. He seems to think these new products will sell like hot-cakes.


Haha!

I really like the fitness/workout application. I agree- it looks like it already exists- I wonder if we will get leaks as Apple are forced to reveal details to partners they are hoping to link up with.

Ok...What would this be called?...ball rolling...

How about: iWorkOut?
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post #11 of 62
fitness is now, officially, the next big thing(tm)

sounds sort of like the nintendo wii sports game. where you can compete against friends and track your progress, wii fitness "age", and game-specific stuff like home run records, virtual golf handicap, etc. it's good entertainment. i hear nintendo is coming out with a wii fitness game this year.

tracking how much you run and how many calories you burn might be enough to get some people hooked, now make it a portable apple device full of eye candy and multitouch technology goodness and ipod functionality on top of it... that's a winner right there.

if apple pulls this out right... man this is something. this ipod fit or whatever could have a pedometer, heart rate monitor, calorie counter and maybe a way to track what you eat.

i'm not exactly sure what they mean by the rewards system, but it sounds intriguing.
post #12 of 62
Cool

I bet the "relationship interview" generates such workout guidance as "Run as fast and as far as you can."
post #13 of 62
I do not want to "loose" weight... I want my belt to be "loose". In order for that to happen I must LOSE weight.

I'm sure such misspellings will doom this project.
post #14 of 62
I don't think it will catch on. It is too complicated with all of those straps and velco. Besides, everyone already knows that if they get more exercise and eat fewer calories they will be healthier. A cute little application is not going give someone the discipline and will power to stick to a an exercise and dietary program. Fat people are too lazy and fit people don't need it.

That's why the Nike + iPod works so well is that it is targeted at people who are already in great shape who just want to record one simple data set time/distance.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #15 of 62
This really does sound like something worth getting excited about. I'm very much looking forward to seeing the final product.
post #16 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I don't think it will catch on. It is too complicated with all of those straps and velco.

Exactly how complicated do you have in mind? I think you're imagining something that doesn't fit reality. I don't think it would be any more complicated than the armbands for the nano.

Quote:
Besides, everyone already knows that if they get more exercise and eat fewer calories they will be healthier. A cute little application is not going give someone the discipline and will power to stick to a an exercise and dietary program. Fat people are too lazy and fit people don't need it.

There was a segment on Science Friday a few weeks ago that said the opposite, the motivating factor is in keeping the user apprised of how much progress they are making.
post #17 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by berad View Post

I do not want to "loose" weight... I want my belt to be "loose". In order for that to happen I must LOSE weight.

I'm sure such misspellings will doom this project.

I am astonished just thinking of the aggrevation you must feel to be motivated to register as a user to in order to correct spelling!! Welcome anyhow.

I do however disagree with the comment above about fat people not being dussed and fit people already doing it. I have definitely experienced the boredom with jogging/cycling in a gym or on the roads. Having a goal setting/feedback system provides all-important motivation for all.

Maybe a rewards system might incorporate free downloads from iTMS. Just a thought.
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post #18 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I don't think it will catch on. It is too complicated with all of those straps and velco. Besides, everyone already knows that if they get more exercise and eat fewer calories they will be healthier. A cute little application is not going give someone the discipline and will power to stick to a an exercise and dietary program. Fat people are too lazy and fit people don't need it.

That's why the Nike + iPod works so well is that it is targeted at people who are already in great shape who just want to record one simple data set time/distance.

Everyone's opinion is their own and valid, but using "everybody already knows..." in support of your opinion is misguided.

Look no further than research into dieters who view a scale daily versus those who do not. Tracking progress is critical. Social interaction (i.e. telling friends what you are doing and having them ask you about your progress) is critical. Delivering instruction to those who may not know what excercises, weight, reps, order, etc. they need is critical. It's all just slightly more complicated than: eat less, move more, be more fit.

You may not need this product. And heck, maybe the thing falls flat on its face once released. But try to have a perspective that reaches beyond your own personal needs if you're going to take the time to share a negative opinion with us. I respect your viewpoint. But if you want anyone to understand it or agree with it (and I'm assuming you do or you would just read the article and move on), you may want to consider a different approach to sharing it.
post #19 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Exactly how complicated do you have in mind?

I don't know, a waist band, a ankle device, an arm band, and wire attached to your skin. Did you examine the last diagram?

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post #20 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I don't know, a waist band, a ankle device, an arm band, and wire attached to your skin. Did you examine the last diagram?

I didn't see the last picture until you mentioned it, but I imagine that they are covering all the possibilities, not saying they all need to be there.
post #21 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lifino View Post

And Balmer has pointed the public to Microsoft's patent filing for a new Chip Bag they are developing. Sources indicate that the bag is designed to look similar to what Doritos was marketing in the '80s. According to the filing the bag features sensors which calculate the user's calorie intake and identifies ways to enhance/increase the intake of the contained chips. The bag also interfaces with Microsoft's Big A$$ Table which can recognize if the bag has been stolen and will automatically facilitate a charge to the user's credit card for the product.

In a related filing, MS appears to be developing a complimentary product to the Chip Bag, a Chip Bowl. The chip bowl is intended for use during the consumption of chips by groups of people, where groups are gatherings of more than 1 people. The chip bowl will recognize how much is consumed by each individual user, again sending this information back to MS who can sell it to retailers, producers, and spammers alike. Also, according to the filing, the Chip Bowl can recognize a Double Dip and features a LASER which will shoot the double dipper in the eyes, thus blinding them.


Balmer was heard to comment that the MS lard-assed customer's are slurping up these bloated products like honey coated jelly-beans. He seems to think these new products will sell like hot-cakes.

No No NO!
Tiny RF transmitters will be put on every food container and the information will be processed by MS 'Big Ass Table' (BAT) computer, and your physical data will be collected by the MS "Big Ass Chair" (BAC) computer. The 2 will confer and display a detailed diet plan on the BAT, which will always suspiciously come out to.,..
1) eat a little less
2) Get your BA out of the BAC and push yourself away from the BAT.
post #22 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZagMac View Post

Everyone's opinion is their own and valid, but using "everybody already knows..." in support of your opinion is misguided.

Look no further than research into dieters who view a scale daily versus those who do not.

Sorry, but I was unaware that anyone with enough money to purchase such a device would not already know the obvious relationship between diet, exercise and health. But your second point I agree with. One SIMPLE data point, the scale. I suppose you are correct in assuming that my personal lifestyle would not be enhanced by this contraption. But that my be because already totally obsessed with fitness. Sorry if I offended anyone.

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post #23 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I don't think it will catch on. It is too complicated with all of those straps and velco. Besides, everyone already knows that if they get more exercise and eat fewer calories they will be healthier. A cute little application is not going give someone the discipline and will power to stick to a an exercise and dietary program. Fat people are too lazy and fit people don't need it.

That's why the Nike + iPod works so well is that it is targeted at people who are already in great shape who just want to record one simple data set time/distance.

These diet gadgets sell well (yea AAPL!) but are generally nonsense. Toys like this may motivate for a short time, but end up in a drawer.
post #24 of 62
introducing: iFat
post #25 of 62
When I first saw the pictures in this patent filing I thought "wow, this device really looks like one of those early iPod video mockups"... A quick google picture search revealed that apple indeed used this very mockup I had in mind (note light reflections):



http://www.joeyinteractive.com/blog/?p=149

Now.... did the guy who photoshopped that mockup accidentally create the design of a new apple product? Uhm... never mind... Cheers
post #26 of 62
sorry - couldn't resist.
post #27 of 62
This system NEEDS to have diet and food management built in. Anyone can exercise a little but without calorie tracking, its worthless. I could pig out and eat more than my workout lost me.
FWIW, I'm doing the watchers of weight system (not a promotion) and just watching what I eat I'm losing weight and I work at a desk all day and do not exercise much. CALORIES matter.
post #28 of 62
That's insanely great! It's just what I've been trying to find fruitlessly.
post #29 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I have to say, the phrase "digital lifestyle fitness companion" has to give some bureaucrats, marketing weenies and analysts some wood. It's almost a phrase that only they can take seriously.

Maybe that is the code name and it will really be called ... iFit or ... iLive ... iAm ... iWell ... iHealth ...
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post #30 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Maybe that is the code name and it will really be called ... iFit or ... iLive ... iAm ... iWell ... iHealth ...

iSizeNano, iVoluptuousClassic, iHaveNotBeenTouchedForALongTime
post #31 of 62
Some may question if this is overkill or if people would actually use it. But if this is simply a software addition to existing touches and iPhones, then the price barrier to enter is relatively low. And most people already bring their phones or iPods to the gym anyway, so no need to carry around yet another device. This could also replace the notebooks you'll see people carrying around the gym to record their workouts.

But I think the real benefit is in planning/organizing workouts. It's not just about recording what you did, it's also important to plan what you are going to do. If a good software program can help me do that, sign me up!

One poster said that the people who already work out don't need this. I think that is untrue. I know many people who go to the gym and just make up their workout on-the-fly. They usually get bored or find themselves in a rut of doing the same exercises over and over. I've attended the resistance training classes at my gym (Bally's calls it PowerFlex), not because I didn't know how to do all the exercises on my own, but because it provided a structured environment in which to make sure I did them all, and in the correct order (yes, it matters). Something like this could help make sure I don't forget about an exercise or forget what amount of weight I used last time, etc.

Edit: And offer modules for specific training goals...running a marathon, training for a triathlon, etc.
post #32 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperMacGuy View Post

This system NEEDS to have diet and food management built in. Anyone can exercise a little but without calorie tracking, its worthless.

Correction: if you want to lose fat significantly, you would do well to track calories. You would also do well to not stuff yourself, to exercise, to eat healthy foods, to get enough sleep, and to eat frequently. Tracking calories is, in fact, the only thing on that list that has *no* effect by itself.

Tracking is unnecessary for most people. Starting with those who don't need to lose fat, followed by those who need to lose so little of it that simple, obvious lifestyle corrections like no longer drink a six-pack per day give enough results.
post #33 of 62
For this to be really useful, the battery in the iPod will need to be much bigger.
Never going to get those fat people moving without a good electrical charge administered on plan through sensors wired to your butt.

The iZap.
post #34 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

This could also replace the notebooks you'll see people carrying around the gym to record their workouts.

You've got to be kidding. People bring notebooks to the gym? Forget the notebook. Pump iron.

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post #35 of 62
Excellent.

It fills another hole in the Mac software lineup, adds value to iLife and Mac purchases and juices iPod sales all at the same time.

I hope they're almost ready to go with it though.
Between the patent filing and this article, competitors have enough to get moving on alternatives.
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post #36 of 62
Quote:
aimed a helping americans

Hey, we may be a bunch of imperialists that are looking for ways to invade more countries, pollute more and become even fatter, but you are still supposed to capitalize our nationality!

I love the idea of this system. Will it work for non-continuous walking? I'd like my iPhone to work as a pedometer that counts steps throughout the day. I think my Nike+iPod will say, "Hey, you're just sitting there, fat ass! Your current pace is 8 yards per hour -- molasses flows at 10 yards per hour."

I also love the integrative aspects of the invention. The iPhone will catch you staring hypnotically at the ass of the woman on the elliptical trainer in front of yours and ask you, "You're married, right?" or worse, it'll SMS your wife saying, "That horn dog of a husband of yours it at it again!"

Getting the spirituality in it also opens up new possibilities. "C'mon! Do two more bicep curls for the sake of Phoebus Apollo!!"
post #37 of 62
Quote:
A second segment of the interview process would then question the user about his or her health history (allergies, asthma, back pain, and diabetes), current medications, and family health history

This is gonna be a killer app! No Pun at all. Some suggestions for the next development of this software below.

To Apple:

There are plenty of people who are really struggling to take control over their health. They would like to experiment with more natural methods but need a reliable way to track all sorts of things to be able to tell if they are succeeding. Next time could we have an app more medical in nature? The aging population as well as anyone who is sick, need a way to track everything from vitamins/moods/symptoms/body functions (customize your own). Say an asthmatic is tracking his diet and medications. Or someone with prostate problems is tracking a medication's effect vs. a 3 week trial with an herbal supplement.

Can we have something to track physical exercise that isn't specifically competitive?

There are some companies making medical diaries,but you can bet the user interface is lousy.
here's some links to those:

http://www.phtcorp.com/products/product%5Fsuite/
http://www.unitedbiosource.com/ivr-diaries.aspx
http://www.download32.com/medical-diary-software.html

Please include Medscape's drug interaction checker:

http://www.medscape.com/druginfo/dru...hecker?src=ads

Apple could get it right. There's a whole new market demographic waiting that would love to have an excuse to buy an ipod or iphone. I've seen an 85 year old pick up the iphone and navigate it easily.

Thanks Apple
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post #38 of 62
There was a program called Cyber Trainer used in various gyms back in the mid to late 90's, this looks like more like a pocket sized version of it.
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post #39 of 62
Let's hope they announce this soon, cause I'm just about to rejoin the gym.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #40 of 62
iHad a feeling Apple would be getting deeper into this segment of the market. iKnew the Nike partnership was just them dipping their toe into the water like they always do when evaluating feedback from customers.

Apple getting into the dating market is only a heartbeat away!

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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