iFit: Apple Won Patents For Fitness Centre App

Apple has won new patents for the iFit app which will turn the iPhone into a personal fitness hub and will provide users with the possibility to measure their progress, schedule classes and stay motivated between sessions.

Looks like one more icon will appear in iPhone's menu. Apple is working out new fitness app. Photo: Christyam/Flickr

In the released Steve Jobs’s biography, Walter Isaacson wrote that the former CEO wanted Apple to re-invent three markets: TV, photography, and text books. Now it seems like the company has added another industry to the list – health.

iPhone’s fitness centre app would sort of a link to equipment and services at gyms, and would allow users to observe their exercise program or processes and book classes or personal training sessions.

Besides, in the new app would be inserted a special system to allow users to pay for gym services via their iPhone.

By linking up with Apple, gyms can encourage users to special offers such as free passes to alert them to join. Those who work hard at the gym would be rewarded with coupons for free drinks, while slacking the app would remind user to redouble efforts.

“To help become motivated to regularly visit a fitness centre, people often resort to techniques such as finding a workout buddy, scheduling sessions with a fitness trainer, attending workout classes, and the like,” Apple commented in its patent filing.

“However, although these approaches for becoming motivated can be serviceable, they remain disjointed, lack a central hub, and may still result in the person losing motivation.”

Apple’s fitness centre app would become a rival for fitness apps already available for the iPhone.

According to the UK’s Telegraph, Apple has already closely cooperated with Nike on the Nike+ app, which allows runners to track their progress with the help of wireless sensors in trainers, so, it’s obviously, it would not be the first time the iPhone maker has moved in on territory occupied by third party developers.

Apart from fitness patent, the company has also won rights on a wide range of endeavors, such as the recognition method used by the multi-touch screens on iOS devices and a design patent covering the look of the YouTube icon in iOS.

Among a total of 18 patents awarded earlier today, Apple also scored a design patent on its own brand of battery charger, as well as patents on the Photo Booth application for Macs, says Macnn.

As the same methodology is used by other companies in their own multi-touch panels, Apple now has to enforce either licensing agreements or enter into litigation for infringement. The new method, which means using calibration logic circuitry to continuously compare signal oscillation against a reference signal, is also able to detect “near touches”.

Apple Inc has also won design patents for the battery-charging portion of its Apple Battery Charger for re-charging its own house brand of rechargeable batteries and the “retro TV” design of the YouTube app icon used in iOS.

Apple VP of iOS development Scott Forstall is among the designers of Photo Booth, the app, taking pictures and funhouse-distortion image. Photo Booth has been standard on the Mac for a number of years.

The program was personally tested by Steve Jobs in 2005, continues to be a popular app for live demos of the built-in webcam found in most Mac models.

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