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Apple's patent for a pedometer could be related to the Apple iWatch

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Apple's patent for a pedometer could be related to the Apple iWatch
Apple's application with the USPTO for a wrist-worn pedometer was released on Thursday. United States Patent Application #20140074431, "Wrist Pedometer Step Detection", reveals methods of obtaining an accurate step count for a wrist-mounted pedometer. Apparently, it is harder to obtain an accurate step count from a pedometer worn near the wrist as opposed to a pedometer worn near the chest. The patent also seems to be describing a device that might be closer to a smartwatch with all of its features and capabilities.

The patent reveals that a combination of algorithms, between-step timing and the accelerometer on the pedometer, can count how many steps might have been missed due to the G forces caused by arm swinging. The patent also explains how the user can switch the settings on the pedometer from on-wrist to near on-torso use. The device itself can automatically determine which of the two settings is appropriate based on readings from the accelerometer. And the pedometer can even determine if the user is running or walking.

This patent application also mentions that the pedometer could incorporate a number of  features that you might find in a smartwatch, such as housing a processor for both data and images. The pedometer also would include memory, and light and proximity sensors. The patent also mentions features like  GPS, temperature sensors, a "biometric sensor", a camera for both still photography and video capture, facial recognition, voice control and the ability to make or take calls. Besides a number of touchscreen input options, the filing says that the device will have "one or more buttons, rocker switches, thumb-wheel, infrared port, USB port, and/or a pointer device such as a stylus." The pedometer will support connectivity via GSM, GPRS, EDGE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and WiMax.

The device in the patent application sounds suspiciously like the eagerly awaited Apple iWatch instead of a pedometer. The Cupertino based tech titan has been extremely quiet about its rumored smartwatch, but the timepiece is still expected to be released some time this year.

Apple's pedometer includes an algorithm that helps count steps missed due to arm swinging

Apple's pedometer includes an algorithm that helps count steps missed due to arm swinging


source: USPTO via TheRegister

11 Comments
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posted on 13 Mar 2014, 19:44

1. darkkjedii (Posts: 10490; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Just hurry up, shut up, take my money, and strap it to my wrist Cook. I want this puppy bad!

posted on 14 Mar 2014, 01:19

10. Ashoaib (Posts: 1366; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)


I feel there is no singal day without an new apple patent...

posted on 13 Mar 2014, 19:57 1

2. fzacek (Posts: 1384; Member since: 26 Jan 2014)


I don't really understand patents that well. If Apple patents a pedometer, does that mean that no other company can make a pedometer? Probably not, but I don't know how it works.

posted on 13 Mar 2014, 20:06 3

4. lyndon420 (Posts: 1712; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)


Many devices have pedometers in them, but this is apple so we'll just have to wait and see as they may have found another patent worth exploiting :-)

posted on 13 Mar 2014, 23:06

6. harimura (Posts: 10; Member since: 14 Jun 2011)


They are basicly patenting another method of step detection. It won't mean that others cannot make pedometers, just that others cannot use the method Apple uses for detecting steps.

posted on 14 Mar 2014, 00:18

9. lyndon420 (Posts: 1712; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)


Yes you're right...but this will most likely be one of the vauge and typical broad reaching patents that they will use to say that no other 'watch' could have a pedometer without somehow treading on what apple believes is their tech.

posted on 13 Mar 2014, 20:04 1

3. lyndon420 (Posts: 1712; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)


This thing sounds better than the iPhone itself. But...it's from a fruit company, so I'll pass :-)

posted on 13 Mar 2014, 21:49

5. ecmedic4 (Posts: 195; Member since: 02 May 2013)


So just because it's a product from Apple you would pass on it, no matter how good it was or how much you like it? That sounds like nothing more than immature blind hate. Don't understand ppl hating on tech companies that have obviously done nothing to them personally that makes their life hell. You obviously don't have to use their products if you don't want to, but why blindly hate them anyway. Apple makes great products, as do many other tech companies so you have plenty of choices, so why hate on one that you probably don't even use their products?

posted on 14 Mar 2014, 00:12 1

8. lyndon420 (Posts: 1712; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)


Their products are fine for what they can do...I just have no respect for the company what-so-ever, so I refuse to line their pockets by supporting anything of theirs :-) Maybe once their products are more capable like Android and the company isn't hell-bent on sueing the whole world...nah...who am I kidding lol. If our only choices were iOS & WP...I'd probably take BlackBerry :-)

posted on 14 Mar 2014, 00:01 2

7. techperson211 (Posts: 510; Member since: 27 Feb 2014)


Patent B.S. again. Next time they'll patent shapes. Oh wait they already did.

posted on 14 Mar 2014, 09:49

11. rsxl5 (Posts: 65; Member since: 05 Sep 2012)


Patenting pedometer.... Apple's way of innovation...

BTW, I think that they may have missed at least one area where the device described as in a patent could be even more innovative so calling it a pedometer is limiting Apple substantially.

Imagine that G-Shock sensor on that wrist device is used while having fun with yourself and than that the device calculates an amount of calories you've burnt, as well as, ASAP upload to remote server your result so you can compare it with other top players...

Wouldn't it be innovative?

And seriously, my lack of any respect to Apple is not coming from hating their devices but it's based on the way Apple operates and claim to rediscover the world while patenting and using other companies ideas...

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