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

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.

source: USPTO via TheRegister



1. darkkjedii

Posts: 31331; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

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

10. Ashoaib

Posts: 3298; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

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

2. fzacek

Posts: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 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.

6. harimura

Posts: 10; Member since: Jun 14, 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.

7. techperson211

Posts: 1280; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

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

11. rsxl5

Posts: 65; Member since: Sep 05, 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...

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.