Apple building an iPod/treadmill mash-up?
Hot off the patent application presses today: Apple has filed designs for what appears to be an integrated treadmill-with-iPod machine, which has a built-in display and touchpad.
The filing, which was made a year ago but was made public today, has a diagram of a treadmill with the display and touchpad, and a connection to a media player, a.k.a. an iPod. The market for workout machines that connect with MP3 players appears to be pretty hot. Companies other than Apple are building machines that can more tightly integrate with the iPod players. Perhaps Apple sees it as a lucrative market that they want to at least plant a stake in with a patent claim.
Some interesting details gleaned from the patent application:
* The filing suggests that Apple is customizing a workout machine (i.e. a treadmill) so that it can digital write workout and physical information to a media player. So the iPod won't just play music and videos on the built-in treadmill screen, it will also basically record your workout (i.e. miles run) and your vitals through the sensors on the machine.
* The data from your iPod will be able to then be uploaded to a computer or third party website for further use. So you can track your workouts over time.
* Perhaps the coolest: the machine will enable the user to partake in "real-time, head-to-head competition. These competitions may be between two or more people in one or more locations. Competition data may be shared and displayed to each user." A fully networked treadmill, eh?
Below is a diagram of the invention, per Apple:
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