Apple has revealed two patent applications focused on integrating advanced fitness and health monitoring into its devices.
The first patent, “Posture Transition Detection and Classification Using Linked Biomechanical Model”, filed in September 2021, proposes detecting posture changes by utilizing motion sensors in Apple’s mobile devices. This technology would determine if users have stood up or sat down and use this data for head pose tracking and fitness and health monitoring.
The second patent, “Full Body Pose Estimation through Feature Extraction from Multiple Wearable Devices,” filed in 2022, aims to develop a more accurate full-body skeletal model for tracking users’ detailed movements. Apple intends to use multiple sensors, including cameras and inertial sensors, placed at various locations on the user’s body or clothing to create a distributed sensing system.
These patents focus on connecting data from sensors in Apple’s mobile devices and wearables to create a more accurate representation of users’ fitness levels and location in a room. By understanding a user’s entire body position, Apple could warn users about real or virtual obstacles, assisting visually impaired individuals in navigating the physical world.
The patents outline numerous applications for fitness and health monitoring, such as detecting falls or illness, autonomously teaching proper workout routines, and recognizing full-body sign languages like airport runway signals or traffic police gestures.
Apple has consistently pursued fitness and health monitoring technology, including accelerometers in the Apple Watch to detect walking or running. The company also recently applied for a patent for a camera on the Apple Watch to detect movement.
Apple aims to provide a comprehensive picture of users’ physical activities, potentially offering health benefits. As the company prioritizes health and wellness, this technology could feature prominently in future Apple devices. However, privacy and security concerns arise with any technology gathering personal data.
To gain trust and prevent misuse, Apple must be transparent with users about the collected data and its usage.