In the recently-released Steve Jobs biography, Walter Isaacson notes that the late CEO wanted Apple to re-invent three markets: TV, photography, and text books. Now it looks like the company has added another industry to the list: health.
PatentlyApple is reporting that Apple has just won a patent for a major fitness center app. Judging by the filing, the software is being built for the iPhone, and will allow users to virtually interact with their local gyms and fitness centers…
This actually isn’t the first time we’ve seen this patent. We reported on Apple’s original filing back in April of this year.
From the filing:
“A method for interfacing with a fitness center, the method comprising: introducing a user to a particular fitness center via an integrated application of a portable electronic device, wherein the user is a potential new customer of the particular fitness center; after the introducing, providing incentive, via the integrated application, for the user to join the particular fitness center…
…in-gym motivation for motivating the user to work out at the particular fitness center; and providing, via the integrated application, post-workout motivation to encourage the user to actively return to the particular fitness center, wherein at least one of the providing incentive, the providing in-gym motivation and the providing post-workout motivation comprises connecting the user, via the integrated application, with a calendar server of the particular fitness center for allowing the user to perform a scheduling function with the particular fitness center.”
Whew, that was a mouthful. While we all know that a small percentage of Apple’s patents ever make it to the hands of consumers, patent filings have correctly predicted product releases in the past.
A fitness center application is interesting for a couple of reasons. But perhaps the most intriguing one is that there aren’t really any other companies doing anything on a major scale in the health and fitness space. If Apple could create something compelling enough to make people want to use it, it’d be the only game in town.
Would you use a health club companion iPhone app?