London: Apple has won the patent for an application that aims to turn the iPhone into a personal hub to help users measure their progress, schedule classes and stay motivated between sessions.
The proposed fitness centre app would be linked to equipment and services at gyms, to allow users to easily monitor their exercise program and book classes or personal training sessions.
Dozens of iPhone apps offer workout tracking and variations on the other features Apple describes in its fitness centre patent, but none has enough clout to persuade many gyms to invest to integrate their systems.
The filing proposes that users would even pay for gym services via their iPhone.
By linking up with Apple, gyms would also be able to alert users to special offers such as free passes to encourage them to join. Hard work at the gym could be rewarded via the app with coupons for free drinks, while slacking could be met with reminders to redouble efforts.
The app patent also covers social networking features to help users to find local workout partners based on their favourite activities or to join leagues, with notifications about others’ performances to foster rivalries.
“To help become motivated to regularly visit a fitness centre, people often resort to techniques such as finding a workout buddy, scheduling sessions with a fitness trainer, attending workout classes, and the like,” the Telegraph quoted Apple as saying in its patent filing.
“However, although these approaches for becoming motivated can be serviceable, they remain disjointed, lack a central hub, and may still result in the person losing motivation,” it added.
If released, Apple’s fitness centre app would compete with a host of fitness apps already available for the iPhone.