Apple could be working on a fitness tracker designed to wrap around the cold hard steel of a barbell, according to a patent uncovered by AppleInsider.
Most fitness bands are used to track how many steps you’ve taken as well as your speed and distance travelled, but when it comes to lifting heavy things and putting them back down again, their usefulness vastly diminishes.
A barbell transmitter could result in more useful data for lifters. Once calibrated, you could, for example, be scolded when you’re trying to get away with doing half reps,if it detects that you’re not lifting high enough.
It could also ensure that reps are carried out in a smooth, controlled manner, as opposed to quick jerks which can lead to injuries and inefficiency.
The patent itself outlines a number of designs, one of which involves a display on the actual transmitter itself, so that information can be read at a glance.
A second, more likely scenario is making use of an accompanying app (on a device like the iWatch, for example) which shows off detailed stats which could then be stored in iOS 8’s new Health app.
Whether or not such a sensor will be useful remains to be seen. After all, Arnie was piling on muscle before the word smartphone was even invented. Then again, people were running when a fitness band was nothing more than a group of musicians in peak physical shape, and yet they’re everywhere.
A tracker like the ones proposed in these patents could help beginners keep proper form, and allow weight room veterans to more accurately plan their routines and achieve their long-term goals.