Thursday, Apple (s aapl) filed a patent application for “personalized fitness services” on a handheld device, focusing on exercise in a gym setting. Features would include how-to videos for equipment, as well as the ability to check on classes and possibly schedule training sessions.
Social networking would also play a role in the app, with possible features including finding a “workout buddy,” as well as leaderboards. Users could also be challenged to “beat” workouts by others through notifications. Performance would also be measured, and results delivered as post-workout critiques, which would be part of the “motivating” aspect of the app. If simple self-improvement was insufficient, the patent application also includes the idea of rewards outside the app in the form of coupons or gifts.
While this sounds like an interesting idea, the obvious drawback is that necessary equipment would include a compatible gym to get the most out of the app. Considering that to date Apple has published just ten apps for the iPhone and iPod touch, a fitness app requiring a special gym seems an odd choice for the 11th.
However, as can be seen in the diagram, Nike (s nke) is mentioned, a fitness company that Apple has had a product partnership with since 2006. That relationship lends credence to this patent application being more than just a vague idea. Would you be interested in such an app, even if it meant finding and belonging to a gym that supported it?