Apple patent is for ‘pedometer with lag correction’

Future Apple Watches may be even more accurate in measuring your walking and running workouts. The company has been granted a patent (number 9,702,899) for systems, methods and computer-readable storage mediums for a “pedometer with lag correction.”

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In some implementations, a method comprises: determining, by a first pedometer of an electronic device, a first step count based on sensor data provided by a motion sensor of the electronic device; determining, by a second pedometer of the electronic device, a second step count based on a window of the sensor data; responsive to determining that a step was detected by the second pedometer, determining a third step count based on the window of sensor data; and determining a corrected step count based on the third step count.

In the patent filing, Apple notes that digital pedometers and odometers are of increasing interest to both the fitness community and the general population as a way to track calorimetry and other exercise metrics for the purposes of marking personal progress, comparing achievements against others and motivating various fitness goals. Some key metrics measured by the pedometer are step count and distance traveled. Step count is the number of steps the user has taken as a function of time and distance traveled is the step count multiplied by stride length. 

Apple notes that, for many applications, it is critical that the step count be both accurate by reporting the correct amount of steps and prompt by reporting each step immediately. The Apple Watch is the perfect tool for this. And Apple certainly isn’t going to release a standalone pedometer.

Of course, Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product.