Apple Syncs iPod Music tempo to exercise
Inventors: Adam Bowen
Assignee: Apple Computer
Priority number: 20060107822
Date filed: November 24, 2004
Publication Date: May 24, 2006
Excercising with an iPod can be great until that inevitable slow songs comes on and ruins you rythem
The recent Apple and Nike
announcement was a bolt from the blue- but it appears Apple has been working on similar ideas for a long time - perhaps even before teaming up with Nike
. They suggest in this patent application embedding an accelerometer into an iPod to gauge a runners foot falls and then to sync the music to the tempo of running. The Pat App suggests either changing the tempo of the song or the iPod selecting songs which match the tempo (the host computer would analyse songs and add a tempo tag to each).
One aspect of the patent is to use your running speed to set the music tempo- if you're running slowly it'll play slower music- running faster- faster tempo music. Presumably all this might work with the Nike+iPod product soon to be released.
From the application:
The hand-held media player also includes an accelerometer disposed inside the housing of the media player and configured to measure the motion of the media player... The hand-held media player additionally includes a processor configured to control the output of the music items based on the motion of the media player.
The changing of a songs tempo seems a bit odd - although it's not difficult to change the tempo of music without changing the pitch it is difficult to imagine that the songs would be very listenable (we could save time if they were - listen to a whole albumn in 15 mins and have time for a cup of tea). The adding of tempo tags to music allowing the iPod to select music of the correct tempo would seem the better approach.
Another aspect of the patent application describes allowing the user to set predetermined tempo profiles... See Below
iPod Tempo Workout Profiles
If Apple uses this patent application to make a product it will enable the user to select a tempo profile - so for a slow jog you could set a flat low tempo profile- for a good workout you could set a tempo profile that started slow, sped up and then slowed down to allow a warm down. I can imagine fitness freaks increasing their tempo every few days to get faster and faster.
Interval training, would be easy to do with a predetermined profile of fast, slow, fast etc. You run at the tempo pace for the fast song and recover during the slow one. Training never seemed so easy I might get up from my keyboard and do a run..... nah, later, much later
The Nike+iPod site suggests they'll do a similar thing.
"Continuous Workout Mixes
Workout routines developed for use with Nike+iPod time- or distance-based workouts. Each routine offers coaching, motivational, and training tips over a continuous mix of music."
iPod and Exercise - the nitty-gritty
The invention generally pertains to a hand-held computing device that is capable of controlling the speed of the music so as to affect the mood and behavior of the user during an activity such as exercise.
By way of example, the speed of the music can be controlled to match the pace of the activity (synching the speed of the music to the activity of the user) or alternatively it can be controlled to drive the pace of the activity (increasing or decreasing the speed of the music to encourage a greater or lower pace).
One aspect of the invention relates to adjusting the tempo (or some other attribute) of the music being outputted from the computing device. By way of example, a songs tempo may be increased or decreased before or during playing.
Another aspect of the invention relates to selecting music for outputting based on tempo (or some other attribute). For example, the computing device may only play songs having a particular tempo. Yet another aspect of the invention relates to both selecting music based on tempo and adjusting the tempo of the music.
Cycling could be the next target for this sort of product- unfortunately although Apple was happy enough to deafen people with iPods I doubt even they would want them run over due to listening to music while out riding. Maybe handlebar mounts for an iPod Mini would make for a nice cyclecomputer and would allow the sort of online-training buddies system Nike+Apple have set up.
An interesting development - what do Apple have planned?
Apple's Nike+ site
Nike's Nike+ site
Blog with iPod shots