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Future Apple Watches could measure wind resistance for bikers, runners

Future Apple Watches could better measure wind resistance for bikers and runners. Apple has been granted a patent (number 10,650,699) for “calculating an estimate of wind resistance experienced by a cyclist.”

A cyclist or runner may wish to receive a measurement or estimate of their power output and/or calories burned while they ride or run. One way by which power output can be measured is the installation of a power meter onto a bicycle. However, such meters require installation and may be expensive. Another method for estimating power output is to measure the cyclist’s heart rate and generate an estimate of power output based on the heart rate. 

Also, Apple notes, that while inexpensive, heart rate measurements and estimation of cyclist power output based on heart rate can require significant power to operate the sensor. Another approach is to estimate power output based on distance traveled and/or speed at which that distance is traveled. However, estimation based on these quantities can be inaccurate, according to Apple.

For example, calculating an estimate of power output based on distance traveled and/or speed at which that distance is traveled won’t account for dynamically experienced resistance such as that provided by wind, or by changes in elevation during the ride. Apple wants its smartwatch to account for such factors — for runners, as well as cyclists.

Here’s the summary of the invention: “Improved techniques and systems are disclosed for determining the components of resistance experienced by a wearer of a wearable device engaged in an activity such as bicycling or running. By monitoring data using the wearable device, improved estimates can be derived for various factors contributing to the resistance experienced by the user in the course of the activity. Using these improved estimates, data sampling rates may be reduced for some or all of the monitored data.”

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.