Future iDevices will know when you're exercising

Future iDevices will know when you're exercising
Fast wrist movements don't count as exercise

Jumping jacks... hit em! 1... 2... 3... Now we've got you feeling so pumped up, let's talk exercise and Apple.

A new Apple patent spotted by AppleInsider seems to suggest the Cupertino firm is working on a system which will allow iPhones and other connected devices to detect when you're working out.

The patent itself is titled "Method and Apparatus for Automatically Adjusting the Operation of Notifications Based on Changes in a Physical Activity Level."

In layman's terms it means when your iPhone, iPod, iWatch etc detects that you're exercising the device can automatically change some settings - such as switching on Do Not Disturb - to ensure you're not distracted.

Just the start?

While "Do Not Disturb" is mentioned frequently in the patent application, the setup could feasibly be rolled out to a wider selection of modes, allowing you to automatically customise your iDevice during a gym session.

The system will have to be able to distinguish between a proper workout and a short burst of activity, but it seems Apple is already on top of this. The filing states: "a short burst of activity - e.g., running to catch a bus - is not mistaken for the beginning of an exercise workout,"

It does raise questions over what other activities Apple may get future iDevices to look for, from detecting when you're in a car to knowing you're getting into bed - it could all get very Big Brother.

John McCann
Global Managing Editor

John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.