Apple has applied for a patent with the USPTO (US Patent and Trademark Office) called “Wrist Pedometer Step Detection,” a feature that detects steps made by the user. This patent could be related to the rumoured iWatch, a smartwatch with features borrowed from the iPhone. Counting steps is likely a health-related feature, which is something a lot of manufacturers are focusing on.
“In some implementations, optimizations for detecting steps when a pedometer is worn at a user’s wrist are described. In some implementations, a threshold crossing step detection method can be enhanced for wrist locations by counting the number of positive peaks between comparison threshold crossings, adjusting a minimum peak-to-peak threshold for qualifying threshold crossings, and inferring a second step based on the amount of time between threshold crossings. In some implementations, the pedometer can automatically determine that the pedometer is being worn on a user’s wrist.”
“A method for counting steps at a mobile device, the method comprising: obtaining motion data at a mobile device; based on the motion data, determining a comparison threshold; determining a first valid comparison threshold crossing; determining a second valid comparison threshold crossing, where each valid comparison threshold crossing corresponds to a step and each step is added to a step count; determining a time between the first valid comparison threshold crossing and the second valid comparison threshold crossing; determining a missing step between the first valid comparison threshold crossing and the second valid comparison threshold crossing when the time is greater than an amount of time required to take two walking steps; and adding the missing step to the step count.”
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