Apple's new patent stops exercise interruptions

Posted by Bryden Bostock on Tue, Jul 29, 2014 @ 05:50 AM

Apple's new patent (another one, yes) seems interesting on the surface, but the potential disasters it could cause don't seem to have been explored much.


The new patent would monitor the user's activity and when it senses they are exercising it would automatically kick their iPhone into mute (Do Not Disturb mode) meaning any notifications, calls or texts they get won't interrupt their workout.

Once they have finished their workout, the iPhone will then supposedly revert back to normal/loud mode automatically. 

Apple has already announced earlier this year that iOS 8 will feature a HealthKit, so this new patent is a logical addition to the "health" craze currently sweeping smartphone features. The new Apple system will supposedly work with peripherals (the rumoured iWatch?) or other compatible wearables (Nike's range to name one). 

It's also worth mentioning that there are rumours the patent may also allow the iPhone to remind you to work out if it senses you haven't in a while. The data it collects is transferable across devices, meaning you can store your health info on your Mac (or other computer) for later access. The patent could also mean that if you've been sitting at said computer for some time your iPhone might just tell you to get up and walk around.

So it all sounds well and good (except for that last part, that just sounds annoying) but the fact that your iPhone is automatically muted could have some potential downfalls. 

What if someone actually desperately needs to get hold of you? I know for me gym sessions are around an hour long so imagine in an emergency not being able to be reached for an hour. Obviously there would be some sort of fail safe where if the same person calls twice in a five-minute period you are notified but, still, it seems a little bit counter-productive. How much of an interruption is a phone really? I know for me that my phone doesn't get used at the gym but I still have it with me just in case.

I see the concept being a clever trick, but very little else. It may just go to show how useless we are becoming if we need our phones to stop interrupting us. Whoever heard of willpower?

What are your thoughts on this new patent of Apple's? Is is worthwhile feature or a useless gimmick?


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