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Apple patent may track weightlifting progress with rumored iWatch

Apple is going all out when it comes to health and fitness. After hiring several healthcare professionals, the company launched Healthkit with iOS 8 at WWDC to help users keep track of all their fitness data. Even though Apple hasn’t released the much-rumored iWatch yet, it is hard at work developing technology that will work hand-in-hand with a smartwatch. One new patent hints that Apple plans to track your weightlifting progress using a series of sensors; the data would then be transmitted to other mobile devices, including a smartwatch.

According to AppleInsider, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office approved the patent on Tuesday. The document describes a small device with several sensors onboard that you could attach to weightlifting or gym equipment, and thus track your reps. The gadget would feature accelerometers, processors, and its own small display. Using the information gleaned from the sensors, the gadget would then tell you how many reps you did, the quality of your performance, and your overall progress from day to day. In some descriptions, the device is mentioned as a bar clamp or other type of small gym hardware.

This standalone gadget would also have the capability to send your weightlifting data to other mobile devices, including smartphones or smartwatches, which means it should work in concert with the next iPhone and supposed iWatch. If Apple does indeed follow through on the promise of this patent and create the device, it would be a new specialty item for the company, and the first of its kind to target fitness fanatics. The addition of several new fitness tracking devices would broaden Apple’s device portfolio and give Healthkit a nice, big pool of data to pull from when estimating your daily health and fitness values.

At this point, the iWatch seems like a guarantee – it’s really only a matter of when it will debut. When it comes to other devices like the one in this patent, an imminent release seems less likely.