If you’re a runner or a gym user, chances are that at some point you’ve put together a workout playlist of some sort, full of the kind of Rocky-esque power ballads you want entering your ears and coursing through your veins as you strive toward physical perfection.
According to a patent application published Thursday, Apple could be looking to take a lot of the pain out of that kind of gain. The application in question deals with a handheld or wearable device capable of controlling the tempo of music so as to affect the mood and behavior of users during exercise.
It may be possible, for instance, to sync the speed and beat of your music to the steps of your running, or for gradual increases or decreases in speed to provoke similar shifts in your playlist.
“It is well documented that music can affect the mood and behavior of people,” Apple writes in its application. “During exercise in particular, music can be used to motivate, speed and drive the intensity of the workout. For example, it is generally believed that if the music is invigorating and inspiring people will be more motivated to work out. Because of this, most gyms play music with an upbeat tempo to keep people motivated during their work out.”
While the accompanying pictures show an iPod being used as the music player in question, this technology would fit perfectly as part of Apple’s much-anticipated iWatch — particularly since the application goes on to describe the body metrics that could be analyzed to provoke certain music selections — including body motion, heart rate, respiratory rate, and temperature.
The software involved in this tech would also allow Apple to intelligently analyze your music collection, perhaps filtering songs according to tempo or mood. Using algorithms like the ones acquired in the recent BookLamp acquisition, it should even theoretically be possible for Apple to delve into lyrical content, to determine whether that songs you’ve just downloaded from iTunes talks about getting stronger, or relaxing for the summer.
Apple’s Music Synchronization Arrangement patent application was filed in April this year, although its claims have been explored as far back as 2004.