Apple Inc has filed paperwork with the US Patent Office this week for a method of calculating a cyclist’s power output without the use of a piece of dedicated power meter hardware.
The system outlined in the patent application uses a number of factors to calculate power output, including estimated wind resistance, with a wearable device – for example, an Apple Watch – showing the calculated data.
The application outlines that the system would use a method to estimate the roughness of the surface that the rider is cycling along as another factor of resistance.
Wind resistance and surface resistance would be used alongside other factors such as change in elevation, rider position, motion sensing, heart rate and speed to calculate power output. Data would be collected via the wearable device.
“A wearable device can be worn by a person riding a bicycle,” says the patent application. “A cyclist may wish to receive a measurement or estimate of their power output and/or calories burned while they ride.
“One way by which power output can be measured is the installation of a power meter onto a bicycle. However, such meters require installation and may be expensive.”
Filing of a patent is not necessarily a sign that Apple is developing the system per se, but it show’s the Californian company’s interest in the burgeoning cycling power market.
Apple is well known for filing patents. According to Apple Insider, the company was awarded 1,938 patents in the US during 2015 alone, and over 2,000 in 2016.