New Apple patent calculates wind resistance for cyclists using Apple Watch

Apple Watch Series 5
Apple Watch Series 5 (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple has been awarded a new patent relating to the calculation of wind resistance.
  • The patent was first applied for in March of 2017.
  • Apple plans to use it on Apple Watches worn by cyclists.

Apple first applied for a patent called "Apple Watch Invention Aims to Extend Activities and Monitoring Data for cyclists" back in March of 2017 and now it's been granted, as spotted by Patently Apple.

According to the report, this patent is meant to allow an Apple Watch to monitor Apple Watch wearers as they cycle including the amount of wind resistance that is being generated.

Apple Watch Wind Resistance Patent

Apple Watch Wind Resistance Patent (Image credit: Patently Apple)

Apple's granted patent was designed to extend Apple Watch activities and monitoring to include cycling. Improved techniques and systems are disclosed for determining the components of resistance experienced by a wearer of an Apple Watch engaged in an activity such as bicycling or running. By monitoring data using the Apple Watch, improved estimates could be derived for various factors contributing to the resistance experienced by the user in the course of the activity.

The patent also has includes details of a wearable device – an Apple Watch in this case – that would also keep track of a wearer's heart rate. Motion sensors would also allow the Apple Watch to track its position and orientation as the cyclist moves.

Apple's desire to track wind resistance is because it wants to be able to accurately determine how much effort is being expelled by the cyclist. Wind resistance is one key factor in calculating that, as is the angle of ascent or descent. Apple would likely use the different sensors inside the Apple Watch to calculate everything as accurately as possible, including wind resistance.

You can read more about the patent in Patently Apple's report from 2017.

It's also important to remember that Apple patents a ton of things and not all of them find their way into shipping products.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.