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Publication numberUS20070135264 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/618,858
Publication date14 Jun 2007
Filing date31 Dec 2006
Priority date9 Dec 2005
Publication number11618858, 618858, US 2007/0135264 A1, US 2007/135264 A1, US 20070135264 A1, US 20070135264A1, US 2007135264 A1, US 2007135264A1, US-A1-20070135264, US-A1-2007135264, US2007/0135264A1, US2007/135264A1, US20070135264 A1, US20070135264A1, US2007135264 A1, US2007135264A1
InventorsLouis Rosenberg
Original AssigneeOutland Research, Llc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Portable exercise scripting and monitoring device
US 20070135264 A1
Abstract
An apparatus, method and computer program product for a portable exercise scripting and monitoring including includes a processor, a separate and user affixable wireless motion sensor configured to wirelessly send motion signals to the processor in dependence on detection of exercise motions associated with either a user's body part or a dynamic element of an exercise apparatus to which the motion sensor is affixed. A datastore is provided and coupled to the processor and configured to retrievably store one or more user configurable or selectable exercise regimens, each exercise regimen including a plurality of prescribed exercise activity sets, each set including a prescribed exercise type and a number of prescribed repetitions to be performed by the user. An exercise monitoring program accesses an exercise regimen and sequences through a plurality of exercise activity sets included therein, for each outputting an indication to the user the prescribed exercise type and the number of repetitions to be performed in accordance, processing the motion signals sent from the motion sensor as the user performs the prescribed exercise activity set, interactively counting the number of prescribed repetitions performed by the user in dependence on the processed motion signals, and determining when the user has performed the prescribed number of repetitions of the exercise set.
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Claims(30)
1. A portable exercise scripting and monitoring device comprising:
a processor having operatively coupled thereto;
a separate and user affixable wireless motion sensor configured to wirelessly send motion signals to the processor in dependence on detection of exercise motions associated with either a user's body part or a dynamic element of an exercise apparatus to which the motion sensor is affixed;
a datastore configured to retrievably store one or more user configurable or selectable exercise regimens, each exercise regimen including a plurality of prescribed exercise activity sets, each prescribed exercise activity set including a prescribed exercise type and a number of prescribed repetitions to be performed by the user for the prescribed exercise type;
a memory having operatively loaded therein an exercise monitoring program IS including instructions executable by the processor to;
access an exercise regimen,
sequence through a plurality of prescribed exercise activity sets included in the accessed exercise regimen, and for each prescribed exercise activity set
output an indication to the user the prescribed exercise type and the number of prescribed repetitions to be performed,
process the motion signals sent from the motion sensor as the user performs the prescribed exercise activity set,
interactively count the number of repetitions performed by the user during the exercise activity set in dependence on the processed motion signals and determine when the user has performed the number of prescribed repetitions of the prescribed exercise activity set.
2. The portable exercise scripting and monitoring device according to claim 1 wherein the output is generated in a human cognizable format selected from the group consisting of; an audio output, a visual output and any combination thereof.
3. The portable exercise scripting and monitoring device according to claim 1 further including an audio processing subsystem coupled to the processor and configured to audibly output a current repetition count of a current exercise activity set contemporaneous with the exercise movements of the user.
4. The portable exercise scripting and monitoring device according to claim 1 further including a display coupled to the processor and configured to visually output a current repetition count of a current exercise activity set contemporaneous with the exercise movements of the user.
5. The portable exercise scripting and monitoring device according to claim 1 wherein the exercise monitoring program further includes instructions executable by the processor to retrievably store in the datastore, an exercise history for each of the plurality of exercises activity sets performed by the user.
6. The portable exercise scripting and monitoring device according to claim 5 wherein the exercise history includes a time value associated with each performed repetition of the exercise activity set, the time value indicating the length of time required by the user to perform each repetition.
7. The portable exercise scripting and monitoring device according to claim 1 wherein the motion sensor is magnetically affixable to the dynamic element of the exercise apparatus.
8. The portable exercise scripting and monitoring device according to claim 1 wherein the outputted repetition count is either an increasing count indicative of the number of prescribed repetitions completed by the user in the prescribed exercise activity set or a decreasing count indicative of the number of prescribed repetitions remaining to complete the prescribed exercise activity set.
9. The portable exercise scripting and monitoring device according to claim 2 wherein the exercise monitoring program further includes instructions executable by the processor to output an audio representation of the number of repetitions remaining to be completed in the prescribed exercise activity set.
10. The portable exercise scripting and monitoring device according to claim 1 wherein the motion sensor is selectively affixable to an article of clothing, a wrist band, a belt, or a shoe worn by the user.
11. The portable exercise scripting and monitoring device according to claim 1 wherein the exercise monitoring program further includes instructions executable by the processor to determine an elapsed time between each of a plurality of repetitions performed by a user.
12. The portable exercise scripting and monitoring device according to claim 11 wherein the exercise monitoring program further includes instructions executable by the processor to determine and output in a human cognizable format, a representation of the user's performance in dependence on the elapsed time and a predefined exercise goal.
13. The portable exercise scripting and monitoring device according to claim 12 wherein the exercise monitoring program further includes instructions executable by the processor to heuristically define a future exercise activity set in dependence on the determined user's performance.
14. The portable exercise scripting and monitoring device according to claim 1 wherein the exercise monitoring program further includes instructions executable by the processor to store in the datastore a digital representation of at least one of; a number of prescribed repetitions completed, an elapsed time between completed repetitions, an exercise type performed, a weight level used, a current date, a current time and any combination thereof.
15. The portable exercise scripting and monitoring device according to claim 1 wherein at least one of the prescribed exercise activity sets further includes an indication of a weight level to be used when the user performs the prescribed exercise activity set.
16. The portable exercise scripting and monitoring device according to claim 3 wherein the exercise monitoring program further includes instructions executable by the processor to output audio representations of words of encouragement in dependence on an elapsed time between two sequential repetitions of a current exercise activity set.
17. The portable exercise scripting and monitoring device according to claim 1 wherein each exercise regimen defines a prescribed order in which an included plurality of prescribed exercise activity sets are to be performed by a user.
18. A method for providing a portable exercise scripting and monitoring device comprising:
providing a datastore configured to retrievably store one or more user configurable or selectable exercise regimens, each exercise regimen including a plurality of prescribed exercise activity sets, each exercise activity set including a prescribed exercise type and a number of prescribed repetitions to be performed by a user;
providing an exercise monitoring program including instructions executable by a processor associated with the portable exercise scripting and monitoring device for;
accessing a stored exercise regimen from the datastore,
sequencing through a plurality of prescribed exercise activity sets included in the accessed exercise regimen and for each prescribed exercise activity set,
outputting an indication to the user the prescribed exercise type and the number of prescribed repetitions to be performed,
processing the signals sent from a motion sensor coupled to the processor as the user performs the prescribed exercise activity set,
interactively counting the number of repetitions performed by the user during the exercise activity set in dependence on the processed signals and determining when the user has performed the number of prescribed repetitions included in the prescribed exercise activity set.
19. The method for providing a portable exercise scripting and monitoring device according to claim 18 further including configuring the motion sensor to be separately affixable to either a user's body part or a dynamic element of an exercise apparatus.
20. The method for providing a portable exercise scripting and monitoring device according to claim 18 further including providing a motion sensor that may be magnetically affixed to a movable portion of an exercise apparatus.
21. The method for providing a portable exercise scripting and monitoring device according to claim 18 further including providing a motion sensor that may be selectively affixed to an article of clothing, a wrist band, a belt, or a shoe worn by the user.
22. The method for providing a portable exercise scripting and monitoring device according to claim 18 wherein the outputting is generated in a human cognizable format selected from the group consisting of; an audio output, a visual output and any combination thereof.
23. The method for providing a portable exercise scripting and monitoring device according to claim 22 further including outputting a current repetition count as either an increasing count indicative of the number of repetitions completed by the user in the prescribed exercise activity set or as a decreasing count indicative of the number of prescribed repetitions remaining to complete in the prescribed exercise activity set.
24. The method for providing a portable exercise scripting and monitoring device according to claim 18 further including instructions executable by the processor for determining an elapsed time between each of a plurality of consecutive repetitions performed by the user.
25. The method for providing a portable exercise scripting and monitoring device according to claim 24 further including instructions executable by the processor for determining and outputting in a human cognizable format an assessment of the user's current performance in dependence at least in part on the elapsed time and a predefined exercise goal.
26. The method for providing a portable exercise scripting and monitoring device according to claim 25 further including instructions executable by the processor for heuristically determining a future exercise activity set in dependence on the user's current performance assessment.
27. The method for providing a portable exercise scripting and monitoring device according to claim 18 further including instructions executable by the processor for storing in a datastore coupled to the processor, a digital representation of at least one of; a number of prescribed repetitions completed, an elapsed time between the completed repetitions, an exercise type performed, a weight level used, a current date, a current time, and any combination thereof.
28. The method according to claim 22 further including outputting an updated repetition count as performed by the user during an exercise activity set contemporaneous with the exercise movements of the user.
29. A computer program product embodied in a tangible form comprising instructions executable by a processor associated with a portable exercise scripting and monitoring device to;
access an exercise regimen,
sequence through a plurality of prescribed exercise activity sets included in the accessed exercise regimen and for each exercise activity set,
output an indication of a prescribed exercise type and a number of repetitions of the prescribed exercise type,
process a plurality of motion signals sent from a motion sensor coupled to the processor as a user performs the prescribed exercise activity set,
interactively count the number of repetitions performed by the user in dependence on the processed motion signals and determine when the user has performed the number of prescribed repetitions of the prescribed exercise activity set.
30. The computer program product according to claim 29 further including instructions executable by the processor for storing in a datastore coupled to the processor, a representation of at least one of; a number of prescribed repetitions completed, an elapsed time between the completed repetitions, an exercise type performed, a weight level used, a current date, a current time and any combination thereof.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a non-provisional application claiming benefit and priority under 35 U.S.C. § 119(e) from co-pending U.S. provisional application Ser. No. 60/811,637 filed on Jun. 6, 2006 to the instant inventor and a common assignee; this application is also a continuation of applicant's co-pending U.S. non-provisional patent application Ser. No. 11/298,434 filed on Dec. 9, 2005;

this application is also a related application to the following co-pending U.S. patent applications Ser. No. 11/285,534 filed on Nov. 22, 2005; Ser. No. 11/298,434 filed on Dec. 9, 2005; Ser. No. 11/267,079 filed on Nov. 3, 2005; Ser. No. 11/539,598 filed on Oct. 6, 2006; Ser. No. 11/563,610 filed on Nov. 27, 2006; Ser. No. 11/555,784 filed on Nov. 22, 2006; Ser. No. 11/427,320 filed on Jun. 28, 2006; Ser. No. 11/461,375 filed on Jul. 31, 2006;

this application is also a related application to co-pending PCT application PCT/US2006/004373 filed on Feb. 7, 2006;

the aforementioned patent applications are all to the instant inventor and a common assignee and are hereby incorporated by reference in their entirety as if fully set forth herein.

INVENTIVE FIELD

The present inventive embodiments relate generally to a personal computing device, such as a PDA or cellular telephone or portable media player and more specifically to a personal computing device wirelessly interfaced with a motion sensor unit and configured to monitor exercise and/or sports related activities of a user.

BACKGROUND

It has become a very common activity for a wide range of individuals to go to a gym and exercise upon a variety of exercise machines, including free weight systems and universal gym machines. Because people often use a wide variety of exercise machines it is often difficult for a user to keep track of how many repetitions the user has performed during a current or previous exercise set. In many cases, it is often difficult for a user to follow a preplanned exercise regimen if it involves a complex sequence of prescribed exercise sets, each of differing exercise types, varying exercise repetition numbers, and varying weight level settings. To assist a user in the following of such complex exercise regimens, a user may utilize a written exercise plan that describes the regimen but such a written document is cumbersome to use during physical exercise sessions.

Also, a user may take performance notes upon a written exercise document but taking such notes is slow and cumbersome and a user typically lack the ability to document critical performance data other than a confirmation that the sets were actually performed as planned. As such, there is a substantial need for automated tools to assist a user in following a complex exercise regimen across a variety of exercise types and a plurality of pieces of exercise equipment as well as a need to assist a user in better documenting critical performance parameters about the user's execution of the various exercise sets within the complex exercise regimen.

In addition, it has become a very common activity for a wide range of individuals to bring a personal computing device such as a personal media player, cell phone, and/or personal digital assistant to the gym with them. Such devices are often used in the gym with headphones for listening to music. Manual entry of such data into a user's personal computing device however is slow and cumbersome and distracting from an exercise regimen itself. As such, manual entry would offer little if any benefit over a paper document. In fact, manual data entry may be slower and more cumbersome than using a traditional paper document.

What is therefore needed is an automated and convenient arrangement by which a personal computing device of a user can automatically monitor a user's progress through a diverse exercise regimen involving a plurality of exercise sets and variety of different exercise types, prompting the user as to each sequential exercise set required, tracking the user's progress through each exercise set, recording data relating the user's performance.

Unless otherwise indicated herein, the approaches described in this section are not prior art to the claims in this application and are not admitted to be prior art by inclusion in this section.

SUMMARY

The various exemplary embodiments described herein address the limitations in the relevant art and provides an apparatus, system and method which provides an automated repetition counting system in which a personal computing device is programmed to monitor, count, store, and report the exercise repetitions performed by a user. In an exemplary apparatus embodiment, a portable exercise scripting and monitoring device is provided. The personal computing device comprises; a processor, a separate and user affixable wireless motion sensor configured to wirelessly send motion signals to the processor in dependence on detection of exercise motions associated with either a user's body part or a dynamic element of an exercise apparatus to which the motion sensor is affixed.

A datastore is coupled to the processor and configured to retrievably store one or more user configurable or selectable exercise regimens, each exercise regimen including a plurality of prescribed exercise activity sets, each prescribed exercise activity set including a prescribed exercise type and a number of prescribed repetitions to be performed by the user for the prescribed exercise type.

A memory is coupled to the processor and includes an operatively loaded exercise monitoring program. The exercise monitoring program comprises instructions executable IS by the processor to access an exercise regimen and select an exercise activity set included therein, output an indication to the user of the prescribed exercise type and the number of repetitions to be performed in accordance with the selected exercise activity set, process the motion signals sent from the motion sensor as the user performs the prescribed exercise activity set, interactively count the number of prescribed repetitions performed by the user in dependence on the processed motion signals to determine when the user has performed the number of repetitions of the prescribed exercise activity set, sequence through a plurality of prescribed exercise activity sets included in the accessed exercise regimen, output to the user an indication of the prescribed exercise type for each prescribed exercise activity set, the number of repetitions to be performed, a count of the number of prescribed repetitions performed by the user and continue until the number of prescribed repetitions for each of the prescribed exercise types has been performed by the user.

In an exemplary methodic embodiment, a method for providing a portable exercise scripting and monitoring device comprises providing a datastore configured to retrievably store one or more user configurable or selectable exercise regimens, each exercise regimen including a plurality of prescribed exercise activity sets, each exercise activity set including a prescribed exercise type and a number of prescribed repetitions to be performed by a user; providing an exercise monitoring program including instructions executable by a processor associated with the portable exercise scripting and monitoring device.

The executable instructions comprise accessing a stored exercise regimen from the datastore and selecting an exercise activity set included therein, outputting an indication to the user the prescribed exercise type and the number of prescribed repetitions to be performed, processing the signals sent from a motion sensor coupled to the processor as the user performs the prescribed exercise activity set, interactively counting the number of prescribed repetitions performed by the user in dependence on the processed signals to determine when the user has performed the number of repetitions included in the prescribed exercise activity set, sequencing through a plurality of prescribed exercise activity sets included in the accessed exercise regimen and for each prescribed exercise activity set, outputting to the user an indication of the prescribed exercise type and number of repetitions, counting the number of prescribed repetitions performed by the user and continuing until each of the number of repetitions for each of the prescribed exercise types has been performed by the user.

In an exemplary computer product embodiment, a computer program embodied in a tangible comprises instructions executable by a processor associated with a portable exercise scripting and monitoring device to access an exercise regimen and select a prescribed exercise activity set therein, output an indication of a prescribed exercise type and a number of repetitions of the prescribed exercise type, process a plurality of motion signals sent from a motion sensor coupled to the processor as a user performs the prescribed exercise type, interactively count the number of prescribed repetitions performed by the user in dependence on the processed motion signals to determine when the user has performed the number of repetitions of the prescribed exercise activity set, sequence through a plurality of prescribed exercise activity sets included in the accessed exercise regimen and for each exercise activity set, output to the user an indication of the prescribed exercise type, prescribed number of repetitions, count the number of prescribed repetitions performed by the user, and continue until each of the number of prescribed repetitions for each of the prescribed exercise types has been performed by the user. The tangible form of the computer program may be any of optical media, logical media and magnetic media.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

The features and advantages of the various exemplary embodiments will become apparent from the following detailed description when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings. Where possible, the same reference numerals and characters are used to denote like features, elements, components or portions. It is intended that changes and modifications can be made to the various embodiments without departing from the true scope and spirit of the inventive subject matter as defined in the claims.

FIG. 1—depicts a generalized block diagram of a portable computing device.

FIG. 2A—depicts an exemplary embodiment of a magnetically affixable wireless motion sensor.

FIG. 2B—depicts an exemplary embodiment of a clip affixable wireless motion sensor.

FIG. 2C—depicts an exemplary embodiment of a strap affixable wireless motion sensor.

FIG. 3A—depicts an exemplary time varying profile of accelerometer data collected from a motion sensor affixed to a dumbbell during a curl exercise.

FIG. 3B—depicts an exemplary time varying profile of accelerometer data collected from a motion sensor affixed to a weight during a bench press exercise.

FIG. 4A—depicts an exemplary embodiment where a user is disposed in a starting position to perform a repetitive exercise activity using a universal style of exercise equipment.

FIG. 4B—depicts an exemplary embodiment where a user has extended a dynamic element of the universal style of exercise equipment to perform the repetitive exercise activity.

FIG. 4C—depicts an exemplary embodiment where a user is extending a dynamic element of a free weight bench press to perform the repetitive exercise activity.

FIG. 5—depicts an exemplary process flow chart of the various embodiments.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

A large variety of exercise activities involve repetitive motions, such as lifting weights, doing sit-ups, doing push-ups, doing pull-ups, or doing squats. In all such repetitive exercise activities a user performs a sequence of repetitive exertions of the same or a similar form. Each completed repetitive motion is commonly referred to as a repetition or a “rep.” A single repetition of a weight lifting exercise activity, for example, generally involves the raising and lowering of the weights within certain spatial limits. A single repetition of a push-up exercise activity, for example, generally involves the raising and lowering of the user's own body within certain spatial limits. Users generally perform a target number of repetitions to be performed, the target number being commonly referred to as a “set.” Thus, a single set of a repetitive exercise may involve a user repeatedly performing the exercise in a rapid sequence to complete a set. The user typically mentally counts each repetition to his or herself to keep track of progress toward completing the exercise set.

At the completion of the set, the user generally rests for a few moments before beginning another next set. The rest period may be accompanied by a manual recording on a paper log of the date, time, weight and the number of repetitions performed to determine progress toward an exercise goal. A full exercise regimen of a user generally involves a planned plurality of exercise sets. Commonly a user will perform multiple sets of each of a variety of different exercise types, each set being of a variety of different repetition counts and a variety of different weight settings or difficulty settings.

Such is a common protocol for exercise within a gym or home. However, mental counting and then manual recording of each exercise activity performed is cumbersome, time consuming and difficult to maintain complete records of an extended time span. In addition, keeping track of a complex preplanned exercise regimen that is to be followed by the user, whether the keeping track is done mentally or on paper, may be cumbersome, time consuming, and difficult to update and maintain over extended time spans. The various exemplary embodiments described herein provides the user with am automated exercise scripting and monitoring system in which a personal computing device is configured to store an exercise regimen of a plurality of exercise sets, monitor the user's progress through each of the exercise sets within the exercise regimen by counting exercise repetitions performed by the user, record performance data relating the user's execution of each of the plurality of exercise sets, and report progress and/or performance data to the user during and after the exercise regimen.

The various exemplary embodiments described herein operate through an automated process of counting performed exercise repetitions across a variety of different exercise types when a user when engaged in a repetitive exercise activity. A motion sensor that may be selectively affixable to a body part of a user or a movable portion of a piece of exercise equipment is provided to collect motion data related to a user's exercise activities and communicate a motion signals to a personal computing device that is close proximity to the exercising user. Where necessary, programs, algorithms and routines may be programmed in a high level language object oriented language, for example, Java (™) C++, C#, C, CORBA, Visual Basic (™) or low level assembly language.

Referring to FIG. 1, a generalized exemplary block diagram of a personal computing device 100 is depicted. The personal computing device may take a variety of forms, including a personal digital assistant, a smart phone, a portable media player or other portable programmable electronic device that may be worn or carried about by a user during an exercise session. In many embodiments, a portable media player may be preferred because of their common usage during exercise. In such embodiments the portable media player may be configured to perform a repetition counting functionality and/or an exercise prompting functionality while also playing music files to the user. In some such embodiments, audio representations of the repetition counting and/or the exercise prompt may be provided in audio combination with the music file output using audio mixing circuits contained in a audio processing subsystem 65 described below. In some embodiments the music may be temporarily paused or muted during the audio output of a repetition count and/or exercise prompt.

With respect to the technical details of the personal computing device 100, the device generally includes a communications infrastructure 90 used to transfer data, memory addresses where data files are to be found and routing of control signals among the various components and subsystems associated with the personal computing device 100. A processor 5 is provided to interpret and execute logical instructions stored in the memory 10. The memory 10 is the primary general purpose storage area for instructions and data to be processed by the processor 5. The term “memory” 10 is used in its broadest sense and includes RAM, EEPROM and ROM.

A secondary memory subsystem 30 may also be provided which houses a logical media storage drive 45, one or more optional retrievable storage units such as a hard disc drive 35 and a removal storage unit 40. One skilled in the art will appreciate that the hard drive 35 may be replaced with flash type or other non-volatile logical memory. The removable storage unit 40 may be used to update programs and data with new release versions. The secondary memory may be used as a datastore for the storage of one or more exercise regimens, exercise history records, and where applicable, musical media files.

The secondary memory 30 may store a variety of information related to exercise scripting and monitoring features and functions. In some embodiments the secondary memory 30 stores one or more planned exercise regimens, each exercise regimen being comprised of a plurality of prescribed exercise sets, each prescribed exercise set comprising at least an indication of a prescribed exercise type and a prescribed number of repetitions to be performed of that exercise type. In some embodiments one or more exercise sets also include an indication of a weight level or difficulty level to be used in the performance of the prescribed exercise type. In some embodiments the exercise regimen also includes an indication of the order in which a plurality of exercise sets are to be performed by the user. In some embodiments the secondary memory 30 stores digital audio files that may be retrieved and played to the user during repetition-counting, the digital audio files including audio phrases and words such as counts “one”, “two”, “three”, etc. as well as words of encouragement such as “good job” and “good set” and motivational comments such as “just three more,” and “just two more” and “last one” an “push.” In addition the digital audio files may include descriptive phrases that identify each of a plurality of different exercise types such as “bench press,” “sit-ups,” “leg press,” “shoulder press,” “squats” and “push ups”. In some embodiments a text-to-speech software routine may be used to convert stored textual data indicative of exercise types and/or repetition counts to audible sounds that may be perceived as corresponding vocalizations by a user.

In addition, sound effects that may be selectively stored for use in repetition counting, the sound effects for example including the sound of an explosion or of a hammer banging on an anvil to be played upon completion of each repetition, thereby accentuating the experience with an abstract audio enhancement.

A timing circuit 15 is provided to coordinate activities within the personal computing device in near real time. The processor 5, memory 10 and timing circuit 15 are operatively coupled to the communications infrastructure 90.

The processor 5 is programmed with executable instructions to orchestrate repetition counting, regimen scripting, and regimen monitoring in conjunction with input signals received from a user interface 60 and an internal transceiver 65. The executable instructions are included in one or more exercise monitoring programs. The repetition counting features includes monitoring sensor signals from one or motion sensors 75A, B, determining from the motion sensor signals the enactment and/or completion of each sequential physical repetition, the counting of cumulative repetitions during an exercise set, the storage of the counting of cumulative repetitions, the visual and/or audio display of a current repetition count to the user, and the determination and/or indication that a current set has been successfully completed.

Repetition counting may also include monitoring the timing between sequential physical repetitions and/or the display of motivational messages to the user during a set based at least in part upon the count and/or timing of detected physical repetitions. The repetition counting features may also include accentuating detected repetition events such as the lifting and/or lowering of weights, with audio reports such as output audible phrases and/or output audio sound effects.

A display interface 20 is provided to drive a display 25 associated with the personal computing device 100. The display interface 20 is operatively coupled to the communications infrastructure 90 and provides signals to the display 25 for visually outputting both graphical displays and alphanumeric characters. The display interface 20 may include a dedicated graphics processor and memory to support the displaying of graphics intensive media. The display 25 may be of any type (e.g., cathode ray tube, gas plasma) but in most circumstances will usually be a solid state device such as liquid crystal display (LCD) and/or a combination of light emitting diodes (LED). In some embodiments, the display 25 may be provided in a head-mounted form factor (not shown) such that a user can view information while keeping his or her hands free for exercise activities.

In an exemplary embodiment, the head-mounted display 25 may provide repetition counting information, exercise regimen prompts, and/or exercise performance assessments upon a semi-transparent screen such that a user may view the real physical world through the screen while simultaneously viewing repetition counting information and/or other exercise information overlaid upon and/or around the user's view of the real physical world. For example, the current repetition-count may be displayed as a small overlaid graphic upon the user's direct view of the real physical world. Similarly, an exercise prompt may be displayed to the user indicating the exercise type and exercise count for the next exercise set to be performed by the user in a current exercise regimen.

An internal power source (not shown), such as a battery and/or photocell supplies electrical energy to operate the electrical circuits included in the personal computing device 100. A communications interface 55 is provided which allows for standardized electrical connection of peripheral devices to the communications infrastructure 90 including, serial, parallel, USB, Bluetooth, and Firewire(™) connectivity. The communications interface 55 may also be used to transfer exercise history data from the datastore 30 to a personal computer for viewing, analysis and longer term storage. The communication interface 55 may also be used to download a preplanned exercise regimen to the datastore 30 from a personal computer or network server.

For example, a user interface 60 and a transceiver 50 are operatively coupled to the communications infrastructure 90 via the communications interface 55. For purposes of this specification, the term user interface 60 includes the hardware and operating software by which a user interacts with the personal computing device 100 and the means by which the personal computing device 100 conveys information to the user and may include certain interactions with the display interface 20 and display 25, for example a touch screen. The user may, for example, use the user interface 60 to select a preplanned exercise regimen from a plurality of exercise regimens stored in memory and/or may use the user interface 60 to define and/or modify an exercise regimen.

The transceiver 50 facilitates the remote exchange of data and synchronizing of signals between the personal computing device 100 and the motion sensor 75 (FIG. 2). The transceiver 50 may also be used to communicate with other portable computing devices in coordinated repetition counting and/or competitive repetition counting with other exercising users.

In one exemplary embodiment, the transceiver 50 is envisioned to be of a radio frequency type normally associated with computer networks for example, wireless computer networks based on BlueTooth (™) or the various IEEE standards 802.11x, where x denotes the various present and evolving wireless computing standards, for example WiMax 802.16 and WRANG 802.22. Alternately, digital cellular communications formats compatible with for example GSM, 3G, CDMA, TDMA and evolving cellular communications standards. Both peer-to-peer (PPP) and client-server models are envisioned for implementation in the various exemplary embodiments. In a third alternative exemplary embodiment, the transceiver 50 may include hybrids of computer communications standards. In an exemplary embodiment, the motion sensor 75 sends motions signals over a wireless telecommunications link 85 compatible with the transceiver 50.

In another exemplary embodiment, the transceiver 50 is configured as an RFID transceiver (scanner) for accessing an RFID chip configured as a motion sensor. In this exemplary embodiment, the transceiver transmits phase, pulse or frequency modulated signals, which if in sufficient proximity to the transceiver 50, energizes the RFID chip 75 causing the chip to transpond with an identification code colloquially known as a “barking bar code.” The identification code is then received by the transceiver 50.

In an exemplary embodiment, the RFID transceiver 50 may also be operative to program the RFID chip, causing data to be transmitted to the chip and stored within it. Such embodiment may be used, for example, to enable the personal computing device 100 to selectively program an RFID chip. In this exemplary embodiment, the transceiver determines repetitive motions based on Doppler effects and/or changes in radio frequency field strength received from the RFID chip.

The user interface 60 employed on the personal computing device 100 may include a pointing device (not shown) such as a mouse, thumbwheel or track ball, an optional touch screen (not shown); one or more push-button switches 60A, B one or more sliding or circular potentiometer controls (not shown), one or more voice recognition units (not shown), and one or more other type switches (not shown.) The user interface 60 provides interrupt signals to the processor 5 that may be used to interpret user interactions with the personal computing device 100. Various exemplary embodiments may incorporate portions of the user interface 60 with the display interface 20 and display 25. One skilled in the art will appreciate that the user interface devices which are not shown are well known and understood.

An audio processing subsystem 65 is provided and operatively coupled to the communications infrastructure 90. The audio processing subsystem 65 provides for the output of sounds corresponding to exercise prompts, repetition counting feedback, voice output reciting the current count and/or other repetition counting statistics, voice output of encouraging phrases and/or performance assessments, sound effects, and/or other repetition counting or exercise regimen related audible phrases. The sound effects may be programmed to correspond with a user's physical motion of a piece of exercise equipment. For example, as a weight is lifted and lowered, a sound effect may be played that emulates the sound of pumping, sawing, hammering, and/or otherwise emulating a physical activity that conveys strength and power.

The pitch and/or volume of a sound effect may be varied with the detected physical motion of the exercise equipment, for example with the magnitude of the detected acceleration of the exercise equipment. The audio processing subsystem 65 may include digital to analog conversion and analog to digital conversion circuits, mixing circuits, integration circuits and audio amplification circuits. The audio processing subsystem 65 includes a speaker output 65A or a headphone jack. Connection of a set of headphones 65A includes both traditional cable and wireless arrangements such as BlueTooth(™) which are known in the relevant art.

In another exemplary embodiment, one or more motion sensors 75A, B may be electrically connected to the communications infrastructure 90 by a sensor interface 70. In this alternate exemplary embodiment, one of the motion sensors 75A may be contained within the personal computing device and another 75B electrically connected by a thin wire cable to the sensor interface via an external jack (not shown.)

The personal computing device 100 is envisioned to be encompassed within a highly portable housing such as a palm-sized case or smaller form factor which may be held or worn by the user analogous to the various designs of, for example, the compact and highly portable Apple iPod (™). In addition, the personal computing device 100 need not be a specialized piece of hardware, but may employ commercially available handheld devices such as a portable game player, portable media player, personal data assistant (PDA) or a suitably equipped cellular telephone. The personal computing device 100 is also envisioned to be built into a wrist-watch and worn like a watch on the user's wrist during play or incorporated in a set headphones and/or suitably equipped eye glasses.

The personal computing device 100 includes an operating system, the necessary hardware and software drivers necessary to fully utilize the devices operatively coupled to the communications infrastructure 90, and programmatic instructions operatively loaded into the memory 10 to perform exercise scripting and monitoring functions in conjunction with user's interactions with user interface 60 and data received from the motion sensor unit 75 via the transceiver 50.

Additional programmatic instructions may be provided to perform data logging where the data collected from the motion sensor 75 or derived there from may be stored for future analysis, replay, or downloading to other computers via the communications interface 55. This collected data could be used for assessment and training purposes. Other programmatic instructions of the exercise monitoring program may provide current status information, such as the current repetition count in the current set, the number of sets thus far performed, and/or a comparison with previous exercise sessions stored in memory. Such information may be displayed visually upon the personal computing device and/or as audio reports from the audio output hardware of the portable computing device.

FIGS. 2A, 2B and 2C provide various exemplary embodiments of the motion sensor 75. In general, the motion sensor 75 is disposed at a location and in a manner such that as a user performs a repetitive exercise activity, the motion sensor 75 provides an acceleration signal with a time varying profile, the form of the time varying profile including a cyclic signal in which each cycle generally represents or is indicative of a single repetition of the repetitive exercise activity.

In a first exemplary embodiment, a motion detector 175 is coupled to a low power transmitter 150. The motion detector 175 generally includes a motion sensor such as an accelerometer along with any required signal conditioning and/or processing electronics. The motion detector 175 and transmitter 150 are embodied in a lightweight casing 125. In this first exemplary embodiment, the motion sensor 75 is intended to be affixed to a portion of the exercise apparatus which the user sets in motion by the magnetism of a magnetic element 155 within or upon the casing 125. The user affixes the motion sensor 75 to, for example, a dynamic element of a universal exercise equipment (FIGS. 4A, B) or a side of weight (FIG. 4C) using the metal construction of the exercise equipment to affix the magnet 155 of the motion detector 75. One skilled in the art will appreciate that the transmitter 150 may be a transceiver, for example, an RFID chip. Where necessary, a battery and/or solar power supply (not shown) may be provided to electrically power the motion sensor 75. For example, the user may magnetically affix the motion sensor 75 to a barbell when performing a curl exercise and then magnetically affix the motion sensor 75 to the weights of a leg press machine when performing leg press exercises. In this way the user may selectively affix the motion sensor 75 to the movable portion of the piece of exercise equipment that is appropriate for a given exercise type of a scripted exercise regimen.

In a second exemplary embodiment, the motion sensor 75 is provided with a user affixable clip 160. The clip 160 allows the user to place the motion sensor 75 on an article of clothing, wrist band, belt or shoe worn by the user. This allows the user to selectively affix the motion sensor 75 to the portion of the body which is to be exercised. For example, the user may clip the motion sensor 75 to a worn wristband when performing arm motion exercises and then clip the motion sensor 75 to the user's shirt when performing push-ups or pull-ups. In this way the user may selectively affix the motion sensor 75 to the body part or location that is appropriate for a given exercise type of an scripted exercise regimen.

In a third exemplary embodiment, the motion sensor 75 is provided with a strap 170. The strap 170 may be used to affix the motion sensor to a limb of the user or be suspended from a dynamic element of the exercise equipment. For example, the user may strap the motion sensor 75 to his or her wrist when performing arm motion exercises and then strap the motion sensor 75 to the user's ankle when performing leg motion exercises. In this way the user may selectively affix the motion sensor 75 to the body part that is appropriate for a given exercise type of an scripted exercise regimen.

In a forth exemplary embodiment, the motion sensor 75 includes two or more of the magnetic element 155, the clip element 160, and the strap element 170, thereby enabling a user to selectively affix the sensor unit to a wide range of body parts, body locations, and exercise equipment types as appropriate when performing a diverse exercise regimen. In some embodiments the user is provided with a wristband, ankleband, and/or other wearable band with a magnetically attractive surface such that the magnetic element 155 of the sensor may be selectively affixed to the wristband, ankleband, and/or other wearable band.

In embodiments where the motion sensor 75A is incorporated into personal computing device 100, no external communication is required. In such an embodiment, the personal computing device may include a magnet 150, clip 160 or strap 170 such that the unit can be selectively affixed to the movable piece of exercise equipment during repetition counting activities. In some embodiments the motion sensor 75 may be selectively affixable to the computing device 100 and/or selectively affixable to a body part and/or movable portion of a piece of exercise equipment.

The motion detector 175 may be configured to have multiple sensing axes (for example X, Y, and Z) although only a single sensing axis is generally required. In an exemplary embodiment, multiple axes optionally including one or more orientation axes (roll, pitch, and/or yaw) may be employed to differentiate between actual exercise movements and random or spurious user movements. A variety of different detector types 175 may be used as the motion sensor 75, although in general, accelerometers are preferred. Accelerometers are generally low in cost and may be configured or selected to determine instantaneous and/or average accelerations acting upon the motion sensor casing 125 in which the motion detector 175 is incorporated into.

FIGS. 3A and 3B provides accelerometer generated signal trace output recorded during repetitive exercise events. The motion data includes a time varying profile indicative of the sequence of repetitions of the user's exercise activity. In a preferred embodiment the personal computing device 100 is configured to process the motion signals to determine if and when singular repetitions of the exercise activity have been performed, and maintain a cumulative count of the repetitions over a period of time referred to herein as an exercise activity set. The ordinate accelerometer data is graphed in units of millivolts 350, which is proportional to acceleration such that 2100 millivolts represents a normalized non-accelerated state of 0 G and fluctuations above and below the threshold 2100 millivolts value depicts positive and negative accelerations imparted upon the motion sensor 75 respectively. The abscissa is graphed over time on a scale of seconds 300; each graph depicting a 10 second long portion of an exercise session performed by a user. In some embodiments the sensor data may be pre-processed by electronics within the motion detector 175 prior to data transmission to the personal computing device 100.

The accelerometer signal trace depicted in FIG. 3A, was obtained from a motion sensor 75 coupled to a dumbbell performed in a curling exercise activity. As is depicted in FIG. 3A, acceleration data is collected and processed continually over time as the user performs the repetitive dumbbell curl exercise. The acceleration data captured by the motion sensor 75 depicts a characteristic cyclic time varying profile H1, H2, H3 305A, 305B, 305C such that each similar and characteristic cycle of the profile depicts the data collected during each repetition of the curl exercise. The time intervals between each repetition T1, T2 310A, 310B may be used to determine the start and completion of a repetition. A pulse-height analysis may be performed on each of the varying profile H1, H2, H3 305A, 305B, 305C to discriminate against noise and/or unintentional movements. Alternately, or in conjunction therewith, a minimum positive and negative signal threshold may be established to determine when a characteristic repetitive exercise motion has occurred. A plurality of such threshold levels may be used to further improve the signal processing by the personal computing device 100 to identify characteristic repetitive exercise motion profiles

As also depicted in FIG. 3A, the elapsed time between the completion of one exercise repetition and the completion of a subsequent exercise repetition is indicated as ET1, and ET2 330A, 330B. These elapsed time values are indicative of how much time was required to complete each subsequent exercise repetition. The elapsed time values and/or the change in elapsed time values across an exercise set may be used by the routines of the exercise monitoring program, alone or in part, to assess the ease at which a user performs the exercise repetitions. Long elapsed time values and/or lengthening elapsed time values across an exercise set may be used to determine that a user struggled with an exercise set. Short elapsed time values and/or elapsed time values that do not significantly lengthen across an exercise set may be used to determine that a user performed the set with ease. In this way the routines of the exercise monitoring program may used elapsed time values, alone or in part, to assess the level of ease of difficulty at which a user performed an exercise set as compared to a stored exercise standard and/or as compared data stored for to previous exercise sets performed by the user.

If for example, the elapsed time between reps is greater than a certain threshold, it may be determined by exercise monitoring program that the user is struggling to perform the exercise set. If on the other hand the elapsed time between reps is less than a certain threshold, it may be determined by the exercise monitoring program that the current exercise set is too easy for the user. Based upon such assessments the software of the exercise monitoring program may be configured to make changes and/or make recommendations for changes to future planned exercise activity sets, for example changing the prescribed weight level and/or the prescribed repetition count for future exercise activity sets of the same exercise type. For example, if a user is assessed to be struggling with a particular weight level, the routines of the exercise monitoring program may be configured to prescribe a lighter weight level in a future set of the same exercise type. Similarly if a user is assessed to be performing a current set of a particular exercise with too much ease, the routines of the exercise monitoring program may be configured to prescribe a heavier weight for a future exercise set of that exercise type.

In some embodiments an assessment of user performance may be computed based upon a detected rate of change of elapsed time between reps across an exercise activity set. For example, if the elapsed time between reps is detected as rapidly increasing across a portion of an exercise activity set, it is likely that the user is fatigued and is struggling with the final reps of the set. Based upon such an assessment the routines of the exercise monitoring program may be configured prescribe lower weight and/or fewer reps in a future exercise activity set of the same exercise type. In this way the exercise monitoring program can help coach the user, guiding him or her to appropriate weight levels, resistance levels, and/or target set counts, based upon the time varying profile of his or her completed activities. More specifically, based upon the elapsed time between reps in a given set and/or based upon the changes in elapsed time across an exercise activity set. In this way elapsed time between repetitions and/or the changes in elapsed time across an exercise activity set may be used to heuristically change a current or future exercise regimen, adjust the prescribed repetition count and/or the prescribed weight level accordingly.

Referring again to FIG. 3A, each repetitive event H1, H2, H3 305A, 305B, 305C has a characteristic waveform which may also be used for discrimination purposes and/or identifying the type repetitive motion exercise being performed. For example, pattern matching techniques may be used to assess the data for the characteristic signal profiles. In some exemplary embodiments, the motion signal data is filtered and/or processed with signal processing techniques to further extract characteristic time varying profiles indicative of a repetitive exercise motion. In general such profiles demonstrate both an upper and lower peak as the exercise equipment is oscillated by the user during, for example, a typical weight lifting activity. Thus, an upper and lower signal threshold may be set and the data may be processed to asses the exceeding of the upper and lower signal threshold within certain time constraints. If the data is determined to exceed the upper and lower signal thresholds within the time constraints, it may be inferred that a characteristic cycle is present within the time varying signal representative of an exercise repetition.

The accelerometer signal trace depicted in FIG. 3B, was obtained from a motion sensor 75 coupled to a weight used in performing a bench press exercise activity. The time varying motion signals were collected and processed continually over time as the user performs the repetitive bench press exercise. Bench pressing involves different physical motions and generates another characteristic time varying profile. However, the motion signal data follows a similar characteristic cyclic time vary profile that is highly prominent in the data and easy to identify by signal processing techniques.

Analogous to the motion signal trace depicted in FIG. 3A, the acceleration data captured by the motion sensor 75 for the bench press exercise, depicts a characteristic cyclic time varying profile H1, H2, H3 315A, 315B, 315C such that each similar and characteristic cycle of the profile depicts the data collected during each repetition of the bench press exercise. As before, the time intervals between each repetition T1, T2 320A, 320B may be used to determine the start and completion of a repetition. Also, as before, the elapsed time values ET1 and ET2, 340A, 340B may be used in alone or in part in determining a user's performance level in an exercise activity set and heuristically change a future exercise activity set accordingly.

As with the curl exercise motion data, the personal computing device 100 may be configured to process the motion data generated during the bench press exercise to determine if a characteristic profile is present and if so increment an internal repetition-counter variable. Analogous signal processing techniques may be performed as described previously.

In an exemplary embodiment, a repetition counter variable is set to 0 at the start of each new exercise activity set performed by the user. As will be described with respect to FIG. 5, a user generally performs each new exercise activity set in response to an exercise activity set prompt displayed by portable computer 100, the exercise activity set prompt indicating based upon data the accessed of a stored exercise regimen, that a new set is to be performed and informing the user as to the prescribed exercise type and a prescribed number of repetitions to be performed of that exercise type. The exercise activity set prompt may be displayed visually and/or aurally to the user as text, graphics, and/or audio vocalizations. In response to receiving the exercise activity set prompt, for example a message indicating that the next set to be performed in an arm-curl exercise activity type, of 10 repetitions, with a weight level of twenty pounds, the user acquires the required free weight dumbbells, affixes the sensor unit, and begins performing the prescribed exercise activity set.

The routines of the exercise monitoring program may determine that the new exercise activity set has begun being performed in response to a first characteristic repetition profile being detected in the exercise sensor data. Alternately the user may explicitly inform the portable computer 100 as to the start of the exercise activity set by entering a user command through a user interface, for example pressing a start button or uttered a start verbal command. Either way the set begins; the routines of the exercise monitoring program captures and processes motion signal data as the user performs the exercise.

In an exemplary embodiment, when a first characteristic cycle of time varying data is detected that indicates the performance of an exercise repetition, the counter variable is changed from 0 to 1, indicating that 1 repetition has been counted. At the same time the personal computing device 100 may be configured to output the number “1” upon the display 25 of the portable computing device 100, indicating that one repetition has been performed. Alternately, or in conjunction therewith, an audible sound conveying the vocal word “one” to the user may be output through the headphones 65A.

Such a textual and/or verbal count output is then produced for each subsequent repetition until the user finishes a defined exercise activity set. Data stored within the pre-planned exercise regimen generally defines a prescribed set count to be performed by the user, thereby informing the routines of the exercise monitoring program running upon the personal computing device 100 when to stop counting. For example, the exercise regimen may define a set as 10 repetitions, indicating that the user is to perform 10 repetitions of the set. Alternately, the personal computing device 100 may be configured to stop counting when a time delay above a certain threshold is detected after a last characteristic sensor signal indicating a completed repetition is detected.

For example, if more than 10 seconds elapsed after the last time varying cycle indicative of an exercise repetition is detected; the exercise monitoring program may assume the set has been completed, possible because the user is too fatigued to perform any more. In an exemplary embodiment, the counting is ceased automatically in response to either of the prescribed exercise repetition count being reached for the exercise activity set, or a time delay being measured after a last repetition that exceeds a certain threshold.

Referring to FIGS. 4A and 4B, a user may affix a magnetically affixable motion sensor 75 to a dynamic element (crossbar) of a weight lifting exercise machine that moves in a characteristic manner during typical exercise repetitions. For a single axis sensor embodiment, the user may align the sensor axis with the most pronounced direction of motion of the dynamic element. The magnetically affixable motion sensor 75 being operative to detect the motion induced when the weights are lifted in response to a user performing an exercise activity. For example, the exercise machine may be a bench press machine, the bench press machine such that physical weights are raised and lowered in response to a user's bench press exercise activity as depicted in FIGS. 4A and 4B.

In this example, as the user performs the bench press exercise, he or she is lifting and lowering a portion of the weights in a repetitive motion. The magnetically affixed motion sensor 75 is lifted and lowered though a defined range of motion causing a characteristic cyclic motion signal to be generated data. Motion signals generated by the motion sensor 75 are captured repeatedly over time at defined polling rate and transmitted wirelessly 85 to the personal computing device 100 which shown affixed to the user's belt. In this way, the personal computing device 100 monitors the exercise as described previously. An analogous exemplary arrangement is depicted in FIG. 4C where a user is performing bench press exercises using free weights. In this exemplary embodiment, the personal computing device 100 is shown strapped to a limb of the user. As the user lifts the weights from the bench, a magnetically affixed motion sensor 75 is likewise lifted and lowered though a defined range of motion causing a characteristic cyclic motion signal to be generated and captured by the personal computing device 100.

The user may be wearing headphones 65A (not shown) and thus be receiving an audio count from the personal computing device 100, the audio count indicating the number of repetitions thus far performed in the current exercise activity set. In some embodiments the audio count is articulated as an upward count of the number of repetitions thus far performed in the exercise activity set while in other embodiments the audio count is articulated as a downward count of the number of repetitions remaining to be completed in the exercise activity set. Upon completion of the last repetition in the current exercise activity set, the routines of the exercise monitoring program access the stored exercise regimen, determine a next exercise activity set to be performed by the user, and issue an exercise activity set prompt to the user. The exercise activity set prompt to the user may be an audio message delivered through headphones informing the user that the next exercise activity set is also a bench press activity, also of 10 repetitions, but now at the new weight level of 120 pounds. The user adjusts the weights and performs the next exercise activity set, the counting process repeating for the new exercise activity set.

It should be noted that whether the output repetition count is visual and/or aural, upward or downward, output on every repetition or every other repetition, are parameters that are user configurable through the user interface of the portable computing device 100. Also the exercise regimen is user adjustable and/or user selectable and/or user downloadable through a user interface of the portable computing device 100.

FIG. 5 depicts an exemplary process flow chart for the various embodiments of the exercise monitoring program. The process is initiated 500 by a user affixing a motion sensor by way of a clip, strap or magnet 502 to an item worn by the person 504 for example, clothing, wristband, belt or shoe, 506, a body part of the user, for example a wrist or ankle or neck, or a movable portion of a piece of exercise equipment 508 which is intended for use. When affixed to the exercise equipment, the motion sensor is dispose on a dynamic element so as to detect exercise motions of the user 510. In an exemplary embodiment, the sensor element is selectively oriented by the user such that the sensing axis is aligned with a prominent direction of motion of the body part or movable exercise equipment portion. For multi-axis sensing embodiments the alignment step may not be necessary.

The user then causes the exercise monitoring program to execute 512 on the personal computing device. An exercise regimen is accessed from a datastore containing one or more exercise regimens 514. The exercise regimen may have been entered directly into the portable computer 100 by the user through a user interface, may have been downloaded from an external computer or server, or may have been automatically generated by routines of the exercise monitoring program in response to entered exercise objectives of the user. The exercise regimen may have been selected by the user from among a plurality of stored exercise regimens in a memory of the portable computing device 100. Each exercise regimen may include one or more exercise activity sets to be performed 516 by the user. Each exercise activity set includes a defined exercise type 518 and the number of repetitions to be performed by the user 520. Each exercise activity set may also include a prescribed weight level or difficulty setting for the exercise type. Each exercise regimen, included plurality of exercise set activities, exercise type and number of repetitions may be prescribed or otherwise defined by the user to accomplish an exercise goal.

The prescribed exercise type, number of prescribed repetitions, and optional prescribed weight level, is then outputted to the user 522. In an embodiment, a weight level to be used is outputted as well 522. The outputted information may be provided visually, audibly or a combination of both 524. If the motion sensor is not currently affixed to a location that is appropriate for the prescribed exercise type, the user will move the sensor unit at this time, affixing or reaffixing the motion sensor by way of a clip, strap or magnet 523 to an item worn by the person 504 for example, clothing, wristband, belt or shoe, 506, a body part of the user for example a wrist or ankle or neck, or a movable portion of a piece of exercise equipment 508 which is appropriate for the prescribed exercise type. The user may then optionally press a button or otherwise indicate to the portable computer through the user interface that he or she is about to begin performing the exercise activity set.

The user begins performing the prescribed exercise activity set 526 which causes the motion sensor to send signals to the personal computing device. The received motion signals 528 are processed by the exercise monitoring program 530. The exercise monitoring program interactively counts the number of repetitions performed by the user in dependence on the process motion signals 532. The number of repetitions performed by the user (either the number completed or the number remaining to complete a set) 534 is outputted to the user 534 while the user performs the exercise activity set, repeatedly updating the user as to his or her repetition count progress. As previously discussed, the outputted information may be provided visually, audibly or a combination of both 524.

The exercise monitoring program determines from the interactive repetition count 532 whether the user has completed the prescribed number of repetitions 538. If the user has not completed the prescribed number of repetitions 538, the exercise monitoring program may optionally output an encouragement to the user 536 and continues monitoring 528 and processing 530 of the received motion signals until the prescribed number of repetitions 538 have been completed by the user. The counting process continues until at least one of two conditions are met; either the user completes the prescribed number of repetitions as determined at 538 or the user has not completed the prescribed number of repetitions but an elapsed time threshold has been exceeded as determined at 540. If neither of these conditions is met, the motion signals continue to be processed 530 and counted 532 and output 524. If one of these conditions is met, it is determined at 542 that the exercise set has been completed by the user, either successfully or through a time-out due to fatigue. If the user has not completed the entire exercise activity set 542, the exercise monitoring program may output another encouragement to the user 536 and continues monitoring 528 and processing 530 of the received motion signals until the prescribed number of repetition sets 538 have been completed by the user. The selection of the particular words of encouragement may be made based upon the elapsed time between sequential exercise sets.

For example if the elapsed time between repetitions is detected at a slow and/or slowing pace, the routines may infer through programmed rules that the user is struggling with the exercise activity. The personal computing device may then be programmed to output responsive audible phrases such as “push” and/or “almost there” and/or “only two left”. If on the other hand the elapsed time between sequential exercise repetitions is detected as being faster, the routines may determine through programmed rules that the user is performing with ease and may not output any audible phrases or may output responsive phrases such as “you are doing great” or “just keep it up.” It should be noted that the time thresholds used for such programmed rules may be user configurable and/or may be stored with the exercise regimen itself relationally associated with each exercise activity set and/or may be based, at least in part, upon a storage of past user performance in similar exercise activity sets.

Once the exercise set has been completed 542, exercise history data related to the exercise regimen is recorded in the datastore 546. The exercise history data includes the number of repetitions completed, the elapsed time for the full exercise activity set, the elapsed time between each of a plurality of sequential exercise repetitions, the exercise type performed, the weight level used and the current date and time 548. Thereafter, the exercise monitoring program determines whether the entire exercise regimen has been completed 544 (i.e., if all of the prescribed exercise activity sets included in the exercise regimen have been performed by the user). If the exercise regimen has not been completed, the exercise monitoring program advances to the next ordered exercise activity set to be performed by the user 550 as indicated by the exercise regimen. The portable computer 100 then outputs an exercise prompt to the user 522, indicating the next exercise type and number of prescribed repetitions to be performed in the next exercise activity set. If the exercise regimen has been completed, the exercise monitoring program optionally heuristically determines from the recorded exercise history 546 an assessment of exercise performance during the exercise regimen and optionally modifies a future exercise regimen 552 of the user, for example adjusting the prescribed number of sets, prescribed number of repetitions, and/or prescribed weight levels used in at least a portion of a future exercise regimen based upon the assessment. Once the regimen has been completed, the process ends 554.

The foregoing described exemplary embodiments are provided as illustrations and descriptions. They are not intended to limit the various embodiments to the precise forms described. In particular, it is contemplated that functional implementation may be implemented equivalently in hardware, software, firmware, and/or other available functional components or building blocks. No specific limitation is intended to a particular arrangement or processing sequence. Other variations and embodiments are possible in light of above teachings, and it is not intended that this Detailed Description limit the scope of invention, but rather by the Claims following herein.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification482/8, 482/9
International ClassificationA63B71/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63B2220/17, A63B2071/0625, A63B21/072, G09B7/02, A63B21/078, A63B2220/40, A63B2024/0009, A63B2071/0663, A63B2225/20, A63B2209/08, A63B2024/0068, A63B24/0006, A63B71/0686, A63B71/0622, A63B24/0062, A63B2225/50, A63B24/0084, A63B2220/13, A63B21/062
European ClassificationG09B7/02, A63B71/06D2, A63B71/06F, A63B24/00A1, A63B24/00J, A63B24/00G
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
28 Nov 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: OUTLAND RESEARCH, LLC, CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:ROSENBERG, LOUIS B.;REEL/FRAME:020209/0321
Effective date: 20071107
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:ROSENBERG, LOUIS B.;REEL/FRAME:20209/321
Owner name: OUTLAND RESEARCH, LLC,CALIFORNIA