Apple Users could soon create their own Fitness challenges and send e-awards

Apple Watch integrates with all of Apple's mobile devices and Apple Tv to show your workout metrics on screen

When it comes to influencing user behavior, Apple is always thinking about innovative methods to bring to its ecosystem. Apple Fitness+ service has already helped many Apple users by helping them better manage their health and fitness.

Jay Blahnik and his team at Apple Fitness+ are now exploring novel incentive design methods to enhance the Apple Fitness and health experience offering.

The current ‘Burn Bar’ functionality on Apple Fitness+ provides an excellent benchmark for users who want to ensure that they are putting their hearts and souls into their Apple Fitness class.

Apple Fitness challenge and e-awards
Patent was filed by Jay Blahnik, Special projects group at Apple.

Apple’s Fitness team is now researching how they can enable a system which allows users to create their own Fitness challenge e-awards and use it for keeping each other motivated.

Completed a challenge successfully? You may get enough e-points to buy something at the app store or even get some form of virtual currency.

Apple’s Fitness+ user-created challenges and awards

According to a new Apple patent, “Fitness Challenge e-awards”, published on April 8, 2021,  Apple is pursuing its strategy of leaving no one behind in health and wellness by designing this simple yet effective activity awards system.

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It is a well-known fact that lack of sufficient physical activity can increase the risk of developing diabetes, hypertension, colon cancer, depression and anxiety, obesity, and weak muscles and bones.Apple Health Coaching

In addition, recent studies have found that extended periods of inactivity (e.g., sitting at a desk), can lead to serious health risks, such as an increased risk of a heart attack. 

While activity monitors today can track the amount of physical activity performed by a user, they fail to positively motivate users to engage in physical activity. 

When users design their own activity rewards, they can include one or more of an amount of physical activity to be performed, a location to be reached, a frequency of engaging in physical activity, meeting a condition within a time constraint, or the like.

  • For example, one physical activity goal can require that the invited user burn 200 calories (amount of physical activity to be performed) within the next 3 hours (time constraint). 
  • Another physical activity goal could require that the invited user go to the gym (location to be reached) on a specified day (time constraint). OR
  • Require the invited user run at least 3 miles (an amount of physical activity to be performed) for 5 consecutive days within the next week (frequency of engaging in physical activity and a time constraint).

Once you have created your challenge and completed it yourself, you can send it to your friend or loved one to get them going.

Apple Fitness user created challenges and activity awards

A son or daughter will be able to send an image or video as a reward to motivate their father to engage in physical activity.

The reward can include a media file (e.g., an image file, a video file, a music file, or an electronic text document), an electronic message, an amount of virtual currency, a key or passcode for unlocking a service (e.g., use of a television, video game, etc.) located at a remote device, such as a remote server. 

Another form of reward according to this Apple patent could include a music file available for purchase or rent from an online media service. 

In all these examples, upon successful completion of the physical activity goal, the reward can be given to the second user with the associated fee being charged to the first user. 

Essentially this becomes an incentive-driven motivation platform so that you can positively encourage your loved ones to stay fit and healthy. This also allows Apple to sell more of its services to new and existing users.

Either way, if this works well it has all the bells and whistles to become a Win / Win for both Apple and its loyal customers.

Perhaps we should expect some new incentive based features as well as health coaching services when Apple showcases its new watchOS and iOS at the upcoming WWDC on June 7th this year.

I am a technologist with years of experience with Apple and wearOS products and have a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. In my day job, I advise fortune 500 companies with their digital transformation strategies and also consult with numerous digital health startups in an advisory capacity. I'm VERY interested in exploring the digital health&fitness-tech evolution and keep a close eye on patents, FDA approvals, strategic partnerships and developments happening in the wearables and digital health sector. When I'm not writing or presenting, I run with my Apple Watch or Fossil Gen 5 LTE and keep a close eye on my HRV and other recovery metrics.

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