Apple Patent Adds More Evidence to Wearable Tech Plans

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published an Apple patent application on Thursday that offers up more evidence that the iPhone and iPad maker is looking to our wrists as the target for its rumored move into the wearable tech market. The patent application describes a pedometer that sits on your wrist, much like the Nike Fuelband or Fitbit Force.

Apple patent application describes a wrist-worn pedometer systemApple patent application describes a wrist-worn pedometer system

Wrist-top pedometers aren't new or even novel, so it's the system for tracking steps that Apple is looking to patent. In this case, the pedometer could determine based on motion where it's located on a user's body and count steps accordingly, and in theory detect steps more accurately.

By using a wrist-mounted system, Apple could track steps more accurately than it currently does with the iPhone, and the patent implies it would offer more accurate tracking than a pedometer clipped to a user's waist.

Apple hasn't confirmed it is planning on releasing wearable tech products, but CEO Tim Cook did say his company is "intensely interested" in our wrists. The company has also been hiring health, fitness, and wearable tech experts for the past couple years, which offers up another indicator that we're going to see Apple moving into that market.

Mr. Cook has also said that Apple will enter into new markets in 2014, although he didn't elaborate on exactly what that means. Considering the hires and patent activity coming out of Cupertino, it's a pretty safe bet that one of those markets will be personal health and fitness.

[Thanks to Patently Apple for the heads up]