Apple wants the iPhone and Apple Watch cameras to be able to track how many calories you burn as evidenced by a newly granted patent (number US 20240041354 A1) for “Tracking Caloric Expenditure Using a Camera.”

About the patent

In the patent Apple notes that tracking devices (e.g., smartphones and smartwatches), include motion sensors that are used by fitness applications to estimate the caloric expenditure of a user during physical activity. In some fitness applications, motion data from the motion sensors (e.g., acceleration, rotation rate) are used with an energy expenditure model to estimate the amount of calories burned by the user during a workout. Some applications also use a heart rate sensor in combination with the energy expenditure model to estimate calories burned. 

However, these fitness applications require that the tracking device be worn on the body of the user, which is typically the wrist, chest, torso or foot. Apple thinks this method is very inconvenient and feels a better way is for the cameras on an iPhone or Apple Watch to estimate caloric output based on face tracking data.

Summary of the patent

Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent: “The enclosed embodiments are directed to tracking caloric expenditure using a camera. In an embodiment, a method comprises: obtaining face tracking data associated with a user; determining a step cadence of the user based on the face tracking data; determining a speed of the user based on the step cadence and a stride length of the user; obtaining device motion data from at least one motion sensor of the device; determining a grade of a surface on which the user is walking or running based on at least one of the device motion data or the face tracking data; and determining an energy expenditure of the user based on the estimated speed, the estimated grade and a caloric expenditure model.”

Article provided with permission from AppleWorld.Today