Health and Fitness Tracking Gadgets – Patent Trends: Patent Applicants | Patent Classifications
Health & Fitness Tracking – Introduction
The latest lifestyle has resulted in considerable appreciation of health and fitness.
Consequently, everyone is investing a lot of effort in losing weight, increasing physical activity, with a view to enhance health and become fit.
At technology front, enormous surge has been observed across health and fitness tracking gadgets and smartphone applications, which generally measure overall movement of one’s body along with patterns covering exercise, sleep, diet, and assist the users in setting targets combined with motivations to achieve them.
Relevant keywords were used to search patent trends in US, which helped in analyzing companies that have filed most number of patents, time trends on patent filings and most relevant patent classification for healthcare and fitness tracking, specially wearable gadgets.
Patent Assignees with Most Number of Patents
As may be seen in the following chart, major players include Apple, Nike, Adidas, Fujitsu, and the like.
Patent Filing Trends
With an advent increase in the usage of devices (like smartphones), no. of patents filed has increased in past 4-5 years.
A recent drop may be seen due to recently filed patents, which have not been published yet.
Patent Trends – Most Relevant Patent Classifications
The analysis revealed that some of the most active patent classes (US Class or USPC) are:
600/300 – Diagnostic Testing
600/509 – Detecting Heartbeat Electric Signals
600/508 – Evaluating Heart Condition
340/572.1 – Communication – Detectable device on protected article (e.g., “tag”)
607/36 – Electrical Application – Feature of stimulator housing or encapsulation
Remaining class details may be seen at US Patent office website (USPTO – http://www.uspto.gov/)
Health & Fitness Tracking – Expectations in 2014
Multiple health and fitness tracking devices are expected to be launched soon while various such gadgets are already available in the market.
Here’s a brief review of two latest devices, along with corresponding patents.
Basis Health Tracker
Health tracking device by Basis Science is aimed at targeting the measurement of movement user’s body makes throughout the day and subsequently tracks the habits of such movement.
As a differentiator, Basis’s health tracker accounts for actual heart rate, skin temperature and perspiration into its data.
By using the body’s actual chemistry, the device is able to provide an accurate and comprehensive fitness trackers for recording calories burned, intensity of movement and useful patterns in the user’s habits.
Basis Science Inc has filed a patent titled “Integrated Biometric Sensing and Display Device” with the USPTO, which has been published by US Patent Office as United States Patent Application 20120271121 on 10/25/2012.
The ‘121 patent discloses a biometric device configured to be attached to a portion of a body of a user measures biometric data of the user, and the device includes an optical emitter, a wavelength filter, an optical sensor and a processor, for sending a light to the body of a user, receiving light received from the user, filtering and processing it to measure biometric data of the user, including for example, heart rate and blood flow rate.
The device can be easily perceived as a wristwatch with an elegant black square face, black or white plastic straps and a trans-reflective LCD display. The user is required to wear the health and fitness tracker and it does all the work and the device is smart enough to determine a transition from one activity to another, and it syncs this information to the user’s smartphone wirelessly through the Bluetooth.
In addition, the biometric device may include other sensors, such as a galvanic skin response sensor, an ambient temperature sensor, skin temperature, motion sensor, etc., to enable the biometric device to measure arousal or conductivity changing events, ambient temperature, user temperature and motion associated with the user.
Additionally, information from each sensor may be used to further filter noise in one or more signals received by the sensors to provide biometric data to the user.
Fitbit Flex is a fitness band to be worn on wrist that tracks user’s steps, distance, active minutes, calories burned and quality of sleep.
As compared to other fitness trackers, Fitbit Flex does not have a display for present stats or time.