US20080032864A1 - Internet Enabled Motivational Exercise System and Apparatus - Google Patents

Internet Enabled Motivational Exercise System and Apparatus Download PDF

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Publication number
US20080032864A1
US20080032864A1 US11/462,522 US46252206A US2008032864A1 US 20080032864 A1 US20080032864 A1 US 20080032864A1 US 46252206 A US46252206 A US 46252206A US 2008032864 A1 US2008032864 A1 US 2008032864A1
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Prior art keywords
exercise system
apparatus according
display
user
internet enabled
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Abandoned
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US11/462,522
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Ayman Hakki
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Ayman Hakki
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Priority to US11/462,522 priority Critical patent/US20080032864A1/en
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Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B71/00Games or sports accessories not covered in groups A63B1/00 - A63B69/00
    • A63B71/06Indicating or scoring devices for games or players, or for other sports activities
    • A63B71/0619Displays, user interfaces and indicating devices, specially adapted for sport equipment, e.g. display mounted on treadmills
    • A63B71/0622Visual, audio or audio-visual systems for entertaining, instructing or motivating the user
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B71/00Games or sports accessories not covered in groups A63B1/00 - A63B69/00
    • A63B71/06Indicating or scoring devices for games or players, or for other sports activities
    • A63B71/0686Timers, rhythm indicators or pacing apparatus using electric or electronic means
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B71/00Games or sports accessories not covered in groups A63B1/00 - A63B69/00
    • A63B71/06Indicating or scoring devices for games or players, or for other sports activities
    • A63B71/0619Displays, user interfaces and indicating devices, specially adapted for sport equipment, e.g. display mounted on treadmills
    • A63B2071/0658Position or arrangement of display
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B22/00Exercising apparatus specially adapted for conditioning the cardio-vascular system, for training agility or co-ordination of movements
    • A63B22/0048Exercising apparatus specially adapted for conditioning the cardio-vascular system, for training agility or co-ordination of movements with cantilevered support elements pivoting about an axis
    • A63B22/0056Exercising apparatus specially adapted for conditioning the cardio-vascular system, for training agility or co-ordination of movements with cantilevered support elements pivoting about an axis the pivoting movement being in a vertical plane, e.g. steppers with a horizontal axis
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B22/00Exercising apparatus specially adapted for conditioning the cardio-vascular system, for training agility or co-ordination of movements
    • A63B22/02Exercising apparatus specially adapted for conditioning the cardio-vascular system, for training agility or co-ordination of movements with movable endless bands, e.g. treadmills
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B22/00Exercising apparatus specially adapted for conditioning the cardio-vascular system, for training agility or co-ordination of movements
    • A63B22/06Exercising apparatus specially adapted for conditioning the cardio-vascular system, for training agility or co-ordination of movements with support elements performing a rotating cycling movement, i.e. a closed path movement
    • A63B22/0605Exercising apparatus specially adapted for conditioning the cardio-vascular system, for training agility or co-ordination of movements with support elements performing a rotating cycling movement, i.e. a closed path movement performing a circular movement, e.g. ergometers
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B2225/00Other characteristics of sports equipment
    • A63B2225/20Other characteristics of sports equipment with means for remote communication, e.g. internet or the like
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B2230/00Measuring physiological parameters of the user
    • A63B2230/04Measuring physiological parameters of the user heartbeat characteristics, e.g. E.G.C., blood pressure modulations
    • A63B2230/06Measuring physiological parameters of the user heartbeat characteristics, e.g. E.G.C., blood pressure modulations heartbeat rate only
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B2230/00Measuring physiological parameters of the user
    • A63B2230/04Measuring physiological parameters of the user heartbeat characteristics, e.g. E.G.C., blood pressure modulations
    • A63B2230/06Measuring physiological parameters of the user heartbeat characteristics, e.g. E.G.C., blood pressure modulations heartbeat rate only
    • A63B2230/062Measuring physiological parameters of the user heartbeat characteristics, e.g. E.G.C., blood pressure modulations heartbeat rate only used as a control parameter for the apparatus
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B2230/00Measuring physiological parameters of the user
    • A63B2230/04Measuring physiological parameters of the user heartbeat characteristics, e.g. E.G.C., blood pressure modulations
    • A63B2230/06Measuring physiological parameters of the user heartbeat characteristics, e.g. E.G.C., blood pressure modulations heartbeat rate only
    • A63B2230/065Measuring physiological parameters of the user heartbeat characteristics, e.g. E.G.C., blood pressure modulations heartbeat rate only within a certain range
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B2230/00Measuring physiological parameters of the user
    • A63B2230/04Measuring physiological parameters of the user heartbeat characteristics, e.g. E.G.C., blood pressure modulations
    • A63B2230/06Measuring physiological parameters of the user heartbeat characteristics, e.g. E.G.C., blood pressure modulations heartbeat rate only
    • A63B2230/065Measuring physiological parameters of the user heartbeat characteristics, e.g. E.G.C., blood pressure modulations heartbeat rate only within a certain range
    • A63B2230/067Measuring physiological parameters of the user heartbeat characteristics, e.g. E.G.C., blood pressure modulations heartbeat rate only within a certain range used as a control parameter for the apparatus
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B69/00Training appliances or apparatus for special sports
    • A63B69/0028Training appliances or apparatus for special sports for running, jogging or speed-walking
    • A63B69/0035Training appliances or apparatus for special sports for running, jogging or speed-walking on the spot

Abstract

An exercise apparatus and method comprises an internet enabled display device operatively connected to the exercise apparatus such as a treadmill allowing a user to exercise while using the internet for emailing, shopping or general browsing. At least one thumb activated input device is disposed on a gripping area of the apparatus allowing a user to control a pointing device while exercising. In order to motivate the user to maintain and meet optimum physiological reading parameters, the apparatus utilizes a control system that varies the output to the display device depending on the user's activity. If the heart-rate or other physiological reading indicator is outside of selected goal parameters, the display becomes less useable. As the user adjusts the level of exercise output and returns within the acceptable parameters, the display is restored to optimum usability.

Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • During the 90's, the percentage of overweight and obese people in the United States jumped to over 60 percent. Perhaps as disturbing is the trend for our youth to be overweight as well. Heart disease and other health problems are believed to be the result of our ever increasing waistlines. Although experts seem to be continually changing their recommendations concerning our diet, almost all agree that exercising is an important component to a healthy lifestyle. While our ancestors tended to work at much more physical jobs that made the need for regimented and consistent exercise less important, the modern lifestyle filled with time and labor saving devices combined with an increase in “office” jobs and television and video entertainment has really heightened the need for deliberate exercise.
  • An explosion in health clubs and gyms has accompanied our desire to trim down, but the majority of people who join these establishments drop out after only a short period of time. Many people purchase home exercise equipment and many of these devices become clothes racks or dust catchers as people find themselves unmotivated to use them after a period of time. Many people perceive themselves to be too busy or tired to exercise and prefer to relax in front of the television or computer monitor as they surf the internet. Often people tend to “lose track of time” chatting with friends, reading and writing emails, shopping, etc. while browsing the world wide web, but this does little to help with exercise.
  • A need exists for an exercise apparatus and system appealing to users that lack a high level of commitment to an exercise program and allows them to engage in other activities while exercising. Additionally, a need exists for an exercise apparatus that motivates and rewards the user; thereby encouraging continued exercising and adoption of a healthier lifestyle.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • An exercise system and apparatus comprises an internet enabled display device operatively connected to the exercise apparatus such as a treadmill allowing a user to exercise while using the internet for emailing, shopping or general browsing. At least one thumb activated input device is disposed on a gripping area of the apparatus allowing a user to control a pointing device while exercising. In order to motivate the user to maintain and meet optimum physiological reading parameters, the apparatus utilizes a control system that varies the output to the display device depending on the user's activity. If the heart-rate or other physiological reading indicator is outside of selected goal parameters, the display becomes less useable. As the user adjusts the level of exercise output and returns to within the acceptable parameters, the display is restored to optimum usability.
  • Other features and advantages of the instant invention will become apparent from the following description of the invention which refers to the accompanying drawings.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the present invention.
  • FIG. 2 is a perspective view an alternative embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 3 is a perspective of view of yet another embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 4 is a front view showing a console display according to an embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 5 is a front view showing a console display according to another embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 6 is a front view of a thumb input device according to the present invention.
  • FIG. 7 is a side view of a thumb input device according to the present invention.
  • FIG. 8 is a flow chart depicting the logic of the control system according to an embodiment of the present invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • Reference is now made to the drawings in which reference numerals refer to like elements. FIGS. 1-3 show an exercise apparatus of the present invention in which the exercise apparatus 5 comprises a frame 12 made of metal or other suitably strong material to stabilize apparatus 5. Frame 12 has nonskid treads (not shown) or pads along a bottom portion therein to ensure that exercise apparatus 5 does not move during use. Although frame 12 is shown having a substantially rectangular shape, it is understood that other configurations such as a tubular frame are suitable.
  • A vertical support and handrail 30 is provided to allow the user to comfortably and safely mount exercise apparatus 5 and to provide a gripping portion during use. Vertical support and handrail 30 has only one full support side and a smaller rail section on an opposite side. This enables easy access to exercise apparatus 5. Although exercise apparatus 5 is shown having only one full size handrail 30, same size handrails would be acceptable and rails could extend the full length of frame 12 or any length less than full.
  • A tread 10 is provided allowing the user to walk, jog or run depending on personal selection settings. Tread 10 rolls on rollers (not shown) rotatably connected to frame 12 as is known in the art. Tread 10 is controlled by circuitry allowing the user to select the level of activity desired with the system programming making the required adjustments in the performance of tread 10 as is known in the art. Of course, other apparatus would be suitable for use with the present invention such as a stair climber (not shown), stationary bicycle (not shown), or any other suitable exercise apparatus.
  • A housing 35 encloses the electronics (not shown) necessary to operate exercise apparatus 5 as is known in the art. Additionally, housing 35 covers an internet enabled device (not shown) such as a computer with an internet connection. A display device 15 displays both exercise specific information and internet content depending on user input. Display 15 is a touch sensitive LCD panel as is known in the art and allows the user to input selected information such as age, weight, sex, etc. enabling a control program to tailor specific exercise routines and goals as is known in the art. Of course, other displays could be used such as plasma screen or CRT device to display the required information. Input could be provided in the form of a keyboard instead of touch screen.
  • At least one USB port 25 is provided to allow a user a convenient way to store personal information without the need to enter the information prior to each use. A flash card (not shown) is inserted into USB port 25 and is read by the computer (not shown) as is known in the art. Each user simply inserts a personal memory device into USB port 25 for customized exercise activities without the need for constant re-entry of information. Other embodiments are suitable such as an internal hard drive accessible by computer (not shown) to allow customization without re-entry of information. Multiple users could be accommodated depending on the size of the memory unit (not shown) installed. Additionally, USB port 25 could be located at any other convenient location such as on housing 35 or handrail 30. To allow the user to input information while exercising, at least one thumb operated input device 20 is disposed on handrail 30. Other input configurations are acceptable such as WiFi, Bluetooth, infrared, etc as is known in the art.
  • Now referring to FIG. 2, a computer 40 is mounted directly on display 15 as is known in the art. In this embodiment, control systems are implemented within software instructions run by a CPU (not shown) as is known in the art. Physiological information is graphically displayed on display 15 and the user enters information by touching the appropriate area of display 15 as is known in the art. An internet connection such as DSL, T1, dial-up modem, WiFi or any other suitable connection as is known in the art is used to connect computer 40 to the internet.
  • With reference to FIG. 3, an embodiment is shown having a physiological readings console 45 mounted on handrail 30 allowing continuous monitoring of physiological readings without requiring space on display 15. Although console 45 is shown appearing below display 15, other arrangements are contemplated such as a side mounted console (not shown), top mounted console (not shown) or mounting console 45 to some other convenient location.
  • FIGS. 4 and 5 depict two embodiments of physiological readings consoles 45 and 47 respectively. Physiological readings console 45 is shown having three display areas 52, 50 and 48 where physiological reading information such as heart-rate, target heart-rate, etc. is displayed as is known in the art. Buttons 54, 56 and 58 allow resets and cycling of information displayed. Physiological readings console 47 is shown having programmable display 57 used to display physiological information such as heart-rate. Information is displayed graphically to allow the user to quickly interpret his or her level of activity and performance while exercising. Input slide switches 51 and 49 are provided to vary selectable parameters such as contrast, sound etc. User selects display information using buttons 53. Other embodiments are suitable such as touch screen input (not shown) instead of buttons 53 and are known in the art. It is well known in the art to monitor heart rate and to output the results as an electrical signal which can further be processed or displayed depending on the desired function. An example of a system that measures heart beat on a treadmill is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,530,866 to Lo et al dated Mar. 11, 2003 which the applicant incorporates herein by reference. The patent to Lo utilizes a grip which the user holds while exercising. The grip holds conventional sensors to measure heart beats. U.S. Pat. No. 4,319,581 to Cutter issued on Mar. 16, 1982 which the applicant incorporates herein by reference, discloses monitoring a user's heart pulse rate by gripping handles with built in sensors. Of course other methods of measuring physiological indicators are known in the art such as infra-red transducers, finger cuffs, etc. and would be suitable to provide input the control program.
  • It is well known in the art to calculate ideal heart rate ranges for individuals and the ideal rate depends on age, general health condition, etc. One known calculation has a user subtracting their age from 220 and calculating between 65% to 75% as a target heart rate. Other factors such as weight are also important and can be used to tailor use of the present invention. One indicator used when exercising is known as “burn rate.” This is a measurement of the calories used per unit of time such as cal/hr. There is generally a direct relationship between burn rate and weight. For example, a 220 lb individual will have a burn rate twice that of a 110 lb person. Age and desirable burn rate is typically linear with a 20 year old having nearly twice the maximum burn rate as allowed for a 70 year old. The present invention allows a user to select between at least a light and moderate exercise routine. Additionally, a strenuous setting could be added as an option for more advanced users.
  • Now with reference to FIGS. 6 and 7, a thumb operated input device 20 is shown having a touch sensitive surface that converts the movement of a thumb 21 to pointing input for computer (not shown) as is known in the art. Other input configurations are suitable such as mounting a joystick (not shown) on handrail 30 (FIGS. 1-3) or other pointing device as is known in the art. Thumb operated input device 20 is customizable allowing user to optimize the pointer movement facilitating use while exercising.
  • FIG. 8 is a flow chart outlining the logic used by the present invention to provide motivation for the user. A user starts the exercise routine 100 by activating exercise apparatus 5 (FIGS. 1-3). If the user has a saved profile 110, the selected profile is displayed 120 for review by the user. If the user does not have a saved profile, then the user is prompted to select and/or enter information 115 such as weight, height, sex etc. so that an exercise program can be selected that matches the user's goals and health status. The inputted profile is displayed for review by user 120. If the user wants to edit the profile, he or she is returned to the manual input stage 115 and is given the opportunity to edit the settings and then the profile is redisplayed 120 for approval. If the user approves the profile 125, a start page is displayed which begins the selected exercise routine. As the user exercises, physiological reading information 135 such as heart-rate, rotational speed, pulse, etc. is sent to control program 140 for sampling. If the physiological readings are within the goal parameters 145, the display screen is optimized for usability 155. However, if the physiological readings fall outside the goal ranges 145, then the screen output is affected in such a way as to reduce usability 150 such as blurring of the screen, dimming or adjusting the contrast or by fading or becoming increasingly transparent as is known in the art thereby motivating the user to adjust his or her behavior returning the physiological readings within the goal ranges and restoring usability of the display. The display function 155 is returned to control program 140 for sampling at predefined intervals to provide real-time feedback to the user. In another embodiment, the user is warned that his or her activity is falling outside of the goal parameters before display usability is reduced. Additionally, the screen could be made to flash or a simple audio warning could be repeated until the physiological readings are back within acceptable parameters.
  • Although the instant invention has been described in relation to particular embodiments thereof, many other variations and modifications and other uses will become apparent to those skilled in the art.

Claims (20)

1. An internet enabled exercise system and apparatus comprising:
a frame;
an exercise element moveably attached to said frame;
a display adapted to display information to a user;
at least one sensor to detect at least one physiological reading of said user;
a control system to analyze and operate on said at least one physiological reading;
said control system also being adapted to vary the usability of said display based on said at least one physiological reading;
at least one handrail disposed on said frame adapted to support said user; and
at least one input device disposed on said at least one handrail adapted to input information to said control system.
2. The internet enabled exercise system and apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said exercise element is a treadmill track.
3. The internet enabled exercise system and apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said exercise element is a stair stepper.
4. The internet enabled exercise system and apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said exercise element is stationary bicycle.
5. The internet enabled exercise system and apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the usability of said display is varied by defocusing said display when said at least one physiological reading is outside a predetermined range.
6. The internet enabled exercise system and apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the usability of said display is varied by fading the output of said display when said at least one physiological reading is outside a predetermined range.
7. The internet enabled exercise system and apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the usability of said display is varied by flashing said display when said at least one physiological reading is outside a predetermined range.
8. The internet enabled exercise system and apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the usability of said display is varied by displaying a message on top of said information displayed when said at least one physiological reading is outside a predetermined range.
9. The internet enabled exercise system and apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said at least one physiological reading includes a heart-rate reading.
10. The internet enabled exercise system and apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said at least one input device is a thumb activated input device.
11. The internet enabled exercise system and apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said at least one sensor is a motion sensor.
12. The internet enabled exercise system and apparatus according to claim 12 further comprising a console disposed on a visible portion of said at least one handrail whereby said at least one physiological reading is displayed to said user.
13. An internet enabled exercise system and apparatus comprising:
an exercise apparatus capable of being connected to an electronic network;
means for sensing at least one physiological reading from a user and for preparing the sensed reading for use as a control signal;
means for displaying networked information to said user; and
means for adjusting the usability of said network information based on said control signal.
14. The internet enabled exercise system and apparatus according to claim 13 wherein said means for sensing at least one physiological reading is a rotary motion sensing device.
15. The internet enabled exercise system and apparatus according to claim 13 wherein said means for sensing at least one physiological reading is a heart-rate sensing device.
16. The internet enabled exercise system and apparatus according to claim 13 wherein said at least one physiological reading includes a heart-rate reading.
17. An exercise system and apparatus comprising:
at least one CPU with associated hardware and software for controlling said exercise system and apparatus;
an internet access device operatively connected to said CPU;
at least one sensing device for converting at least one physiological reading into useable input for said CPU; and
a display for displaying internet information wherein said display usability is varied based on the output from said at least one sensing device.
18. The exercise system and apparatus according to claim 17 wherein said internet access device is a modem.
19. The exercise system and apparatus according to claim 17 further comprising a console whereby at least one physiological reading is displayed to a user.
20. The exercise system and apparatus according to claim 17 wherein said at least one physiological reading includes a heart-rate reading.
US11/462,522 2006-08-04 2006-08-04 Internet Enabled Motivational Exercise System and Apparatus Abandoned US20080032864A1 (en)

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