At least that’s the thrust of a patent the company applied for, which involves a “sports equipment apparatus” with smart components to let it interface with an iPod or iPhone.
The patent application, made public yesterday by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) specifies the “circuits, method and apparatus” that allow sports equipment to write data to a media player. It cites cardio equipment specifically, and provides diagrams of how the interface would work with a treadmill.
Most likely Apple is not going to introduce an Apple-branded treadmill. Instead, they patented this so that they could charge a royalty if someone else creates a treadmill with an iPod port.