1. I thought this was funny. Two reasons:

    a) Things have so many useless gadgets attached to them these days (remote control cushions, ‘smart’ hairbrushes, etc.), why not a GPS on a treadmill? A humorous comment on our tech-obsessed age.

    b) Like most people, he has the best intentions when buying exercise equipment, but knows he’ll never use it. The GPS will tell him exactly how far he’ll never go. (I know, I know, a treadmill doesn’t move, so a GPS would be useless in any case, but that’s kind of the absurd point which made me smile.)

  2. I think it’s just a long question he’s posing to the salesman. Complete the sentence with the omitted verb and remove the dash and it would probably be more clear:

    “Have you got anything with GPS so I can keep track of how far I haven’t gone?”

  3. But . . . does GPS keep track of mileage, or just give directions with mileage mentioned, but never recorded (‘In 300 feet, turn left’)?

  4. GPS stands for Global Positioning System. It uses a network of satellites to pinpoint your location on the Earth’s surface. Therefore, a GPS device can track where you’ve been and calculate the distances you’ve traveled. (It can also provide directions, but only if loaded with a maps database, which is technically a separate function from GPS. There are GPS devices that do not have mapping functions; they are still useful for things like geocaching.)

    I agree this was funny. These machines are for running and biking, but you don’t go anywhere. If they have GPSs, they could tell you just how far you’re not going!

  5. He probably means pedometer, which will tell him the distance he’ll have walked without going anywhere.

  6. He doesn’t mean pedometer. A pedometer is something you would actually use to track your steps. That would leave the strip without a joke.

  7. “A pedometer is something you would actually use to track your steps.”
    Exactly. So, using one for a regular walk, he’d know how far he has gone (X steps= Y miles real); but by using it on a treadmill, he’ll know how far he hasn’t gone (X steps= 0 mile real= Y miles virtual). Good enough joke for me.

  8. Andréa: That’s exactly what Fitbits do: count steps (and other things, but the main focus is counting steps).

  9. ” but by using it on a treadmill, he’ll know how far he hasn’t gone. Good enough joke for me.”

    How is that a joke? Knowing how far you’ve potentially but not actually gone is a very practical thing a person would want and something nearly all treadmills will have and a reasonable thing to ask for. And no-one with even the most extreme technical ignorance could confuse a pedometer with a GPS

    A GPS will not figuratively tell you how far you haven’t gone (= potentially did go). A GPS will *literally* tell you how far you haven’t gone (= how far you’ve stayed still=0) .

  10. @Woozy: because “I want to know how far I haven’t gone” sounds silly/funny to me in this context.

  11. I have a Garmin device that I use when I run, either outdoors or on the treadmill. Of course, the treadmill keeps track of how far it’s gone, but I like all of my exercises recorded in the Garmin software as well. For runs, the Garmin has two settings, Outdoor, which uses GPS to track distance, and Indoor which does not, but attempts to track distance using steps.
    Occasionally, I have accidentally started an outdoor run on the device when I’m running on the treadmill. Since it’s using the GPS, but I’m not actually going anywhere, the distance traveled is usually very small, but it does jump around sometimes due to GPS inaccuracies.

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