Patexia. Research
Issue Date Mar 15, 2012
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Patent Application - GARMENT POCKET FOR TOUCH SCREEN MOBILE DEVICES > Description

Description

This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/383,237 filed on Sep. 15, 2010 and incorporated herein in its entirety by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to securing electronic devices to clothing. More particularly, it relates to a garment pocket configured for employment with electronic devices for storage and transport and use by employing a touch screen.

2. Prior Art

Conventionally, handheld electronic devices such as phones, beepers, and smartphone devices, when not in use, are stored in a pants pocket, purse, belt holder, or the like. With advances in technology, the use of these devices has grown from simply making a phone call or listening to music, to also browsing the web and sending emails. As such, the frequency of use of what has evolved into smartphones is predominantly growing in our day and age. Users thus are continually retrieving and replacing the device from and to the conventional pants pocket or purse over the day.

This can become a nuisance and risk of dropping and breaking the device becomes more prevalent due to the increased handling of the device. The price of replacing or repairing these devices is very costly, especially with the advancement in touch screen technology electronics in combination with smartphones. These matters have driven the need to secure such devices to a user's clothing in a fashion allowing for swift and effortless retrieval and re-storage.

Prior art has addressed this need and can be found in U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,253,379 to Collier, 5,305,181 to Schultz, 5,924,136 to Ogean, 6,563,424 to Kaario, and 4,731,883 to Foster. However such prior art does not provide permanent engagement to a garment needed for proper security nor adequately allow the user to easily interface with and employ a touch screen operated device.

As such, there is a continuing unmet need for an improved device which will securely engage handheld electronics to a garment. Such a device should secure such electronic devices at a location rendering them easily accessible to the user. Similarly, such a device and method of employment should provide a means for the user to employ the ever-changing pace of handheld technology specifically with that of touch screen interface electronic devices.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The device herein disclosed and described overcomes the shortcomings of prior art and achieves the above-mentioned goals through the provision of an electronic device pocket formed into a garment sleeve, located near the wrist. The disclosed device provides an opening for which to insert a handheld touch screen interface electronic device for both storage and use over the prior art therein.

The sleeve and pocket architecture of the disclosed device is formed of reinforced webbing, elastic or other means to prevent the device and pocket from shifting position during the sometimes rapid or bumpy movements by the user. Similarly, channeled pull straps about the perimeter of the pocket can be employed to additionally secure the electronic device to sleeve of the garment proximate to the wrist of the user. This is a preferred mode of the device as the added structural support will reduce the user-perceived weight of the electronic device by spreading it to the entire arm and shoulder. This re-distribution of weight severs as a means to reduce fatigue to the user's arm after wearing the device for an extended period of time. As well, the material encapsulating the electronic device may be thermally and electronically insulated and thereby provide a means to shield the wearer from potential harmful EMF radiation generated by the device or heat from a discharging battery.

A transparent window membrane provides a means for the user to view the display upon the enclosed electronic device. Further, the membrane if formed of material, which is compatible with, and therefor allow use of touch screen technology.

The stored electronic device is thus capable of use in a conventional fashion through the employment of icon-based touch screen interfacing in a conventional fashion through the transparent membrane without the need to remove it. The transparent membrane also provides a secondary means for securing the touch screen device to the sleeve and a means to prevent moisture from contacting the smart device during use.

Additionally, the structural support provided by the elasticized pocket to the touch screen operated electronic device is of such a significance to allow for the temporary or permanent removal of the transparent membrane, to allow a means for direct finger contact with the touch screen device for shorter or longer durations if needed. This aspect may deem a more favorable operational mode for electronic devices with extremely sensitive touch screens.

In a preferred mode the disclosed device will incorporate a protective flap to overlap the touch screen device and covering the transparent window membrane. This provides a protective means for more security and protection against damage from abrasion, impact, or moisture. The protective flap may be sewn into one side of the pocket, and can be lifted to expose the electronic device. The flap may also be secured to the sleeve by hook and loop type fasteners. The fastener type should not be considered limiting while this example was simply given for demonstration purposes, other means for such securement as would occur to those skilled in the art such as a snap fit of fasteners of the like, should be considered within the scope of this invention.

Additionally, the operative and protective pocket described herein may also accommodate connecting the electronic device to earphones or microphones by means of a placket inside the pocket material allowing a connection wire to be fed into the pocket and to the electronic device. Additionally, a conduit communicating along the garment fabric from the pocket to an exit aperture on the shoulder area, proximate to the head, may house the headphone or microphone wire while neatly securing it to the garment. A zipper or other means of removable closure of the conduit, such as hook and loop fastener, provides the user with a means to place the wire within the conduit without having to ‘feed’ it through.

It yet another particularly preferred mode the protective pocket of the disclosed device may be removably engaged to the garment by a removable engagement means such as hook and loop fasteners, snap fits, or fasteners of the like. The removable pocket, frame or case may be engaged to the sleeve either under or over the protective flap if a protective flap is used. The removable engagement means of the protective pocket allows for both sleeve mounted protective means as well as handheld protective means when desired by the user.

With respect to the above description, before explaining at least one preferred embodiment of the herein disclosed invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and to the arrangement of the components in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. The invention herein described is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced and carried out in various ways which will be obvious to those skilled in the art. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting.

As such, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the conception upon which this disclosure is based may readily be utilized as a basis for designing of other structures, methods and systems for carrying out the several purposes of the present disclosed device for operative storage and transport of graphic display based electronic devices. It is important, therefore, that the claims be regarded as including such equivalent construction and methodology insofar as they do not depart from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

It is an object of this invention to provide a means for a secure and accessible engagement of electronic devices to a garment through the provision of a sewn in pocket proximate to the wrist of a user.

It is another object of the invention to provide a shielded barrier to the wearer from potentially harmful radiation and/or heat produced by electronic devices.

It is yet another object of the invention to incorporate a touch screen compatible transparent window member to allow for unabated accessability while in the as-used position and still protect the device against moisture and dust.

A further object of this invention is the composition of material comprising of reinforced webbing, elastic fabric, or other means to prevent the electronic device once inserted from shifting or dislodging from the pocket during fast movement or impact.

Still yet another object of this invention is the provision of a draw string or other type fastener to supply added support and security to the electronic device.

A yet further object of the device is to provide distribution of weight of the engaged electronic device to the entire arm by the provision of previously mentioned means for securing and engaging the electronic.

It is still yet another object of the present invention to provide a means to connect communication wires to the electronic device via a conduit extending from the electronic device to the shoulder area of the garment.

Still another object of the present invention is to allow for removable engagement of the protective pocket to provide a temporary handheld protective means.

These together with other objects and advantages which become subsequently apparent reside in the details of the construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part thereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWING FIGURES

FIG. 1 depicts a view of the device with protective flap engaged about the pocket.

FIG. 2 depicts a perspective view of one preferred mode of the device showing the insertion of an electronic device from outside the forearm section of the garment with protective flap in the open position.

FIG. 2a depicts another preferred mode of the device having a zipper engaged along the surface of an arm of the garment.

FIG. 3 depicts a perspective view of another mode of the device showing insertion along the forearm of the garment with protective flap in the open position.

FIG. 3a depicts a shielding layer forming or attached to the rear wall which may be included in a preferred mode of the device.

FIG. 3b depicts an wideband antenna which may be positioned within the flap and in a communication with the antenna on an electronic device engaged within the device pocket.

FIG. 3c shows a mode of the device having both the antenna and shielding layer and having a formed aperture for communication of the device with the antenna.

FIG. 4 shows yet another mode of the device without the incorporation of a protective flap and showing the material and architecture of the invention providing a distribution of weight.

FIG. 5 shows the removable engagement of the pocket of the device providing a handheld protective means.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

Now referring to drawings in FIGS. 1-5, wherein similar components are identified by like reference numerals, there is seen in FIG. 1 a preferred mode of the device 10 depicted as part and upon a garment 30 and preferably located on the sleeve 32 in the forearm area of a wearer and user. In this preferred mode of the device 10 it is formed as a unitary component with the garment 30 by either sewing and forming the device integral to the sleeve of the garment 30, or by an engagement to the sleeve of the garment through the employment of sewing or other means of engaging the various components forming the device 10 to the garment 30 during manufacture of the garment 30.

The device 10 depicted in the various figures should not be considered limiting in any fashion as to location and consequently it may be employed on either sleeve 32 although the device 10 is shown on left sleeve 32 in depictions in this disclosure. Similarly, the positioning of the device 10 along the forearm of the sleeve 32 may be different due to user preference or the actual electronic component to be housed in the pocket of the device 10 herein disclose.

The disclosed device 10 as shown in FIG. 1 is depicted in the closed mode, wherein the protective flap 14 is engaged over the transparent membrane 24 and protecting the pocket housing 31 within. In this closed position, as shown in FIG. 1, one or a combination of a pull tab 15 and drawstrings 16 provide means to maintain the flap 14 in a closed position and covering the membrane 24 (FIG. 2).

Also as shown, in FIGS. 1, and 2a, an electronic device 20 engaged within the pocket housing 31 is provided with a means for the weight of the electronic device 20 (FIG. 2) to be evenly spread throughout the wearers sleeve 32 will be described subsequently.

A communication conduit 23 is sized for enclosure of a wire or wires therein, for instance earphones or a microphone, is seen extending along the sleeve 32 of the garment 30. An entrance aperture 27 is located proximate to the pocket housing 31 and adjacent to the electronic device 20 (FIG. 2), while the exit aperture 29 is present near the shoulder or neck area of the garment 30 proximate the head of a user wearing the garment in an as-used mode. The conduit 23 is formed by overlapping layers of fabric forming the sleeve and the closure, to thereby surround any wires placed therein. In a particularly preferred mode, removal and installation of a communication wire is accomplished through the provision of a zipper 25 to provide access to the conduit 23 through a surrounding sidewall, or other means of removable closure of the conduit 23. Alternatively, the conduit 23 may not employ a closure and would be formed by sewing fabric on the sleeve appropriately, and a communication wire will be fed through from the entrance aperture 27 to the exit aperture 29. The closure might also be hook and loop fabric or snaps or any in combination if so desired.

Particularly preferred however is the zipper 25 (FIGS. 1 and 2a) or hook and loop fabric with a non-stretch backing, or a similar elongated closure, which employs conventional engaging halves of the zipper 25 which are sewn or otherwise engaged to opposing sidewall sections. Such non stretching elongated closure such as the zipper 25 is preferably engaged to opposing sidewalls of the conduit 23 which is extends from the shoulder of the garment, along the sleeve 32 to the pocket housing 31 of the device 10 on the sleeve 32. This mode of opening and closure of the conduit 23 is particularly preferred because an non-stretching closure such as the zipper 25, engaged between the shoulder area of the garment on one end, and to the pocket housing 31 and attached pocket 22, on the forearm of the sleeve 32 on the opposite end, and running along the sleeve 32 itself, provides a means to support the weight of an electronic device 20 in the pocket housing 31. Thus, the zipper 25 or non-stretching attached conduit closure, in addition to providing access to the elongated conduit 23 on the sleeve 32, provides a means to prevent the sleeve 32 from stretching as would occur with conventional woven or knitted fabric over time due when the weight of the electronic device 20 with the sleeve in a vertical position below the shoulder. Thus the zipper 25, with the engaging teeth and fabric portions, or hook and loop fabric with a non-stretch backing, provides a means to resists this stretching from the force of the weight of the electronic device 20 placed in the pocket 22 of the pocket housing 31, and provides a means to maintain sleeve length by resist stretching. Further, the user may easily place wires within the formed conduit by opening and closing the chosen closure.

FIG. 2 depicts a perspective view of the device 10 with protective flap 14 in an open position, and unsecured on at least three side edges such that it will rotate away from the forearm of the user. This provides the user access to employ the electronic device 20 in the underlying pocket, and to view any display thereon through the transparent membrane 24.

When closed as in FIG. 1, the protective flap 14 is secured to the sleeve, about at least one side edge, and preferably the perimeter 18 of the flap 14 which parallels that of the pocket housing 31 and underlying pocket 22. Such securement may be by means of one or a combination of hook and loop fastener, snap fasteners, a zipper, or other fasteners of the like as would occur to those skilled in the art. In the closed position the flap 14 protects the transparent membrane 24 and the screen of the electronic device 20 from both abrasion and impact damage. Conventional padding such as bubblepack or gel (not shown), or other means of padding may be included in the flap 14 structure to enhance this protective quality.

The electronic device 20 in FIG. 2, is seen inserted into the pocket 22 of the pocket housing 31, in an as-used position, on the user's sleeve 32. As noted, the protective flap 14 when secured thereover, provides a means to close off the pocket 22 opening as well as provide protection to the transparent window membrane 24 from abrasion and to protect the delicate screen of the electronic device 20 from impact damage.

The pocket 22 is defined by a front wall 47 shown as the transparent membrane 24 as depicted in FIG. 2, and a rear wall 49. The front wall 47 is provided by window membrane 24 which is composed of a material which allows communication of the electrically active or conductive element required to operate the enclosed touch screen and thereby allows the user to employ the touch screen capabilities to operate the electronic device 20. Many touch screen displays 24 employ software and modes of resistance and/or capacitance as the electrically active means for input to the electronic device 20 and to ascertain user input with a touch or dragging of icons projected on the display 24. The membrane 24 is formed of conventional transparent plastic material adapted to allow this finger activated electrical communication to occur. Concurrently, with its substantially transparent structure, the membrane 24 allows a viewing of the screen.

Additionally, the membrane 24 functioning as the front wall 47, continuously provides a means to secure the electronic device 20 within the pocket 22 and onto the sleeve 32, while affording protection to the electronic device 20 from contact with moisture such as rain, which can cause serious harm to the electronic device 20, as well as impacts and scratching from abrasion.

In one preferred mode of the device 10, a drawstrings 16 is channeled about the perimeter 18 of the pocket 22 of the pocket housing 31. This drawstring 16 when pulled tight by the user, shrinks the perimeter of the fabric pocket 22, and provides a means to further secure the electronic device 20 in the as-used position by providing an inward bias to the perimeter of the pocket 22.

Another preferred mode of the device 10 is seen in FIG. 3. In this mode, the electronic device 20 is inserted along the length of the sleeve 32 into the pocket 22 in the as-used position. Again, the protective flap 14 is secured to the sleeve 32 on at least one edge, in a manner such as sewing, to form a fabric hinge and allow it to rotate away from the pocket 22 to expose the underlying transparent window membrane 24. At least the opposite edge from the sewn fabric hinge, and preferably all other edges of the flap 14 covering the pocket housing 31, allow for removable securement. The edges may be secured by means of one or a combination of removably engageable fasteners such as hook and loop 17 type fasteners, snaps, a zipper, buttons, or other fasteners as would occur to those skilled in the art about the perimeter 18 of the pocket 22.

FIG. 3a depicts another particularly preferred component of the device 10 which while optional, provides utility to the user. Depicted forming the rear wall 49 surface, is an RF shield 33 formed of an electrical conductor as an RF transmission prevention material. It may be placed as the rear wall 49 or may be in a layer below the fabric portion of the rear wall 49 of the pocket 22 opposing the front wall 47 formed by the transparent membrane 24. The RF shield 33 is formed of a flexible material having metallic properties such that it substantially prevents RF energy from passing therethrough. The shield 33 thus protects the user from RF energy being transmitted through their arm when the electronic device 20 is sending or receiving data and can also act as a ground plane.

The shield 33 may be incorporated into any version or mode of the device 10 herein and is particularly preferred to prevent RF exposure. Material which lends itself to being flexible yet shielding RF includes flexible or woven or knitted conductor material such as Mylar, Nickel or Copper or a metal or silver-coated polyester or nylon mesh. Other flexible fabrics having conductivity as would occur to those skilled in the art may be employed.

FIG. 3b depicts an especially preferred mode of the device 10 herein wherein a wideband antenna 37, preferably omnidirectional, is positioned on or within the flap 14 as in FIG. 3c or on the sleeve itself as in FIG. 3b. The antenna 37 is configured for an electronic communication with the antenna of the enclosed electronic device 20 such as a cellphone or PDA. The antenna 37 being of may be of wideband transmit and receive construction, and adapted for transmission and receipt on the frequencies employed currently by cell phones and computer devices including the 2.4, 3.6 and 5 GHz frequency bands, and wifi in the 1710 2700 MHZ frequency range. Wider band antennas are conventionally available and any antenna that would occur to those skilled in the art are considered within the scope of this application.

The antenna 37 can be hardwired to the electronic device 20 with the appropriate lead wire 39, or in a particularly preferred mode, the antenna 37 will be in a parasitic electronic engagement to the antenna of the electronic device 20 as in FIGS. 3b-3c. Such parasitic engagements are well known and can be adapted to a particular electronic device 20 to enhance both transmission and reception thereof. This is because the antenna 37 in the flap 14 or the sleeve, may be made larger than that of the electronic device 20 and omni directional, as well as frequency favoring or specific. Consequently the electronic device 20 performance can be enhanced, particularly when the electronic device 20 has a poor antenna design which is easily blocked or inhibited when held in the hand.

Configuring the device 10 with a parasitic antenna engagement can be optimized such as in FIGS. 3c and 3b wherein an antenna lead 41 is of a correct length, and positioned to be proximate to the antenna of a device inserted into the pocket. As shown in FIG. 3c, if the preferred shield 33 is employed, an aperture 43 may provided in the shielding 33 to allow the parasitic engagement. Alternatively, the full shield 33 may be employed, and a material which is a non-conductor may be placed between the shield 33 and the parasitic lead 41. A rear portion of shield 33 would preferably be positioned behind the lead 41 and spaced therefrom with an appropriate determined layer of a dialectic in-between. This would maintain the RF shielding to the user and allow the electronic engagement of the antenna 37 to the housed electronic device 20. The depicted shield 33 and antenna 37 may be employed in combination or singularly in any mode of the device 10 herein.

FIG. 4 shows yet another preferred mode of the device 10. In this mode the protective flap 14 has been removed or rendered temporarily removable by employment of a removably engageable fastener on the rotational or fabric-hinged edge such as hook and loop fabric 17. A means of securement of the electronic device 20 within the pocket 22 is provided via drawstrings 16, a window membrane 24, and fabric 26. The fabric 26 employed may be an elastic fabric, reinforced webbing, or fabric of the like as described earlier to provide a means to disperse the perceived weight of the electronic device 20 about a larger area of the sleeve 32 and forearm of the user and is integrated into the material of the sleeve 32. This mode may be preferred if extended use of the touch screen device 20 in the as-used position is desired and where continual use of the protective flap 14 becomes a nuisance.

FIG. 5 shows still yet another particularly preferred mode of the device 10 with the pocket 22 being removably engaged to the sleeve 32 by a removable engagement means such as one or a combination of snaps, hook and loop fabric 17 about the perimeter 19. A casing 21 or cover or other engaged means to hold the electronic component 20 may also be employed. Other removable engagement means such as snap fasteners or pin fasteners or the like may also be employed and hook and loop fastener material 17 while flexible and particularly preferred, is depicted for demonstrative purposes and should not be considered limiting.

This mode of the device 10, allows the user to temporarily employ the electronic device 20 along with protective pocket 22 and membrane 24, with the formed casing 21, in a handheld manner and easily secure it back to the sleeve 32 of the garment when desired. It must be noted that such a casing 21 and removable engagement means may be employed in all modes of the device 10 previously presented. The removable pocket 22 may be engaged to the sleeve 32, either under or over the protective flap 14, if a protective flap 14 is employed. In all modes of removable engagement of the casing 21 having a pocket 22, the functional control of the electronic device 20 is maintained.

It should be further noted, that it is especially preferred that the present device 10 in all modes employ electromagnetic shield 33 material between the pocket 22 and the user's skin, to provide a means to protect the wearer against potentially dangerous EMF radiation generated by such electronic device 20 and noted above. Further, the shield 33 provides a means to protect the user against the annoyance or injury from heat generated by the dissipating battery operating the electronic device 20 in the as-used position. Conducting metallic based shielding or shield 33 will when positioned as the rear wall 47 or adjacent to the rear wall 47 of the pocket 22, act as a heat sink for such heat as well as an RF shield. However bubble pack, gel, or other insulating fabrics may be used in addition to the shielding 33 to protect against heat.

While all of the fundamental characteristics and features of the garment pocket for touch screen mobile devices system have been shown and described herein, with reference to particular embodiments thereof, a latitude of modification, various changes and substitutions are intended in the foregoing disclosure and it will be apparent that in some instances, some features of the invention may be employed without a corresponding use of other features without departing from the scope of the invention as set forth. It should also be understood that various substitutions, modifications, and variations may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention. Consequently, all such modifications and variations and substitutions as would occur to those skilled in the art, are included within the scope of the disclosed system and apparatus herein as defined, but not limited, by the following claims.