Title:
Versatile personal storage device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Embodiments of the present invention relate to a personal storage device comprising one or more containers and an adhesive removably affixable to skin.



Inventors:
Blum, Ronald D. (Roanoke, VA, US)
Gentiluomo, Andrew (Roanoke, VA, US)
Kokonaski, William (Gig Harbor, WA, US)
Duston, Dwight P. (Laguna Niguel, CA, US)
Lurie, Yoav (Durham, NC, US)
Yount, Emily (Vale, NC, US)
Boclair, Jennifer (Mechanicsville, VA, US)
Gruber, Aluma (Blacksburg, VA, US)
Thibodeau, Joseph A. (Springfield, VA, US)
Application Number:
10/912172
Publication Date:
06/23/2005
Filing Date:
08/06/2004
Assignee:
BLUM RONALD D.
GENTILUOMO ANDREW
KOKONASKI WILLIAM
DUSTON DWIGHT P.
LURIE YOAV
YOUNT EMILY
BOCLAIR JENNIFER
GRUBER ALUMA
THIBODEAU JOSEPH A.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
150/134, 206/38
International Classes:
A45C1/06; A45C11/18; A45C15/00; A45F5/00; A45F5/02; A45F; (IPC1-7): A45C15/00; A45C1/06; A45C11/18
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WEAVER, SUE A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP/HAK (2200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC, 20037, US)
Claims:
1. A personal storage device comprising a container associated with an attachment part, the container having an accessible interior space therein, and the attachment part being removably affixable to skin.

2. The personal storage device of claim 1, wherein the attachment part has an adhesive on a surface thereof.

3. The personal storage device of claim 1, wherein the container is removably affixable to the attachment part.

4. The personal storage device of claim 1, further comprising an opening for access to the interior space of the container.

5. The personal storage device of claim 4, further comprising a closure mechanism associated with the opening.

6. The personal storage device of claim 5, wherein the closure mechanism includes at least one of a zipper, a flap, a snap, a hook-and-loop fastener, or a button.

7. The personal storage device of claim 5, wherein the closure mechanism is operable to repeatedly open and re-seal the container.

8. The personal storage device of claim 5, wherein the closure mechanism is operable to form a waterproof or water-resistant seal.

9. The personal storage device of claim 2, wherein the adhesive is formed as a continuous layer on the attachment part.

10. The personal storage device of claim 2, wherein the adhesive is formed discontinuously on the attachment part.

11. The personal storage device of claim 2, wherein the adhesive is formed in a broken pattern on the attachment part.

12. The personal storage device of claim 2, wherein the adhesive is hypoallergenic.

13. The personal storage device of claim 2, wherein the adhesive is non-toxic.

14. The personal storage device of claim 2, wherein the adhesive is pressure-sensitive.

15. The personal storage device of claim 2, wherein the adhesive has a ball-tack coefficient ranging from 2 to 12 oz/inch.

16. The personal storage device of claim 2, wherein the adhesive is waterproof.

17. The personal storage device of claim 2, wherein the adhesive is water-resistant.

18. The personal storage device of claim 2, wherein the adhesive is sweat-proof.

19. The personal storage device of claim 2, wherein the adhesive is sweat-resistant.

20. The personal storage device of claim 2, wherein the adhesive requires a release agent for detachment from a thing adhered to.

21. The personal storage device of claim 2, wherein the adhesive is less adhesive to hair than it is to skin.

22. The personal storage device of claim 2, wherein the adhesive has wet and dry adhesion.

23. The personal storage device of claim 2, wherein the adhesive favors direction-specific forces for removal from a thing adhered to.

24. The personal storage device of claim 5, wherein the closure mechanism uses surfaces with co-adhesive properties.

25. The personal storage device of claim 2, wherein the adhesive includes a cyanoacrylate.

26. The personal storage device of claim 2, further comprising a non-adhesive removable release layer associated with the adhesive.

27. The personal storage device of claim 1, wherein the attachment part is removably affixable to surfaces other than human skin.

28. The personal storage device of claim 1, wherein the device includes an image thereon.

29. The personal storage device of claim 1, wherein the device includes a message thereon.

30. The personal storage device of claim 1, wherein the device includes any one of a pattern, a picture, a logo, a letter, a word, a number, or a graphical design or symbol thereon.

31. The personal storage device of claim 1, wherein the personal storage device has a tracking device associated therewith.

32. The personal storage device of claim 1, wherein tracking device uses Global Positioning System information to identify a location thereof.

33. The personal storage device of claim 1, further comprising a plurality of containers.

34. The personal storage device of claim 1, wherein materials of the device are flexible.

35. The personal storage device of claim 1, wherein materials of the device are stretchable or elastic.

36. The personal storage device of claim 1, wherein materials of the device are expandable.

37. The personal storage device of claim 1, wherein materials of the device are air-permeable or breathable.

38. The personal storage device of claim 1, further comprising a facing part formed on the attachment part, the facing part and the attachment part forming the container.

39. The personal storage device of claim 1, wherein the container is formed as a holder for a key or similarly dimensioned object.

40. The personal storage device of claim 1, wherein the device includes a changeable message or image.

41. The personal storage device of claim 40, further comprising a transparent sleeve to hold an insertable and removable message or image.

42. A temporary pocket that can be affixed directly to skin, wherein the pocket includes air-permeable materials in an attachment part thereof for attachment to the skin, the materials further being flexible to conform to the skin and muscles of a wearer.

43. The temporary pocket of claim 42, wherein the pocket is affixable to clothing.

44. The temporary pocket of claim 42, wherein the pocket includes stretchable materials.

45. The temporary pocket of claim 42, wherein an adhesive on the attachment part is stretchable.

46. The temporary pocket of claim 42, wherein the pocket is expandable.

47. The temporary pocket of claim 42, wherein the pocket is flexible.

48. The temporary pocket of claim 42, wherein the pocket is stretchable.

Description:

This application claims the benefit under 35 USC 119(e) of the following U.S. provisional applications, each of which is fully incorporated herein by reference:

    • application Ser. No. 60/492,743, filed Aug. 6, 2003;
    • application Ser. No. 60/540,973, filed Feb. 2, 2004;
    • application Ser. No. 60/548,430, filed Feb. 27, 2004;
    • application Ser. No. 60/566,094, filed Apr. 29, 2004; and
    • application Ser. No. 60/573,786, filed May 25, 2004.

BACKGROUND

Personal storage devices, such as pockets, purses, bags and the like have long been known. Known personal storage devices usually employ some sort of mechanism to permanently affix the device to clothing, or to hang or append the device from some part of the body. For example, pockets are usually permanently affixed to clothing with such mechanisms as sewing stitches, snaps, pins, buttons, Velcro®, magnets, and the like. Devices like purses, luggage, backpacks and so on, while not permanently affixed to the carrier, usually require a mechanism to append the device to the carrier, such as the straps and buckles of a typical purse or backpack, or the handles of luggage.

However, such known personal storage devices are often unsatisfactory, in particular for people engaged in activities such as nightlife, travel, and recreational athletics. Purses and travel gear, for example, can be cumbersome and interfere with the enjoyment of nightlife and travel. Any kind of baggage or accessory can impede the freedom of movement needed for athletic activities. Such considerations have propelled many to create makeshift solutions to their personal storage needs. For example, runners tie keys to their shoes or shorts and place identification in their undergarments, travelers sew new pockets into the inside of their clothes to store and safeguard valuables, and women at nightclubs simply give their possessions to others for safekeeping. However, market research suggests that such measures are also unsatisfactory to those who practice them.

Various other needs for placing or storing items on or near a person commonly arise. For example, medicines or medical equipment typically need to be near the person they are intended to treat. Diabetics need to have insulin readily available; people with heart conditions may need to carry cardiac monitors, and so on. However, often there exists no convenient or aesthetically pleasing mechanism for meeting such needs.

Accordingly, a personal storage system that addresses the disadvantages in conventional systems is needed.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Embodiments of the present invention relate to a personal storage device that is removably affixable to skin. In embodiments, the personal storage device may comprise one or more containers and an adhesive surface. The one or more containers may be used to store personal items such as keys, identification or other cards, documents or other valuables, while the adhesive surface enables the device to be affixed to skin. Thus, for example, the device may be used to conveniently carry valuables while affording freedom of movement, addressing the needs of persons engaged in recreational athletics. Further, for example, the device may be easily concealed beneath clothing, again while giving freedom of movement, making travel and nightlife activities, or for that matter any daily activity, more enjoyable. Additionally, the device may be used in many applications relating to medical needs, such as to hold medications, or mechanisms that collect medical data, conveniently and unobtrusively.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIGS. 1-13 show a personal storage device according to various embodiments of the present invention;

FIGS. 14 and 15 show examples of a personal storage device according to embodiments of the present invention in use;

FIG. 16 shows a tracking device that may be included in a personal storage device according to embodiments of the present invention; and

FIG. 17 shows a system for tracking and displaying the tracking device.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Embodiments of the present invention relate to a personal storage device comprising one or more containers and an adhesive surface removably affixable to skin. A container according to embodiments of the invention may be of any kind, including a pocket, pouch, sack, bag, sleeve, sheath, envelope, or the like, and may be of any construction, including of unitary or single-part construction, such as a single piece of material formed into a sack or bag, or of multi-part construction, such as two pieces of material joined to form an interior space, or straps or sleeves or netting or the like to retain an object.

FIG. 1 shows one possible embodiment. As shown in FIG. 1, a personal storage device 100 may comprise an attachment part 101, an outer or facing part 102, and adhesive 103. It should be understood that while FIG. 1 shows the adhesive 103 as a separate, distinct body or layer that is co-extensive with the attachment part 101, this is only for purposes of distinctly illustrating elements of the present invention. In actual practice, the adhesive 103 is on a surface of the attachment part 101. Specifically, the adhesive 103 may be on the surface of the attachment part 101 opposite the surface facing or adjoining the facing part 102. Thus, a surface of the facing part 102 opposite the adjoining surface of the attachment part 101 may face away or outwardly from a surface to which the attachment part 101 is attached by the adhesive 103. The adhesive 103 may be a continuous coating on a surface of the attachment part 101, and could be applied in some particular shape on a surface of the attachment part 101. Alternatively, the adhesive 103 could be applied in a discontinuous or segmented shape or discontinuous regular or irregular distribution on a surface of the attachment part 101.

Though not shown, in the embodiment of FIG. 1, the facing and attachment parts may be joined along edges thereof to form a container having an interior space. Access to the interior space may be provided by simply leaving an edge of each of the attachment and facing parts not joined. Alternatively or additionally, the personal storage device 100 may comprise an opening 104 and a closure mechanism 105 associated with the opening 104. The opening 104 may be a slit or other discontinuity in the material of the facing part 102 to provide access to the interior space. The closure mechanism 105 may have a corresponding opening 106 and be arranged over the opening 104 so that the opening 106 and the opening 104 coincide. The closure mechanism 105 may be fastened to an outer surface of the facing part 102. The closure mechanism 105 may further have a movable flap 107 that can be placed over the opening 104 to close it. In a typical use, the adhesive layer 103 coating the attachment part 101 may be applied to a person's skin to affix the personal storage device 100 to the person's body. An item or items may be placed in the interior space of the container formed by the facing and attachment parts via the opening, and carried about. The personal storage device may be subsequently removed from the skin, and either discarded or re-used.

FIG. 2 shows an alternative embodiment of a personal storage device 200. Device 200 comprises an attachment part 201 and a facing part 202 formed on or fastened to the attachment part 201 to form a container having an interior space. The attachment part 201 may have an adhesive on a surface thereof opposite the surface visible in FIG. 2, i.e., opposite to the surface to which the facing part 202 is fastened or formed on. The device 200 may further comprise a closure mechanism including mating zipper parts 204 and 205. The closure mechanism may be disengaged to form an opening 203 giving access to the interior space of the container formed by the facing part 202 and the attachment part 201.

FIGS. 3A and 3B show plan and perspective views, respectively, of another alternative embodiment of a personal storage device 300. The device 300 comprises an attachment part 301 and a facing part 302 formed on or fastened to the attachment part 301 to form a container. A closure mechanism of device 300 comprises a movable flap 303 and a fastening mechanism including mating snap parts 304 and 305.

FIGS. 4, 5 and 6 show further alternative embodiments. FIG. 4 shows a device 400 comprising an attachment part 401 and a facing part 402 formed on or fastened to the attachment part 401 to form a container. More specifically, the facing part may be joined along three edges thereof to the attachment part, while leaving a fourth edge not joined to the attachment part. An opening 403 may be thereby formed for access to the interior space of the container.

FIG. 5 shows a personal storage device 500 similar to that shown in FIG. 4 in that it includes an attachment part 501 and a facing part 502 formed on or fastened to the attachment part 501 to form a container, with an opening 503 for access to the interior space of the container. However, the embodiment of FIG. 5 further includes a second container 507 formed on or fastened to the facing part 502. The second container 507, for example, could be used as a holder for a key or similarly dimensioned object. The holder 507 may be formed by an entry opening 505 and an exit opening 508 in the facing part 502, with an extent of material between the entry opening 505 and the exit opening 508 forming a sleeve or sheath to retain an object such as a key 504 or similarly dimensioned object. An end opening 506 may further be provided in the facing part 502 for receiving and retaining an end of the key 504 or similarly dimensioned object.

FIG. 6 shows a personal storage device 600 adapted solely for holding a key or similarly dimensioned object. The device 600 may comprise an attachment part 601 and a facing part 602 formed on or fastened to the attachment part 601 to form a multi-part container. An upper opening 603 may be formed in the facing portion 602 to receive, within an upper part of the container, a head of a key 604 or similarly dimensioned object. An end opening 605 may further be provided in the facing part 602 to receive, within a lower part of the container, an end of the key 604 or similarly dimensioned object.

FIGS. 7, 8 and 9 show still further embodiments of the present invention. FIG. 7 shows an embodiment similar to that shown in FIG. 5, but with a second container such as a key holder oriented at an angle. FIG. 8 shows an embodiment similar to that shown in FIG. 6 in that it is adapted solely for solely for holding a key or similarly dimensioned object, but using a container like the container 507 of FIG. 5.

FIG. 9 shows a multi-container personal storage device 900 according to embodiments of the present invention. The device 900 comprises an attachment part 901 and a facing part 902 formed on or fastened to the attachment part 401 to form multiple containers 907 and 908. Container 907 is shown holding a credit card 909.

While the above has described a container formed from an attachment part and a facing part, in embodiments a container of the personal storage device, and an attachment part of the personal storage device, could be distinct and separable elements. For example, the container could be any of a pocket, pouch, sack, bag, sleeve, sheath, envelope, or the like, that is removably affixable to an attachment part, where the attachment part is in turn removably affixable to skin. For example, the attachment part could be a strip of material with an adhesive thereon for removably adhering to skin, and further with an attachment mechanism to removably attach a container thereto. For example, the attachment mechanism could include adhesive, a hook-and-loop fastener such as Velcro®, snaps, buttons or other fastening mechanisms.

Moreover, as noted earlier, the attachment part and the facing part of the container need not be distinct elements that are joined together. For example, the container may be a bag or pouch or the like of unitary or single-piece construction. An attachment part of a container of such unitary construction may be a surface thereof having an adhesive thereon, while a facing part of a container of such unitary construction may be a surface facing away or outwardly from a surface to which the attachment part is attached by the adhesive.

Materials that may be used to form a personal storage device according to embodiments of the present invention include natural and synthetic materials. The materials may be waterproof or water-resistant. The materials may include polymeric film, plastic foam, woven or non-woven fabric, knitted fabric, waterproof or water-resistant fabric, nylon, metal, leather, wood, plastic or any combination of the foregoing. The materials, including the adhesive, may be any one of, or combination of, flexible, stretchable or elastic, expandable, air-permeable, and capable of transferring heat. The attachment part, in particular, may be air-permeable, flexible, elastic, expandable and capable of transferring heat for user comfort. The container or containers of the personal storage device may be similarly air-permeable, flexible, elastic or stretchable, expandable, and capable of transferring heat. The present inventors have discovered that air-permeability or “breathability” of the materials of the personal storage device, including the adhesive, and flexibility, elasticity, expandability, stretchability and heat transfer capability thereof may be key factors in user comfort.

The container could have pleats to make it expandable like an accordion, and have dividers to form compartments in the container. Any kind of closure mechanism may associated with a personal storage device, including flaps, zippers and snaps as described above, and further including a hook-and-loop fastener such as Velcro®, buttons or other fastening or sealing mechanisms. The closure mechanism could be operable to repeatedly open and re-seal a container. The closure mechanism could create a waterproof or water-resistant seal. The closure mechanism could use surfaces with “co-adhesive” properties, such as are used in “self-sealing” envelopes. Surfaces with co-adhesive properties stick to each other, but do not stick or are less sticky when applied to other surfaces.

Human skin adhesion technology providing for a suitable degree of skin breathability, ease of removal, and convenient application of an adhesive according to embodiments of the present invention is well known, particularly, for example, in the bandage and the medical patches industries. Adhesives for such applications may include cyanoacrylates, for example. U.S. Pat. No. 6,495,229 (fully incorporated herein by reference), for example, relates to a bandage invention, and describes numerous possible options for hypoallergenic, skin-friendly adhesive. Thus, adhesive associated with the attachment part may include a rubber-based pressure-sensitive adhesive or acrylic-based pressure-sensitive adhesive. The adhesive may be a hypoallergenic, non-toxic pressure-sensitive adhesive. The adhesive may be designed to have a desired adhesive strength combined with a desired level of ease of removal by, for example, controlling tackiness coefficients of the adhesive. For example, research suggests that a ball-tack coefficient ranging from 2 to 12 oz/inch will provide painless adhesion to a range of skin types, including dry, oily and sensitive skin. Strength of adhesion, breathability and removability may also be controlled by a distribution of adhesive in various patterns and shapes. As noted earlier, the adhesive may be applied in some discontinuous or broken distribution on a surface of the attachment part. In such a distribution, parts of the attachment part would not have adhesive thereon, while others would. The broken distribution could have some regular pattern, such as a checkerboard pattern, but could also be irregular. The adhesive may be waterproof or water-resistant. Similarly, the adhesive may be sweat-proof or sweat-resistant. The adhesive may be air-permeable (breathable), stretchable, elastic or expandable.

Known technologies for creating waterproof/water-resistant and/or sweat-proof/sweat-resistant adhesives are noted. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 6,514,606 (incorporated fully herein by reference) describes an acrylic pressure-sensitive adhesive for use on human skin, where the acrylic pressure-sensitive adhesive may comprise at least one vinyl ester selected from the group consisting of alkyl (meth) acrylates, 1 or 3 carbon atoms in the alkyl moiety, vinyl acetate and N-methyl-2-pyrrolindone. The acrylic pressure-sensitive adhesive may also comprise an acrylic pressure-sensitive adhesive than contains at least one hydroxyl group and carboxyl group. The acrylic component and a hydroxyalkyl (meth) acrylate or meth acrylic acid as a comonomer copolymerizable therewith.

Embodiments of the present invention may provide both wet and dry adhesion to the skin. For example, the device may be placed on dry skin that later is moistened by perspiration or activities such as swimming or other water sports. An example of technology for providing such a feature is noted in U.S. Pat. No. 6,441,092, incorporated fully herein by reference. U.S. Pat. No. 6,441,092 discloses a wet skin adhesive that includes a pressure-sensitive adhesive component that includes at least one monoethylenically unsaturated (meth) acrylic acid ester comprising an alkyl group having at least 4 carbons on average and at least one monoethylenically unsaturated reinforcing monomer; and a film-forming component that includes at least one monoethylenically unsaturated (meth) acrylic acid ester comprising an alkyl group having less than 4 carbons on average and at least one hydrophilic acidic monomer; wherein the wet-stick pressure sensitive adhesive has an initial wet skin of at least about 0.8 N/dm. Advantageously, the wet-stick adhesive has an initial wet skin adhesion that is at least about 65% of an initial dry skin adhesion.

Incorporated fully herein by reference, U.S. Pat. No. 5,891,957 discusses a pressure sensitive adhesive composition for skin adhesion and bandage applications which comprises (a) 100 parts by weight of a styrene-isoprene-styrene triblock or multiarm copolymer which has a coupling efficiency of 20 to 50%, an overall absolute arm molecular weight of 33,000 to 100,000, a polystyrene content of 18 to 30%, and a polystyrene block weight average molecular weight of 11,000 to 20,000, and (b) from 100 to 400 parts by weight of a styrene-isoprene diblock copolymer which has an overall absolute molecular weight of 20,000 to 40,000, a polystyrene content of 10 to 25%, and a polystyrene block weight average molecular weight of 4000 to 7000.

An adhesive according to embodiments of the present invention may have “super” holding power and require a release agent for detachment from a thing adhered to. Additionally or alternatively, an adhesive according to embodiments may be designed with an affinity to skin but not to hair. An adhesive according to embodiments could be designed to favor direction-specific forces for removal from a thing adhered to: i.e., the adhesive may detach from a surface more readily when force is applied in one direction as opposed to another.

Embodiments of the present invention may further comprise a non-adhesive removable release layer 1000 as shown in FIG. 10 covering or otherwise associated with the adhesive on the attachment part to facilitate ease of handling. In FIG. 10, the release layer 1000 is shown with a personal storage device 400 of the style discussed with reference to FIG. 4, but any style could include a release layer. The release layer may be removed (e.g. peeled off) to expose the adhesive prior to application of the attachment part to the skin.

A personal storage device according to embodiments of the present invention may also be removably affixable to surfaces other than human skin. For example, a personal storage device may also be removably affixable to clothing or accessories such as purses, backpacks or luggage. The personal storage device could be designed to have an appearance such that it blended in with its surroundings, so as to be camouflaged. For example, the personal storage device could be flesh-colored. In embodiments, the adhesive may be applied to the attachment part post-purchase by a consumer.

Embodiments of the present invention may further comprise a texture, an image, a message, or a stylized facade, either solely or in any combination. The latter elements could be added to or formed on or from the facing part and/or a facing surface of the attachment part (i.e., a surface of the attachment part opposite the surface with adhesive) to create a more fashionable, personalized appearance for consumers. The image and/or message could be permanent or changeable. To implement a changeable image and/or message, for example, a transparent sleeve could be formed on or from the facing part, and different images and/or messages could be inserted into and removed from the sleeve. In the embodiment discussed with reference to FIG. 4, for example, the facing part 402 could be a transparent sleeve. The images and/or messages could include a pattern, a picture, a logo, a letter, a word, a number, a graphical design or symbol, or the like, either solely or in any combination. The messages could be advertising messages, for example.

FIGS. 11-13 show examples of the above. FIG. 11 shows a personal storage device 1100 of a style similar to that discussed with reference to FIG. 8, above, with a decorative graphic or symbol 1101 thereon. FIG. 12 shows a personal storage device 1200 of the style discussed with reference to FIG. 4, above, with a decoration or pattern 1201 and a brand name 1202 thereon. FIG. 13 shows a personal storage device 1300 of the style discussed with reference to FIG. 3A, above, with an advertising logo 1301 1302 thereon.

FIGS. 14 and 15 show examples of a personal storage device in use. FIG. 14 shows a personal storage device 1400 affixed to clothing, i.e., to the shorts of the runner on the left side of the figure. FIG. 14 further shows a personal storage device 1400 affixed to the skin of the right leg of the runner on the right side of the figure. FIG. 15 shows a personal storage device 1500 affixed to the skin of the left leg of a person about to dive into a swimming pool.

Embodiments of the present invention may further include a tracking device. Such a feature could be useful, for example, in tracking the whereabouts of young children, disabled or elderly people, pets or others. FIG. 16 shows a tracking device 1600 according to possible embodiments. The tracking device 1600 may comprise, for example, a GPS (Global Positioning System) receiver and location transmitter circuit module 1603, a power source 1602, an antenna(s) (not shown), and a protective covering or laminate 1601 for the module and power source. A waterproof or water-resistant container such as an envelope could also be provided for the tracking device. The tracking device 1600, or tracking device plus envelope, could be placed within a container of a personal storage device according to embodiments of the present invention and used to track a wearer. The tracking device might be removable from the container and re-usable in a different container. Or, the container plus tracking device might be removable from the attachment part and re-usable with a different attachment part. The attachment part in this case could be an adhesive strip.

All or part of the tracking device could incorporated into or integrated with material of the personal storage device. For example, thin or flexible batteries, power cells (e.g., solar cells) or antennas could be embedded in a material of the personal storage device. Or, all or part of the tracking device could be, for example, sealed into a sub-compartment of the container.

FIG. 17 shows an operation of the personal storage device with tracking device. A personal storage device 1700 may include a tracking device 1600 therein. The tracking device 1600 receives signals 1701 from a GPS satellite telling the device 1600 its location. The tracking device 100, in turn, sends signals 1702 including the location information to a cell phone tower 1703, which sends signals 1704 with the location information to a cell phone 1705. The cell phone 1705 may include a display window 1706 and digital logic for translating the location information into a map display on the window, showing the location 1707 of the tracking device. Though the example of FIG. 17 has illustrated communication via a cellular network, the tracking device may use any communication method, including via any wireless network, the Internet, a paging system, a broadcast system, a radio communication link, and the like. Devices for receiving location information from the tracking device may further include, for example, a PDA unit or personal or business computer.

Embodiments of a personal storage device according to the present invention may further include a light (e.g., an LED or light-emitting diode) and a power source (e.g., a battery), personal electronics, reflective elements, transparent or translucent materials, biodegradable portions, edible portions capable of being consumed for nutritional or energy purposes, RFID (radio frequency identification) components, structures for add-on accessories such as pagers, cell phones or MP3 players, accommodation (e.g. a pocket or pockets) for bus passes, tickets, identification cards and the like, specific containment properties for medications, a capability for medication delivery via the adhesive, accommodation for refuse, specific containment properties for containing and/or protecting eyewear (e.g., glasses, sunglasses, contact lenses and solution), accommodation for travel receipts, accommodation for athletic or exercise products such as energy gels, power bars and powders, accommodation for “Post-It” notes, scented materials such as deodorant (could be incorporated into device materials), accommodation for hormones, pheromones, etc., accommodation for Kleenex, paper towels or the like for cleaning, accommodation for programmable elements such as a microprocessor and memory chip to receive, e.g., personal identification data, an “electronic wallet” and so on, or accommodation for a timer, alarm or stopwatch. “Accommodation” and “specific containment properties” as used above means that the personal storage device may have structural features specifically for accommodating the noted items. For example, the personal storage device may have openings, contours, windows, compartments, retaining members or the like to accommodate and/or retain structural and/or operational features of the noted items.

Embodiments of the invention could further function as a bandage. Embodiments of the invention may include time indicators that, for example, change color or appearance over a certain duration of time when activated. Embodiments of the invention may be disposable and re-usable.

As discussed in the introductory portion, embodiments of the present invention may find useful applications (in addition to those noted above) in the storage and delivery of medicines and/or medical devices. For example, many medical pumps, such as insulin pumps, are nowadays quite small, perhaps on the order of a cell phone, and could be conveniently and unobtrusively carried in a personal storage device according to embodiments of the present invention. Mechanisms that collect medical data, such as event monitors, cardiac monitors, glucose monitors, blood pressure monitors and others, are also becoming smaller and smaller and thus well-suited for accommodation in a personal storage device according to embodiments of the present invention. The personal storage device may have structural features specifically for accommodating such devices. For example, the personal storage device may have openings, contours, windows, compartments, retaining members or the like to accommodate and/or retain hoses or wires or batteries or electronics or information readouts or the like associated with medical devices.

Several embodiments of the present invention are specifically illustrated and/or described herein. However, it will be appreciated that modifications and variations of the present invention are covered by the above teachings and within the purview of the appended claims without departing from the spirit and intended scope of the invention.