Title:
Glow chair
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A seating structure includes a frame, a seat, a bracket housing, a translucent seat back, and an illumination source. The seat and a bracket housing is connected to the frame. A translucent seat back is placed inside the bracket housing and an illumination source emits light into the translucent seat back to cause the translucent seat back to glow. A second seating structure also includes a color changing apparatus. The second seating structure includes a seat and a bracket housing that is connected to the frame. The seat back is connected to the bracket housing. An illumination source emits a first color of light into the seat back to cause the translucent seat back to glow. A color changing apparatus causes the illumination source to change from emitting the first color into the seat back to emitting a second color of light into the seat back.



Inventors:
Gharabegian, Armen Sevada (Glendale, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/168137
Publication Date:
04/27/2006
Filing Date:
06/27/2005
Assignee:
LOUNGE 22 LLC (Glendale, CA, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C7/72
View Patent Images:
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20070007812Seat areaJanuary, 2007Doricko
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Primary Examiner:
EDELL, JOSEPH F
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PILLSBURY WINTHROP SHAW PITTMAN LLP (P.O BOX 10500, McLean, VA, 22102, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A seating structure, comprising: a frame including at least one support leg; a seat connected to the frame to support a person; a bracket housing connected to the frame; a translucent seat back placed inside the bracket housing to support the person's back; and an illumination source to emit light into the translucent seat back to cause the translucent seat back to glow.

2. The seating structure of claim 1, where the translucent seat back includes a second illumination source to emit a second color of light into the translucent seat back.

3. The seating structure of claim 2, wherein the second illumination source lights up a logo which is displayed in the translucent seat back.

4. The seating structure of claim 1, wherein the translucent seat back is frosted.

5. The seating structure of claim 1, wherein the illumination source is powered by a power source and the power source is attached to the frame.

6. The seating structure of claim 1, wherein the illumination source is powered by a power source and the power source is located in the bracket housing.

7. The seating structure of claim 1, wherein the illumination source includes a plurality of light emitting diodes.

8. A seating structure, comprising: a frame including at least one support leg; a seat connected to the frame to support a person; a bracket housing connected to the frame; a seat back connected to the bracket housing to support the person's back; an illumination source to emit a first color of light into the seat back to cause the translucent seat back to glow; and a color changing apparatus to cause the illumination source to change from emitting the first color into the seat back to emitting a second color of light into the seat back.

9. The seating structure of claim 8, wherein illumination source includes a LED strip, the LED strip including a plurality of LEDs, wherein the plurality of LEDs emit at least two colors.

10. The seating structure of claim 8, wherein the support structure has two support legs.

11. The seating structure of claim 8, further including an audio reproduction device to receive an audio signal and replay the audio signal.

12. The seating structure of claim 8, wherein the seat back is constructed of a transparent material.

13. The seating structure of claim 8, wherein the seat back is constructed of a frosted acrylic.

14. A seating structure, comprising: a frame including at least one support leg; a seat connected to the frame to support a person, where the seat is constructed of a clear material; a bracket housing connected to the frame; a seat back placed inside the bracket housing to support the person's back; and an illumination source to emit light of a first color into the seat to cause the seat to glow.

15. The seating structure of claim 14, wherein the clear material is a transparent material.

16. The seating structure of claim 14, wherein the clear material is a translucent material.

17. The seating structure of claim 14, wherein the clear material includes frosted edges.

18. The seating structure of claim 14, further including a mirror to reflect the light emitted from the illumination source to an area of the seat.

19. The seating structure of claim 14, further including a lens to filter the light emitted from the illumination source.

20. The seating structure of claim 14, further including a color changing mechanism to cause the illumination source to switch from emitting a light of a first color to emitting a light of a second color.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/973,905, filed Oct. 25, 2004, entitled “View and Glow Seating.”

BACKGROUND

1. Technical Field

Embodiments described herein are directed to a seating structure including an internal source of illumination, the internal source of illumination being located in either the seatback or the seat of a chair. In addition, the seating structure includes a color changing mechanism.

2. Related Art

Many professionals such as, for example, event planners, exhibitors, hospitality professionals, and retail designers, employ furniture-rental as a key business activity. A lack of unique, high-quality designs available in the furniture-rental market causes industry professionals to reuse the same rental items, miss the opportunity to differentiate themselves from their competitors, and disappoint their clients by producing stale results. The embodiments described herein aim to compensate for the lack of outstanding, inventive, and unique furniture design currently available in the marketplace. Many event planners look to create a new exciting atmosphere for an event they are planning, but have problems incorporating seating elements because the seating elements, in order to be unique and eye-catching, are very expensive or have to be covered in an expensive draping. Accordingly, a need exists for furniture that may be utilized by party designers that is inexpensive, but provides an exciting and provocative look.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

A detailed description of embodiments of the invention will be made with reference to the accompanying drawing.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a seating structure having an internal image projector and an internal source of illumination, according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 illustrates a seating structure including a illuminated seat back according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 illustrates a seat and a glow seating structure according to an embodiment of the invention;

FIGS. 3(a), 3(b), and 3(c) illustrate a seating structure including a frame with a single conical support leg, dual plane support legs, and a Z-shaped support leg, respectively, according to an embodiment of the invention; and

FIG. 4 illustrates a block diagram of a color changing mechanism according to an embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The following paragraphs describe view and glow seating structures that incorporate an internal image projection and an internal source of illumination. The seating structures incorporate a moving or a static image via projection. In addition, the seating structures have an internal source of illumination that allows the exterior surface of the seating structures to glow. Referring to FIG. 1, a seating structure 100 is shown. The seating structure 100 is primarily used for sitting, lounging, and resting. The seating structure 100 may be a sofa, sofa bed, chair, ottoman, chaise lounge, recliner, dining chair, cushion, pillow, or an inflatable for outdoor use, for example. The seating structure 100 may be air-pressured or vacuum-formed amorphous shapes. Furthermore, the seating structure 100 may have one or more seats.

The seating structure 100 does not have to conform to a normative furniture function. The seating structure 100 can instead be a series of soft glowing spheres on a horizontal surface or multiple cubes, rectangles, or pillows, for example, arranged in a specific pattern, with a design intent, or with the intention of creating some form of lounge, seating, sleeping, or resting surface or surfaces that can be joined together.

The seating structure 100 may be constructed of various materials but is not limited to a substructure or an internal structure. Internal structures may be constructed of different types of wood, plywood, high density wood, and fibrous wood of various types. The seating structure 100 may be constructed of steel, aluminum, brass, or copper, for example. The seating structure 100 may further be cast in various materials such as plastic, acrylic, or corrugated acrylics such as polygal, for example.

The seating structure 100 consists of a light penetrable surface 110 that captures projection output or illumination. Examples of such light penetrable surfaces 110 that capture projection output include, but are not limited to, acrylic, plastic, and fabric. Examples of such light penetrable surfaces 110 that capture illumination include, but are not limited to, translucent foam, translucent rubber, and inflatables. Indeed, the light penetrable surface 110 may be any material through which images and light can pass. The light penetrable surface 110 of the seating structure 100 can be soft or hard. Moreover, the light penetrable surface 110 can be various types of rubber, neoprene, lexan, vinyl, polypropylene, polyurethane, or latex-all in various degrees of density. The light penetrable surface 110 of the seating structure 100 may further be created using injection molded plastics, cast acrylic, and fiber glass, which can be semi-translucent or transparent.

The seating structure 100 need not be horizontal. Instead, it can have angles, be skewed, flat, concave, or convex. The same holds true for the seat-back, provided that the seating structure 100 has such a seat-back. The seating structure 100 can be comprised of many glowing pieces, such as for example, balls of light or cubes of light that may be soft or hard. The seating structure 100 may have pillows that are inflated or are filled with foam or other type of substrate or fibrous materials such as polyester. Pellets of foam, rubber pellets, and transparent or translucent tubes, all of which may glow, may be included in the seating structure 100. Moreover, the light penetrable surface 110 of the seating structure 100 can be constructed with the use of fiber optic lights or a type of fabric that inherently glows.

The light penetrable surface 110 of the seating structure 100 may have fabric attached to an inflatable, stretch fabric, such as for example, lycra, textured fabrics, foam with no fabric, fiber glass, or rubber of various types and densities, such as latex, a stretchable rubber. Semi-opaque foam or acrylic may be used as well.

Inside the seating structure 100 is a chamber 120 that houses a projection mechanism 130, such as but not limited to a single projector, multiple projectors, image sources such as mirrors or prisms, and various types of light instruments that are capable of throwing images and patterns. The projection mechanism 130 may be mounted with a bracket to allow for adjusting the resulting projection angle. Projection may occur in one area of the seating structure 100 or in various areas such as, for example, horizontal and vertical surfaces including, but not limited to, the seat, the seat-back, and inside pillows.

A retractable cable 140 is used for plugging the seating structure 100 into an AC electrical outlet. The retractable cable 140 provides the added benefit of moving the seating structure 100 in various positions throughout a room while only displaying as much of the cord of the retractable cable 140 as necessary. In an alternative embodiment, the seating structure 100 may also be battery operated.

The seating structure 100 has an internal mechanism that affects a glow using various types of light sources 150 such as but not limited to different types of fluorescent lights, different types of incandescent lights, white light emitting diodes (“LEDs”), colored LEDs, LEDs that have color changing capabilities through remote control, tube lights, xenon lights, phosphorous tubes of light through chemical reaction, fiber optics, strobe lights, image projectors, or moving light sources that cause the light objects to glow. Light stemming from within the seating structure 100, through the seating structure 100, or as inherently being a part of the fiber of the seating structure 100, may change color via various types of manipulation such as different colored light bulbs, color changing light sources, color changing light bulbs, light gels, glass gobos, or transparencies, such as slides.

A feature of the invention includes the application of one or more mini-coolant fans 170 mounted in the back or bottom panel of the seating structure 100. The mini-coolant fans 170 maintain a low temperature within the interior of the seating structure 100 and generate the circulation of air. Ventilation 160 is provided to enable the air circulation from the mini-coolant fans 170.

The interior of the seating structure 100 incorporates a reflective surface 180 that captures images from the projection mechanism 130 and projects such images to a desired surface. The reflective surface 180 aids in magnification and correction of image sources such as mirrors, prisms, or other materials, including but not limited to clear acetate or reflective acetate. Internal or external cameras are used to record and playback real time movement with respect to the image projection.

The seating structure 100 may further house an audio source incorporated within the glowing function. In addition, the seating structure 100 may have an external light source or be designed within channels to emit light onto the seating structure. An audio-video source may further be housed within the seating structure 100. DVD players, laptop computers, or an Internet source of image projection may be included. Finally, the seating structure 100 may also have an external source for projection such as a DVD player. The seating structure 100 may operate with a remote control.

The following paragraphs describe a specific embodiment of a glow seat or chair that incorporates an internal source of illumination. The internal source of illumination may be located in a seat of the glow chair or within a seat back of the glow chair. The internal source of illumination may project or cause the seat or seat back to glow in a single color. In an alternative embodiment of the invention, the internal source of illumination may light up a lamp or LEDs having a shape of a logo and a first color and may light up a lamp or LEDs having a second color to outline the logo. In an embodiment of the invention, a strip of LEDs may be the illumination source. In an embodiment of the invention, the strip of LEDs may include a color changing capability.

FIG. 2 illustrates a seating structure (or glow chair) including a illuminated seat back according to an embodiment of the present invention. Referring to FIG. 2, a seating structure 200 is shown. The seating structure 200 is primarily used for sitting. The seating structure 200 may be a dining room chair, a classroom seat, an office chair, a beach chair, or a banquet chair.

The seating structure includes a frame 210, a bracket housing 220, a translucent or transparent seat back 230, a power source 240, an illumination source 250, an illumination source housing (not shown in FIG. 1), a seat support board 265, and a seat 270.

The frame 210 may be constructed of a plurality of materials, including, but not limited to wood materials, plastic materials, steel or other metal materials, or a composite material. For example, the frame 210 may be constructed of steel, aluminum, brass, copper, acrylic, or corrugated acrylics such as polygal. In an embodiment of the invention, the frame 210 may be constructed of cast or injection molded plastics.

In an embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIG. 2, the frame 210 includes a plurality of support legs 280 285 290 295 extending in a perpendicular manner to a horizontal seating frame of the frame 210. In other embodiments of the invention, the frame 210 may include less than four support legs (e.g., one, two legs, or three legs) or more than four legs (e.g., five legs). Illustratively, a one leg support may support a chair such as a rectangle structure 211 or conical structure 212 (illustrated in FIG. 3(a)) or a chair with a Z-shaped base 213, as illustrated in FIG. 3(b). Illustratively, a two leg support may support a chair utilizing two support planes, such as illustrated in FIG. 3(c), or by having a upside-down V-shaped base.

The seat support structure or board 265 may be constructed of different types of wood, plywood, high density wood, and fibrous woods of various types. In alternative embodiments of the present invention, seat support board 265 may be constructed of a metal, a rigid plastic, or wood. The seat support board 265, if utilized in a seating structure 200 with an illuminated seat, may be constructed of a reflective material to reflect any light from the illumination source in a direction away from the seat support board 265. The seat support board 265 may be placed on support bars 274 and 276. Alternatively, the seat support board 265 may be adhered or fastened to support bars 274 and 276 by commercially available fasteners, such as screws, and by commercially available adhesives, such as glue. In an alternative embodiment of the invention, a ledge may be placed on an interior surface of the frame and the seat support board 265 may be placed on top of the ledge, may be adhered to the ledge, or may be fastened to the ledge.

The seat 270 may rest on the seat support board 265. In an embodiment of the invention, the seat support board 265 may include velcro strips and the seat 270 may include velcro strips that allow the seat 270 to be connected to the seat support board 265. The seat may be constructed of stretch fabric, (such as for example, lycra), textured fabrics, foam with no fabric, fiber glass, or rubber of various types and densities, (such as latex, a stretchable rubber). Semi-opaque foam or acrylic may be used as well. Translucent or transparent materials may also be utilized to construct the seat 270. In an embodiment of the invention where the seat 270 is glowing or transmitting light (rather than the seat back 230), a translucent or transparent material may be utilized for the seat 270. In an embodiment of the invention, the seat 270 and the seat back 230 may both include illumination sources 250 to cause a glowing effect or a transmitting of light from both the seat 270 and the seat back 230.

FIG. 3 illustrates a seat and a glow seating structure according to an embodiment of the invention. As illustrated in FIG. 3, the seat includes a fused fabric 340 installed over a thick foam 345. In this embodiment of the invention, the seat 370 includes the seat support 265 or seat support material and thus the thick foam 345 is attached to the seat support material 265. In the embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIG. 3, the fused fabric 340 covers a top side and side surfaces of the foam 345, side surfaces of the seat support 265, and a portion of a bottom surface of the seat support material 265.

A bracket housing 220 is mounted on the frame 210 of the seating structure 200. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the bracket housing 220 is mounted on a rear side of the frame 210. The bracket housing 220 may be fastened to the frame by fasteners or hinges. In an embodiment of the invention, the bracket housing 220 may be welded to the frame 210. The bracket housing 220 may be an enclosure having an opening at a top part. As illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3, the bracket housing 220 is connected at an angle from the frame 210. The angle may be 90 degrees (or perpendicular to the frame) or the angle may range from 90 degrees perpendicular to the frame to about 145 degrees with respect to the frame. In an embodiment of the invention, e.g., a beach chair, the reclining angle may approach 180 degrees with respect to the frame.

The illumination source 250 may reside in the bracket housing 220. In other words, the illumination source 250 may be installed inside the bracket housing 220. The illumination source 250 may be installed on an interior bottom surface of the bracket housing 220. In an embodiment of the invention, the illumination source 250 may be installed in an illumination source housing 390 and the illumination source housing 390 may be installed in the bracket housing 220. In alternative embodiments of the invention, the illumination source 250 may be installed on other surfaces of the bracket housing 220, e.g., an interior side surface. As illustrated in FIG. 1, the illumination source 250 may include a printed circuit board and a plurality of light elements, e.g., LEDs. The printed circuit board and the plurality of light elements may be referred to as a light strip. Illustratively, 12 light elements may make up the light strip. In an embodiment of the invention, the illumination source 250 may include a single light element, such as a neon light or a fluorescent lamp. The illumination source 250 may project a light, for example, a colored light such as blue, green, red, yellow, purple, green, etc., in an upward direction. The colors for the LEDs may be, but are not limited to the following colors: blue, green, yellow, purpose, green, infrared, etc. LEDs utilized as the illumination source 250 may be manufactured by LEDTRONICS, Inc of 23105 Kashiwa Court, Torrance, Calif. 90505. The LEDs included in the illumination source 250 may be surface mount LEDs, light pipes, Ultra Slim Line LEDs, RopeLED™, or StripLED Connectable LED Modules.

An illumination source 250 includes but is not limited to different types of fluorescent lights, different types of incandescent lights, white light emitting diodes (“LEDs”), colored LEDs, LEDs that have color changing capabilities through remote control, tube lights, xenon lights, phosphorous tubes of light through chemical reaction, fiber optics, strobe lights, image projectors, or moving light sources that cause the light objects to glow. In embodiments of the invention, light stemming from the illumination source 250 may change color via various types of manipulation such as different colored light bulbs, color changing light sources, color changing light bulbs, light gels, glass gobos, or transparencies, such as slides.

In an embodiment of the invention, the seating structure 200 may include a mechanism or software (not pictured) for changing colors of the illumination source 250. The color changing mechanism or software may be located in a casing with the battery or the power source 240. The color changing mechanism may be located in bracket housing 220 including the illumination source 250. FIG. 4 illustrates a block diagram of a color changing mechanism according to an embodiment of the invention. The color changing mechanism 400 may include memory 410 and switching circuitry 405. The color changing mechanism 400 may be coupled to the battery or power source 240 and/or may be coupled to the illumination source 250. In an embodiment of the invention, the color changing mechanism 400 may include switching circuitry 405 that periodically instructs, is coupled, provides information, or transmits a signal, to the illumination source 250 to cause the illumination source 250 to change to emitting a different color. A timer or timing circuitry 420 may be included in the color changing mechanism to identify the time or period at which the color changing should occur. In an embodiment of the invention, the color changing mechanism 400 may include a memory 410 that provides instructions or data to the switching circuitry to identify a sequence of when the colors are to be changed (e.g., an order in which the different colors are to be emitted or displayed). In this embodiment of the invention, the illumination source 250 should include capabilities of displaying or emitting a plurality of light colors. Illustratively, the illumination source 250 may include red, blue, yellow, and purple LEDs. In an embodiment of the invention, illumination source 250 may include an LED strip with multiple LED colors arranged on the LED strip.

In embodiments of the invention, the upward direction may correspond to the opening of the bracket housing 220. For other visual effects, the illumination source 250 may project light towards an interior side of a bracket housing 220 and this may result in a muted effect of the projected light. In an embodiment of the invention, a filter and/or a mirror may be installed in conjunction with the illumination source 250 so that light emitted from the illumination source 250 passes through the filter and/or mirror. The filter may decrease or eliminate certain characteristics of the light and/or the mirror may focus the light onto certain aspects of the seating structure 200.

The seat back 230 may be inserted into the bracket housing 220. In an embodiment of the invention, the seat back 230 may not be coupled or fastened to the bracket housing 220. In this embodiment of the invention, the bracket housing 220 may be rigid and strong enough that no fastening, adhering, or coupling is necessary. In an embodiment of the invention, the seat back 230 may have two sections, a lower section 310 and an upper section 320. The lower section 310 may be designed to fit into an opening of a bracket housing 220, such as an upper opening of the bracket housing. As is illustrated in FIG. 1, the lower section 310 of the seat back 230 fits snugly into an opening on a top surface of the bracket housing 220. The lower section 310 extends downward into the bracket housing 220 for a certain length but not the entire vertical height of the bracket housing 220. The lower section 310 may not extend downward enough to touch the illumination source housing 290 and/or the illumination source 250.

The illumination source 250 shines or directs light into the seat back 230. The illumination of the seat back 250 results in a glowing effect on the seating structure 200. In an embodiment of the invention, a bottom surface of lower section 310 of the seat back 230 may have an opening so as not to obstruct or diminish intensity of light shined by the illumination source 250. In an embodiment of the invention, a bottom surface of the bottom section 310 of the seat back 230 may have a transparent or a translucent surface to allow a large amount of light to pass through into the interior of the seat back 230.

The seat back 230 may be constructed of a plexiglass material. This may result in a flow emanating from the seat back 230. In alternative embodiments of the invention, the seat back 230 may be constructed of a clear plastic, a frosted plastic, or a clear plastic with frosted edges. The seat back 230 may be constructed of acrylic, plastic, or fabric. The seat back 230 may further be created using injection molded plastics, cast acrylic, stretched rubber, or fiber glass, which can be semi-translucent or transparent. This may be utilized in embodiments of the invention, where the seat back 230 is emitting light from the illumination source 250. The seat back 230 may be wood covered with fabric, or wood without fabric, or acrylic. This may be true in embodiments of the invention where the seat back 230 is not emitting light from an illumination source 250.

In embodiments of the invention, the seat back 230 may be constructed of a rigid material that is either transparent, clear, or translucent. In certain embodiments of the invention, the seat back 230 may be constructed of a relatively opaque material as to mute the effects of the light.

The seat back 230 may be adhered to the bracket assembly 220 by an adhesive. The seat back 230 may be fastened to the bracket assembly 220 via fasteners. The seat back 230 may be connected to the bracket assembly 220 via pop-up or pop-out hinges, i.e., the type that protrude from a surface and can be depressed, and then would pop back out when a hole on the bracket assembly 220 was encountered. As noted above, the seat back 230 may be supported in place by the bracket assembly 220 without fasteners, couplers, or adhesives.

The illumination source 250 may be powered via a battery. In an embodiment of the invention, the battery 250 may be a rechargeable battery. In an embodiment of the invention, the battery may be a commonly available commercial battery such as a AAAA, AAA, AA, A, B, C, D, batteries. The illumination source 250 may include, but is not limited to 12 volt rechargeable batteries, Lithium Ion batteries, or 9 volt batteries.

The seat 270 of the seating structure 200 need not be horizontal with a vertical seat back 230. Instead, the seat 270 may include angles, be skewed, be flat, be concave, or be convex.

The seating structure 200 may include audio reproduction devices, where the audio reproduction device includes receiver for receiving the audio signal and a speaker for reproducing the received audio signal.

While the above description refers to particular embodiments of the present invention, it will be understood to those of ordinary skill in the art that modifications may be made without departing from the spirit thereof. The accompanying claims are intended to cover any such modifications as would fall within the true scope and spirit of the present invention.

The presently disclosed embodiments are therefore to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive; the scope of the invention being indicated by the appended claims, rather than the foregoing description. All changes that come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are therefore intended to be embraced therein.