Title:
Display panel with three-dimensional effect
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
At least one embodiment of the invention pertains to a display device having a first panel and a second panel, the first and second panels positioned substantially coplanar with each other and at a distance from each other to create a three dimensional effect of the images displayed on the first and second panels. According to one embodiment of the invention, the second panel includes an image that defines a frame through which an image on the first panel is visible or perceivable.



Inventors:
Chen, Sheng Wu (Chino, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/088384
Publication Date:
07/13/2006
Filing Date:
03/23/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G1/06
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
AMADIZ, RODNEY
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SHENG W. CHEN (13810 MOUNTAIN AVENUE, CHINO, CO, 91710, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A display apparatus comprising: a housing structure; a first display panel coupled to the housing structure and having a scenery thereon; and a second display panel coupled to the housing structure and mounted in front of the first display panel, the second display panel mounted substantially coplanar with the first display panel, the second display panel having an image that permits viewing of the scenery on the first display panel, the first display panel and second display panel positioned apart from each other at a distance of between one-eighth (⅛) of an inch and twenty (20) inches to create a perception of depth when viewing the scenery on the first display panel.

2. The display apparatus of claim 1 further comprising: a light source mounted within the housing structure, wherein the light source is mounted behind the first display panel and the first display panel permitting some light from the light source to pass through.

3. The display apparatus of claim 1 wherein the image on the second display panel defines a frame through which the scenery on the first display panel can be viewed.

4. The display apparatus of claim 1 wherein the image on the second display panel includes angled features that contribute to a three-dimensional effect when overlaid on the scenery of the first display panel.

5. The display apparatus of claim 1 wherein the second display panel is spaced between half an inch and three-quarters of an inch from the first display panel.

6. The display apparatus of claim 1 wherein features of the image on the second display panel are proportionally larger than features of the scenery of the first display panel to create an illusion of depth between the images.

7. The display apparatus of claim 1 wherein the image on the second display panel includes two windows partially opened towards the scenery on the first display panel to create a three-dimensional illusion.

8. The display apparatus of claim 1 wherein the scenery of the first display panel is changeable such that it can be replaced with a second scenery as desired.

9. The display apparatus of claim 1 wherein the image of the second display panel is changeable such that it can be replaced with a second image as desired.

10. The display apparatus of claim 1 further comprising a movable object mounted within the housing structure that can be activated to move and create a moving effect within the scenery of the first display panel.

11. The display apparatus of claim 10 further comprising: a sound unit mounted within the housing structure for storing pre-recorded sounds; an audio speaker mounted within the housing structure and communicatively coupled to the sound unit to receive sound signals from the sound unit and emit corresponding sounds; and a volume control coupled to the sound unit to permit selecting a desired volume level.

12. The display apparatus of claim 11 further comprising: a remote control to control the light source, volume, or movement of the movable object.

13. A decorative display apparatus comprising: a housing structure; a light source mounted within the housing structure; a first display panel coupled to the housing structure and mounted in front of the light source, the first display panel having a first image that permits some light from the light source to pass through; and a second display panel coupled to the housing structure and mounted in front of the first display panel, the second display panel mounted substantially coplanar with the first display panel, the first display panel and second display panel positioned apart from each other at a distance of between one-eighth (⅛) of an inch and twenty (20) inches to create a perception of depth when viewing the first image on the first display panel, the second display panel having a second image thereon that allows viewing of the first image on the first display panel, the second image including angled perspective lines to enhance the perception of depth of the first image.

14. The decorative display apparatus of claim 13 wherein features of the second image on the second display panel are proportionally larger than features of the first image of the first display panel to create an illusion of depth between the images.

15. The decorative display apparatus of claim 13 further comprising: a movable object mounted within the housing structure that can be activated to move and create a moving effect within the first image of the first display panel.

16. The decorative display apparatus of claim 13 wherein the second display panel is spaced between one half inch to three-quarters of an inch from the first display panel.

17. The decorative display apparatus of claim 13 further comprising: a sound unit mounted within the housing structure for storing pre-recorded sounds; an audio speaker mounted within the housing structure and communicatively coupled to the sound unit to receive sound signals from the sound unit and emit corresponding sounds; a volume control coupled to the sound unit to permit selecting a desired volume level. a remote control to control the light source and sound unit.

18. A method for creating a three-dimensional effect on a display panel, comprising: creating a first image on a first display panel; creating a second image on a second display panel; positioning the first display panel in front of, and substantially coplanar with, the second display panel, the first image on the first display panel permitting viewing of the second image on the second display panel, the first display panel and second display panel positioned apart from each other at a distance of between one-eighth (⅛) of an inch and twenty (20) inches to create a perception of depth when viewing the second image on the second display panel; and arranging a moving display apparatus behind the second display panel; and arranging a light source behind the moving display apparatus to provide light through the first display panel and create a moving illusion within the second image.

19. The method of claim 18 wherein the first display panel and second display panel are spaced approximately one half inch to three-quarters of an inch apart.

20. The method of claim 18 wherein the first image and second image are replaceable with other images as desired.

21. The method of claim 18 further comprising: scaling the features of the first image on the first display panel proportionally larger than features of the second image on the second display panel to create an illusion of depth between the images.

22. The method of claim 18 wherein the first image includes two windowpanes with lines that enhance the perception of depth of the second image, the windowpanes partially opened towards the second image on the second display panel to create a three-dimensional illusion.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This non-provisional United States (U.S.) patent application claims the benefit of Chinese Patent Application No. 200420103563.5 filed on Dec. 28, 2004.

FIELD

Various embodiments of the invention pertain to display devices. At least one embodiment of the invention pertains to an animated display device having multiple display panels arranged to create a three-dimensional illusion.

BACKGROUND

Display devices are often mounted in offices, shops, and/or homes to enhance the look and/or appearance of an area. Many times, these display devices are decorative items that hang from a wall and display an image, such as a nature scene, an ocean, a lake, a river, a waterfall, a mountain, beaches, and/or the desert. These images are typically printed on a flat of a display panel and fail to adequately convey a three dimensional feel or depth to the viewer.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

One feature of the invention provides a display device having a first panel and a second panel, the first and second panels positioned substantially coplanar with each other and at a distance from each other to create a three dimensional effect of the images displayed on the first and second panels. According to one embodiment of the invention, the second panel includes an image that defines a frame through which an image on the first panel is visible or perceivable.

One embodiment of the invention provides a display apparatus comprising a housing structure, a light source mounted within the housing structure, a first display panel coupled to the housing structure and mounted in front of the light source. The first display panel having scenery thereon and permitting some light from the light source to pass through. A second display panel is coupled to the housing structure and mounted in front of the first display panel substantially coplanar with the first display panel. The second display panel has an image thereon that permits viewing of the scenery on the first display panel. To create a perception of depth and a three-dimensional effect, the first display panel and second display panel are positioned apart from each other a distance of between one-eighth (⅛) of an inch and twenty (20) inches. The spacing between the first display panel and second display panel varies depending on the overall all size of the display apparatus. Additionally, a movable object may be mounted within the housing structure that can create a moving effect within the scenery of the first display panel. The image on the second display panel may define a frame through which the scenery on the first display panel can be viewed. Additionally, the image on the second display panel may include one or more angled features (e.g., perspective lines) that contribute to create a three-dimensional effect when overlaid on the scenery of the first display panel. The second display panel may be spaced approximately half an inch to three-quarters of an inch from the first display panel. Moreover, features of the image on the second display panel may be proportionally larger than features of the scenery of the first display panel to contribute to the illusion of depth between the images. According to one embodiment of the invention, the image on the second display panel includes two windows partially opened towards the scenery on the first display panel to create a three-dimensional illusion. One embodiment of the invention may also include a sound unit mounted within the housing structure for storing pre-recorded sounds, an audio speaker mounted within the housing structure and communicatively coupled to the sound unit to receive sound signals from the sound unit and emit corresponding sounds, and a volume control coupled to the sound unit to permit selecting a desired volume level. According to various other embodiments of the invention, the display apparatus need not be animated to create the same depth effect.

Another embodiment of the invention provides a decorative display apparatus comprising a housing structure, a first display panel coupled to the housing structure and having a first image thereon. A second display panel is coupled to the housing structure and mounted in front of the first display panel, the second display panel mounted substantially coplanar with the first display panel. The first display panel and second display panel are positioned apart from each other at a distance of between one-eighth (⅛) of an inch and twenty (20) inches to create a perception of depth when viewing the first image on the first display panel. The second display panel has a second image thereon that permits viewing of the first image on the first display panel. The second image includes one or more angled perspective lines to enhance the perception of depth of the first image.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates a display device having a first panel and second panel spaced apart to create a three-dimensional illusion according to one embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 2 illustrates the display device of FIG. 1 with the front panel removed.

FIG. 3 illustrates various components of the display device according to one embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 4 illustrates the cross-sectional view of the relative position of various components of the display device according to one embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

In the following description numerous specific details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of the invention. However, one skilled in the art would recognize that the invention might be practiced without these specific details. In other instances, well known methods, procedures, and/or components have not been described in detail so as not to unnecessarily obscure aspects of the invention.

In the following description, certain terminology is used to describe certain features of one or more embodiments of the invention. For instance, the terms “display” and “display device” refer to any apparatus or device of any shape or size capable of being hung or supported for displaying one or more images, sceneries, or graphics. The term “panel” (e.g., display panel) includes any substantially flat surface on which one or more images, sceneries, lines, colors, letters, and/or other symbols may be printed or placed. The term “animated” (e.g., animated display) refers to any motion that may be created within a display for the purpose of creating an illusion or effect. The term “graphics” includes any image, lines, colors, letters, and/or other symbols.

One feature of the invention provides a display device having a first display panel and a second panel, the first and second panels positioned substantially coplanar with each other and at a distance from each other to create a three dimensional effect of the images displayed on the first and second panels. According to one embodiment of the invention, the second panel includes an image that defines a frame through which an image on the first panel is visible or perceivable. In alternative embodiments, the second panel may have a cut-out section through which images on the first panel can be displayed.

FIG. 1 illustrates a display device 100 having a first panel 102 and second panel 104 spaced apart to create a three-dimensional illusion according to one embodiment of the invention. The display device 100 includes a front panel 102 mounted thereon, and an inner panel 104 mounted behind the front panel 102 and visible through the front panel 102. According to various embodiments of the invention, the inner panel 104 may include scenery or other image(s) to create an aesthetically pleasing view. For example, the scenery or image may be that of an island, mountain, lake, river, waterfall, desert, and/or animal. These images on the front panel 102 and/or inner panel 104 may be changeable, so that, for example, the scenery or image on the inner panel 104 can be changed as desired by a user. The images or sceneries on the front panel 102 and/or inner panel 104 may be created by using laminates, stickers, painted on the panels, and/or using any other known method. This may be accomplished through changing an image or scenery laminate or sticker or by replacing one or both or the panels 102 and 104.

According to various embodiments of the invention, the front panel 102 may permit viewing part of the inner panel 104 by various means. For example, the front panel 102 may be completely or partially transparent, translucent, or have an opening (i.e., cut-out section) through which the scenery or image on the inner panel 104 can be perceived.

In one embodiment of the invention, the front panel 102 includes a second image through which the image on the inner panel 104 is visible or perceivable. For example, the second image on the front panel 102 may define a frame 106 through which the image 204 on the inner panel 104 is visible. The frame 106 may be in the form of a window, door, picture frame, etc., so as to create a three-dimensional illusion that the viewer is actually looking at the image 204 on the inner panel 104 through said window, door, picture frame, etc.

In various embodiments of the invention, the first and/or second panels may be substantially flat and mounted coplanar with each other, or one panel may be curved and the other one substantially flat, or both panels may be curve, or the first panel may be mounted at an angle to the second panel.

FIG. 2 illustrates the display device 100 of FIG. 1 with the front panel 102 removed. The display device 100 includes a housing 202 that serves to support the inner panel 104 as well as the front panel 102. The inner panel 104 may be secured to the housing 202 using one or more fasteners. The front panel 102 may also be secured to the housing 202 using fasteners. The front panel 102 and inner panel 104 are mounted to the housing 202 substantially coplanar with each other. The front panel 102 and inner panel 104 are spaced such that their surfaces are anywhere from one-eighth (⅛) to twenty (20) inches apart. It is this separation between the front panel 102 and inner panel 104 that provides a three-dimensional illusion to viewers looking at the images on the inner 104 and front panels 102.

According to various embodiments of the invention, the housing 202, display device 100, and/or front panel 102 may be of various shapes, including oblong, circular, square, triangular, pentagonal, etc. Additionally, the housing and/or perimeter of the front panel 102 may be made of wood, metal, glass, mirror or other decorative material.

According to one embodiment of the invention, the inner panel 104 includes an image, scenery, or graphic 204. The image 204 and/or inner panel 104 may be translucent to permit some light to go through the image 204 and/or inner panel 104.

FIG. 3 illustrates various components of the display device 100 according to one embodiment of the invention. Behind the inner panel 104, the display device 100 houses a number of components that create a three-dimensional effect and/or makes the display device 100 appear animated. A light source 302 may be mounted with the housing 202 using braces 304 or fasteners to secure the light source 302 to the housing 202. The light source 302 may be mounted behind the inner panel 104 and serve as a backlight such that, when the light source 302 is illuminated, some of its light is visible through the inner panel 104 and the front panel 102. According to one embodiment of the invention the light source 302 may be a fluorescent light.

The display device 100 may also include one or more components that create the illusion of motion or movement within the image or scenery of the inner panel 104. For the ocean scene illustrated in scene 204, an illusion of water motion may be created according to one embodiment of the invention. A partially translucent layer 306 (e.g., film) with lines, as illustrated in FIG. 4, may be placed behind the inner panel 104. The translucent layer 306 may be positioned across or over a translucent moving or rolling display 402 (e.g., film) as illustrated in FIG. 4. The translucent rolling display 402 also includes lines similar to those of the translucent layer 306. As the motor 312 rotates this causes the illusion of movement in the ocean image of the inner panel 104. The translucent rolling display 402 may be mounted between a first rolling axis 314 and second rolling axis 316 with the motor 312 coupled to the first axis 314 to cause the rolling display 402 to rotate. According to other embodiments of the invention, a rotating disk or other moving object may be used to create the illusion of movement.

Another feature of the invention provides sounds or music as part of the display device 100. One or more audio speakers 310 and a sound storage unit 308 may be mounted within the housing 202 to provide one or more sounds, music, or words along with the animated (moving) display device 100. The display device 100 may also include a volume control 318 to modulate the volume to a desired level. Another feature provides a remote control device to control the light, sound, and/or motion of the display device 100.

According to one embodiment of the invention the front panel 102 includes an outer border that permits the inner panel 104 to be visible. This outer border may include one more lines that create the illusion of three-dimensional effects. For example, the features 106 on the front panel 102 may be proportionately larger than the image(s) or feature(s) 204 in the inner display 104 to cause an illusion of depth. Additionally, the image or lines 106 on the front panel 102, e.g., windows illustrated FIG. 1, may be drawn with perspective lines or at an angle to enhance the perception of depth created by positioning the front panel 102 a distance in front of the inner panel 104. For example, the windows in FIG. 1 are opened outwards, towards the scene 204 of the second panel 104, to enhance the three-dimensional illusion.

FIG. 4 illustrates a cross-sectional view of a display device according to one embodiment of the invention. One novel aspect of the invention provides for mounting the front panel 102 at a distance from the inner panel 104 to create a three-dimensional illusion or effect. According to various embodiments of the invention, the front panel 102 may be mounted anywhere from one-eighth (⅛) inch to twenty (20) inches from the inner display panel 104. Typically, the distance between the front panel 102 and inner panel 104 is approximately one-half (½) inch to three-quarters (¾) of an inch.

FIG. 4 also illustrates the relative position of the various components of the display device 100. The front panel 102 is positioned in front of the inner panel 104 with the translucent layer 306 positioned behind the inner panel 104. The rolling display 402 is positioned behind the translucent layer 306 with the light source 302 being positioned behind the rolling display 402. When illuminated, the light source 302 sends light across the moving display 402, the translucent layer 306, and the first and second panels 102 and 104. Because the moving display 402 is rotating, this causes a moving effect or sensation to be perceived on the ocean (or other item) in the image of the inner panel 104.

FIG. 4 also illustrates the moving display components of a display device according to one embodiment of the invention. As previously noted, a moving display 402 (e.g., film, etc.) is coupled between a first axis 314 and second axis 316 and configured to rotate when the motor 312 turns. Because of the lines on the moving display 402 and the translucent layer 306, an illusion of motion is created on the scene or image of the inner panel 104 when the moving display 402 is rotated. Note that in other embodiments of the invention, other moving objects may be used to create an illusion of movement in an image of the display device.

While certain exemplary embodiments have been described and shown in the accompanying drawings, it is to be understood that such embodiments are merely illustrative of and not restrictive on the broad invention, and that this invention not be limited to the specific constructions and arrangements shown and described, since various other modifications are possible. Those skilled, in the art will appreciate that various adaptations and modifications of the just described preferred embodiment can be configured without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention. Therefore, it is to be understood that, within the scope of the appended claims, the invention may be practiced other than as specifically described herein.