Title:
Light emitting pool cue
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A light emitting cue comprises an elongated tapered rod, a contact member and a laser device. The elongated tapered rod has a substantially straight longitudinal axis. The contact member is attached to a cue ball engaging end of the elongated tapered rod. The laser device is mounted within the elongated tapered rod. The laser device generates and directs a beam of light from within the elongated tapered rod through a passage in the contact member.



Inventors:
Lagaipa, Carmen (Monroe, CT, US)
Application Number:
11/117833
Publication Date:
11/02/2006
Filing Date:
04/29/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63D15/08
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20030190984Volleyball training deviceOctober, 2003Selburg
20060009320Dribble master basketballJanuary, 2006Bibby
20090118031Shaft Structure with Configurable Bending ProfileMay, 2009Qualizza
20040242292Virtual bowlingDecember, 2004Hansen
20040266563Soccer training apparatusDecember, 2004Young
20080274839Basketball Rim AttachmentNovember, 2008Krueger
20070004532Head assembly of golf clubJanuary, 2007Lee et al.
20080045362GAME MACHINE FOR PRACTICING PITCHINGFebruary, 2008Wu
20030032506Elevation-adjustable baseball batting-training apparatusFebruary, 2003Chi
20100075773Sporting Article With Adjustable Weight ConfigurationMarch, 2010Casati Jr.
20060252570Golf clubs and associated methods for achieving a side-pendulum swing techniqueNovember, 2006Merriman



Primary Examiner:
GRAHAM, MARK S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GALASSO & ASSOCIATES, LP (P.O. Box 26503, Austin, TX, 78755-0503, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An apparatus configured for improving a user's level of skill in billiards and pool, comprising: a cue; and a light emitting device attached to the cue, wherein the light emitting, device emits a beam of light from a cue ball engaging end of the cue.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein: the beam of light is a beam of laser light; and the light emitting device is configured for generating and directing the beam of laser light.

3. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein: the cue includes a cavity configured for receiving the light emitting device; and the light emitting device is contained within the cavity.

4. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein: the cue has a substantially straight longitudinal axis and has a light transmission passage extending along said longitudinal axis of the cue at least partially between a cue ball engaging end thereof and a hand gripping end thereof; the light transmission passage of the cue extends through a face at the cue ball engaging end of the cue such that the light transmission passage of the cue defines an aperture in the face of the cue; and the light emitting device generates and directs a beam of light along the light transmission passage of the cue.

5. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein: the cue includes a plurality of detachable segments; the cue ball engaging end is comprised by a first one of said segments; and the light emitting device is contained within a second one of said segments.

6. The apparatus of claim 5, further comprising: a light transmission device extends within a light transmission passage of the cue at least partially between the cue ball engaging end and the light emitting device and wherein the beam of light is directed into the light transmission device.

7. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising: a light transmission device extends within a light transmission passage of the cue at least partially between the cue ball engaging end and the light emitting device and wherein the beam of light is directed into the light transmission device.

8. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein: the beam of light is a beam of laser light; and the light emitting device is configured for generating and directing the beam of laser light; the cue includes a cavity configured for receiving the light emitting device; the light emitting device is contained within the cavity; the cue has a substantially straight longitudinal axis and has a light transmission passage extending along said longitudinal axis of the cue at least partially between a cue ball engaging end thereof and a hand gripping end thereof; the light transmission passage of the cue extends through a face at the cue ball engaging end of the cue such that the light transmission passage of the cue defines an aperture in the face of the cue; the light emitting device generates and directs a beam of light along the light transmission passage of the cue; the cue includes a plurality of detachable segments; the cue ball engaging end is comprised by a first one of said segments; and the light emitting device is contained within a second one of said segments.

9. A light emitting cue, comprising: an elongated tapered rod having a substantially straight longitudinal axis; a contact member attached to a cue ball engaging end of the elongated tapered rod; and a laser device mounted within the elongated tapered rod, wherein the laser device generates and directs a beam of light from within the elongated tapered rod through a passage in the contact member.

10. The apparatus of claim 9 wherein: the elongated tapered rod includes a cavity configured for receiving the laser device; and the light emitting device is contained within the cavity.

11. The apparatus of claim 9 wherein: the elongated tapered rod has a substantially straight longitudinal axis and has a light transmission passage extending along said longitudinal axis of the elongated tapered rod at least partially between the cue ball engaging end thereof and an opposite end thereof; the light transmission passage of the elongated tapered rod extends through a face at the cue ball engaging end of the elongated tapered rod such that the light transmission passage of the elongated tapered rod defines an aperture in the face of the elongated tapered rod; and the light emitting device generates and directs a beam of light along the light transmission passage of the elongated tapered rod.

12. The apparatus of claim 9 wherein: the elongated tapered rod includes a plurality of detachable segments; the cue ball engaging end is comprised by a first one of said segments; and the laser device is contained within a second one of said segments.

13. The apparatus of claim 12, further comprising: a light transmission device extends within a light transmission passage of the elongated tapered rod at least partially between the cue ball engaging end and the laser device and wherein the beam of light is directed into the light transmission device.

14. The apparatus of claim 9, further comprising: a light transmission device extends within a light transmission passage of the elongated tapered rod at least partially between the cue ball engaging end and the laser device and wherein the beam of light is directed into the light transmission device.

15. The apparatus of claim 9 wherein: the elongated tapered rod includes a cavity configured for receiving the light emitting device; the light emitting device is contained within the cavity; the elongated tapered rod has a substantially straight longitudinal axis and has a light transmission passage extending along said longitudinal axis of the elongated tapered rod at least partially between a cue ball engaging end thereof and a hand gripping end thereof; the light transmission passage of the elongated tapered rod extends through a face at the cue ball engaging end of the elongated tapered rod such that the light transmission passage of the elongated tapered rod defines an aperture in the face of the elongated tapered rod; the light emitting device generates and directs a beam of light along the light transmission passage of the elongated tapered rod; the elongated tapered rod includes a plurality of detachable segments; the cue ball engaging end is comprised by a first one of said segments; and the light emitting device is contained within a second one of said segments.

16. A light emitting cue, comprising: an elongated tapered rod having a substantially straight longitudinal axis and having a light transmission passage extending along said longitudinal axis of the elongated tapered rod at least partially between a cue ball engaging end thereof and a hand gripping end thereof, wherein the light transmission passage of the elongated tapered rod extends through a face at the cue ball engaging end of the elongated tapered rod such that the light transmission passage of the elongated tapered rod defines an aperture in the face of the elongated tapered rod; a laser light device attached to mounted within the elongated tapered rod, wherein the laser light device generates and directs a beam of light along the light transmission passage in the elongated tapered rod; and a contact member engaged with the face of the elongated tapered rod, wherein the contact member has a substantially straight longitudinal axis and has a light transmission passage extending along the longitudinal axis of the contact member and wherein the light transmission passage in the elongated tapered rod is substantially aligned with the light transmission passage in the contact member such that the beam of light emanates from within the light transmission passage of the contact member.

17. The apparatus of claim 16 wherein: the elongated tapered rod includes a plurality of detachable segments; the cue ball engaging end is comprised by a first one of said segments; and the laser device is contained within a second one of said segments.

18. The apparatus of claim 17, further comprising: a light transmission device extends within a light transmission passage of the elongated tapered rod at least partially between the cue ball engaging end and the laser device and wherein the beam of light is directed into the light transmission device.

19. The apparatus of claim 16, further comprising: a light transmission device extends within a light transmission passage of the elongated tapered rod at least partially between the cue ball engaging end and the laser device and wherein the beam of light is directed into the light transmission device.

Description:

The disclosures made herein relate generally to cues for pool and billiards and, more particularly, to devices configured for improving shooting technique and skill in pool and billiards.

BACKGROUND

Pool, which hereinafter generically refers to pool and billiards, is a game that enjoys widespread popularity. In part, such popularity is due to the challenge associated with playing pool and improving one's level of skill. Pool is largely a game of skill rather than chance. Thus, a person's level of play generally increases with their level of skill.

In general, a person's level of skill at shooting pool gradually increases with practice and play over time. Regardless of a person's level of skill, practice is essential to improving and maintaining a person's level of skill. Additionally, as opposed to practicing random shots, practicing specific types of shots and shot set-up is particularly valuable as this type of practice leads to improved technique, consistency and accuracy.

Properly setting-up and executing particular types of shots is an essential aspect to increasing, one's level of skill in shooting pool. By practicing techniques for properly setting-up and executing particular types of shots, a person is able to understand how various points of contacts of a tip of a cue on a cue ball and the resulting paths of travel of the cue ball affect resulting paths of travel of a game ball. Accordingly, a person's level of skill at shooting pool generally increases as they learn how to achieve an intended and proper point of contact on the cue ball with the tip of the cue.

Therefore, a device that enables a person to achieve an intended and proper point of contact on the cue ball with the tip of the cue is useful in improving their technique, consistency and accuracy.

SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE

Embodiments of the present invention enable a person to improve their level of skill in billiards and pool. More specifically, embodiments of the present invention enable a person to achieve an intended and proper point of contact on the cue ball with the tip of the cue. Accordingly, the present invention advantageously provides a means for improving a person's technique, consistency and accuracy in setting-up and shooting shots in the games of pool and billiards.

In one embodiment of the present invention, an apparatus configured for improving a user's level of skill in billiards and pool comprises a cue and a light emitting device. The light emitting device is attached to (e.g., integrally incorporated therewith, built-into, etc) the cue and emits a beam of light through a cue ball engaging end of the cue.

In another embodiment of the present invention, a light emitting cue comprises an elongated tapered rod, a contact member and a laser device. The elongated tapered rod has a substantially straight longitudinal axis. The contact member is attached to a cue ball-engaging end of the elongated tapered rod. The laser device is mounted within the elongated tapered rod. The laser device generates and directs a beam of light from within the elongated tapered rod through a passage in the contact member.

In another embodiment of the present invention, a light emitting cue comprises an elongated tapered rod, a laser light device and a contact member. The elongated tapered rod has a substantially straight longitudinal axis and a light transmission passage extending along the longitudinal axis of the elongated tapered rod at least partially between a cue ball engaging end thereof and a hand gripping end thereof. The light transmission passage of the elongated tapered rod extends through a face at the cue ball engaging end of the elongated tapered rod such that the light transmission passage of the elongated tapered rod defines an aperture in the face of the elongated tapered rod. The laser light device is attached (e.g., integrally incorporated therewith, built-into, etc) to the elongated tapered rod. The laser light device generates and directs a beam of light along the light transmission passage in the elongated tapered rod. The contact member is engaged with the face of the elongated tapered rod. The contact member has a substantially straight longitudinal axis and a light transmission passage extending along its longitudinal axis. The light transmission passage in the elongated tapered rod is substantially aligned with the light transmission passage in the contact member such that the beam of light emanates from within the light transmission passage of the contact member.

Turning now to specific aspects of the present invention, in at least one embodiment, the beam of light is a beam of laser light and the light emitting device is configured for generating and directing the beam of laser light.

In at least one embodiment of the present invention, the cue includes a cavity configured for receiving the light emitting device and the light emitting device is contained within the cavity.

In at least one embodiment of the present invention, the cue has a substantially straight longitudinal axis and has a light transmission passage extending along the longitudinal axis of the cue at least partially between a cue ball engaging end thereof (i.e., a first end) and a hand gripping end thereof (i.e., a second end). The light transmission passage of the cue extends through a face at the cue ball engaging end of the cue such that the light transmission passage of the cue defines an aperture in the face of the cue and the light emitting device generates and directs a beam of light along the light transmission passage of the cue.

In at least one embodiment of the present invention, the cue includes a plurality of detachable segments, a cue ball engaging end of the cue is comprised by a first one of the segments and the light emitting device is contained within a second one of the segments.

In at least one embodiment of the present invention, a light transmission device extends within a light transmission passage of the cue at least partially between the cue ball engaging end and the light emitting device and the beam of light is directed into the light transmission device.

These and other objects, embodiments advantages and/or distinctions of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification and associated drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 depicts a light emitting cue in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2 depicts a light emitting cue having a first embodiment of a light emitting device arrangement in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view (laser device not sectioned) taken along the line 3-3 in FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 depicts a light emitting cue having a second embodiment of a light emitting device arrangement in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view (laser device not sectioned) taken along the line 5-5 in FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line 6-6 in FIG. 4.

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line 7-7 in FIG. 4.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIGURES

FIG. 1 depicts a light emitting cue 10 in accordance with the present invention. A light emitting device such as, for example, a laser device is contained within the body 12 of the cue. When the light emitting device is activated, the light emitting device generates a beam of light 14 and directs the beam of light from a tip 16 at a cue ball engaging end 18 of the cue. The beam of light 14 extends along an axis that is coaxial with a substantially straight longitudinal axis of the cue body 12.

In use, the beam of light 14 is directed at a ball 20 on a surface of a game table 21 (e.g., a pool or billiards table). This enables the beam of light 14 to be used as a guide when setting-up a shot. Because the beam of light 14 extends along an axis that is coaxial with a substantially straight longitudinal axis of the cue body 12, a user may use the light beam to determine useful information relative to a resulting path of travel 22 of the ball when the ball is hit at the point of impingement of the beam of light 14. For example, a user may gain information relating to a contact point of the ball 20 with another ball (e.g., ball 24), a contact point of the ball 20 with a bumper 26 of the game table 21 and a degree of ‘English’ (i.e., spin) that causes the ball 20 to travel in a curved path of travel. In this manner, the light emitting cue 10 is useful in improving a person's technique, consistency and accuracy in games such as pool and billiards.

FIGS. 2 and 3 depict a light emitting cue having a first embodiment of a light emitting device arrangement in accordance with the present invention, which is generally referred to as the light emitting cue 100. The light emitting cue 100 includes a cue body 102, a contact member 104 and a laser device 106 (i.e., a light emitting device). The cue body 102 consists essentially of an elongated tapered rod having a substantially straight longitudinal axis L. A commercially available laser pen is an example of a laser device in accordance with the present invention. The contact member 104 is attached at a cue ball engaging end 108 of the cue body 102 (i.e., at a tip of the cue body 102). Fibreglass, carbon fiber, wood, stainless steel and plastic are examples of materials from which a cue body 102 in accordance with the present invention may be made.

The cue body 102 includes a cavity 110 therein and a cap 112. The laser device 106, which is preferably a battery-energized laser device, is contained in the cavity 110. The cap 112 secures the laser device 106 within the cavity 110. Thus, preferably, the laser device 106 is built-into the cue body 102.

It is disclosed herein that the laser device 106 may be activated and deactivated by any number of approaches. One approach is for activation of the laser device 106 to be performed via rotation of the cap 112. For example, the cap 112 engages a rotating end portion 114 of the laser device 106. Through rotation of the cap 112, the rotating end portion 114 rotates relative to a stationary portion 115 of the laser device 106 (e.g., a portion constrained from rotation within the cavity 110). Through such rotation of the cap 112, the laser device 106 is selectively activated and deactivated. Alternately, rotation of the cap 112 results in a length of the cavity 110 changing (i.e., increasing and decreased dependent upon a direction of rotation) whereby a switch (not specifically shown) of the laser device 106 is selectively depressed and released via change in length of the cavity 110. Still another alternative is for a manually operated switch to be provided at an exterior surface of the cue body 102 or cap 112.

The contact member 104 cushions contact between a tip portion of the light emitting cue 100 and a game ball. Examples of typical materials from which the contact member 104 is made include, but are not limited to, leather and felt. The contact member 104 is attached to a face 116 of the cue body 102. In this particular embodiment, the face 116 is comprised by the cap 112 such that the contact member is attached to the cap 112.

The contact member 104 has a respective light transmission passage 118 and the cap 112 has a respective light transmission passage 120. The light transmission passages (118, 120) of the contact member 104 and the cap 112 are at least partially aligned. A light port (not specifically shown) of the laser device 106 is aligned with the light transmission passages (118, 120). Thus, a beam of light 122 generated by the laser device 106 and directed through the light port travels through the light transmission passages (118, 120).

FIGS. 5-8 depict a light emitting cue having a second embodiment of a light emitting device arrangement in accordance with the present invention, which is generally referred to as the light emitting cue 200. The light emitting cue 200 includes a cue body 202, a contact member 204 and a laser device 206. The cue body 202 consists essentially of a multi-segment elongated tapered rod having a substantially straight longitudinal axis L. The contact member 204 is attached at a cue ball engaging end 208 of the cue body 202 (i.e., at a tip of the cue body 202).

The cue body includes a first segment 209 and a second segment 211. The first segment 209 and the second segment 211 are interconnected at mating ends. For example, the first segment 209 includes a first interconnect member 209a that engages a second interconnect member 211a of the second segment 211. Thus, the first and second segments (209, 211) of the cue body may be selectively attached and detached.

The first segment 209 of the cue body 202 includes a cavity 210 therein and a cap 212. The laser device 206, which is preferably a battery-energized laser device, is contained in the cavity 210. The cap 212 secures the laser device 206 within the cavity 210.

To facilitate transmission of light from the laser device 206 to the cue ball engaging end 208 of the cue body, a light transmission device 213 extends along the cue body 202. The light transmission device 213 directs light from the laser device 206 to the cue ball engaging end 208 of the cue body 202. Lengths of optical fiber are examples of the light transmission device 213.

A first portion of the light transmission device 213 extends between the first interconnect member 209a and the laser device 206 within a respective light transmission passage 209b for directing light from the laser device 206 to the first interconnect member 209a. A second portion of the light transmission device 213 extends between the second interconnect member 211a and the cue ball engaging end 208 of the second segment 211 of the cue body 202 within a respective light transmission passage 211b for directing light from the laser device 206 from the second interconnect member 211a to the ball engaging end 208 of the cue body 202. A suitable optical interface (e.g., optical fiber ferrules) is provided between the first portion of the light transmission device 213 and the second portion of the light transmission device 213. In this manner, the light emitting cue 200 is configured for transmitting laser light across an interface between the first segment 209 and second segment 211 of the cue body 202. Thus, preferably, the laser device 206 and the light transmission device (i.e., jointly a light emitting apparatus) are built-into the cue body 102.

It is disclosed herein that the laser device 206 may be activated and deactivated by any number of approaches. One approach is for activation of the laser device 206 to be performed via rotation of the cap 212. For example, the cap 212 engages a rotating end portion 214 of the laser device 206 and through rotation of the cap 212, the rotating end portion 214 rotates relative to a stationary portion of the laser device 206 (e.g., a portion constrained from rotation within the cavity 210). Through such rotation of the cap 212, the laser device 206 is selectively activated and deactivated. Alternately, rotation of the cap 212 results in a length of the cavity 210 changing (i.e., increasing and decreased dependent upon a direction of rotation) whereby a switch (not specifically shown) of the laser device 206 is selectively depressed and released via change in length of the cavity 210. Still another alternative is for a manually operated switch to be provided at an exterior surface of the cue body 202 or cap 212.

The contact member 204 cushions contact between a tip portion of the light emitting cue 200 and a game ball. Examples of typical materials from which the contact member 204 is made include, but are not limited to, leather and felt. The contact member is attached to a face 216 of the cue body 202.

The contact member 204 has a respective light transmission passage 218 extending therethrough. The light transmission passage 218 of the contact member 204 and light transmission passage 211b of the cue body 202 are at least partially aligned. The light transmission passage 211b of the cue body 202 defines an aperture in the face 216 of the cue body 202. Thus, a beam of light 222 generated by the laser device 206 and directed through the light transmission device 213 travels through the light transmission passage 218 of the contact member 204.

In accordance with the present invention, a beam of light is a beam of light that is focused, monochromatic and/or coherent beam of light such as that produced, for example, by a laser device. A laser device is a preferred embodiment of a light emitting device configured for producing a beam of light in accordance with the present invention. However, it is disclosed herein that non-laser types of light emitting devices may be implemented for producing a suitable beam of light. For example, a non-laser light may be conditioned via one or more filters and or lenses for producing such a suitable beam of light.

In the preceding detailed description, reference has been made to the accompanying drawings that form a part hereof, and in which are shown by way of illustration specific embodiments in which the present invention may be practiced. These embodiments, and certain variants thereof, have been described in sufficient detail to enable those skilled in the art to practice embodiments of the present invention. It is to be understood that other suitable embodiments may be utilized and that logical, mechanical, chemical and electrical changes may be made without departing from the spirit or scope of such inventive disclosures. To avoid unnecessary detail, the description omits certain information known to those skilled in the art. The preceding detailed description is, therefore, not intended to be limited to the specific forms set forth herein, but on the contrary, it is intended to cover such alternatives, modifications, and equivalents, as can be reasonably included within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.