Title:
PERSONAL SHELTER DEVICE
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A personal shelter apparatus is disclosed herein. The personal shelter can comprise a screen, a handle, and a connector that connects the handle to the screen. The screen can include a collapsible frame and a foldable membrane. The collapsible frame can have an essentially annular shape that is disconnected at one point of the circumference of the essentially annular shape so as to form a first end and a second end in the collapsible frame. The membrane can be attached to the frame and be configured to block at least visible light. The handle can have a hollow cylindrical shape. The connector can connect the handle to the screen. The connector can have a first portion and a second portion. The first portion and the second portion can be in perpendicular relation to each other. The first portion can have a first grove and a second grove. The first grove can be configured to receive the first end of the collapsible frame, while the second grove can be configured to receive the second end of the collapsible frame. The second portion can be connected to the handle utilizing a locking mechanism.



Inventors:
Watts, Marvin (CANOGA PARK, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/457444
Publication Date:
01/18/2007
Filing Date:
07/13/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
135/117
International Classes:
A45B23/00
View Patent Images:
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20070193611Illuminated convalescent walkerAugust, 2007Gallo
20060070643Umbrella support systemApril, 2006Markert
20050206108Walk-assisting cartSeptember, 2005Chung
20060260666A VENT OF FOLDABLE TENT FRAMENovember, 2006Choi
20070107758Reinforced umbrella for resisting windMay, 2007Chen
20080289671Cane with enhancing sleeve put on a joining portion of handle and shaftNovember, 2008Chiu



Primary Examiner:
LYNCH, PATRICK D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GREENBERG TRAURIG LLP (2450 COLORADO AVENUE, SUITE 400E, SANTA MONICA, CA, 90404, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A personal shelter apparatus, comprising: a screen including a collapsible frame and a foldable membrane, wherein the collapsible frame has an essentially annular shape that is disconnected at one point of the circumference of the essentially annular shape so as to form a first end and a second end in the collapsible frame, the membrane being attached to the frame and being configured to block at least visible light; a handle having a hollow cylindrical shape; and a connector that connects the handle to the screen, the connector having a first portion and a second portion, the first portion and the second portion being in perpendicular relation to each other, the first portion having a first grove and a second grove, the first grove being configured to receive the first end of the collapsible frame, the second grove being configured to receive the second end of the collapsible frame, the second portion being connected to the handle utilizing a locking mechanism.

2. The personal shelter apparatus of claim 1, wherein the locking mechanism comprises the second portion being inserted in a distal opening of the handle, and the springing button protruding through a shaft opening of the handle.

3. The personal shelter apparatus of claim 1, wherein the second portion is cylindrical and is threaded on the external surface, wherein the handle is threaded on the inner surface inside a distal opening of the handle, and wherein the locking mechanism comprises a screwing mechanism wherein the second portion is screwed into the inner surface of the handle.

4. The personal shelter apparatus of claim 1, wherein the locking mechanism comprises a fitting mechanism wherein the second portion is inserted into a distal opening of the handle.

5. The personal shelter apparatus of claim 1, wherein the locking mechanism comprises a fitting mechanism wherein the handle is inserted into the second portion.

6. The personal shelter apparatus of claim 1, wherein the foldable membrane is configured to block sun rays.

7. The personal shelter apparatus of claim 1, wherein the foldable membrane is configured to block ultraviolet rays.

8. The personal shelter apparatus of claim 1, wherein the foldable membrane is impermeable.

9. The personal shelter apparatus of claim 1, wherein the foldable membrane is printed with advertisement indicia.

10. A personal shelter apparatus, comprising: a collapsible canopy configured to block at least visible light; a handle having a hollow cylindrical shape so as to form a distal opening, the handle further including a shaft opening in the shaft of the handle; and a connector that connects the handle to the collapsible canopy, the connector having a first portion and a second portion, the first and the second portion being in perpendicular relation to each other, the first portion being articulable to the collapsible canopy with a locking mechanism, the second portion including a springing button, wherein the second portion is configured to be locked to the handle when the second portion is inserted in the distal opening of the handle and the springing button protrudes through the shaft opening.

11. The personal shelter apparatus of claim 10, wherein the collapsible frame is in a collapsed mode and an uncollapsed mode, the collapsible frame stretching the foldable material so as to create tension in the uncollapsed mode, the collapsible frame folding the material in the collapsed mode.

12. The personal shelter apparatus of claim 10, wherein the foldable membrane is configured to block sun rays.

13. The personal shelter apparatus of claim 10, wherein the foldable membrane is configured to block ultraviolet rays.

14. The personal shelter apparatus of claim 10, wherein the foldable membrane is impermeable.

15. The personal shelter apparatus of claim 10, wherein the foldable membrane is printed with advertisement indicia.

Description:

PRIORITY CLAIM

This application claims the benefit of and priority to U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/700,508, filed Jul. 18, 2005, the contents of which are incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE DISCLOSURE

1. Field of the Disclosure

The present disclosure relates to personal shelter devices. In particular, it relates to portable personal sunshades, etc.

2. General Background

Extended periods of exposure to the sun have become increasingly dangerous for human beings. Individuals dwelling in hot climates often suffer through summer months of very harsh sun. Moreover, because of ozone layer depletion individuals need protection from solar damaging rays even in areas of the planet with minimal sun exposure. Increased intensity of the sun's ultra-violet rays combined with ozone layer depletion are increasing skin cancer occurrences. With melanoma incidents on the rise, individuals need a portable and comfortable solution to shelter from the sun and other environment conditions.

SUMMARY

In one aspect, there is a personal shelter apparatus. The personal shelter can comprise a screen, a handle, and a connector. The screen can include a collapsible frame and a foldable membrane. The collapsible frame can have an essentially annular shape that is disconnected at one point of the circumference of the essentially annular shape so as to form a first end and a second end in the collapsible frame. The membrane can be attached to the frame and be configured to block at least visible light. The handle can have a hollow cylindrical shape. The connector can connect the handle to the screen. The connector can have a first portion and a second portion. The first portion and the second portion can be in perpendicular relation to each other. The first portion can have a first grove and a second grove. The first grove can be configured to receive the first end of the collapsible frame, while the second grove can be configured to receive the second end of the collapsible frame. The second portion can be connected to the handle utilizing a locking mechanism.

In an further aspect, the locking mechanism comprises the second portion being inserted in a distal opening of the handle, and the springing button protruding through a shaft opening of the handle.

Furthermore, the second portion can be cylindrical and can be threaded on the external surface. The handle can be threaded on the inner surface inside a distal opening of the handle. In addition, the locking mechanism can comprise a screwing mechanism wherein the second portion is screwed into the inner surface of the handle. Alternatively, the locking mechanism comprises a fitting mechanism wherein the second portion is inserted into a distal opening of the handle. In another aspect, the locking mechanism comprises a fitting mechanism wherein the handle being is inserted into the second portion.

In a further aspect of the personal shelter, the foldable membrane can be configured to block sun rays, and/or ultraviolet rays. The foldable membrane can be impermeable, light reflective, etc. The foldable membrane can be printed with advertisement indicia.

In one aspect, there is a personal shelter apparatus, comprising a collapsible canopy, a handle, and a connector. The collapsible canopy can be configured to block at least visible light. The handle can have a hollow cylindrical shape so as to form a distal opening. Furthermore, the handle can include a shaft opening in the shaft of the handle. The connector can connect the handle to the collapsible canopy. The connector can have a first portion and a second portion. The first and the second portion can be in perpendicular relation to each other. The first portion can be articulable to the collapsible canopy with a locking mechanism. The second portion can include a springing button. The second portion is configured to be locked to the handle when the second portion is inserted in the distal opening of the handle and the springing button protrudes through the shaft opening.

In a further aspect of the personal shelter apparatus, the collapsible frame can be in a collapsed mode and an uncollapsed mode. The collapsible frame can stretch the foldable material so as to create tension in the uncollapsed mode. The collapsible frame can fold the material in the collapsed mode.

DRAWINGS

The above-mentioned features and objects of the present disclosure will become more apparent with reference to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein like reference numerals denote like elements and in which:

FIG. 1 illustrates a shelter device utilized by an individual according to one embodiment.

FIG. 2 illustrates an exploded view of the shelter device according to one embodiment.

FIG. 3 illustrates the components of a connector according to one embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

A personal shelter device is disclosed herein. In one embodiment, the personal shelter device can be utilized to protect a user from inclement sunshine by obstructing sunrays and providing shade. In another embodiment, the personal shelter device can be utilized to protect a user from rain or any other weather condition that can be blocked with the personal shelter device.

FIG. 1 illustrates a shelter device 100 utilized by an individual according to one embodiment. The shelter device can include a screen 102 and a handle 104 that are assembled together so as to form a shelter that an individual can utilize to protect himself against sun rays or rain or any other weather condition that can be helped or prevented by utilizing the shelter device 100. In one embodiment, the screen 102 can be a collapsible canopy that can be collapsed into a smaller object having a fraction of the size of the screen 102. The collapsible canopy can include a membrane made of foldable fabric and a frame, such as collapsible wire, that borders the membrane. The collapsible wire can be attached at the periphery of the membrane or piece of fabric, and when in an uncollapsed mode, the membrane can be stretched so as to form an essentially flat surface. The flat surface of the shelter device 100 allows the individual carrying the shelter device 100 to have an unrestricted view by permitting the individual to position the screen 102 above the individual's head and parallel to the line of view of the individual. As such, the shelter device 100 permits a user to have a three-hundred and sixty degree unrestricted view and simultaneously be protected from sunrays, rain, etc.

In addition, the shelter device 100 permits the user to receive unrestricted airflow because the user can position the flat surface of the screen 102 parallel to the airflow line. The aerodynamic design of the screen 102 can permit a breeze or wind to pass through the screen 102 without disturbing the position of the screen 102 in relation to the user of the shelter device 100. For example, as illustrated in FIG. 1, the screen 102 is positioned horizontally with respect to the ground, and airflow having a horizontal direction with respect to the ground would be allowed to flow unrestrictedly in order provide breeze to the user. The breeze can cooperate with the shelter device 100 in order to keep the user cool in warm weather conditions. In another embodiment, the screen 102 can be a flat circular object such as a wooden surface that can be attached to the handle 104 in order to provide shelter to the user.

As previously indicated, the shelter device can also include a handle 104. The handle 104 can be attached to the screen 102 in one or more ways. For example, the handle 104 can be soldered to the screen 102. In another embodiment, the handle 104 can be coupled to the screen 102 through one or more connectors disclosed herein. The handle 104 can be positioned off-center in relation to the screen 102 so that the shaft of the handle is less intrusive to the view of the user. As such, one end of the handle 104 can be attached to the screen 102 at the periphery of the screen while the other end of the handle 104 can be utilized by the user to hold the shelter device 100. In one embodiment, the handle 104 can be collapsible. For example, the handle 104 can be made of a material that can be bent into a small or short object. In another example, the handle 104 can be collapsed by folding one or more parts that comprise the handle 104. In yet another approach, the handle can be made collapsible by providing the handle 104 with two or more portions that can be telescoped in relation to each other such that multiple portions of the handle 104 can be collapsed together by inserting one portion into another until all of the portions are collapsed into a smaller object.

FIG. 2 illustrates an exploded view of the shelter device 100 according to one embodiment. In one embodiment, the screen 102 of the shelter device 100 can be a collapsible canopy. The collapsible canopy can include a membrane 202 and a collapsible frame 204. The collapsible frame 204 can be made out of one or more materials that can permit the collapsible frame 204 to have a collapsed mode and an uncollapsed mode. In the collapsed mode, the collapsible frame 204 can be folded into a collapsed object such that the size of the collapsed object is only a fraction of the collapsible canopy. For example, the collapsible frame 204 can be a wire that can be bent into an eight-shaped form and subsequently folded into a smaller circular object. In an uncollapsed mode, the collapsible frame 204 can be unfolded to an uncollapsed mode that provides tension to the membrane 202. As such, the membrane 202 can be attached to the collapsible frame 204 such that when the collapsible frame 204 is in an uncollapsed mode, the membrane is stretched to form an essentially flat surface which is used to form the screen 100. In addition, the membrane 202 can be folded when the collapsible frame 204 is in an uncollapsed mode. As such, the membrane 202 can be made of material or fabric in order to permit the membrane 202 to be folded into a smaller object when the collapsible frame 204 is in the collapsed mode. The membrane 202 can be a canvas, mesh, sheet, film, or any other form of membrane that can be collapsed and uncollapsed according to the state of the collapsible frame 204 handle 104 by using a connector 206.

In one embodiment, the connector 206 can be a T-shaped connector. The T-shaped connector can include a transversal portion 218 and a protruded portion 214. The transversal portion 218 can include two groves 212 positioned on the opposite distal ends 220 and 222 of the transversal portion 218. The groves 212 permit the ends 220 and 222 of the collapsible frame 204 to be inserted and locked into position such that the connector 206 closes the loop of the collapsible frame 204 and connects the collapsible frame 204 with the connector 206. Each of the groves 212 on the transversal portion 218 can be configured with a locking mechanism that allows the collapsible frame 204 to be locked into position so as to permit a secure connection between the connector 206 and the collapsible frame 204. For example, the collapsible frame 204 can be further configured such that the ends 220 and 222 of the collapsible frame 204 can be clipped or pressure-fitted in the grooves 212. In another embodiment, the ends 220 and 222 of the collapsible frame 204 can be glued in position when inserted in the grooves 212.

The connector 206 can be coupled to the shaft 208 in one or more different ways. In one embodiment, the protruded portion 214 is glued into a distal opening 216 of the handle 104. In another embodiment, the protruded portion 214 and the shaft 208 are one single piece such that the protruded portion 214 is elongated to form the shaft of the handle 104. In yet another embodiment, the protruded portion 214 is coupled with the distal opening 216 using a locking mechanism as disclosed herein. One or more locking mechanisms can be utilized to couple the protruded portion 214 and the shaft 208. In addition, a bottom cap 210 can be provided so as to cover the distal end of the shaft 208. The bottom cap 210 can further be equipped with a strap that can be utilized to hold or hang the shelter device 100.

FIG. 3 illustrates the components of a connector according to one embodiment. As previously discussed, the connector 206 can include a transversal portion 218 and a protruded portion 214 which are in a perpendicular position in relation to each other. As such, the connector 206 can be a T-shaped connector that connects to the ends 220 and 222 of the collapsible frame 204 at the grooves 212 of the transversal portion 218. The connector 206 can be coupled to the shaft 208 by utilizing a locking mechanism that secures the connection between the connector 206 and the shaft 208.

In one embodiment, the locking mechanism includes a springing button 302 placed on the protruded portion 214. The springing button 302 can be depressed when the protruded portion 214 is inserted into the distal opening 216 and snapped or released into place through the shaft opening 308. In one embodiment, the springing button 302 can be part of the protruded portion 214. For example, the springing button 302 can be attached to a portion of the protruded portion 214 that has been cut into a U-shape such that it hinges in and out of the protruded portion 214. A spring 304 can be positioned inside the protruded portion 214 so as to provide the springing button 302 with further elasticity and strength and permits the springing button 302 to quickly recover to its original position. Thus, for example, when the user wants to assemble the shaft 208 and the connector 206, the user can depress on the springing button 302 and insert the protruded portion 214 into the shaft opening such that the springing button 302 continues to be pressed as the protruded portion 214 slides downwards and into the shaft 208. The springing button 302 can be released through the action of the spring 304 when the protruded portion 214 has slid fully into place so as to permit the springing button 302 to move through the shaft opening 308. Likewise, when a user wants to separate the shaft 208 and the connector 206, the user can again press the springing button 302 and start separating the shaft and the connector 206. As the protruded portion 214 slides out of the shaft 208, the springing button 302 continues to be pressed until the protruded portion is fully separated from the shaft 208 and the springing button 302 can move into its normal position by action of the spring 304 that moves the springing button 302 away from the protruded portion 214. Of course, other connection mechanisms between the connector 206 and the shaft 208 can be utilized. In one example, the spring 304 can be a V-shaped spring or a coiled-shaped spring. In another embodiment, the protruded portion can be connected to the shaft 208 by providing external threading around the cylindrical surface of the protruded portion 214 that can then be screwed into an internal threading in the internal walls of the shaft 208.

Furthermore, although the protruded portion of the shaft 214 and the shaft 208 have been portrayed in an exemplary mode as being cylindrical and hollow, the protruded portion 214 and the shaft 208 can have, for example, other shapes such as a triangular shape or a rectangular shape, etc. Likewise, the grooves 212 and the ends 220 and 222 can be connected in one or more ways through different coupling mechanisms.

Those skilled in the art will recognize that the methods and systems of the present disclosure may be implemented in many manners and as such are not to be limited by the foregoing exemplary embodiments and examples. In this regard, any number of the features of the different embodiments described herein may be combined into single or multiple embodiments, and alternate embodiments having fewer than or more than all of the features herein described are possible. Functionality may also be, in whole or in part, distributed among multiple components, in manners now known or to become known. Thus, myriad combinations are possible in achieving the functions, features, interfaces and preferences described herein. Moreover, the scope of the present disclosure covers conventionally known manners for carrying out the described features and functions and interfaces, and those variations and modifications that may be made to the components described herein as would be understood by those skilled in the art now and hereafter.