Title:
Odor absorber and display device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An odor absorber with a display device having an odor adsorbent cake, an odor absorbent cake retaining assembly, a portable power source and a cake retainer cover that includes an electronic display. One various embodiment includes the electronic display being enclosed in a water resistant enclosure.



Inventors:
Casari, Derek (Sherman Oaks, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/977482
Publication Date:
05/01/2008
Filing Date:
10/25/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E03D9/02; E03D13/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LOEPPKE, JANIE MEREDITH
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MEYER UNKOVIC & SCOTT LLP (535 Smithfield Street Suite 1300, Pittsburgh, PA, 15222-2315, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A combination odor absorber and display device comprising: an odor absorbent cake; an odor absorbent cake retaining assembly; a portable power source; and an odor absorbent cake retainer cover having an electronic display integrated therein.

2. The combination odor absorber and display device of claim 1, wherein said electronic display is enclosed in a water resistant enclosure.

3. The combination odor absorber and display device of claim 1, wherein said electronic display is selected from the group consisting of a low power consumption LCD display, an electro-phoretic display, an LED display, and combinations thereof.

4. The combination odor absorber and display device of claim 1, further comprising electronic receiving elements that allow said display to receive updated display information wirelessly.

5. The combination odor absorber and display device of claim 1, wherein said electronic display can display one of alphanumeric, digital or video images.

6. The combination odor absorber and display device of claim 1, wherein said power source is selected from the group consisting of a rechargeable battery and a lithium ion battery.

7. The combination odor absorber and display device of claim 1, wherein said electronic display is removeable from said odor absorbent cake retainer cover for recharging, cleaning or replacing.

8. A combination odor absorber and display device comprising: an odor absorbent cake retaining assembly; a portable power source; and an odor absorbent cake retainer cover having an electronic display integrated therein, wherein said electronic display is enclosed in a water resistant enclosure.

9. The combination odor absorber and display device of claim 8, wherein said electronic display is selected from the group consisting of a low power consumption LD display, an electro-phoretic display, an LED display, and combinations thereof.

10. The combination odor absorber and display device of claim 8, further comprising electronic receiving elements that allow said display to receive updated display information wirelessly.

11. The combination odor absorber and display device of claim 8, wherein said electronic display can display one of alphanumeric, digital or video images.

12. The combination odor absorber and display device of claim 8, wherein said power source is selected from the group consisting of a rechargeable battery and a lithium ion battery,

13. The combination odor absorber and display device of claim 8, wherein said electronic display is removeable from said odor absorbent cake retainer cover for recharging, cleaning or replacing.

14. A combination odor absorber and display device comprising: an odor absorbent cake retaining assembly; a portable power source; and an odor absorbent cake retainer cover having a removeable electronic display integrated therein, wherein said electronic display can display one of alphanumeric, digital or video images.

15. The combination odor absorber and display device of claim 14, wherein said electronic display is enclosed in a water resistant enclosure.

16. The combination odor absorber and display device of claim 14, wherein said electronic display is selected from the group consisting of a low power consumption LCD display, an electro-phoretic display, an LED display, and combinations thereof.

17. The combination odor absorber and display device of claim 14, further comprising electronic receiving elements that allow said display to receive updated display information wirelessly.

18. The combination odor absorber and display device of claim 14, wherein said power source is selected from the group consisting of a rechargeable battery and a lithium ion battery.

Description:

PRIORITY

This application hereby claims priority to provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/854,387, filed on Oct. 25, 2006.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention is generally related to an odor absorber urinal device and more particularly relates to an improved odor absorber urinal device which contains an alphanumeric, digital, electronic or video, low power display. One purpose of the urinal device is to display advertisements, amber alerts, public service announcements and other similar information to a urinal user.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Public urinals can become undesirable from odor if no odor absorbing materials are used. Odor absorbing devices are currently found in most public urinals. They are traditionally made of a plastic base plate and an integral raised circular wall capable or retaining a standard odor absorbing cake.

Existing odor absorbing devices for urinals, however, do not have an interesting and enjoyable means to provide an incentive for the user to view the urinal cake. Additionally, existing odor absorbing devices do not have a means for an alphanumeric, electronic, video or digital display to be removeably attached thereto.

Most urinal cakes are currently held within a cake holder that is made of molded plastic where the cake is retained in a well and is covered with a screened cover. U.S. Pat. No. 6,823,533 discloses a way to include an advertising panel on the cake cover so that the user of the urinal can be educated and entertained while urinating. However, this patent does not include a way to easily and instantly update information shown on an advertising display panel without physically removing the advertising panel and replacing it with a new one.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An object of the present invention is to provide an odor absorbing and display device that includes a means for an alphanumeric, electronic, video or digital display to be affixed thereto, to display a message, video or advertisement to a urinal user.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an easily decipherable alphanumeric, electronic, video or digital display containing real time messages, such as but not limited to, advertisements.

Still another object of the present invention is to combine a radio data system (RDS) receiver and a WI-FI receiver within or on an odor absorbing and display device. The odor absorbing and display device of the present invention is situated such that it can receive signals from an RDS receiver and/or a WI-FI access point. The RDS and WI-FI signals transmit data to the odor absorbing and display device.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide a back-end application server which provides database management for potential users containing the message(s) they wish to display on the odor absorbing and display device. The application server is preferably Internet based and provides the ability to modify the message contents from anywhere that the Internet can be accessed.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an odor absorbing device for a urinal that includes an electronic display portion so that users can watch real-time advertisements, amber alerts, public service announcements, or other information while urinating.

Another object of the invention is to provide an odor absorbing device for a urinal that includes a method to receive transmissions of electronic data from a remote location.

Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following descriptions, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein, by way of illustration and example, an embodiment of the present invention is disclosed.

In accordance with one various embodiment of the present invention, there is disclosed a combination odor absorber and display device comprising: an odor absorbent cake, an odor absorbent cake retaining assembly, a portable power source, and a odor absorbent cake retainer cover that includes an electronic, video or digital display.

In accordance another various embodiment of the present invention, there is disclosed an odor absorber and display device for a urinal comprising an odor absorbing cake retaining device, the device includes a flexible base plate and an integral raised, a circular cake retaining wall, a standard odor absorbing cake, an alphanumeric, electronic, video or digital display panel removeably and replaceably attached to the top of the odor absorbing cake for displaying a message to a urinal user, the base plate and the lower portion of the retaining wall have a plurality of apertures to allow the cake to be effective, and the circular retaining wall has a non perforated upper portion. The retaining wall has an inwardly facing ledge integrally attached to the top surface of the retaining wall and said base plate has a frame member capable of removeably retaining an advertising display.

The odor absorber and display device has the ability to display a signal on an alphanumeric, electronic, digital, video or like display located on the device. The signal for the display is preferably received through a radio frequency (RF) transmission or similar wireless means. The RF transmission is preferably Wi-Fi, and/or a sub carrier of the FM radio transmission system, known as RDS. The transmission system has the ability to switch between RDS and WI-FI modes as a means of fault tolerance or via the user's command. Internal components of the display system cause it to switch between modes when one of the signals is not transmitting properly. Optionally, the system can be switched from one transmission mode to another remotely.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The drawings constitute a part of this specification and include exemplary embodiments to the present invention, which may be embodied in various forms. It is to be understood that in some instances various aspects of the invention may be shown exaggerated or enlarged to facilitate an understanding of the invention.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the invention.

FIG. 2 is a side section view of the invention.

FIG. 3 is a schematic diagram of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE VARIOUS EMBODIMENTS

Detailed descriptions of the various embodiments of the present invention are provided herein. It is to be understood, however, that the present invention may be embodied in various forms. Therefore, specific details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but rather as a basis for the claims and as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to employ the present invention in virtually any appropriately detailed system, structure or manner.

Referring now to FIG. 1, a perspective view of the odor absorbing and display device 100 is shown. A urinal cake holder 12 made of flexible plastic and is sized in such a way that it fits comfortably at the base of a standard urinal. The side walls of holder 12 have perforations 18 that permit the odor absorbing capabilities of the cake 14 stored within the holder 12 to be easily accessed from the urinal environment. Additional slots 16 on the base plate of the urinal cake holder 12 allow for easy flow of urine to the urinal drain. Optionally, holder 12 can include a frame member that can optionally retain a removeable printed panel that can include the name of a sponsoring company or like advertisement.

In a preferred embodiment of the odor absorbing and display device 100, a harsh environment rated electronic or digital display assembly 50 is utilized. As shown in FIG. 1, digital display assembly 50 is mounted within housing 30 and is either mounted on or forms the top cover of the urinal cake holder 12. Such mounting can be accomplished by any means known to those skilled in the art. Housing 30 preferably includes a clear, water-resistant cover 4. A digital message 2 is generated within display assembly 50. As used herein, water resistant includes water proof covers as well.

A side section view of one embodiment of the present inventions, as indicated by section line 60 in FIG. 1, is shown in FIG. 2. Housing 30, which encloses cake 14, has a perimeter ledge that sits on the top perimeter of housing 12. The water-resistant properties of cover 4 are aided, in one embodiment, by the inclusion of gasket 3. Within housing 30 is an electronic display 2. This display can be an LCD type display which uses very little electrical energy, or it can be another standard display technology, including but not limited to a electro-phoretic or LED display. Rechargeable battery 10 supplies energy to the electronic circuit 8 and display 2. This alphanumeric, electronic, video or digital display 2 is preferably a low powered type display that is preferably powered by a long life battery, such as a lithium icon battery, for example, or similar means. The alphanumeric, electronic, digital or video display 2 can also be powered by any other means known to those skilled in the art.

In one embodiment of the present invention, as shown in FIG. 2, metal contacts 20 and 22 can be molded into the housing 30 bottom, which allow a person to remove the electronic display assembly 50 and to place it in a recharging stand. Future advances in electronic technology may allow future versions of the combination odor absorber and display device 100 to be charged remotely thereby eliminating the need for metal charging contacts 20 and 22. Additionally, improvements in battery design may allow the device 100 to be run for years on a battery that does not require recharging.

The alphanumeric, electronic, video or digital display 50 is linked to at least one antenna 24 or integrated receiver (see FIG. 2) located on the odor absorbing and display device 100. Optionally, the odor absorbing and display device 100 can have two antennas; one antenna for receiving an RDS transmission and one antenna for receiving WI-FI transmission. These antennas can be either external or internal to the odor absorber and display device 100. Both antennas communicate data to the alphanumeric, electronic, video or digital display 50 display, allowing it to provide a plurality of messages to the urinal's user. More specifically, in one embodiment of the present invention, antenna 24 is capable of receiving radio frequency signals or other wireless signals that are processed by a microprocessor within electronic assembly 8 and sent to display module 4. In this way, a message or digital image can be generated and seen by a person who is using the urinal containing the present invention 100. The odor absorbing and display device 100 can use either WI-FI transmission or RDS transmission or preferably both WI-FI and RDS transmission. Any other means of data transmission known to those skilled in the art can also optionally be used.

FIG. 3 shows a schematic diagram of the signal generation that is sent to the present invention. Antennas 140 and 180 deliver data to the display 50. The device 100 can receive transmissions 140 from an RF transmitter 222 or transmissions 180 from a Radio Data System (RDS) 44. Any other standard means of data transmission can also be used. The information or data provided to the alphaneumeric, electronic, video or digital display in the present invention is preferably but not limited to real-time. By way of further example, but not limitation, the present invention can include a Wi-Fi access point 101 that receives data 220 from the Internet 66, which, in turn, receives data 240 via a back end application server 80. The Wi-Fi antenna 26 can then transmit 300 data to the display 50. The back end applications server 80 can utilize a variety of languages to accomplish the task of serving up information including: Xtensible Markup Language (XML), Really Simple Syndication (RSS) or Hypertext Pre Processor (PHP). Other languages known to those skilled in the art can also be used and are within the scope of this invention.

If RDS transmission is used, the system includes an RDS transceiver 44 which has an antenna 26 for receiving and transmitting information. The RDS transceiver 44 receives its information 160 from an RF transmitter 222 which provides it with RDS data. It then transmits this data to the RDS antenna 24 within the electronic housing 30. The data is then displayed to a person using a urinal containing the present invention 100. In this way the present invention 100 can display messages or other graphics which can be seen by a person while he is urinating. The messages can be changed wirelessly and the entire display electronic display housing can be removed and recharged periodically.

While the invention has been described in connection with a various embodiments, it is not intended to limit the scope of the invention to the particular form set forth, but on the contrary, it is intended to cover such alternatives, modifications, and equivalents as may be included within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.