Title:
Miniature canopy apparatus for shading head and neck of a sunbather
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An apparatus is provided for shading a sunbather's head and neck from the sun. The apparatus includes a canopy having a plurality of spaced apart ribs affixed thereto. A first end of each of the ribs is hingedly connected to and radiates from a first hub. There is a plurality of spaced apart braces having a first end hingedly connected to and radiating from a second hub and a second end of each of the braces is hingedly connected to one of the ribs. Further included is a mechanism that is engageable with each of the first and second hubs for extending and retracting the canopy. There is also a base member having at least three legs pivotally connected together. A top portion of the base member is hingedly connected to a second end of at least one of the ribs for supporting the canopy a predetermined height above ground.



Inventors:
Skrobutt, Catherine (Carlsbad, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/975191
Publication Date:
06/05/2008
Filing Date:
10/18/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
135/143
International Classes:
E04H15/02; E04H15/48
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LYNCH, PATRICK D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JAMES RAY & ASSOCIATES (2640 PITCAIRN ROAD, MONROEVILLE, PA, 15146, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. An apparatus sized for shading at least one of a sunbather's head and neck from sun, said apparatus comprising: (a) a canopy having a plurality of spaced apart ribs affixed thereto for supporting said canopy in an extended open position, a first end of each of said ribs being hingedly connected to and radiating from a first hub; (b) a plurality of spaced apart braces each having a first end hingedly connected to and radiating from a second hub and a second end of each of said braces being hingedly connected to one of said ribs for supporting said ribs when said canopy is in said extended open position; (c) a means engageable with each of said first and second hubs for extending and collapsing said canopy; and (d) a base member having at least three legs pivotally connected together and capable of extending outwardly into an open position and folding inwardly into a closed position, a top portion of said base member being hingedly connected to a second end of at least one of said ribs for supporting said canopy a predetermined height above ground when said canopy is in said extended open position.

2. An apparatus, according to claim 1, wherein said means includes a drawstring engageable with a first aperture in an end portion of a cylindrical member attached to said second hub, said cylindrical member sized to fit in a second aperture located in said first hub, said drawstring is pulled causing said cylindrical member to raise and enter into said second aperture to a point where said second hub contacts said first hub in turn causing said braces to raise and expand said ribs and canopy into said extended open position until said drawstring is released to allow said braces, ribs and canopy to collapse into a retracted closed position.

3. An apparatus, according to claim 2, wherein said means further includes a latch member attached to one of said legs for engaging and holding said drawstring in a taut position while said canopy is in said extended open position.

4. An apparatus, according to claim 1, wherein said apparatus further includes a pillow attachable to a bottom portion of said base member.

5. An apparatus, according to claim 4, wherein said pillow is made from a water resistant material.

6. An apparatus, according to claim 4, wherein said apparatus further includes a beach towel attachable to an underside of said pillow.

7. An apparatus, according to claim 1, wherein said canopy is made from a water resistant material.

8. An apparatus, according to claim 1, wherein said base member is made from one of plastic and metal.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application is closely related to and claims priority from U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/829,935 filed on Oct. 18, 2006.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates, in general, to umbrella like canopies used to provide shade from the sun and, more particularly, the invention relates to a miniature canopy apparatus sized for shading at least one of a sunbather's head and neck from the sun.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Many people enjoy lying out in the sun tanning whether it is at a beach, by swimming pool, or just out in the backyard. However, sunbathers often seek protection from the sun's rays for their faces and necks while in a reclining position.

Oftentimes, a sunbather will cover their head with a hat or beach towel. This can cause the sunbather to feel confined, inhibit their breathing, and prevent the sunbather from viewing their surroundings. Due to their large size, beach umbrellas often block more of the sun's rays than the user desires, causing uneven tanning to occur.

Other options for sunbathers may include sunglasses or sun block lotions. However, while some sunglasses may prevent UV rays from hitting the eyes, tan lines caused by the frames can be quite noticeable. Also, some sun block lotions can cause irritation as well as blemishes on facial skin.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides an apparatus sized for shading at least one of a sunbather's head and neck from the sun. The apparatus includes a canopy having a plurality of spaced apart ribs affixed thereto for supporting the canopy in an extended open position. A first end of each of the ribs is hingedly connected to and radiates from a first hub. Also included is a plurality of spaced apart braces each of which having a first end hingedly connected to and radiating from a second hub and a second end of each of the braces is hingedly connected to one of the ribs for supporting such ribs when the canopy is in the extended open position. Further included is a means engageable with each of the first and second hubs for extending and retracting the canopy. Still further included is a base member having at least three legs pivotally connected together that extends outwardly into an open position and folds inwardly into a closed position. A top portion of the base member is hingedly connected to a second end of at least one of the ribs for supporting the canopy a predetermined height above ground when such canopy is in the extended open position.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

It is, therefore, one of the primary objects of the present invention to provide a miniature canopy apparatus that shades just the head and neck of a sunbather.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a miniature canopy apparatus that shades just the head and neck of a sunbather without causing the sunbather to feel confined, inhibiting their breathing, or preventing the sunbather from viewing their surroundings.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide a miniature canopy apparatus that shades just the head and neck of a sunbather without blocking more of the sun's rays than the user desires.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a miniature canopy apparatus that may include a pillow and beach towel attachments.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a miniature canopy apparatus that is generally easy to extend for use in shading and collapse for storage and transport.

In addition to the various objects and advantages of the present invention described with some degree of specificity above it should be understood that additional objects and advantages of the present invention will become more readily apparent to those persons who are skilled in the relevant art from the following more detailed description of the invention, particularly, when such description is taken in conjunction with the attached drawing figures and with the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of various components of the present invention in a partially retracted position; and

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the miniature canopy apparatus of the present invention in an extended open position.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PRESENTLY PREFERRED AND VARIOUS ALTERNATIVE EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

Prior to proceeding to the more detailed description of the present invention it should be noted that, for the sake of clarity and understanding, identical components which have identical functions have been identified with identical reference numerals throughout the several views illustrated in the drawing figures.

Reference is now made, more particularly, to drawing FIGS. 1 and 2, illustrated therein is an apparatus, generally designated 10, sized for shading at least one of a sunbather's head and neck from the sun. Apparatus 10 includes a canopy 12, preferably made from a water resistant material, having a plurality of spaced apart ribs 14 affixed thereto for supporting canopy 12 in an extended open position. Each of ribs 14 has a first end that is hingedly connected to a first hub 16.

Further included is a plurality of spaced apart braces 18 each of which having a first end hingedly connected to and radiating from a second hub 22 and a second end hingedly connected to one of ribs 14 for supporting them when canopy 12 is in the extended open position.

There is a base member, generally designated 20, having at least three legs 24 pivotally connected together and capable of extending outwardly into an open position and folding inwardly into a closed position. Base member 20 is, preferably, made from one of plastic and metal. A top portion of base member 20 is hingedly connected to a second end of at least one of ribs 14 for supporting canopy 12 a predetermined height above ground when it is in the extended open position.

There also is a means, generally designated 30, engageable with each of first and second hubs 16 and 22, respectively, for extending and retracting canopy 12. Means 30 includes a drawstring 26 engageable with a first aperture 28 in an end portion of a cylindrical member 32 attached to second hub 22. Cylindrical member 32 is sized to fit in a second aperture 34 located in first hub 16. When a sunbather wants to use apparatus 10, they will pull on drawstring 26 causing cylindrical member 32 to raise and enter into second aperture 34 to a point where second hub 22 contacts first hub 16 in turn causing braces 18 to raise and expand ribs 14 and canopy 12 into the extended open position. Means 30, preferably, further includes a latch member 36 attached to one of legs 24 for engaging and holding drawstring 26 in a taut position while canopy 12 is in the extended open position. When the sunbather no longer needs apparatus 10, they can release drawstring 26 thus allowing braces 18, ribs 14 and canopy 12 to collapse into a retracted closed position.

Apparatus 10 may further include a pillow 38, preferably made from a water resistant material, attachable to a bottom portion 42 of base member 20. The means for attaching pillow 38 to bottom portion 42 of base member 20 may be, for example, hook and loop type fasteners, snaps, buttons, etc.

Also, apparatus 10 may further include a beach towel 44 attachable to an underside of pillow 38. The means for attaching beach towel 44 to pillow 38 may be, for example, hook and loop type fasteners, snaps, buttons, etc.

Apparatus 10 is able to collapse and fold up into a generally compact unit for transport to and from the pool or beach in a handbag.

While a presently preferred and various alternative embodiments of the present invention have been described in sufficient detail above to enable a person skilled in the relevant art to make and use the same it should be obvious that various other adaptations and modifications can be envisioned by those persons skilled in such art without departing from either the spirit of the invention or the scope of the appended claims.