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This application is the National Stage of PCT/EP2009/061173 filed on Aug. 28th, 2009, which claims priority under 35 U.S.C. §119 of French Application No. 0855833 filed on Aug. 29th, 2008. The international application under PCT article 21(2) was not published in English.
The present invention relates to an individual table providing a person sitting on a sofa (or on the edge of a bed) or in an armchair or in a wheelchair or even sitting directly on the floor to have, in comfortable conditions, with a working or service table, such as a working board in front of a laptop or a reading or writing board.
There are lots of situations where a person in a sitting position as stated above uses an object which he or she can only arrange on his or her lap or beside him or her, although it would be much more comfortable to place this object in front of him/her on a support.
In particular, this is the case for a laptop that one would like to use or for a book or a magazine, a drink, a cup or a lunch tray that one would like to have arranged just in front while sitting in an armchair or sofa and, for example, watching TV.
Many situations of this kind exist whenever a person is sitting on a sofa, an armchair, a banquette, a bench, a bed, a boat cockpit, a backseat of a car, that is each time a user is in a place where there is neither table nor desk where to arrange its equipment.
It may be emphasized that working with a laptop on your lap is not comfortable, the heat produced by the working laptop further increasing such discomfort.
Apart from these situations of everyday life, other situations can be contemplated, such as those where people would like to have lunch, to have dinner, to play cards, to play console games, while sitting on an armchair, a sofa, a banquette, a bench, a bed, a boat cockpit, a backseat of a car or directly on the floor, whether indoor or outdoor.
French patent application No. 2891714 discloses a laptop support tray for use by a person sitting in an armchair between two armrests. This device is provided with sides adapted to fit, whether by spacing or tilting, to any type of armchair armrests.
This known device has the disadvantages of not being very stable, not being able to fit to sitting spaces larger than the armchairs, that is sofas, benches, banquettes, etc., and of not being comfortable, the person having to sit as if he or she was at a table or desk although he or she is not sitting in an office chair but in a seat intended initially for relaxation.
UK patent GB 225 803 A discloses an individual table provided with an horizontal working tray and two side parts forming armrests. The armrests are provided on each side of the tray, in a plane lower than the plane of the tray, and are made of bands of fabric stretching over a width that does not exceed the width of the tray.
Such a device has the disadvantages that the individual table is not stable and that, during use, the person is not maintained in a correct seated position, with his/her back straight.
The present invention aims to overcome at least one of these disadvantages.
Also, it is an object to provide an individual table that will adapt to the various possible locations where a person may sit: in a sofa, on a bed, directly on the floor or in an armchair.
To this end, the present invention relates to an individual working or service table providing comfort to a person sitting in a sofa or the like or an armchair or wheelchair with armrests or even sitting directly on the floor, said table comprising a working or service tray to be positioned horizontally above the lap of the person in said seated position, and two armrests provided on each side of the working or service tray, wherein two respective side parts extending from the installation side where the person is located are laterally assembled to the tray, these side parts forming downwards returns, when considering the installation position, adapted to be placed on each side of the seated person and arranged to form, on the upper surface, the armrests of said individual table, and, at their base, a stable support on the seating surface of the sofa or the like, on the armrests of the armchair or wheelchair or on the floor according to where the person is sitting, the person's waist being enclosed by the tray part and by the side parts of the individual table.
Ideal conditions to maintain the comfort are thereby created for a person who wishes to have an activity while he/she, for example, is sitting comfortably, the person's waist being enclosed by the tray part and by the side parts of the individual table according to the invention, the person's forearms resting then naturally on the armrest surfaces. The side parts also bearing fully on the seating surface of the sofa or the like, the person feels entirely safe to perform the activity intended.
It can also be noticed that the use of the individual table according to the invention, thanks to its ergonomic design, forces the user to stand upright, which attitude helps to prevent back pain. In case the person is sitting on a sofa or an armchair, a full “envelopment” of the person may be obtained, as the rear of the side parts of the individual table may be brought into contact with the backrest of the sofa or armchair and the person is in the position of a person normally sitting in an armchair.
The tray advantageously consists in a lower panel to which are assembled the side parts and in a top board, integrally formed with the panel or forming a separate element attached on said panel or connected to said panel with a possibility of being movable relative thereto.
According to a first alternative embodiment of the board, the board is pivotally mounted in its plane, relative to the panel, the pivot axis being in particular optionally disposed laterally offset relative to the average transversal direction of the table considered in its use position.
According to a second alternative embodiment of the board, the board is slidably mounted relative to the panel, in particular is slidably mounted along the longitudinal direction of the table considered in its use position by at least one slide sliding in at least one corresponding track supported by the panel, abutment means for the board at the end of its stroke being supported by the panel.
In particular, the board may have a generally ellipsoidal shape with, preferably on the installation side of the person (i.e. the side of the board where the person is located in use), a straight edge or having an arched recess, the board advantageously extending beyond the panel in the mounted and not moved position if the board is movably mounted on the panel, at least along the above mentioned edge and/or along the edge opposite thereto.
In particular, the side parts may be formed by blocks of a generally parallelepipedic shape, fixedly assembled to the tray or with the possibility of adjustment relative to the tray, these blocks having a flat base for a table intended to be set on the seating surface of a sofa or the like or directly on the floor, or a U-shaped recess along the average longitudinal line from their free border to allow a positioning on an armchair or wheelchair armrest with the bottom of said recess resting on said armrest, resting the block on the seating surface of a sofa or the like or on the floor remaining possible through the base of said block.
According to a particular embodiment, each side part is arranged spreading outward from its assembly region with the tray, in order to accommodate the normal position of the person's forearms, which bear on the armrest upper surface.
According to a first embodiment of the individual table, the tray and the side parts are formed in one piece or are made from a single material, if applicable covered with a cover or several cover members.
According to a second embodiment of the individual table, the panel and the sides parts are formed in one piece or are made from a single material, if applicable covered with a cover or several cover members, and the board forms a separate part made of the same or of a different material.
The individual table according to the invention may also be provided with cavities or recesses for receiving objects, such as glass holders, cup holders, lamps, or for forming storage spaces or passages for wires or cables for connecting accessories such as laptop accessories.
The subject-matter of the present invention will be best understood with the exemplary and non limiting description of a particular embodiment, said description being made with reference to the accompanying drawing, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an individual table according to a first embodiment of the present invention, with a person sitting in a sofa in a reading position;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the table of FIG. 1 showing the outer face thereof in a use position;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the table of FIG. 1 shown on the side where the person is located (installation side);
FIG. 4 is a top view of the table of FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 1, showing another embodiment of the table according to the invention;
FIG. 6 is, in a larger scale, a partial exploded sectional view along VI-VI of FIG. 5;
FIG. 7 is a view similar to FIGS. 4 and 5 showing another embodiment of the present invention;
FIGS. 8 and 9 are views similar to FIGS. 3 and 2 respectively, illustrating the use of the individual table according to the invention as a table for the use of a laptop;
FIGS. 10 and 11 are views similar to FIG. 1, in accordance with another embodiment of the invention, with a person, in a reading position, sitting in an armchair and a wheelchair, respectively;
FIG. 12 is a view of the table according to the previous embodiment, shown on the installation side of the person;
FIG. 13 is a top view of the table of FIGS. 10 to 12; and
FIG. 14 is a detailed view showing a section of an armrest of the individual table according to the last embodiment, in position on an armchair armrest.
With reference to FIGS. 1 to 4, there is shown an individual table 1 according to the invention, which table comprises a substantially regular horizontal panel 2, substantially folded at 90 degrees along its two side borders and extending, in the region of these borders and 90 degrees returns, in side members located on the side where will be installed the person using the table 1, installed on his or her sofa C.
Two side parts 3 are formed thereby, the top surface of which will serve as armrests and the base of which will rest stably on the seating surface of the sofa C.
As best seen in FIG. 3, the side parts slightly spread outward, which provides better ergonomics when the person rests its forearms on the armrests.
On the panel 2 is applied a working or service board 4, having an exemplary generally elliptical shape, the border of said board 4 on the person installation side being rectilinear, as can be seen in particular in FIG. 4.
The board 4 extends beyond the panel 2 on both the user side edge and the opposite edge, thereby increasing the use surface.
The panel 2 and the side parts 3 are formed integrally with a rigid foam, such as a Bultex® type foam with for instance a density of 17, 24, 28 or 35, chosen according to the desired trade-off between the weight of the table 1 and the quality of support on the seating surface of the sofa or the like.
This foam is here enclosed in a one-piece cover or a cover in several pieces, preferably removable for cleaning, closed by one or more zippers.
The cover is, for example, made of an advantageously washable or dry cleanable fabric, such as cotton fabric, which also allows to provide the table 1 in different colors. For the cover, leather, such as full-grain leather, corrected grain leather, etc, can also be used.
The foam forming the panel 2 and the side parts 3 could be replaced by hollow fibers, such as 100% polyester hollow fibers, or by polypropylene beads, provided that the desired stability for the table 1 is achieved.
The board 4 may be made of bonded foam, for example with a density from 35 to 150, of wood such as teak, walnut burl, etc., of a composite material such as carbon and Kevlar®, or of a less noble material, wearing a cover, as previously described for the panel 2-side parts 3 assembly.
In the example shown, the board 4 is covered with a cover and is attached to the panel 2 by any means, preferably removable to allow the cleaning of the covers.
The following dimensions are given as an example for the table 1:
Referring now to FIGS. 5 and 6, there is shown a table 11 identical to the table 1-10 being added to the reference signs designating identical parts to those used for FIGS. 1 to 4, the same rule applying below for the three other embodiments—except that the board 14 is pivotably mounted to one side as shown in FIG. 6. A pivoting mounting is for example the one shown in FIG. 6. The board 14 and the panel 12 each have, at a point situated laterally and halfway across the board 14, cylindrical housings with the bottom closed 14a and 12a respectively, opposite to each other, introduced along an axis perpendicular to the plane of the board 14 and the panel 12 in cavities formed respectively in the board 14 and the panel 12, with outer borders folded so as to form flanges for securing the cover. A pivot axis 16 is placed in the housings that face each other.
With such an arrangement, the user will be able to rotate the board 14 on one side, for example if he wants to have a better field of vision to watch television, for example, or if he wants to show a computer screen to another person.
Referring to the embodiment of FIG. 7, the panel 22 of the table 21 is provided with two longitudinal tracks 27 on its upper part, the board 24 being provided on its lower part with two slides 28 facing each other.
The user will thus be able move the board 24 in translation to the right or the left, for example to show his neighbor a screen of its laptop placed on the board 24. The stroke of the board 24 on both the right and the left will naturally be limited by stops (not shown), supported by the panel 22.
Referring to FIGS. 8 and 9, the fact that the table 31 can be arranged to accommodate various accessories has been represented.
Thus, it is shown in 39 a housing for the 12/220 V power supply of the micro-computer; in order to connect the micro-computer to the power sector, one can pull the male plug mounted on an unwinding roller. Housings for electrical outlets and a CD/DVD drive (burner) have also been symbolized in 40.
It is also possible to provide integrated heating parts.
Also, the surface of the individual table according to the invention may be provided with recessed areas constituting glass holders, cup holders, etc. or integrated pockets for placing TV or hi-fi remote controllers, mobile phones.
It is also possible to provide locations and means for receiving directional reading and/or working lamps, etc.
Referring to FIGS. 10 to 14, a table 41 is represented, which differs from table 1 only in that the side parts 43 are each provided, at their base, with a U-shaped longitudinal recess 43a, this recess starting from the free end border of the part 43 to stop at the vicinity of its connection with the panel 42.
It is thus possible to place the table 41 on an armchair or wheelchair F, as illustrated on FIGS. 10, 11 and 14.
Such recesses 43a are extremely easy to make in the foam blocks used for forming the parts 43.
It should also be noticed that the table 41 may also be used by a person sitting on a sofa or on the edge of a bed or directly on the floor, the parts 43 resting directly on the seating surface of the sofa or on the bed or on the floor by their base.
It is well understood that the above described embodiments are indicative and non limiting and that modifications can be made without departing from the scope of the present invention.