Title:
CASE FOR REMOTE CONTROL UNITS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The case (1) for remote control units includes: a cover wrapping (2) for covering the substantial totality of a remote control unit (T), the remote control unit (T) including a pushbutton panel (P) and an emission element (E) for the emission of a wireless signal (S), and a removable shielding element (9), associated with the cover wrapping (2) substantially in correspondence to the emission element (E) and suitable for shielding the wireless signal (S).



Inventors:
Nadalet, Paolo (Belluno, IT)
Application Number:
14/128635
Publication Date:
05/15/2014
Filing Date:
06/18/2012
Assignee:
INNKE S.R.L.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45C11/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
STASHICK, ANTHONY D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
YOUNG & THOMPSON (209 Madison Street Suite 500, Alexandria, VA, 22314, US)
Claims:
1. 1-16. (canceled)

17. Case (1) for remote control units, comprising at least a cover wrapping (2) for covering the substantial totality of a remote control unit (T), said remote control unit (T) comprising at least a pushbutton panel (P) and at least an emission element (E) for the emission of a wireless signal (S), wherein said case (1) comprises at least a removable shielding element (9) associated with said cover wrapping (2) substantially in correspondence to said emission element (E) and suitable for shielding said wireless signal (S).

18. The case (1) according to claim 17, wherein said shielding element (9) comprises at least a metalized laminate (10, 11) associated with said cover wrapping (2).

19. The case (1) according to claim 17, wherein said shielding element (9) comprises at least an identification hologram (12).

20. The case (1) according to claim 17, wherein said shielding element (9) comprises at least an holographic label onto a metalized laminate.

21. The case (1) according to claim 20, wherein said holographic label (9) is of the adhesive type and can be glued on the outer surface of said cover wrapping (2).

22. The case (1) according to claim 17, wherein said shielding element (9) comprises at least a first portion (10) firmly associated with said cover wrapping (2) and at least a second portion (11) removable by tearing off from said first portion (10) to allow the transmission of said wireless signal (S).

23. The case (1) according to claim 22, wherein said first portion (10) is firmly associated with said cover wrapping (2) and is suitable for remaining onto said cover wrapping (2) after the removal of said second portion (11) as proof of tampering.

24. The case (1) according to claim 20, wherein said shielding element (9) comprises at least two of said first portions (10) associated along two opposite sides (11a) of said second portion (11), said opposite sides (11a) being breakable for the removal of said second portion (11).

25. The case (1) according to claim 17, wherein said cover wrapping (2) comprises at least a flexible bag (3a, 3b, 3c, 3d).

26. The case (1) according to claim 17, wherein said cover wrapping (2) comprises at least a fitting opening (4) for fitting said remote control unit (T), said fitting opening (4) being closable by means of closing means (5, 6, 7).

27. The case (1) according to claim 26, wherein said closing means (5, 6, 7) comprise at least a flap (5) foldable on said fitting opening (4) and at least a layer of adhesive material (6) for joining said flap (5) to said cover wrapping (2).

28. The case (1) according to claim 26, wherein said cover wrapping (2) comprises at least a tubular body having an open extremity (3a) suitable for defining said fitting opening (4) and a closed extremity (3a) opposite said open extremity (3a).

29. The case (1) according to claim 28, wherein said shielding element (9) is arranged in correspondence to said closed extremity (3b).

30. The case (1) according to claim 17, wherein said cover wrapping (2) comprises at least a sector which is at least partially transparent and can be placed in correspondence to said pushbutton panel (P) of the remote control unit (T).

31. The case (1) according to claim 17, wherein said cover wrapping (2) is divided into a first substantially transparent face (3d) and into a second non-transparent face (3d), said first face (3c) being placeable in correspondence to said pushbutton panel of the remote control unit (T).

32. The case (1) according to claim 17, wherein said cover wrapping (2) comprises at least a segment with weakened section (8) suitable for making easier the tearing off of said cover wrapping (2) for its removal from said remote control unit (T).

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to a case for remote control units.

BACKGROUND ART

It is known that an investigation into the hygiene of hotel rooms has shown that, contrary to all expectations, the cleanest part of the room is the bathroom, inasmuch as this is washed and sanitized continuously, while the dirtiest and most infected by germs, bacteria or pathogens of various type is the remote control unit of the TV set.

The remote control units of TV sets in fact come into contact with the hands of various hotel bedroom users without hardly ever being cleaned or sanitized, including because of the fact that they contain particularly delicate electronic devices which do not permit washing them using traditional detergents but which call for specific devices, the prolonged use of which however damages the remote control unit and reduces its life span.

The patent documents FR 2 762 922, U.S. Pat. No. 6,817,470, US 2008/0121541 and WO 2008/091700 illustrate a series of possible remote control cases designed to provide a hygiene barrier against the proliferation of germs and bacteria.

The cases made this way generally consist of a covering that envelops the remote control unit and prevents the user from coming into direct contact with the keys of the remote control unit.

These cases of known type do however have a number of drawbacks including the fact that, to ensure an effective barrier against the proliferation of germs and bacteria, they have to be changed and replaced fairly frequently (at least once for each hotel bedroom user) but, due to the negligence or the forgetfulness of the cleaning staff, this operation is not always performed.

In this circumstance, in practice, traditional cases completely lose their hygienic-protection function because the prolonged use of the same case provokes the same risk of germ and bacteria propagation as remote control units without any case whatsoever.

To this must be added that, even if the case is replaced according to the correct frequency, the hotel bedroom user cannot in any case be certain that such operation has actually been performed and that the case of his/her control unit has never been previously used.

Traditional cases in fact are unable to provide any indication or signal suitable for ensuring and guaranteeing they have only ever been used by just one user.

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The main aim of the present invention is to provide a case for remote control units which is in fact of the “disposable” type and can only be used by one user. Within the scope of such technical aim, a further object of the present invention is to provide a case for remote control units that permits certifying and guaranteeing to the user that such case is single-use and that he/she is using it for the first time.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a case for remote control units which allows to overcome the mentioned drawbacks of the state of the art within the ambit of a simple, rational, easy and effective to use as well as low cost solution.

The above objects are achieved by the present case for remote control units, comprising at least a cover wrapping for covering the substantial totality of a remote control unit, said remote control unit comprising at least a pushbutton panel and at least an emission element for the emission of a wireless signal, characterised by the fact that it comprises at least a removable shielding element associated with said cover wrapping substantially in correspondence to said emission element and suitable for shielding said wireless signal.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Other characteristics and advantages of the present invention will become more evident from the description of a preferred, but not sole, embodiment of a case for remote control units, illustrated purely as an example but not limited to the annexed drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is an axonometric view of the case according to the invention before use;

FIG. 2 is a section view of the case according to the invention in which a remote control unit is fitted;

FIGS. 3a and 3b are two section views of the case according to the invention in a closing configuration, in which two remote control units having different dimensions are fitted;

FIG. 4 is an axonometric view of the case according to the invention during the removal of the shielding element;

FIG. 5 is an axonometric view of the case according to the invention after use.

EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

With particular reference to such figures, globally indicated by 1 is a case for remote control units.

The case 1 is meant to be used together with a remote control unit T of the type comprising a pushbutton panel P and an emission element E for the emission of a wireless signal S.

The wireless signal S is preferably a light signal, i.e., any type of electromagnetic wave or combination of electromagnetic waves falling within the wavelength range between ultraviolet and infra-red.

In the particular embodiment shown in FIG. 1, e.g., the remote control unit T is of the type of a classic remote control unit for controlling a TV set V.

In this case, the emission element E consists, e.g., of an infra-red emitter, of the type of a light diode (LED) which emits infra-red light at a wavelength of about 950 nm.

Alternative embodiments cannot however be ruled out wherein the case 1 is used with remote control units T for controlling electronic devices of different types, e.g., to control Hi-Fi apparatus or lighting systems, to open/close doors and gates, and/or having an emission element E different from the infra-red emitters.

The case 1 was designed in particular as a disposable device for containing remote control units T in hotel bedrooms, but can also be used in exactly the same way in other environments, such as hospitals, clinics, homes and workplaces in general.

The case 1 comprises a cover wrapping 2 for covering the substantial totality of the remote control unit T; this means that the cover wrapping 2, once fitted over the remote control unit T, covers its entire surface without leaving any part of it uncovered.

The cover wrapping 2 comprises a flexible bag 3a, 3b, 3c, 3d, having a fitting opening 4 for fitting the remote control unit T and which can be closed by means of closing means 5, 6, 7.

More in detail, the flexible bag 3a, 3b, 3c, 3d comprises a tubular body having an open extremity 3a, suitable for defining and coinciding with a fitting opening 4, and a closed extremity 3b, opposite the open extremity 3a.

The flexibility of the flexible bag 3a, 3b, 3c, 3d permits using the remote control unit T when this is fitted in the case 1 by simply pressing the keys of the pushbutton panel P.

Usefully, the closing means 5, 6, 7 comprise a flap 5, extending from an edge of the open extremity 3a and which can be folded on the fitting opening 4, and a layer of adhesive material 6 for joining the flap 5 to the flexible bag 3a, 3b, 3c, 3d.

The layer of adhesive material 6, e.g., consists of a strip of adhesive temporarily covered by a protective tongue 7, which is removable shortly before the closing of the case 1.

The flexible bag 3a, 3b, 3c, 3d and the flap 5 are made of a plastic material, e.g., HDPE (high-density polyethylene) with a thickness of 35-40 μm, to which can if necessary be added an additive suitable for making the cover wrapping 1 biodegradable, such as, e.g., the commercial product known by the brand name d2w®.

The flexible bag 3a, 3b, 3c, 3d has at least one sector which is at least partially transparent and can be placed in correspondence to the pushbutton panel P of the remote control unit T, to allow this to be seen once the case 1 has been closed.

More in detail, in the particular embodiment of the invention shown in the illustrations, the flexible bag 3a, 3b, 3c, 3d is divided into a substantially first transparent face 3c and into a second non-transparent face 3d.

This subdivision makes it easier to recognise the front and back of the cover wrapping 2 so that, during the fitting of the remote control unit T in the case 1, the first face 3c is placed in correspondence to the pushbutton panel P of the remote control unit T.

The second face 3d can be usefully dedicated to printing wordings, drawings, advertising logos, instructions for the use of case 1, medical speciality indications and symbols or the like.

The cover wrapping 2 also comprises at least one segment with weakened section 8 suitable for more easily tearing open the cover wrapping 2 for its removal from the remote control unit T.

Once the flap 5 has been closed, in fact, the layer of adhesive material 6 creates a permanent adhesion on the flexible bag 3a, 3b, 3c, 3d and to remove the remote control unit T the flexible bag 3a, 3b, 3c, 3d must be torn, making it no longer usable for subsequent uses.

The segment with weakened section 8 can consist of a pre-cut line, in correspondence to which the thickness of the flexible bag 3a, 3b, 3c, 3d is reduced (e.g., 15-20 μm).

In combination or alternatively, the segment with weakened section 8 can consist of a succession of holes of sizes small enough to prevent, during use, direct contact of the user's hand with the remote control unit T and consider the substantial totality of the remote control unit T still substantially covered.

Advantageously, the case 1 comprises a removable shielding element 9, which is associated with the cover wrapping 2 substantially in correspondence to the emission element E of the remote control unit T and is suitable for shielding the wireless signal S.

In this respect, the fact is underlined that in the present treatise, saying that the shielding element 9 is suitable for shielding the wireless signal S means that it is such as to interrupt and not allow the transmission/transit of the wireless signal S, and therefore the operation of the TV set V or of any other electronic device coupled to the remote control unit T.

Usefully, the shielding element 9 is arranged in correspondence to and astride the closed extremity 3b of the flexible bag 3a, 3b, 3c, 3d.

More in detail, the shielding element 9 extends both on the first face 3c and on the second face 3d of the flexible bag 3a, 3b, 3c, 3d, from one side to the other of the closed extremity 3b.

The shielding element 9 comprises a metalized laminate 10, 11 associated with the cover wrapping 2.

Preferably, with the shielding element 9 is combined an identification hologram 12, i.e., a holographic image shown on a medium.

In the preferred embodiment shown in the illustrations, therefore, the shielding element 9 consists of a holographic label onto a metalized laminate, i.e., a commercial label purchasable at low prices wherein the medium on which the holographic image is shown consists of a metalized laminate.

The particular solution of using a holographic label 9 permits combining the metalized laminate 10, 11, needed to shield the wireless signal S, with the identification hologram 12.

The identification hologram 12 can be used to show, for example:

    • the hotel brand;
    • an identification code, usable by the manufacturer of the cases 1 to recognise any counterfeited products;
    • indications for removing the shielding element 9.

The holographic label 9 is of the adhesive type and comprises at least a part which can be glued on the outer surface of the cover wrapping 2.

In this respect, it is pointed out that the shielding element 9 comprises at least a first portion 10, firmly associated with the cover wrapping 2, and a second portion 11, removable by tearing off from the first portion 10 to allow the transmission of the wireless signal S.

More in detail, the shielding element 9 comprises two first portions 10 associated along two opposite sides 11a of the second portion 11, wherein the opposite sides 11a are breakable for the removal of the second portion 11.

In particular, the first portions 10 are firmly associated (e.g., by gluing using a strong glue) with the cover wrapping 2 and suitable for remaining onto the cover wrapping 2 after the removal of the second portion 11 as proof of tampering, with tamper-evident function.

The first portions 10 are shaped to form two longitudinal strips, i.e., which extend parallel to the longitudinal direction of the cover wrapping 2 and wrap from one side to the other the closed extremity 3b of the flexible bag 3a, 3b, 3c,, 3d.

The second portion 11, on the other hand, is without glue or is glued to the cover wrapping 2 by means of a weak glue, which permits its removal; in both cases, once the second portion 11 has been removed it cannot be reattached.

In the same way as on the cover wrapping 2, on the shielding element 9 too, wordings, drawings, advertising logos, instructions for using the case 1, medical indications and symbols, or the like can be printed.

The operation of the present invention is the following.

The case 1 is distributed on the market as it appears in FIG. 1, with the shielding element 9 integral and associated with the cover wrapping 2 and with the fitting opening 4 accessible from outside.

At the time of use, for example to cover the remote control unit T of a hotel room, the bedroom cleaning person introduces the remote control unit T through the fitting opening 4, turning the emission element E towards the closed extremity 3b and the shielding element 9 and positioning the pushbutton panel P on the side of the first face 3c (FIG. 2).

At this point, the cleaning person removes the protective tongue 7 and folds the flap 5 on the fitting opening 4 to close the cover wrapping 2 around the remote control unit T (FIGS. 3a and 3b).

Usefully, the case 1 can be proposed in various shapes and sizes to adapt to the dimensions of the different remote control units T on the market.

It is underlined however that the particular shape of the case 1 permits quickly and easily adapting the length of the cover wrapping 2 to the length of the remote control unit T by simply folding the flap 5 on the flexible bag 3a, 3b, 3c, 3d.

Such property of the present invention is well illustrated in the FIGS. 3a and 3b, where the case 1 is shown in closing configuration covering two remote control units T of different dimensions.

Once the cover wrapping 2 has been closed, the remote control unit T is left inside the hotel room with the shielding element 9 which is positioned in front of the emission element E and therefore prevents the transmission of the wireless signal S to the TV set V.

In such configuration, the remote control unit T is found by the user of the hotel room, who is therefore sure that no one before him/her can have used the remote control unit T and he/she is the first to use it after it has been fitted in the case 1.

To use the remote control unit T and the TV set V, the user removes the shielding element 9 by tearing the second portion 11 off the first portions 10, which remain on the cover wrapping 2 to testify it has been used (FIG. 4).

The cover wrapping 2 is made of a non-shielding material.

Consequently, once the second portion 11 has been removed, the remote control unit T can be used normally by the user who is sure of handling a clean case 1 in conditions of utmost hygiene.

While cleaning the hotel bedroom, the cleaner replaces the already-used case 1 with a new one.

For this purpose, the cover wrapping 2 is necessarily removed by tearing, exploiting the segment with weakened section 8 which ensures easier breaking of the flexible bag 3a, 3b, 3c, 3d (FIG. 5).

Once the cover wrapping 2 has been removed, the breakage of the flexible bag 3a, 3b, 3c, 3d prevents its being used again, making necessary the use of a new case 1 and provides a further guarantee of the hygienic benefits of the present invention.