Title:
Vertical hammock & pillow
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The VERTICAL HAMMOCK & PILLOW is a device constructed to allow a person to rest or sleep in a sitting position in an airplane, train, automobile, bus, wheelchair, or any other place where the lack of space or convenience dictates or where medical conditions may require a vertical sitting position for long periods. The first embodiment utilizes the natural tendency toward movement of the body as it relaxes to stretch a fabric over the user's back and thereby vertically supporting the upper torso in a sitting position. The device includes adjustment straps to allow for variations in the size of the user, comfort positions and space available. An alternative support involves the placement of a leaning device in front and on the lap of the user to provide the same type of support. In either case a frame maybe attached to the upper torso support near the shoulders to prop up the user's head. This second feature of the device is a frame or sling which supports the head in a leaning forward position. The head may be turned to either side or face down into a hole provided for breathing and/or viewing.



Inventors:
Haddon, Perry W. (Camp Verde, AZ, US)
Application Number:
10/216548
Publication Date:
02/12/2004
Filing Date:
08/08/2002
Assignee:
HADDON PERRY W.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C7/36; B60N2/48; B60N2/70; B60N3/00; (IPC1-7): A47C7/36
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
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20090278390CHILD'S CAR SEAT ASSEMBLY ENABLING ACCESS TO REMOTE GAMING APPLICATIONS AND TWO-WAY PERSON-TO-PERSON COMMUNICATIONSNovember, 2009Carter
20070120398Using Wheelchair Side Guards to form a usable trayMay, 2007Butler
20050200169Child seat organizerSeptember, 2005Tipton
20060087159Motorized swivel reclinerApril, 2006Sheldon et al.
20060033367Stackable arm chairFebruary, 2006Sweeney
20090179476VEHICLE SEAT WITH ADJUSTABLE AND RETRACTABLE HEAD RESTRAINTJuly, 2009Brunner
20090206640Hidden-type automobile child safety seat assemblyAugust, 2009Chen
20090102249FOLDING SEATSApril, 2009Barzen



Primary Examiner:
CURINGTON, STEPHANIE H
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Perry W. Haddon (Camp Verde, AZ, US)
Claims:

I claim as follows:



1. A device that enables a person to rest or sleep in a sitting or upright upper torso position with little or no muscular exertion with a device that restricts the forward movement of the body by supporting the upper torso in a slightly leaning forward position.

2. The of claim 1 whereby placing a flexible fabric over the back of the user and stretching the same in order to restrict forward movement of the upper torso.

3. The combination of claim 2 whereby providing multiple holes in the back portion of the fabric, ventilation may be made possible.

4. The restraint of claim 1, whereby anchoring or attaching the device at or near the base of the spine, stretching of the material over the shoulders is made possible.

5. The combination of claim 4, whereby sitting on one end of the supporting material sufficient resistance is achieved to anchor the lower end of the device.

6. The restraint of claim 1, whereby adjustable straps and connectors are used to adjust the restraint needed to hold the upper torso vertical.

7. The combination of claim 6, whereby the straps may be crossed over, right lap to left shoulder and vice versa in order to laterally stabilize the upper torso movement at the same time accomplishing the goals of claim 6.

8. The combination of claim 6, whereby the straps may be attached to the ceiling or any other physical location to provide slightly leaning forward upper torso support.

9. The combination of claim 6 whereby the straps are anchored to the seatbelt via standard connectors to the seatbelt.

10. The combination of claim 1, whereby placing a flexible or rigid brace in front of the user is done to support the upper torso.

11. The combination of claim 10 whereby the rigid support is braced into position by placing the device against the chest and supported from the lap of the user.

12. The combination of claim 10 whereby the fabric or flexible support is supported in it's position by placing adjustable straps on the device that is against the chest and supporting the chest from the seat or other stationary object.

13. The combination of claim 1 whereby the device is made to be independent and not attached to the seat or surroundings, thus allowing the user immediate freedom of movement.

14. The combination of claim 1 whereby the device is used and stored while attached to the seat or other stationary object but, made easily detachable from it's stored position for use.

15. The combination of claim 1 whereby the device is secured to the seat at stationary points and made to be easily removed for cleaning.

16. The combination of claim 1, whereby placing a more rigid brace over the shoulder of the user and attaching the same to the seat to restrict forward movement of the torso.

17. The combination of claim 16 whereby the rigid shoulder braces are made in such a manner as to be able to be nested for economy of storage space.

18. A device that enables a person to rest or sleep in a slightly leaning forward sitting position by and placing a headrest in a forward head resting position.

19. The combination of claim 18, whereby the headrest has brackets that are attached to the upper torso support device.

20. The combination of claim 18 whereby adjusting the height of the headrest relative to the user, the head may be supported at varying neck angles.

21. The combination of claim 18 whereby utilizing an adjustable angle bracket the head is supported at varying angles.

22. The combination of claim 18 whereby a sling or cradle is formed by placing a fabric between two bracket arms which provides support for the user's head.

23. The combination of claim 22 whereby the use of Velcro strips may be employed to adjust the effective length of the sling and thus the amount of its sag.

24. The combination of claim 22 whereby providing a hole in the headrest, a face forward position may be accommodated which allows the user to breath through the hole.

25. The combination of claim 22 whereby a face forward position may be accommodated by providing a hole in the headrest which allows the user to talk through the hole.

26. The combination of claim 22 whereby a face forward position may be accommodated which by providing a hole in the headrest allows the user to see through the hole while resting.

27. The combination of claim 22 whereby a pillow may be placed on the headrests, thus providing additional comfort while supporting the head at varying heights or neck angles.

28. A pillow that enables a person to rest or sleep in a face down position by providing a hole in the pillow.

29. The combination of claim 28 whereby the user may breath via a hole or slot in the pillow.

30. The combination of claim 28 whereby the user may see through a hole or slot in the pillow.

31. The combination of claim 28 whereby the slot or hole in the pillow is made to enable a person to rest or sleep face-down and provide support for the face which does not put pressure on the eye ball.

32. Each of the embodiments, while different in attachment or method of head and upper torso support, are systems to promote rest or sleep while sitting and the pillow, with its slot or hole matches the corresponding holes in the headrest which is common to all embodiments and again essential to the overall invention.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] A upper torso and head supporting device and pillow which enables a person to rest or sleep in the sitting position.

[0003] During long flights, passengers, other than 1st class find themselves trying to sleep in an upright vertical position. Airlines supply reclining seats, but many people are found trying to lean either on the fuselage wall or other passengers in order to attain adequate relaxation to promote sleep. Reclining alone does not satisfy their requirements for sleep. Further, the reclined backward position for many people contributes to conditions that encourages snoring.

[0004] Pillows or padded rests made for resting the head in a face down position are generally made with circular or oval shaped holes, often encouraging the user to rest their eyes upon the padding. Even short periods of time with this pressure on the eyeball can cause temporary or permanent damage or even blindness.

[0005] 2. Description of Prior Art

[0006] The following patents and patent applications where sited above and are herein acknowledged and differences described:

[0007] U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,975,638 & 6,305,749 Schreiner's pillow and O'Connor's headrest wings provide restrains for side to side movement of the head while in the head resting-backwards position where the instant invention restricts forward movement of the head and torso.

[0008] U.S. Pat. No. 6,030,354 Lakusiewicz's patent is intended for injury restriction of movement and does not have the ease of use for simple rest and sleep of this invention.

[0009] U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,336,235, 6,352,309, 6,398,164, & 6,375,119 are inventions that are full reclining seats r beds extending to the floor. The instant invention is, in most embodiments, independent of the chair and facilitates restriction from movement within the seat.

[0010] U.S. Pat. No. 6,266,825 Floyd attaches the head to the seat while the instant invention leave the head mobile to move on a pillow as in normal sleep conditions.

[0011] U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,231,535 and 6,219,865 Both patents attach pillows around the neck and under the chin and not laid upon as in this invention.

[0012] U.S. Pat. No. 6,289,538 Fidge utilizes a shoulder to neck pillow to support the head while the instant invention provide a pillow in front of the user via a stand.

[0013] U.S. Pat. No. 6,135,560 Fagg is a pillow not a head support system. The pillow does not provide for a face down use nor provisions to protect against pressure on the eye itself.

[0014] U.S. Pat. No. 6,055,687 Mathews is a rap around pillow that supports the head upright. The instant invention provides a forward reclining headrest.

[0015] U.S. Pat. No. 6,042,185 Cowgar is a large pillow strapped to the mid torso and resting in the user's lap. It provides for upper torso and head support from the user's lap. The instant invention, in one embodiment, supports the upper torso utilizing a rigid lap support which includes an attachable headrest. The methods of construction and support and its prior and subsequent storage convenience make this invention entirely different.

[0016] U.S. Pat. No. 6,007,156 Chang's jacket approach is attached to the seat in several locations and not independent of the seat. The instant invention, in three of its embodiments, enables the user to instantly stand and be free of the seat. The one embodiment that is attached to the seat provides for upper torso support employing a tension up and over the back to restrict forward body movement. Chang attaches the body to the seat and the body rests against the jacket front. Further Chang does not offer a forward pillow rest.

[0017] U.S. Pat. No. 4,183,583 Zuesse's 1980 invention employs a bracket leaned upon by the user which pivots at the shoulder and presses against the forehead of the user. The instant invention provides a forward headrest with pillow in a much more natural position which enables the user to change position during a sleep session.

[0018] U.S. Pat. No. 5,832,926 Towlen, like Zuesse, is a head brace supporting the head at the forehead. The instant invention provides a forward headrest with pillow in a much more natural position which enables the user to change position during a sleep session.

[0019] U.S. Pat. Application US2002/0050009 A1 5/02 Ley's invention is an adjustable headrest supported from the user's lap. The instant invention, in it's preferred embodiment supports the head from the user's shoulders and claims other support mechanisms other than from the user's lap.

[0020] While some of these approaches may be adequate for some situations, none of them provide the combination of comfort, portability and simplicity of this invention, the VERTICAL HAMMOCK & PILLOW.

SUMMARY

[0021] The VERTICAL HAMMOCK & PILLOW is a device constructed to allow a person to rest or sleep in a sitting position. It is comprised of a torso support system and headrest. A specifically designed pillow adds comfort and variations in head angle and position during sleep.

OBJECT OF THE INVENTION

[0022] This invention fulfills the passenger's need for a sleep promoting position by providing upper torso support (11) and a forward headrest (14) that does not require neck, back or arm muscle tension. Other transportation uses of this device may include automobiles, trains, buses, or boats. Medical uses may include, but are not limited to times when patients require rest in a vertical upper torso position or wheelchair users may find occasions where a short rest may be desired and transferring to a more comfortable environment is impractical. In nursing home environments certain patients are found pitched forward while seat belted into wheelchairs. This invention can provide more comfortable alternatives in such instances.

[0023] The device will be useful on any occasion where sitting for long periods in one place is necessary, such as hunting from tree stands or other observation positions, fishing; or military applications where troops may be required to sit in confined spaces.

[0024] A specialized pillow is provided with a hole through which users may communicate, breathe and view. The pillow's specific design also alleviates pressure to the eyeball by supplying support around the eye socket.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0025] FIG. 1 The first embodiment of the VERTICAL HAMMOCK & PILLOW and most representative of the overall patent.

[0026] FIG. 2. The first embodiment as seen from a side and front view minus the headrest

[0027] FIG. 3a. The patterns for the first embodiment of the VERTICAL HAMMOCK & PILLOW from the chair contact side of the material.

[0028] FIG. 3b The pattern in 3a from the user's contact side of the material.

[0029] FIG. 3c An optional reinforced shoulder with incorporated bolt (10) for supporting the headrest (12).

[0030] FIG. 3d An optional breast plate to be attached to the bolts (10) in order to hold the headrest brackets (12) apart.

[0031] FIG. 4a The lower straps (4) are of sufficient length to allow crossing over which provides more side to side stability.

[0032] FIG. 4b Demonstrates how the straps (4 to 6) tighten the fabric over the back of the user thus restricting forward upper torso movement

[0033] FIG. 5a. The headrest and it's brackets to be attached to any of the embodiments of the torso support. The illustration shows the fabric headrest sling and pillow.

[0034] FIG. 5b. The headrest brackets (two used, one for each shoulder) Note the slots in the lower portion are for attachment to the torso support.

[0035] FIG. 5c. The headrest sling, laid out to view the sleeve at one side and the Velcro strips which form the second sleeve which is adjustable.

[0036] FIG. 6. Illustrates how the headrest may be supported form various directions and in various ways.

[0037] FIG. 7. The fabric embodiments may include holes for ventilation and still supply adequate support.

[0038] FIG. 8. The headrest (14) may have a hole to accommodate breathing or viewing through a specialized pillow (FIG. 9).

[0039] FIG. 9. Specialized pillows (13a) will facilitate breathing and viewing while in the face down position.

[0040] FIG. 10. Demonstrates the use of the specialized pillow in FIG. 9.

[0041] FIG. 11. A second embodiment of the invention is a more rigid upper torso support. The same headrest may be employed. A side view and front view of this invention is displayed.

[0042] FIG. 12. The use of the second embodiment or rigid upper torso support is illustrated.

[0043] FIG. 13A pattern of the third embodiment. This one, like first embodiment, is made of flexible material, only it is to be attached to the seat. The model features straps that are anchored to the seatbelt (28) with rings, hooks or clips (31).

[0044] FIG. 14 The other side of FIG. 13

[0045] FIG. 15 Demonstrates the third embodiment or seat attached model in use.

[0046] FIG. 16 Front view of FIG. 15 without the occupant, seatbelt rings attached

[0047] FIG. 17 Side view of the seat with the device in the stored position.

[0048] FIG. 18 Front view of the seat, device removed and showing the location of the firm Velcro strip and less firm Velcro attachments.

[0049] FIG. 19 Front view of the seat with the device in the stored position.

[0050] FIG. 20 The fourth embodiment of the device with rigid shoulder brace (34) and attaching strap (35)

[0051] FIG. 21 Prospective view of the forth embodiment shoulder bracket

[0052] FIG. 22 Nested shoulder brackets of the fourth embodiment for ease and economic storage.

[0053] FIG. 23 Demonstrates an alternative headrest support from a side view. Note the support's base sets on the seat arm rests or could be attached to the seat itself. None of the various upper torso supports are indicated.

[0054] FIG. 24 Front view of FIG. 23.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING ELEMENTS

[0055] 1. VERTICAL HAMMOCK Fabric

[0056] 2. Sewn-in reinforcement to support the headrest, made of nylon, plastic, wood or metal

[0057] 3. Neck slot to form shoulders

[0058] 4. Strap from seat up to shoulder straps (6)

[0059] 5. Buckle to mate to with connector (7)

[0060] 6. Strap from shoulder to seat strap (4)

[0061] 7. Buckle to mate with connector (5)

[0062] 8. Sewn in fabric or plastic as a reinforcement

[0063] 9. Bracket pocket or attachment

[0064] 10. Bolt for wing nut or other type hand tightening type nut

[0065] 11. Area where fabric is made tight over back

[0066] 12. Headrest bracket

[0067] 13a. Head Pillow

[0068] 13b. Back support pillow

[0069] 14. Headrest cradle

[0070] 15. Sewn in slot for upper portion of bracket (12) to form the headrest

[0071] 16. Mating strips of Velcro to form the second slot to slip over the second bracket the extra wide Velcro allows for adjustment in the sag of the headrest.

[0072] 17a. Supports the headrest from the arm rest or seat

[0073] 17. Multiple alternatives for supporting the headrest

[0074] 18. Ventilation holes

[0075] 19. Breathing and viewing hole in the headrest cradle (14)

[0076] 20. Hinge adjustment for leaning angle of the rigid upper torso support

[0077] 21. The second embodiment of upper torso support, made of rigid material like plastic, nylon, wood, or metal and supporting from the front.

[0078] 22. Handle to tighten headrest height adjustment, placed on bolt (10)

[0079] 23. Lap portion of the second embodiment (21)

[0080] 24. Slot in the headrest bracket (12) where the bolt in the breast plate (10) is passed through and for the nut (22) to be secured

[0081] 25. Pillow (13a) may be made to accommodate a face-down rest position with a hole in the pillow

[0082] 26. As in 25 the hole may be a slot

[0083] 27. The hole (25) or slot (26) is made to allow viewing through the breathing hole for the purpose of reading or other activities. This shape is more comfortable and does not cause as much pressure on the eye itself

[0084] 28. Seatbelt

[0085] 29. Point of semi permanent attachment of the device to the seat

[0086] 30. The third model of the patent made of a flexible fabric material

[0087] 31. Ring or clip attachment device to stretch the material over the user's back.

[0088] 32a. Firm release Velcro strip attached to the seat

[0089] 32b. Velcro strip attached to the device

[0090] 33. Soft release Velero tabs are to hold the device in a storage or unused position.

[0091] 34. The fourth embodiment of the patent, the shoulder bracket, is used as a method of upper torso forward movement restriction

[0092] 35. The strap from the back of the seat which is attached to the shoulder bracket. This is adjustable via Velcro tabs on the ends of the strap attaching to the shoulder.

[0093] 36. Velcro for attaching the headrest to the torso support device.

[0094] 37. A forward headrest supported from the arm rests of the seat or the seat it's self.

[0095] 38. Headrest height adjustments. Note the adjustments closest to the user bring the headrest up close to the chin while the forward adjustments dictate the angle of the headrest.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0096] The VERTICAL HAMMOCK'S first embodiment is made primarily from a sheet of fabric (1) which is draped over the shoulders, down the back and ultimately sat upon by the user. A neck hole shaped cut in the upper end of the device (3) is provided to form shoulder flaps. There are straps (4 &6) attached at reinforced locations (8) on the material. The straps (6) have adjustable fastening devices (7) that attach to matching fastening receptacles (5) found on seat straps (4) or on the seat of the device. Once tightened, the passenger leans forward (FIG. 4) and the material tightens over the length of the user's back (11). Forward movement is restricted thereby supporting the upper torso in an upright position. A pillow (13b) may be inserted at the user's back to alleviate excessive curvature of the spine over time at that location. Holes in the fabric (18) provide for ventilation. Straps (4) are of sufficient length to be cross-strapped to provide additional lateral support.

[0097] A third embodiment of upper body support is a shortened version of the first embodiment that is attached to the seat (FIGS. 13 thru 16). In this variation the device (30) remains attached to the seat rather than being handed out as needed. A firm release Velcro strip (32) provides semi permanent attachment to the seat while soft release Velcro patches (33) hold the device in the stored position awaiting the user's need. The straps in this case are shown to be tied to the seatbelt (28) by first passing the seatbelt through rings (31), snapping the seatbelt and then tightening the shoulder straps.

[0098] An alternative upper torso support (21), or second embodiment, is rigid and rests upon the user's lap (23) or is supported by the seat. The device extends upward from the lap so the user can lean on it.

[0099] The forth embodiment (FIG. 20) is a method of upper torso support provided by a rigid shoulder brace (34) whereby the shoulders may be restricted from forward movement by holding the shoulders within the brace and adjusting a strap (35) which is attached to the seat and brace via Velcro patches. The strap has a somewhat longer Velcro strip to make the length adjustable. The brace (34) provides a platform for the headrest (12). The method of attachment of the headrest may be by pockets (9), bolt (22) and slotted bracket (24), or Velcro strip (36). The shoulder braces may be nested for economy of storage space (FIG. 22).

[0100] In any of the four embodiment's an adjustable headrest (FIG. 1) may be added to support the head in the leaning forward position. This is accomplished by inserting a bracket (12) in each of two pockets attached to the over-the-shoulder portion of the device (9, 21, 30, &34). The depth in which the bracket is allowed to be inserted dictates the headrest height and thus head angle at rest. Other adjustment methods are employed such as a screw-down friction adjustment (22) at the shoulder.

[0101] FIG. 3c illustrates a sewn-in plastic or nylon stiffener (2) which has threaded bolts protruding outward (1a) and a bar (FIGS. 3d, 10b) which sets the distance between the bolts. Hole (10c) may be slotted to add further adjustment as needed. The headrest's slotted (24) brackets (12) are anchored to the chest and made adjustable by setting and tightening the hand bolt (22). The stiffening material (2) provides distribution of the weight of the head over a greater portion of the chest. Velcro strips at the shoulder (9) and the headrest bracket (12) is another method of attachment.

[0102] There are several methods of providing for the further head angle adjustment at (20) including a ratcheting joint, notched settings, or simple wing nut and friction joint.

[0103] After the brackets (12) are anchored to the chest, a sling (14) is attached to the upper or remaining portion of the brackets by sliding the sleeve on one side of the sling (15) over the fist bracket (12). The other side of the sling is attached to the second bracket by a second sleeve formed by attaching two Velcro strips (16), forming the second sleeve. The two brackets and sling assembled (FIG. 5) create a cradle for the head to rest upon. The Velcro strips provide some adjustment in the sag of the head support (14).

[0104] The headrest may be supported in a variety of ways other than attachment to the device. FIG. 6 illustrates several solutions including hanging the headrest from the ceiling, supporting it from the armrests or lap of the user, from the backrest or from a support in front of the chair (17).

[0105] The head may rest directly on the sling (14) or on a pillow (13a) which may be placed on the sling for added comfort. One method of maintaining the distance between the brackets is with the pillow and weight of the head. Another is by placing a flexible bar between the upper brackets.

[0106] While a common pillow may be used, the specialized pillow (13a) is designed with a hole or slot built into it to provide for breathing, communicating, and viewing when used in conjunction with the headrest sling (14). Its shape is specifically made to support the face, in a face-down position that will not put pressure directly on the eyeball. The oval hole (25) and the slotted hole (26) are shaped with specific indentations to allow the face to rest without putting pressure on the eyeball.

[0107] The material (1 &14) is extremely lightweight, washable and durable for ease in shipping and storage and may be used multiple times. The material used in the alternative torso support is firm made of hard plastic, wood, or metal (21).

[0108] Several methods of upper body support and headrest design, adjustment and attachment are described herein. All combinations of each variation are not individually spelled out, but all combination are intended to be made part of the description.