Title:
Multimedia workstation
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A multimedia workstation includes a central body portion having a plurality of substantial planar shelves in operable communication with the central body portion for supporting at least one object thereon. The central body portion further includes a wall portion at least partially bounding the shelves and at least one pivot support in operable communication with the central body portion for operably engaging with at least one pivot connector. The multimedia workstation includes at least one substantially planar work/support surface attached to the pivot connector, such that the work/support surface is pivotal about the pivot support and spaced from a ground surface.



Inventors:
Miller, Joseph E. (Naples, FL, US)
Cruz, Jose De La (Fort Myers, FL, US)
Planes, Felipe (Fort Myers, FL, US)
Application Number:
10/447210
Publication Date:
03/11/2004
Filing Date:
05/28/2003
Assignee:
MILLER JOSEPH E.
CRUZ JOSE DE LA
PLANES FELIPE
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47B83/00; (IPC1-7): A47B37/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHEN, JOSE V
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
THE WEBB LAW FIRM, P.C. (PITTSBURGH, PA, US)
Claims:

The invention claimed is



1. A multimedia workstation, comprising: a central body portion, including: (i) a plurality of substantially planar shelves in operable communication with the central body portion and configured to support at least one object thereon; (ii) a wall portion at least partially bounding the plurality of shelves; and (iii) at least one pivot support in operable communication with the central body portion and configured to operably engage with at least one pivot connector; and at least one substantially planar work/support surface attached to the pivot connector, such that the work/support surface is pivotal about the pivot support and spaced from a ground surface.

2. The multimedia workstation of claim 1, wherein the plurality of shelves includes a base shelf, a middle shelf spaced from the base shelf and a top shelf spaced from the middle shelf, each of the base shelf, the middle shelf and the top shelf attached to and supported by the wall portion of the central body portion.

3. The multimedia workstation of claim 1, wherein the wall portion is constructed from at least one of a substantially flexible material, a plastic, a polymer, a translucent material, a transparent material, a metal, a semi-metal and wood.

4. The multimedia workstation of claim 1, wherein the wall portion includes a side wall portion positioned adjacent opposite side edges of the plurality of shelves and a rear wall portion positioned adjacent a rear edge of the plurality of shelves.

5. The multimedia workstation of claim 4, wherein the rear wall portion is removable, such that the rear edge of at least one of the plurality of shelves is accessible from a rear position on the central body portion.

6. The multimedia workstation of claim 1, wherein at least one of the plurality of shelves is circular and configured to conform to an inner surface of the wall portion of the central body portion.

7. The multimedia workstation of claim 1, wherein the work/support surface includes at least one work/support surface support leg extending therefrom and configured to support the work/support surface.

8. The multimedia workstation of claim 7, further comprising a caster element positioned at a distal end of the support leg and configured to allow the work/support surface to roll over the ground surface as the work/support surface is pivoted around the pivot support.

9. The multimedia workstation of claim 7, wherein the support leg is outwardly curved.

10. The multimedia workstation of claim 1, further comprising a plurality of substantially planar work/support surfaces attached to a respective pivot connector, each pivot connector operably engageable with the pivot support, such that each of the plurality of work/support surfaces is pivotal about the pivot support.

11. The multimedia workstation of claim 10, wherein each of the plurality of work/support surfaces is spaced with respect to the other work/support surfaces, thereby eliminating interference between the work/support surfaces during a pivoting motion.

12. The multimedia workstation of claim 1, further comprising: (i) a plurality of pivot supports in operable communication with the central body portion and configured to operably engage with at least one pivot connector; and (ii) a plurality of substantially planar work/support surfaces attached to a respective pivot connector, at least one of the pivot connectors operably engaged with a first pivot support and at least one of the pivot connectors operably engaged with a subsequent pivot support, such that each of the plurality of work/support surfaces is pivotal about the pivot support to which the respective pivot connector is in operable communication with.

13. The multimedia workstation of claim 1, wherein the pivot support is a substantially vertical element and the at least one work/support surface is vertically adjustable along the pivot support.

14. The multimedia workstation of claim 13, wherein the pivot connector is vertically slideable along the pivot support and removably attachable at a specified position on the pivot support.

15. The multimedia workstation of claim 1, further comprising at least one adjustable substantially planar shelf in operable communication with the central body portion and configured to support at least one object, the adjustable shelf vertically adjustable within the central body portion.

16. The multimedia workstation of claim 15, wherein the at least one adjustable shelf is removably attachable to the pivot support.

17. The multimedia workstation of claim 1, further comprising a plurality of caster elements positioned under a bottom surface of the central body portion and configured to allow the central body portion to roll over the ground surface.

18. The multimedia workstation of claim 1, further comprising a storage area attached to at least a portion of the work/storage surface and configured to support and store at least one object therein.

19. The multimedia workstation of claim 18, wherein the storage area includes a plurality of storage area shelves positioned therein.

20. The multimedia workstation of claim 18, further comprising at least one caster element positioned on a bottom surface of the storage area and configured to allow the work/support surface to roll over the ground surface as the work/support surface is pivoted around the pivot support.

21. The multimedia workstation of claim 1, wherein at least one of the shelves and the work/support surface includes a layer of material displaced thereon and configured to provide a frictional gripping surface and prevent objects from sliding.

22. The multimedia workstation of claim 1, wherein at least one of the shelves and the work/support surface is constructed from at least one of a plastic, a polymer, a translucent material, a transparent material, a metal, a semi-metal and wood.

23. The multimedia workstation of claim 1, wherein at least one of the shelves and the work/support surface is configured to support at least one of a personal computing device, a monitor, a keyboard, a mouse, a speaker, a printing device, a scanning device, an electronic device, a docking station, printed material, documents and office supplies.

24. The multimedia workstation of claim 1, wherein the central body portion is substantially cylindrical in shape.

25. The multimedia workstation of claim 1, further comprising at least one of a surge protector and a power unit positioned within the central body portion and configured for connection with at least one power cord of at least one electronic device positioned within the multimedia workstation.

26. A multimedia workstation, comprising: a central body portion, including: (i) a wall portion; (ii) a base shelf, a middle shelf spaced from the base shelf and a top shelf spaced from the middle shelf, each of the base shelf, the middle shelf and the top shelf attached to and supported by the wall portion of the central body portion and configured to support at least one object thereon; (iii) at least one pivot support in operable communication with the central body portion and configured to operably engage with at least one pivot connector; and (iv) a plurality of substantially planar work/support surfaces attached to a respective pivot connector, such that each work/support surface is pivotal about the pivot support and spaced from a ground surface, each work/support surface including at least one work/support surface support leg extending therefrom and configured to support the work/support surface and a caster element positioned at a distal end of the support leg and configured to allow the work/support surface to roll over the ground surface as the work/support surface is pivoted around the pivot support.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims benefit from U.S. Provisional Patent Application Serial No. 60/384,008, filed May 28, 2002.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] 1. Field of the Invention

[0003] The present invention relates generally to desks, workstations and the like and, in particular, to a multimedia workstation having adjustable subcomponents.

[0004] 2. Description of Related Art

[0005] There is presently a large quantity of applications and structures directed to computer multimedia workstations. However, with the continuing computer age, the desirability of a multimedia workstation for a computer has increased. Therefore, there is still considerable room in the art for fully-functional workstations having both work areas and convenient access to each part of a personal computer. However, such workstations should also be housed in a unit that is aesthetically pleasing.

[0006] In addition, computer or multimedia workstations for use in computer applications frequently include pullout keyboard trays, shelves for printers and other functional conveniences. However, such workstations often have a very office-like appearance and may be too large to keep all the different components of a normal workstation easily accessible to the individual worker. Accordingly, there remains a need for a multimedia workstation with increased functionality that is also aesthetically pleasing.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide a multimedia workstation that overcomes the deficiencies of the prior art. It is another object of the present invention to provide a multimedia workstation that includes adjustable and flexible subcomponents for providing sufficient storage and sufficient working surfaces. It is a still further object of the present invention to provide a multimedia workstation that is particularly adaptable to housing and allowing the operation of a personal computer and its various components. It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a multimedia workstation that is compact and aesthetically pleasing. It is another object of the present invention to provide a multimedia workstation that extends vertically, and therefore, has a reduced footprint. It is a still further object of the present invention to provide a multimedia workstation that is mobile.

[0008] In accordance with the present invention, a multimedia workstation is provided. The multimedia workstation includes a central body portion, which includes a plurality of substantially planar shelves in operable communication with the central body portion for supporting at least one object thereon. The central body portion also includes a wall portion at least partially bounding the plurality of shelves and at least one pivot support in operable communication with the central body portion for operably engaging with at least one pivot connector. The multimedia workstation also includes at least one substantially planar work/support surface attached to the pivot connector, such that the work/support surface is pivotal about the pivot support and spaced from a ground surface.

[0009] Preferably, the plurality of shelves includes a base shelf, a middle shelf spaced from the base shelf and a top shelf spaced from the middle shelf, each of the base shelf, the middle shelf and the top shelf are attached to and supported by the wall portion of the central body portion. Further, the wall portion can be constructed from a substantially flexible material, a plastic, a polymer, a translucent material, a transparent material, a metal, a semi-metal, wood, etc.

[0010] In another preferred embodiment, the wall portion includes a side wall portion positioned adjacent opposite side edges of the plurality of shelves and a rear wall portion positioned adjacent a rear edge of the plurality of shelves. The rear wall portion is removable, such that the rear edge of at least one of the plurality of shelves is accessible from a rear position on the central body portion. This allows the user to access the back of any objects or computing equipment that is placed in the multimedia workstation.

[0011] In another preferred embodiment, the work/support surface may include one or more work/support surface support legs extending therefrom for supporting the work/support surface. Further, a caster element can be positioned at the distal end of the support leg, which would allow the work/support surface to roll over the ground surface as the work/support surface is pivoted around the pivot support.

[0012] Preferably, the multimedia workstation includes multiple work/support surfaces attached to respective pivot connectors. Each pivot connector is operably engageable with the pivot support, such that each of the plurality of work/support surfaces is pivotal about the pivot support. In addition, each of these work/support surfaces is spaced with respect to the other work/support surfaces, which eliminates interference between these surfaces during a pivoting motion. In addition, these work/support surfaces can be connected to multiple and alternatively positioned pivot supports. Still further, it is envisioned that the work/support surface can be vertically adjustable along a substantially vertical pivot support. Also, the pivot connector can vertically slide along the pivot support or be removably attachable at a specified position on the pivot support.

[0013] In a further preferred embodiment, the multimedia workstation may also include one or more adjustable planar shelves in operable communication with the central body portion. These shelves are capable of supporting an object and are vertically adjustable within the central body portion. In addition, the adjustable shelves can be removably attachable to the pivot support. Preferably, multiple caster elements are positioned under a bottom surface of the central body portion for allowing the central body portion to roll over the ground surface. Further, a storage area can be attached to a portion of the work/support surface for supporting and storing objects therein.

[0014] In yet another preferred embodiment, the shelves and/or the work/support surface may include a layer of material displaced thereon for providing a frictional gripping surface and preventing objects from sliding. The shelves, the work/support surface or other components of the multimedia workstation can be constructed from a plastic, a polymer, a translucent material, a transparent material, a metal, a semi-metal, wood, etc. It is envisioned that the shelves and/or the work/support surface can support a personal computing device, a monitor, a keyboard, a mouse, a speaker, a printing device, a scanning device, an electronic device, a docking station, printed material, office supplies, etc. In addition, the multimedia workstation may include a surge protector and/or a power unit positioned in the central body portion, with a power cord extending from the central body portion for inserting in a wall outlet.

[0015] The present invention, both as to its construction and its method of operation, together with the additional objects and advantages thereof, will best be understood from the following description of exemplary embodiments when read in connection with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0016] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an outline of one preferred embodiment of a multimedia workstation according to the present invention;

[0017] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an outline of a further preferred embodiment of a multimedia workstation according to the present invention; and

[0018] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of an outline of a still further preferred embodiment of a multimedia workstation according to the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0019] For purposes of the description hereinafter, the terms “upper”, “lower”, “right”, “left”, “vertical”, “horizontal”, “top”, “bottom” and derivatives thereof shall relate to the invention as it is oriented in the drawing figures. However, it is to be understood that the invention may assume various alternative variations and step sequences, except where expressly specified to the contrary. It is also to be understood that the specific devices and processes illustrated in the attached drawings, and described in the following specification, are simply exemplary embodiments of the invention. Hence, specific dimensions and other physical characteristics related to the embodiments disclosed herein are not to be considered as limiting.

[0020] The present invention is a multimedia workstation 10 and is illustrated in various embodiments in FIGS. 1-3. The multimedia workstation includes a central body portion 12, and this central body portion 12 includes multiple and substantially planar shelves 14 in operable communication with the central body portion 12 for supporting one or more objects (not shown) thereon. In addition, the central body portion 12 includes a wall portion 16 that at least partially bounds the shelves 14. Further, the central body portion 12 includes one or more pivot supports 18 that are in operable communication with the central body portion 12 for operably engaging with at least one pivot connector 20. The multimedia workstation 10 further includes one or more substantially planar work/support surfaces 22 attached to the pivot connector 20. In this manner, the work/support surface 22 is pivotable about the pivot support 18 via the pivot connector 20 and is spaced from a ground surface 24.

[0021] Since the work/support surface 22 is capable of pivoting with respect to the pivot support 18 in the central body portion 12, the resulting structure of the multimedia workstation 10 allows for maximum flexibility and adjustability in a variety of positions and environments. In addition, this pivoting work/support surface 22 permits easy access to the central body portion 12 and allows a user to adjust his or her work/support surface 22, taking into consideration the ergonomic needs of the user. In addition, as seen in FIGS. 1 and 2, the cylindrical shape of the central body portion 12 provides an additional aesthetic quality not found in prior art workstations.

[0022] In one preferred and non-limiting embodiment, the plurality of shelves 14 includes a base shelf 26, a middle shelf 28 and a top shelf 30. The middle shelf 28 is spaced from the base shelf 26, and the top shelf 30 is spaced from the middle shelf 28. Further, each of the base shelf 26, the middle shelf 28 and the top shelf 30 are attached to and supported by the wall portion 16 of the central body portion 12. This provides the user with standard shelf positions upon which the user can place equipment or other office supplies. However, it is also envisioned that the shelves (26, 28, 30) are vertically adjustable within the central body portion 12.

[0023] In a further embodiment, the wall portion 16 includes a side wall portion 32 positioned adjacent opposite side edges 34 of the shelves 14. In addition, the wall portion 16 includes a rear wall portion 36 that is positioned adjacent a rear edge 38 of the shelves 14. In this embodiment, the rear wall portion 36 is removable or at least movable, such that the rear edge 38 of one or more of the shelves 14 is accessible from a rear position on the central body portion 12. This will provide the user with rear access to the multimedia workstation 10, which is particularly desirable when computing equipment is placed in and connected in the central body portion 12, as typically the wired connections are at the rear of such devices. Therefore, in order to reconfigure, add or adjust the device setup in the multimedia workstation 10, the user need only remove the rear wall portion 36, as opposed to deconstructing the entire central body portion 12.

[0024] When the central body portion 12 is cylindrical in shape, in another embodiment, one or more of the shelves 14 are circular and conform to an inner surface of the wall portion 16 of the central body portion 12. This allows the shelves 14 to align with and gain maximum support from the wall portion 16 and, additionally, provides a further aesthetic quality to the multimedia workstation 10. It is envisioned that the shelves 14 can be sized and shaped to fit within many and various central body portion 12 configurations.

[0025] In another preferred and non-limiting embodiment, the work/support surface 22 includes one or more work/support surface support legs 40 extending from the work/support surface 22 for supporting the work/support surface 22. A caster element 42 is positioned at a distal end of the support leg 40 and allows the work/support surface 22 to roll over the ground surface 24 as the work/support surface 22 is pivoted around the pivot support 18. The support leg 40 may also be substantially curved in shape in order to enhance the ability of the work/support surface 22 to rotate at least 135 degrees with respect to the central body portion 12.

[0026] In the preferred embodiments illustrated in FIGS. 1-3, the multimedia workstation 10 includes multiple work/support surfaces 22 attached to a respective pivot connector 20, and each pivot connector 20 is operably engageable with the pivot support 18, such that each of the work/support surfaces 22 are pivotal about the pivot support 18. In addition, each of the multiple work/support surfaces 22 are spaced with respect to the other work/support surfaces 22, which eliminates interference between the work/support surfaces 22 during a pivoting motion.

[0027] As seen in the embodiment of FIG. 1, a first work/support surface 44 and a second work/support surface 46 are pivotally connected to the pivot support 18 via a respective pivot connector 20. In addition, the first work/support surface 44 is spaced from the second work/support surface 46. In this manner, the second work/support surface 46 can be pivoted and rolled over the first work/support surface 44 allowing for easier compaction of the multimedia workstation 10. In addition, as discussed above, the second work/support surface 46 includes an outwardly curved support leg 40, which further prevents interference between the second work/support surface 46 and the first work/support surface 44.

[0028] The multimedia workstation 10 may also include multiple pivot supports 18 in operable communication with the central body portion 12 for operably engaging with at least one pivot connector 20. As discussed above, multiple work/support surfaces 22 can be utilized to increase the flexibility of the multimedia workstation 10. Again referring to FIG. 1, in addition to the first work/support surface 44 and the second work/support surface 46, this embodiment includes a third work/support surface 48 and a fourth work/support surface 50. While the first work/support surface 44 and the second work/support surface 46 are connected to the same pivot support 18, the third work/support surface 48 and the fourth work/support surface 50 are connected to different pivot supports 18, both with respect to each other and the first work/support surface 44 and the second work/support surface 46.

[0029] In this embodiment, the third work/support surface 48 and the fourth work/support surface 50 are connected to pivot supports 18 positioned between the middle shelf 28 and the top shelf 30. Further, the third work/support surface 48 and the fourth work/support surface 50 are of a reduced size that is optimal for placement of smaller items, such as speakers, thereon.

[0030] The pivot support 18 is a substantially vertical element and the work/support surface 22 may be vertically adjustable along the pivot support 18. For example, the pivot connector 20 may be vertically slideable along the pivot support 18 and removably attachable at a specified position on the pivot support 18. Any manner of releasably securing the pivot connector 20 (and consequently the work/support surface 22) to the pivot support 18 is envisioned. For example, a series of pegs or other latches is envisioned for adjusting the work/support surface 22 to a desired height or position.

[0031] Similarly, the multimedia workstation 10 may also include one or more adjustable and substantially planar shelves 52 in operable communication with the central body portion 12 for supporting one or more objects, where the adjustable shelf 52 is vertically adjustable within the central body portion 12. As discussed above in connection with the work/support surfaces 22, any manner of removably adjusting the adjustable shelf 52 within the central body portion 12 is envisioned. For example, the adjustable shelf 52 may be removably attachable to one or more of the pivot supports 18 or in some manner to the wall portion 16.

[0032] In order to make the multimedia workstation 10 more mobile, multiple caster elements 42 can be positioned under a bottom surface of the central body portion 12, thereby allowing the central body portion 12 to roll over the ground surface 24. This use of caster elements 42 in connection with the central body portion 12 and the work/support surfaces 22 allows the entire multimedia workstation 10 to be easily positioned in a variety of environments.

[0033] In another preferred and non-limiting embodiment, the multimedia workstation 10 includes a storage area 54 attached to a portion of the work/storage surface 22. The storage area 54 is for supporting and storing objects thereon. Further, the storage area 54 may include one or more storage area shelves 56 positioned therein. For example, as seen in the embodiment of FIG. 2, the multimedia workstation 10 includes not only the first work/support surface 44, the second work/support surface 46, the third work/support surface 48 and fourth work/support surface 50, but further includes a fifth work/support surface 58. It is to this fifth work/support surface 58 to which the storage area 54 is attached to or integrated with. In addition, the storage area 54 is attached to or integrated with the support legs 40 extending from the fifth work/support surface 58. Still further, in this embodiment, the first work/support surface 44 includes multiple support legs 40 for providing maximum support to the main or central work/support surface 22. In addition, the relative spacing between the third work/support surface 48, the fourth work/support surface 50 and the fifth work/support surface 58 allows all three work/support surfaces 22 to be pivoted and centrally collapsed according to spatial requirements. For example, when not in use, the work/support surfaces 22 can be pivoted in an overlapping position and allow the multimedia workstation 10 to be moved or conveniently compact.

[0034] A still further preferred and non-limiting embodiment is illustrated in FIG. 3. In this embodiment, the fifth work/support surface 58 is positioned on the same pivot support 18 as the fourth work/support surface 50 and spaced therefrom. In addition, the first work/support surface 44 includes only a single support leg 40, and in place of the support leg 40 of the second work/support surface 46, the storage area 54 is used. Specifically, the storage area 54, including multiple storage area shelves 56, includes caster elements 42 positioned on an undersurface of the storage area 54, still allowing for the pivoting motion of the second work/support surface 46. Still further, in this embodiment, the central body portion 12 is substantially rectangular in shape, while the shelves 14 are slightly curved on a front edge 60 of the shelves 14. This curvature of the front edge 60 still provides the aesthetic quality of the overall structure of the multimedia workstation 10.

[0035] In a preferred embodiment, one or more of the shelves 14 or the work/support surfaces 22 may include a layer of material displaced thereon. This material would provide a frictional gripping surface to prevent objects from sliding off of the shelves 14 or work/support surfaces 22 during movement of the multimedia workstation 10 or jarring of the multimedia workstation 10. With respect to the materials of construction, it is envisioned that the wall portion 16 can be constructed from a substantially flexible material, a plastic, a polymer, a translucent material, a transparent material, a metal, a semi-metal, wood, etc. Further, the shelves 14 or the work/support surfaces 22 can be constructed from a plastic, a polymer, a translucent material, a transparent material, a metal, a semi-metal, wood, etc. In addition, the shelves 14 and/or the work/support surfaces 22 are particularly adaptable to support a personal computing device, a monitor, a keyboard, a mouse, a speaker, a printing device, a scanning device, an electronic device, a docking station, printed material, office supplies, etc.

[0036] In another preferred embodiment, the multimedia workstation 10 includes a surge protector and/or a power unit positioned within the central body portion 12. For example, the surge protector and/or power unit can be attached to or integrated with the shelves 14 or the wall 16, providing easy access to the user for attaching the various electronic devices to the surge protector and/or power unit. A surge protector and/or power unit with multiple connection outlets is envisioned. In this manner, the power unit would have only a single cord exiting the central body portion 12 for connection to a wall outlet. Such a feature would add to the mobility of the multimedia workstation 10, as only one cord would emanate from the central body portion 12, a user could simply unplug the cord, thereby disconnecting all of the components in the multimedia workstation 10, move the multimedia workstation 10 to another position or location and re-plug the cord into another wall outlet.

[0037] Overall, the present invention provides a multimedia workstation 10 that is fully adjustable and has pivotal work/support surfaces 22. This allows the multimedia workstation 10 to be easily compacted, while the caster elements 42 allow the multimedia workstation 10 to be mobile. Further, the structure of the multimedia workstation 10 is not only functional but also aesthetically pleasing. The use of various shelves 14 and work/support surfaces 22 provides ample areas for both storage and work. In addition, the multimedia workstation 10 extends in a vertical direction and has a reduced footprint, which allows for easier manipulation and positioning and saves floor space. The removable rear wall portion 36 allows for quick access to the central body portion 12, and the adjustable shelves 14 and work/support surfaces 22 provide for maximum flexibility and functionality.

[0038] This invention has been described with reference to the preferred embodiments. Obvious modifications and alterations will occur to others upon reading and understanding the preceding detailed description. It is intended that the invention be construed as including all such modifications and alterations.