Title:
Hairstyle enhancement device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A hairstyle enhancement apparatus includes a flexible peripheral frame and a grid of filaments supported by the frame. Clumps of hair are attached to filaments of the grid of filaments and the wearer's existing hair extends through open areas between the filaments to obscure the filaments and peripheral wire frame. The clumps of hair may differ from the wearer's existing hair in color, length and/or texture. The clumps of hair attached to the hair enhancement apparatus may themselves include hair of different colors, lengths, and textures. The clumps of hair may be designed to extend in different directions or they may be flexibly attached to the filaments such that they can be combed in any desired direction. A double crown design enables the wearer to comb the hair in any desired direction and to part his or her hair on either side.



Inventors:
Knight, Peggy L. (Mill Valley, CA, US)
Application Number:
10/794747
Publication Date:
10/28/2004
Filing Date:
03/05/2004
Assignee:
KNIGHT PEGGY L.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41G5/00; (IPC1-7): A41G5/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
DOAN, ROBYN KIEU
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Howard Chen (San Francisco, CA, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A hairstyle enhancement apparatus comprising: a peripheral flexible wire frame; a grid of filaments coupled to and supported by said frame and forming a double-crown pattern; and a plurality of clumps of hair attached to filaments of said grid of filaments at a plurality of locations.

2. The hairstyle enhancement apparatus of claim 1, wherein said frame is a closed loop.

3. The hairstyle enhancement apparatus of claim 2, wherein said apparatus covers approximately two-thirds of a wearer's scalp.

4. The hairstyle enhancement apparatus of claim 1, wherein said plurality of clumps of hair include clumps of hair of different colors.

5. The hairstyle enhancement apparatus of claim 1, wherein at least one clump of hair consists of hair of multiple colors.

6. The hairstyle enhancement apparatus of claim 1, wherein said plurality of clumps of hair include clumps of hair of one of different lengths and different volumes.

7. The hairstyle enhancement apparatus of claim 1, wherein said plurality of clumps of hair include clumps of hair that extend in different directions.

8. The hairstyle enhancement apparatus of claim 1, wherein said clumps of hair are flexibly coupled to said filaments such that said clumps of hair may be combed in any desired direction.

9. The hairstyle enhancement apparatus of claim 8, wherein said clumps of hair are attached to filaments of said grid of filaments using glue.

10. The hairstyle enhancement apparatus of claim 1, wherein said plurality of locations are randomly arranged with respect to said grid of filaments.

11. The hairstyle enhancement apparatus of claim 1, wherein said grid of filaments and said wire frame are obscurable by natural hair of said wearer extending through said apparatus.

12. The hairstyle enhancement apparatus of claim 1, wherein said wire frame is a metal wire.

13. The hairstyle enhancement apparatus of claim 1, wherein said flexible wire frame is formed of an elastic material.

14. The hairstyle enhancement apparatus of claim 1, wherein filaments of said grid of filaments are formed of an elastic material.

15. The hairstyle enhancement apparatus of claim 1, wherein filaments of said grid of filaments are convex monofilaments.

16. The hairstyle enhancement apparatus of claim 1, further comprising at least one fastening member attached to said frame and fastenable to a wearer's existing hair.

17. The hairstyle enhancement apparatus of claim 16, wherein said fastening member comprises a comb clip that is lockable to said wearer's existing hair.

18. A hair support structure for use in fashioning and maintaining a hairstyle on a wearer's head while in place thereon, said hair support structure comprising: a peripheral flexible wire loop frame, and a grid of filaments coupled to and supported by said frame and forming a double crown pattern, said grid of filaments adapted to receive hair attached thereto.

19. The hair support structure of claim 18, wherein filaments of said grid of filaments comprise convex monofilaments and said wire comprises a metal wire.

20. The hair support structure of claim 18, wherein said apparatus fits snugly and directly on a wearer's scalp and is obscurable by natural hair of said wearer which is extendable through said grid of filaments.

21. A hairstyle enhancement apparatus to be worn on a wearer's head comprising: a peripheral frame; a grid of filaments disposed within and supported by said frame; and a plurality of clumps of hair attached to said grid of filaments in a random pattern at a plurality of non-ordered locations and including clumps of hair of at least one of different volumes, different colors, and different lengths.

22. A hairstyle enhancement apparatus to be worn on a wearer's head comprising: a peripheral frame; a plurality of filaments joined to said frame; and a plurality of clumps of hair rotatably attached to said plurality of filaments.

23. The hairstyle enhancement apparatus as in claim 22, wherein said peripheral frame comprises a partial loop and includes an open part positionable toward a front part of a wearer's head and said plurality of filaments include filaments of different lengths.

24. The hairstyle enhancement apparatus as in claim 22, wherein said peripheral frame comprises a closed loop.

25. The hairstyle enhancement apparatus as in claim 22, wherein said filaments are movably attached to said frame.

26. The hairstyle enhancement apparatus as in claim 25, wherein said filaments are further lockable with respect to said frame.

27. The hairstyle enhancement apparatus as in claim 22, wherein each of said clumps of hair is rotatable within a plane tangential to a wearer's head.

28. The hairstyle enhancement apparatus as in claim 22, wherein each of said clumps of hair include an attachment with a protuberance receivable in an opening formed in a corresponding filament of said plurality of filaments.

29. The hairstyle enhancement apparatus as in claim 28, wherein said protuberance snaps into said opening.

30. The hairstyle enhancement apparatus as in claim 22, wherein each of said clumps of hair is rotatable about a circumference of said corresponding filament.

31. The hairstyle enhancement apparatus as in claim 22, wherein each of said clumps of hair includes a socket attachable to a corresponding trough formed between a set of ridges on a corresponding filament of said plurality of filaments.

32. The hairstyle enhancement apparatus as in claim 22, wherein said clumps of hair include hair that is directly attached to said filaments by being folded around a corresponding filament and said folded hair is bunched in a group by one of a string and a wire.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This application claims priority of U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/452,638 entitled Hair Highlight Device filed on Mar. 7, 2003, and U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/476,019 entitled Hair Highlight Device filed on Jun. 5, 2003, the contents of each of which are hereby incorporated by reference as if set forth in their entirety.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The invention relates generally to hairpieces and is particularly directed to hairpieces that provide additional hair to enhance existing hair and provide hair styling alternatives.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] Individuals often find it desirable to highlight or enhance their existing hair by introducing hair of a different color within their existing hair. This is generally achieved by dying or bleaching strands of the existing hair to a different color whereby the strands of hair run through the individual's existing hair to highlight the individual's existing, or natural hair.

[0004] A common method used to dye or bleach strands of hair without changing the color of all of the existing hair includes placing a rubberized swimming-type cap containing numerous small openings or holes, over the head. Clumps of the existing hair are drawn through the small openings with a small hook or other similar instrument and then dyed or bleached individually such that the dye or bleach does not contact the bulk of the existing hair.

[0005] There are several problems with this method. One problem is that the pulling of the hair through the small openings in the cap is quite painful and requires a great deal of time. An additional problem is that the harsh chemicals used to bleach or dye hair can cause severe reactions and irritation to the scalp. Individuals who have strong reactions to the bleaches and dyes are not able to highlight their hair and alter their hairstyle using this method. Furthermore, the bleaching or dyeing of particular clumps of hair is only temporary and to maintain this highlighting effect, the method must be repeated every few months. Of course, it is particularly difficult and time consuming to isolate and bleach or dye all of the particular clumps of hair that were previously treated. Moreover, this time consuming method is not easily reversible or alterable. If the individual desires to have his or her original hair color restored, it requires a great deal of time for the natural hair color to grow out. Similarly, if an individual desires to change the color of the bleached or dyed hair it would entail another time-consuming process.

[0006] In general, current methods for highlighting an individual's hair by coloring or bleaching portions of the individual's own hair are painful, time-consuming process that are not readily reversible or alterable.

[0007] In addition to bleaching or dyeing their existing hair, individuals may also find it desirable to highlight or enhance their existing hair by introducing additional hair of a different length or texture within their existing hair.

[0008] Various hairpieces and caps have been produced in the industry to enhance the look of an individual's existing hair by providing additional hair to supplement the individual's existing hair. There are various shortcomings associated with the various hairpieces and caps available in the industry, however, and a more natural look with styling flexibility is needed. It would therefore be desirable to provide an improved device that highlights or enhances a wearer's existing hair, provides a head of hair that can be easily styled, produces various different enhancement effects, and provides an enhanced hairstyle that is easily reversible or alterable.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0009] To address these and other objects and in view of its purposes, the invention provides a hairstyle enhancement apparatus comprising a peripheral flexible wire frame, a grid of filaments coupled to and supported by the frame and forming a double-crown pattern and a plurality of clumps of hair attached to filaments of the grid of filaments at a plurality of locations.

[0010] In another embodiment, the invention provides a hair support structure for use in fashioning and maintaining a hairstyle on a wearer's head while the support structure is in place on the user's head. The hair support structure includes a peripheral flexible wire loop frame and a grid of filaments coupled to and supported by the frame and forming a double crown pattern, the grid of filaments adapted to receive hair attached thereto.

[0011] In another embodiment, the invention provides a hairstyle enhancement apparatus to be worn on a wearer's head. The apparatus includes a peripheral frame and a grid of filaments disposed within and supported by the frame. A plurality of clumps of hair are attached to the grid of filaments in a random pattern at a plurality of non-ordered locations and include clumps of hair of different volumes, different colors, and/or different lengths.

[0012] In yet another embodiment, the invention provides a hairstyle enhancement apparatus to be worn on a wearer's head. The apparatus includes a peripheral frame and a plurality of filaments joined to the frame. A plurality of clumps of hair are rotatably attached to the plurality of filaments.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

[0013] The invention is best understood from the following detailed description when read in conjunction of the accompanying drawing. It is emphasized that, according to common practice, the various features of the drawing are not necessarily to scale. The dimensions of the various features may be arbitrarily expanded or reduced for clarity. Like numerals denote like features throughout the specification and drawing. Included in the drawing are the following figures:

[0014] FIG. 1 is a top elevation view of the hairstyle enhancement apparatus of the invention;

[0015] FIG. 2 is a rear elevation view of the hairstyle enhancement apparatus of the invention taken along line 2-2 of FIG. 1; and

[0016] FIGS. 3A-3D are perspective elevation views of another exemplary hairstyle enhancement apparatus of the invention;

[0017] FIG. 4 is an exemplary rotatable clump of hair including an attachment with a protuberance;

[0018] FIGS. 5A-5C are various views of another exemplary hairstyle enhancement apparatus of the invention;

[0019] FIGS. 6A and 6B are perspective views of a clump of hair connecting to a filament using an exemplary socket;

[0020] FIG. 7 is a perspective view showing a further connection embodiment connecting a clump of hair to a filament; and

[0021] FIG. 8 illustrates another exemplary embodiment of a hairstyle enhancement apparatus of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0022] The invention provides a hairstyle enhancement apparatus to be worn on the head of a wearer. The apparatus may highlight the wearer's existing hair, that is, give the impression that some of the wearer's hair is of a different color, texture and/or length, or it may clearly supplement the wearer's existing or natural hair.

[0023] FIG. 1 shows an exemplary embodiment of a hairstyle enhancement apparatus according to the invention. Hairstyle enhancement apparatus 1 includes frame 4 which may be a peripheral flexible wire frame. In the illustrated embodiment, frame 1 forms a closed loop, i.e., a halo, but in other exemplary embodiments, frame 4 may include an opening. Frame 4 is generally round and in one exemplary embodiment, frame 4 may be circular, while in other exemplary embodiments, frame 4 may take on other shapes such as an oval or ellipse. Hairstyle enhancement apparatus 1 is designed to fit flexibly and comfortably on the head of the wearer. Frame 4 may be a metal wire, a plastic wire or a wire formed of a resiliently deformable material. Frame 4 is designed to fit snugly and comfortably on the wearer's head.

[0024] A grid of filaments 6 is coupled to and supported by frame 4 and is disposed internally with respect peripheral frame 4. Filaments 6 that make up the grid of filaments are designed to be thin and may be formed of various materials and in one exemplary embodiment, filaments 6 may each be formed of a convex monofilament. In various exemplary embodiments, filaments 6 may be formed of various suitable materials such as elastic materials. Hairstyle enhancement apparatus 1 may be sized so that frame 4 extends substantially circumferentially around the wearer's head and in another exemplary embodiment, frame 4 may extend about approximately two-thirds of the wearer's scalp. The grid arrangement is intended to be exemplary only and in other exemplary embodiments, the grid may take on other shapes.

[0025] The grid of filaments 6 is woven to contour to the wearer's head and advantageously includes two crowns. In the illustrated arrangement, the grid of filaments include left crown 14 and right crown 16. Applicants have discovered that the double-crown arrangement advantageously enables hairstyle enhancement apparatus 1 to fit comfortably in following the contours of the wearer's head and provides a natural look.

[0026] In the exemplary embodiment, hairstyle enhancement apparatus 1 includes a plurality of fastening members, comb clips 18 that are attached to frame 4 and fastenable to a wearer's existing hair. Although three comb clips 18 are shown disposed on the sides and rear of hairstyle enhancement apparatus 1 in the exemplary embodiment, more or less than three fastening members may be used in other exemplary embodiments and they may be positioned differently and may be devices other than comb clips 18. Comb clips 18 each include self locking bar 20 which provides for locking the comb clips to the wearer's existing hair and for securing frame 4 to the wearer's scalp. In an exemplary embodiment in which frame 4 is made of an elastic material and/or if frame 4 fits snugly and comfortably on the wearer's head without a fastening member, a fastening member such as comb clips 18 may not be needed.

[0027] At a plurality of locations on filaments 6 of the grid of filaments, a tuft or clump of hair is attached to the grid. The clumps of hair may be attached in an ordered pattern or they may be attached in a random or non-ordered manner. Clumps of hair 8A-8J are examples of the plurality of clumps of hair attached to filaments 6 in various embodiments. The clumps of hair may include human hair or artificial hair. Synthetic fibers such as Eleura, Dynal, or Kane Kaion may be used for example. The clumps of hair may be of any color which may differ from, or be the same as, the wearer's existing hair. In an exemplary embodiment, the clumps of hair attached to the grid of filaments 6, may include hair of different color. Within this arrangement, each clump of hair may include hair of one color and clumps of different color may be used, or different color hairs may be provided within each clump of hair, i.e. multiple colors of hair within a clump. The clumps of hair may include hair of different lengths, for example, length 28 of exemplary clump of hair 8A is shown to be greater than length 26 of another exemplary clump of hair 8B. The volume or density of the clumps of hair may also differ. Still referring to FIG. 1, the volume of clump of hair 8F is shown to be greater than the volume of clump of hair 8G. In another embodiment, the clumps of hair may include clumps of hair of different textures. In one embodiment, clumps of hair may be fastened to the grid such that they fixedly extend in different directions. For example, clump of hair 8I extends along direction 22 which differs from direction 20 along which clump of hair 8J extends. In another exemplary embodiment, the clumps of hair may be rotatably attached to filaments 6 such that the clump of hair has the ability to swivel from side to side or rotate around filament 6. Such flexibility at attachment point 10 may be provided in a number of ways. In one exemplary embodiment, special glues may be used to provide flexibility at attachment point 10. The special glues may include various epoxies, or other suitable glues that provide flexibility. According to the embodiment in which flexibility is provided at attachment point 10, any of the clumps of hair 8A-8J may be brushed or combed in any desired direction. Therefore, different clumps of hair 8A-8J attached to the grid at different locations may be brushed or combed in different directions. According to this exemplary embodiment, the double crowned structure of hairstyle enhancement apparatus 1 is particularly advantageous as it enables the different clumps of hair 8A-8J of hairstyle enhancement apparatus 1 to be parted on the left or right.

[0028] Although the exemplary hair enhancement apparatus shown in FIG. 1 only includes ten exemplary clumps of hair 8A-8J, it should be understood that this plurality of clumps of hair, their relative positions, relative lengths, relative volumes, and so on, are intended to be exemplary only. The hairstyle enhancement apparatus of the invention may include various numbers of additional or lesser clumps of hair attached at various random or ordered locations in various exemplary embodiments. In one exemplary embodiment, a number of clumps of hair may be located in one location in close proximity to one another.

[0029] FIG. 2 is a rear view taken along line 2-2 of FIG. 1. FIG. 2 shows left crown 14 and right crown 16. The double crown arrangement provided by left crown 14 and right crown 16 is intended to be exemplary only and the two crown areas may be positioned differently with respect to one another in other exemplary embodiments.

[0030] Referring again to FIG. 1, when hairstyle enhancement apparatus 1 is placed on the wearer's head, the wearer's existing or natural hair is maneuvered to extend through openings in the grid of filaments 6. This is shown in section 32 of FIG. 1. In section 32, the wearer's existing hair 34 extends through hairstyle enhancement apparatus 1 and obscures frame 4 as well as filaments 6. If fastening members are used, they will be sized and positioned such that the wearer's hair obscures the fastening members as well. This provides a head of hair with a hairstyle that includes the wearer's existing hair in combination with clumps of hair of hairstyle enhancement apparatus 1. In the exemplary embodiment in which the clumps of hair include hair of a different color than the wearer's existing hair, the hairstyle may give the perception that the wearer has had his or her hair highlighted by conventional chemical methods, i.e. includes hair of a highlighted color. In exemplary embodiments wherein the clumps of hair are a different length or texture than the wearer's existing hair, a different styling effect is produced. The additional hair provided by hairstyle enhancement apparatus 1 may be styled together with the wearer's existing hair using conventional gels and sprays and other treatments and it may be trimmed professionally to blend in with the wearer's existing hair as desired.

[0031] Although described in terms of a peripheral wire frame and a grid of filaments, hairstyle enhancement apparatus 1 may be formed entirely of one whole piece of material which may be plastic, rubber or other suitably comfortable materials. In one exemplary embodiment, the entire device may be formed from a solitary piece of plastic material with portions thereof punched out to provide the grid and frame. Materials other than plastic or rubber may also be used if they provide strength and flexibility to the device.

[0032] Hairstyle enhancement apparatus 1 is easily removable and replaceable. It can therefore be adorned or removed rapidly. As such, the wearer can switch between various hairstyles rapidly.

[0033] Another exemplary hairstyle enhancement apparatus is shown in FIGS. 3A-3D. Hairstyle enhancement apparatus 40 is advantageously worn with frame 41 extending around the rear of a wearer's head and includes a plurality of filaments 43 extending forward over the wearer's scalp and frontward toward the wearer's face. Although five filaments 43 are shown in the exemplary embodiment, this is exemplary only. Frame 41 and filaments 43 are formed to fit comfortably and snugly on a wearer's head and to be easily removable. Filaments 43 may be formed to include different lengths 47 as illustrated, or lengths 47 may be the same. Frame 41 may be formed of metal or various plastics and filaments 43 may be formed of metal and various plastics that are resiliently deformable to provide a snug but comfortable fit. In one exemplary embodiment, the entire hair enhancement apparatus 40 may be formed of a unitary piece of molded plastic. Filaments 43 are attached to frame 41 at attachment points 49 and may be fixed in position or movable and lockable with respect to frame 41. Filaments 43 each include a plurality of openings 45 that are adapted to receive a corresponding clump of hair. Although openings 45 are shown to be formed in a regular pattern in FIGS. 3A-3D, such is exemplary only and in other exemplary embodiments, openings 45 may be randomly positioned. Openings 45 are exemplary only and in other exemplary embodiments, other receiving or attachment members may be provided to receive a corresponding clump of hair. The clumps of hair that are attached to filaments 43 may include clumps of hair of different colors, different volumes, different lengths, and different textures as describe in conjunction with FIG. 1. A single clump of hair attachable to hair enhancement apparatus 40 may also include hair of multiple colors. Hairstyle enhancement apparatus 40 may also include one or more attachment members such as a lockable comb (not shown) to attach frame 41 to the wearer's head. Hairstyle enhancement apparatus 40 including frame 41 and filaments 43 is designed to have a snug fit on the wearer's scalp such that the wearer's natural hair extends between filaments 43 and obscures filaments 43 and frame 41.

[0034] FIG. 4 shows an exemplary clump of hair and attachment to be used in conjunction with hairstyle enhancement apparatus 40 shown in FIGS. 3A-3D. Clump of hair 53 includes hair 55 which may be natural or synthetic as previously described. Hair 55 is coupled to attachment member 57 which includes protuberance 59 and may be formed of plastic or other suitable materials. Fastening member 61 may be a wire or other filament used to group and secure hair 55. In other exemplary embodiments, hair 55 may be glued to attachment member 57. Protuberance 59 is designed to snap into a corresponding opening 45. With protuberance 59 snapped into a corresponding opening 45, clump of hair 53 is rotatable about the opening within the plane tangential to the wearer's head at the point of attachment.

[0035] FIGS. 5A-5C show exemplary hairstyle enhancement apparatus 63 that includes band 65 and filaments or tines 67. Hairstyle enhancement apparatus 63 is designed to fit snugly and comfortably on a wearer's scalp and may be formed of an integrally molded plastic designed to be resiliently deformable. Band 65 may include ribs 69 to aid in securing and positioning hairstyle enhancement apparatus 63 in a desired position on a wearer's head. Hairstyle enhancement apparatus 63 may additionally or alternatively include other fastening members for securing the apparatus to a wearer's hair or scalp. Tines 67 include a plurality of troughs 71 formed between ribs 73 shown in further detail in FIG. 6. The three tines 67 are intended to be exemplary only and in other exemplary embodiments, hairstyle enhancement apparatus 63 may include various pluralities of tines 67. Hairstyle enhancement apparatus 63 is advantageously worn with band 65 extending around the rear of a wearer's head.

[0036] FIGS. 6A and 6B show one exemplary attachment device for securing a clump of hair to a corresponding tine 67 in a rotatable relationship. Clump of hair 75 includes fastening member 77 which includes socket 79. Socket 79 snaps into place in corresponding trough 71 formed between a set of ribs 73 on tine 67. In this manner, clump of hair 75 is circumferentially rotatable with respect to tine 67. Fastening member 77 may be formed of various suitable materials such as plastic and may simply snap into place to surround trough 71.

[0037] FIG. 7 shows another exemplary technique and arrangement for rotatably fastening a clump of hair to a corresponding filament or tine. Clump of hair 81 is folded over itself in portion 83 and grouped and secured by wire 85 or other monofilament wrap. Clump of hair 81 is secured to a trough 71 of tine 67. In the exemplary attachment arrangements shown in FIGS. 6A-6B and FIG. 7, the clump of hair is rotatably attached to the corresponding tine and therefore can be brushed or combed in different directions along with the wearer's natural hair.

[0038] FIG. 8 shows another exemplary hairstyle enhancement apparatus 100 including frame, or headband 102 and attachment lines or filaments 104. Headband 102 and filaments 104 may be made of metal, plastic or other suitable flexible materials. The three filaments 104 are exemplary only and each filament 104 includes a plurality of clumps of real or artificial hair 110 attached by joints 108. Joints 108 may be either of the aforedescribed attachments for rotatably attaching clump of hair 110 to filament 104. In order to enhance the attachment of headband 102 to the natural hair of the wearer's head, headband 102 may include a securing mechanism such as one more groups of small teeth 112 disposed along the inner edge of headband 102. The location and number of groups of teeth 112 is exemplary only. In one embodiment, filaments 104 may be fixedly attached to headband 102 at a plurality of fixed locations and in another exemplary embodiment, filaments 104 may be movable with respect to headband 102 to provide added versatility of the apparatus. In the exemplary embodiment in which filaments 104 are movable with respect to headband 102, they may be slidable and may include self locking mechanism 106 to lock filaments 104 into the desired locations on headband 102. Filaments 104 and headband 102 may be formed of various suitable plastic or metal materials. As in the aforedescribed embodiments, clumps of hair 110 may include hair of different colors, textures, lengths, and volumes and a clump of hair 110 may include multiple colors of hair.

[0039] The preceding merely illustrates the principles of the invention. It will thus be appreciated that those skilled in the art will be able to devise various arrangements which, although not explicitly described or shown herein, embody the principles of the invention and are included within its spirit and scope. For example, a feature described in conjunction with one hairstyle enhancement apparatus may be used in conjunction with other of the hairstyle enhancement apparatus embodiments. Furthermore, all examples and conditional language recited herein are principally intended expressly to be only for pedagogical purposes and to aid the reader in understanding the principles of the invention and the concepts contributed by the inventors to furthering the art, and are to be construed as being without limitation to such specifically recited examples and conditions. Moreover, all statements herein reciting principles, aspects, and embodiments of the invention, as well as specific examples thereof, are intended to encompass both structural and functional equivalents thereof. Additionally, it is intended that such equivalents include both currently known equivalents and equivalents developed in the future, i.e., any elements developed that perform the same function, regardless of structure.

[0040] This description of the exemplary embodiments is intended to be read in connection with the figures of the accompanying drawing, which are to be considered part of the entire written description. In the description, relative terms such as “lower,” “upper,” “horizontal,” “vertical,”, “above,” “below,” “up,” “down,” “top” and “bottom” as well as derivatives thereof (e.g., “horizontally,” “downwardly,” “upwardly,” etc.) should be construed to refer to the orientation as then described or as shown in the drawing under discussion. These relative terms are for convenience of description and do not require that the apparatus be constructed or operated in a particular orientation. Terms concerning attachments, coupling and the like, such as “connected” and “interconnected,” refer to a relationship wherein structures are secured or attached to one another either directly or indirectly through intervening structures, as well as both movable or rigid attachments or relationships, unless expressly described otherwise.

[0041] Although the invention has been described in terms of exemplary embodiments, it is not limited thereto. Rather, the appended claims should be construed broadly, to include other variants and embodiments of the invention, which may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the scope and range of equivalents of the invention.