Title:
Goggle contoured for helmet engagement
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A goggle (12), shaped to conform to a human face includes a body defining a top wall (19) and sidewalls (21) dimensioned to form a continuous contour which closely matches the shape and size of a facial aperture (41) formed in a helmet (38), thereby to form a smooth, contoured combined goggle and helmet exterior surface. At least one air intake aperture (24, 25, 26) communicates through the goggle lens (16) or goggle body to an eye cavity (18). At least one venting aperture (30) communicates through the sidewalls (12) of the goggle body with the eye cavity (18).



Inventors:
Hussey, Patrick P. (Carlsbad, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/042954
Publication Date:
08/25/2005
Filing Date:
01/24/2005
Assignee:
HUSSEY PATRICK P.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A42B3/22; A61F9/02; (IPC1-7): F41H1/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MORAN, KATHERINE M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CHRISTENSEN O'CONNOR JOHNSON KINDNESS PLLC (Seattle, WA, US)
Claims:
1. A helmet engageable goggle comprising: a goggle body having an exterior surface and an interior surface and having a lens aperture surrounded by a top wall, a bottom wall, and two sidewalls; a lens mounted in said lens aperture; an eye cavity defined by the area between said interior surface, said lens, said top wall, said bottom wall and said two sidewall; at least one intake aperture communicating through said lens or said goggle body with said eye cavity; at least one side venting aperture communicating through one of said sidewalls of said goggle body with said eye cavity; said top wall and said sidewalls dimensioned to form a single contiguous contour; said single contiguous contour adapted to substantially abut with the top edge and side edges of a facial aperture formed in a helmet when said goggle is engaged in said facial aperture; and means to attach said goggle to a helmet.

2. The helmet engageable goggle of claim 1, wherein said attachment means comprising an elastic line extending from the goggle sidewalls to engage an anchor disposed on a helmet.

3. The helmet engageable goggle of claim 2, wherein said anchor having an enlarged head portion standing out from a helmet to define a shoulder for receiving the elastic line.

4. The helmet engageable goggle of claim 1, wherein said attachment means comprising at least one pin projecting from the goggle sidewalls to engage receiving sockets formed in a helmet.

5. The helmet engageable goggle of claim 1, further comprising: an exterior surface of said goggle sidewall dimensioned to create a low air pressure area immediately adjacent to said side venting aperture when moving air travels over said exterior surface, whereby air flow exhausting from said eye cavity through said side venting aperture is enhanced by the force of said low pressure area acting to draw higher pressure air in said eye cavity out through said side venting aperture.

6. The helmet engageable goggle of claim 1, further comprising: a helmet; said helmet having a facial aperture, said facial aperture having a top edge and two side edges; and said helmet top edge and two side edges substantially formed to mate with said single contiguous contour of said goggle.

7. The helmet engageable goggle of claim 6, further comprising: an exterior surface of said goggle sidewall dimensioned to create a low air pressure area immediately adjacent to said side venting aperture when moving air travels over said exterior surface during engagement of said goggle in said facial aperture, whereby air flow exhausting from said eye cavity through said side venting aperture is enhanced by the force of said low pressure area acting to draw higher pressure air in said eye cavity out through said side venting aperture.

8. A helmet and goggle combination, comprising: a. a helmet comprising a facial aperture defined by a top edge portion and side edge portion to form a contiguous contour; b. a goggle comprising: a body shaped to define an exterior side and an interior side, said body also defining a lens aperture formed by a top wall, a bottom wall and two sidewalls; the lens mounted in said lens aperture; an eye cavity defined by the area between said body interior surface, said lens, said top well, said bottom well, and said two sidewalls; said goggle body top wall and sidewalls configured to form a single continuous contour, said single continuous contour shaped and sized to substantially abut with the top end side edge portions of the facial aperture of said helmet when said goggle is engaged with said facial aperture; at least one intake aperture communicating through said lens or said goggle body with said eye cavity; and at least one venting aperture communicating through said goggle body with said eye cavity; and c. means to attach said goggle to said helmet.

9. The combination of claim 8, wherein said at least one venting aperture communicating through at least one of said sidewalls of said goggle body.

10. The combination of Clam 9, further comprising an exterior surface of said goggle sidewall dimensioned to create a low pressure area immediately adjacent to said sidewall venting aperture, wherein when moving air travels over said exterior surface, the air flow exhausting from said eye cavity through said venting aperture is enhanced by the force of said low pressure area acting to draw high pressure air disposed in said eye cavity out through said venting aperture.

11. The combination according to claim 8, wherein said attachment means comprising an elastic cord extending from the goggle sidewalls to engage an anchor disposed on said helmet.

12. The combination according to claim 10, wherein said anchor having an enlarged head portion disposed outwardly from said helmet to define a shoulder portion between said enlarged head portion and said helmet for receiving the elastic cord.

13. The combination according to claim 8, wherein said attachment means comprising at least one pin projecting from said goggle body sidewalls to engage close-fitting sockets formed in adjacent portions of said helmet, when said goggles are engaged with said facial aperture of said helmet.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/538,911, filed Jan. 23, 2004. The present application is also a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/695,055, filed Oct. 27, 2003, which in turn is the continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/098,980, issued as U.S. Pat. No. 6,637,038, on Oct. 28, 2003, both incorporated herein by reference. The present application is also a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 29/198,078, filed Jan. 23, 2004, incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to protective helmets and eyewear. More particularly it relates to goggles having an aerodynamic design to encourage airflow through the eye cavity to prevent fogging and which have an exterior body contour adapted for engagement with the top and side edges of a protective helmet. When engaged the goggle along the top and side edges snugly fits into the front facing facial aperture on the helmet and provides a smooth continuous aerodynamic surface that runs over the face of the goggle and continues onto the top and side of the engaged helmet.

2. Prior Art

Protective helmets and goggles are commonly worn by participants in many sports such as skiing, motorcycling, paintballing, field hockey, lacrosse, auto racing, and other sports which present an inherent danger to the participant's eyes and head. Goggles and helmets are also a requirement for the military in areas with blowing sand, blowing water, or during parachute jumps, where soldiers need protection from the elements for their eyes and heads.

Commonly, however, the goggles are designed to be worn over the eyes, and the helmet is designed for wearing over the head, but the goggles and helmet are not designed for easy concurrent use on the head of the wearer. Further, even if the user is able to fit both the helmet and goggle on their head, frequently the two components are subject to wind interference due to the gaps and air pockets between the goggles and helmet. Additional areas of concern are from the ever-present danger of fogging of the goggles, especially when the goggle sides and top, which might be used to vent the goggle, are blocked by the helmet.

There is as such a pressing need for goggles which may be worn with or without a helmet and will be resistant to fogging. An especially pressing requirement that remains unmet are goggles specifically contoured to cooperatively engage substantially seamlessly with the helmet as a unit, and which are easily mounted and unmounted from the user's face. Further, a need for goggles which may be worn concurrently with the helmet and which minimize wind resistance as well as maximize anti-fogging remains unmet.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The device herein disclosed features goggles which may be worn on the head of the user and which have aerodynamic surfaces that work to maximize air flow through the eye cavity behind the goggle lens and minimize or eliminate fogging of the lens. The goggles are additionally adapted for cooperative engagement with a helmet to yield an especially aerodynamic combined helmet and goggle surface, yet still maximize airflow through the eye cavity behind the lens. This is accomplished by forming the exterior contour of the side edges and top edge of the goggle substantially similar to the side edges and top edge of the facial cut-out of the helmet. When engaged in the facial cut-out, the top and sides of the goggle mate with the top and side edges of the facial cut-out, to form an especially aerodynamic structure that minimizes wind turbulence on the goggles and helmet. The engaged goggle however still has a unique low pressure exhaust aperture which helps pull air from the eye cavity behind the lens to minimize fogging.

Maintaining the goggle on the face of the user and abutted to the facial cut-out is also improved by the disclosed device. Instead of the conventional strap used by common goggles not matched to the adjacent helmet, the disclosed device employs two different means for engaging the goggles to the helmet and biased on the user's face. One means for such engagement is provided by the use of an adjustable ā€œUā€ shaped elastic cord which engages the goggle sidewalls at both distal ends and wraps around a helmet mount adapted to engage the cord thereover. A second means provided features one or more projecting pins that engage apertures in the facial opening of the helmet and hold the goggle on the face of the user with its contoured top and sides engaging the facial aperture of the helmet.

An object of this invention is to provide goggles which are aerodynamically dimensioned to maximize airflow through the eye cavity to minimize fogging.

Another object of this invention is the provision of such a goggle that may be worn with or without a helmet.

A further object of this invention is to provide such a goggle having an exterior contour along three sides that is dimensioned to cooperatively mate with the facial aperture of a protective helmet.

An additional object of this invention is the provision of such a goggle and helmet combination which forms a very smooth combined goggle and helmet surface to minimize wind turbulence which might dismount other goggles and helmets worn concurrently.

Yet an additional object of this invention is the provision of such a cooperatively mating helmet and goggle combination that still maximizes airflow through the goggle eye cavity by using an aerodynamic flow over exhaust apertures of the goggle when engaged with the helmet.

Further objects of the invention will be brought out in the following part of the specification, wherein detailed description is for the purpose of fully disclosing the invention without placing limitations thereon.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The foregoing aspects and many of the attendant advantages of this invention will become more readily appreciated as the same become better understood by reference to the following detailed description, when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective exploded view of the goggle disengaged from the helmet.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the device showing the goggle cooperatively engaged with the helmet facial aperture using a mating contour of the goggle exterior surface to that of the facial aperture of the helmet.

FIG. 3 depicts the goggle with an alternate means of attachment to the helmet employing pins which engage apertures in the helmet casing.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

Referring now to the drawings, FIGS. 1-3 depict the various embodiments and engagements of the present invention 10 composed of goggle 12 adapted for engagement with the facial aperture 41 of a protective helmet 38 and featuring improved air extraction from the goggle 12 using directed aerodynamic airflow. A strap 11 is provided for retaining the helmet on the head of the wearer.

The goggle 12 is shaped to conform to a human face on the inside surface 14 which is conventionally covered in foam or similar soft material. The goggle lens 16 is operatively mounted in the body of the goggle 12 and conventionally is best curved around the face of the user to provide side viewing. In use as worn on a user, an eye cavity 18 is formed behind the lens 16 and best defined by the area between the user's face, the lens 16, a top wall 19, sidewalls 21, and a bottom wall or ledge 27.

One or a plurality of intake apertures facing toward the front of the goggle 12 when worn on the user's face are provided for the ingress of air from the exterior to the eye cavity 18. Such intake apertures may be situated in one, a plurality, or all of, lower intake apertures 24 below the ledge 27, body intake apertures 25 formed in the body 12, and upper intake apertures 26 formed in the lens 16 or the top wall 19. The design and ornamental aspects of the individual goggle will generally dictate which individual or combination of intake apertures are provided. However, at least one intake aperture must be provided to communicate exterior air into the eye cavity 18. Also, such intake aperture may extend through the lens 16 itself.

Venting of the eye cavity 18 is provided by the side venting apertures 30 communicating through the sidewalls 21 on either side of the lens 16. As shown in FIG. 1, the goggle body 12, adjacent to the side venting apertures 30 has clips 32 engaged on the two sidewalls 21.

Mounting to the head of the user, or more preferably to the helmet 38 is accomplished using biasing means of attachment which biases the goggle 12 toward the user's face in the form of elastic cord 32. The cord 32 or other elastic means of pulling the goggle snugly against the user's face, when used in combination with the helmet 38 features a unique mounting scheme. Conventionally goggle users attempting to also wear a helmet use a goggle having flat strap which must either wrap around the user's head under the helmet 38 or over it. Placing such a strap between the scalp and helmet 38 tends to be uncomfortable over time and placing such a strap around the helmet itself can tear, or otherwise cause failure of, the goggle body over time and tends to slip off the smooth helmet exterior causing continual dismounting problems.

In the disclosed device 10 this mounting problem is solved by the use of a projecting cord mount or anchor 40 adapted to securely hold the elastic cord 32. Two cord mounts 40 are positioned on the exterior surface of both sides of the helmet 38. The cord mounts have an enlarged head portion that stands out from the helmet to define a shoulder between the head and helmet. The shoulder portion of the cord mount 40 defines a groove dimensioned to securely accommodate the elastic cord 32 therein. The elastic cord is secured at its distal ends to through apertures in the goggle sidewalls 21 and can be adjusted for length to increase or decrease the facial bias by knotting or otherwise changing the lengths of the elastic cord where it passes through the aperture in the sidewalls 21. To make it shorter and increase bias, the user would simply tie a knot or further up the cord once it is pulled through the aperture in the sidewall 21. A center section between the two distal ends of the elastic cord engages over the cord mount 40 in a biased engagement. This mounting system eliminates the aforementioned problems with normal helmet and goggle combinations.

The goggles 12 are adapted for cooperative engagement with the helmet 38 to yield an especially aerodynamic combined helmet and goggle surface when engaged with minimal gaps therebetween as best shown in FIG. 2. This exceptionally smooth operating surface thus eliminates buffeting and dismounting that can be caused in high wind situations and gaps that might allow for injury in sports such as paintball. The close engagement is achieved by dimensioning the exterior contour of the side edges 21 and top edge 19 of the goggle 12 substantially similar to the facial aperture side edges 42 and facial aperture top edge 44 formed in the helmet 38. When engaged in the facial aperture 41, the top 19 and sides 21 of the goggle 12 substantially mate with the top and side edges of the facial aperture 41, to form an especially aerodynamic structure that minimizes wind turbulence on the goggles and helmet.

In cross-section, the top 19 and side 21 edges of the goggle can be contoured to closely match the cross-sectional contour of the helmet aperture top 44 and side 42 edges, for example, to define a tongue-and-groove type interface. Also, not shown, a seal strip or similar device can extend along the top 44 and side 42 edges to effect a seal between the helmet aperture 41 and the goggle 12. The seal strip may be composed of foamed rubber or other suitable material.

The engaged goggle 12 maximizes airflow to minimize fogging using its unique low pressure formation by the side venting aperture 30 using a curved surface 46 which projects from the sidewall 21 just in front of the side venting aperture 30. In use, for skiing, snowboarding, motorcycling, motocross, paintball, military operations, and other sports and endeavors where non-fogging goggles are best employed, exterior air is communicated to the eye cavity 18 through the aforementioned combination of one or a plurality of intake apertures individually or combined. Forward movement by the user wearing the goggle increases air pressure into the intake apertures aiding in moving pressurized air into the eye cavity 18 through the intake apertures.

The side venting apertures 30 with the aerodynamic shape or curve of the curved surface 46 immediately in front of the side venting aperture 30, acts to increase airspeed over the side venting aperture 30 much like the curved front edge of a wing on an airplane increases the airspeed over the top of the wing and provides lift or negative air pressure. The increased air speed over side venting aperture 30 thereby creates a negative air pressure zone immediately adjacent thereto and pulls air from the eye cavity 18 to prevent fogging. This negative pressure formation is provided both when the goggle is worn without the helmet, and when cooperatively engaged in the helmet facial aperture 41, with the respective tops and sides of the goggle and helmet substantially abutted and minimizing gaps. As such, even when engaged with the helmet 38 and achieving the smooth combined operating surface of the goggle and helmet, negative air pressure is formed adjacent the side venting apertures 30 to vent the eye cavity 18.

In another preferred embodiment of the device 10 shown the goggle 12 is shown in FIG. 3 with projecting pins 48 which would engage with depressions or sockets formed in the facial aperture in positions to register the goggle 12 in proper engagement in the facial aperture 41. Using the pins 48 instead of the elastic cord 32 may lessen the biasing adjustability provided by the cord 32 but would also provide an easier means for mounting to the user. A notch 50 formed around the circumference of the pins 48 can be used to engage a spring loaded retaining pin (not shown) in the depressions to hold the pins 48 and the goggle 12 in place with their respective side edges substantially abutted.

While all of the fundamental characteristics and features of the present invention have been described herein, with reference to particular embodiments thereof, a latitude of modification, various changes and substitutions are intended in the foregoing disclosure and it will be apparent that in some instance, some features of the invention will be employed without a corresponding use of other features without departing from the scope of the invention as set forth. It should be understood that such substitutions, modifications, and variations may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention. Consequently, all such modifications and variations are included within the scope of the invention.

While the preferred embodiment of the invention has been illustrated and described, it will be appreciated that various changes can be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.