Title:
Music shoe
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A music shoe includes a shoe body for covering a person's foot, and a sound control unit installed in the shoe body. The sound control unit has a control circuit board with a voice database containing voice data, a speaker electrically connected to the control circuit board for voice output, and a plurality of buttons respectively electrically connected to the control circuit board and partially exposed to the outside of the shoe body for pressing by an external force to trigger the control circuit board to output a corresponding voice signal through the speaker.



Inventors:
Hsieh, Frank (Taipei, TW)
Ratner, Donald G. (Marina Del Ray, CA, US)
Application Number:
10/885599
Publication Date:
10/13/2005
Filing Date:
07/08/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A43B3/00; A43B3/30; A43B5/12; A43B7/00; A43B23/00; (IPC1-7): A43B23/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BAYS, MARIE D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BACON & THOMAS, PLLC (ALEXANDRIA, VA, US)
Claims:
1. A music shoe comprising: a shoe body for covering a person's foot; and a sound control unit installed in said shoe body, said sound control unit comprising a control circuit board having built therein a voice data base containing voice data, a speaker electrically connected to said control circuit board for voice output, and a plurality of buttons respectively electrically connected to said control circuit board and respectively partially exposed to the outside of said shoe body for pressing by an external force to trigger said control circuit board to output a corresponding voice signal through said speaker.

2. The music shoe as claimed in claim 1, wherein said shoe body comprises a sole, and a vamp fastened to said sole and defining with said sole a receiving space for accommodating a person's foot, said sole comprising a bottom face for touching the ground or the surface of an object, a top face disposed opposite to said bottom face and fastened to said vamp, and a contour wall vertically situated at the contour of said top face and the contour of said bottom face; said buttons are respectively mounted in the contour wall of said sole and partially exposed to the outside of said sole.

3. The music shoe as claimed in claim 2, wherein the contour wall of said sole comprises a plurality of insertion holes in which said buttons are respectively mounted.

4. The music shoe as claimed in claim 2, wherein said sole comprises a receiving chamber formed in said top face for accommodating said control circuit board.

5. The music shoe as claimed in claim 4, wherein the voice data base built in the control circuit board contains a plurality of modes of voice data and said sound control unit further comprises selector switch means for selecting output modes of voice data of said control circuit board.

6. The music shoe as claimed in claim 1, wherein said speaker is installed in a tongue of said vamp.

7. The music shoe as claimed in claim 1, wherein said voice database of said control circuit board has stored therein sounds of different scales for output through said speaker subject to triggering of said buttons.

8. The music shoe as claimed in claim 1, wherein said voice database of said control circuit board has stored therein tones of different music instruments for output through said speaker subject to triggering of said buttons.

9. The music shoe as claimed in claim 1, wherein said voice database of said control circuit board has stored therein melodies for output through said speaker subject to triggering of said buttons.

10. The music shoe as claimed in claim 1, wherein said shoe body comprises a sole, and a vamp fastened to said sole and defining with said sole a receiving space for accommodating a person's foot, said sole comprising a bottom face for touching the ground or the surface of an object, a top face disposed opposite to said bottom face and fastened to said vamp, a contour wall vertically situated at the contour of said top face and the contour of said bottom face, and a locating groove extended around said contour wall for accommodating said sound control unit.

11. The music shoe as claimed in claim 1, wherein said sound control unit further comprises a belt fastened to said shoe body, said belt defining therein an enclosed space; said control circuit board is fixedly mounted inside said enclosed space of said belt; said speaker is fixedly mounted inside said enclosed space of said belt and electrically connected to said control circuit board; said buttons are fixedly fastened to said enclosed space of said belt at different locations and electrically connected to said control circuit board and partially extended to the outside of said belt.

12. The music shoe as claimed in claim 11, wherein said sound control unit further comprises fastener means for joining two distal ends of said belt, said fastener means comprising a first fastening member situated at a first end of said belt and a second fastening member situated at a second end of said belt and connectable to said first fastening member.

13. The music shoe as claimed in claim 12, wherein said first fastening member and said second fastening member are comprised of hook and loop materials.

14. The music shoe as claimed in claim 12, wherein said first fastening member and said second fastening member are respectively formed of the male fastening element and female fastening element of a snap fastener.

15. The music shoe as claimed in claim 11, wherein said belt has different indication means corresponding to said buttons for quick identification of said buttons.

16. The music shoe as claimed in claim 11, wherein said shoe body comprises a locating groove situated at one side thereof; said belt is press-fitted into said locating groove; wherein a first fastening member is provided at said locating groove, and a second fastening member is provided at said belt and connectable to said first fastening member.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a shoe and more particularly, to a music shoe that produces a respective particular sound when one of a number of predetermined areas is touched by an external force.

2. Description of the Related Art

There are known voice-generating shoes. These voice-generating shoes include two types, namely, the touch type and the motion type. A touch type voice-generating shoe comprises a control circuit and a speaker installed in or attached to the vamp, and an on/off switch for switching on/off the control circuit. When switched on the on/off switch, the control circuit is turned on to output music through the speaker. When switched off the switch or when battery power is low, the control circuit is off. A motion type voice-generating shoe comprises a control circuit with micro switch or a sound generating device embedded in the sole, and a speaker mounted in the sole and electrically connected to the control circuit. The micro switch is triggered to drive the control circuit as the shoe is vibrated (when the user is walking or jumping), thereby causing the control circuit to output sound through the speaker. These conventional touch and motion types of voice-generating shoes cannot play tones following moving of the user's feet. Therefore, these conventional voice-generating shoes are less playful. Further, replacement of the control circuit or the battery is complicated.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is the main object of the present invention to provide a music shoe, which outputs different tones when different parts of the shoe are touched.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a music shoe, which produces an entertainment effect.

To achieve these objects of the present invention, the music shoe provided by the present invention comprises a shoe body for covering a person's foot, and a sound control unit installed in the shoe body. The sound control unit comprises a control circuit board having built therein a voice data base containing voice data, a speaker electrically connected to the control circuit board for voice output, and a plurality of buttons respectively electrically connected to the control circuit board and respectively partially exposed to the outside of the shoe body for pressing by an external force to trigger the control circuit board to output a corresponding voice signal through the speaker.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a music shoe according to a first preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a schematic drawing showing the arrangement of the component parts of the sound control unit in the sole of the shoe body.

FIG. 3 is a schematic drawing showing an application example of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a schematic drawing showing another application example of the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a schematic drawing showing still another application example of the present invention.

FIG. 6 is a schematic drawing showing still another application example of the present invention.

FIG. 7 is a schematic drawing showing still another application example of the present invention.

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a music shoe according to a second preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 9 is an exploded view of the music shoe according to the second preferred embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, a music shoe 100 in accordance with the first preferred embodiment of the present invention is shown comprised of a shoe body 10 and a sound control unit 20.

The shoe body 10 comprises a sole 11 and a vamp 12. The sole 11 is a block member having a predetermined thickness and fitting the shape of the sole of the foot of a human being. The sole 11 can be made of rubber, plastics, foam compound, or any of a variety of suitable materials, having a bottom face 111, a top face 112, and a contour wall 113. The bottom face 111 is for touching the ground or the surface on which the user stands. The top face 112 is opposite to the bottom face 111 for the connection of the vamp 12. The contour wall 113 is vertically situated at the contour of the top face 112 and the contour of the bottom face 111. The sole 11 comprises a receiving chamber 114 formed on the top face 112 (alternatively, the receiving chamber 114 can be formed in the vamp 12), and a plurality of insertion holes 115 formed in the vertical contour wall 113 (according to this embodiment, the number of the insertion holes 115 is 5). The vamp 12 fits over the foot of a man. The bottom edge of the vamp 12 is fixedly fastened to the border area of the top face 112 of the sole 11, thereby defining a receiving space 121 and a top opening 122. Through the top opening 122, the user inserts the respective foot into the receiving space 121, allowing the vamp 12 to cover the foot.

The sound control unit 20 comprises a control circuit board 21, a speaker 22, and a plurality of buttons 23. The control circuit board 21 is mounted inside the receiving chamber 114 of the shoe body 10, having built therein a voice database containing musical scales (i.e., Do, Re, Me, . . . etc.), tones (sounds of guitar, drum, piano, wind instruments, . . . etc.), different melodies and songs. The speaker 22 is situated at the vamp 12 at a suitable location (for example, at the tongue), and electrically connected to the control circuit board 21 by a transmission wire 30. The buttons 23a-23e are respectively mounted in the insertion holes 115 in the vertical contour wall 113 of the sole 11, each having one end, namely, the outer end terminating in an operating portion 231, which protrudes over the vertical contour wall 113 of the sole 11, and the other end, namely, the inner end terminating in a transmission portion 232 and electrically connected to the control circuit board 21 by a respective transmission wire 40. The buttons 23a-23g are adapted to trigger different sound control circuits of the control circuit board 21, for example, the first button 23a is adapted to trigger Do control circuit of the control circuit board 21, the second button 23b is adapted to trigger Re control circuit of the control circuit board 21, and so on, i.e., the seven buttons 23a-23g are respectively linked to the seven scale (Do, Re, Me, etc.) control circuits of the control circuit board 21. When the operating portion 231 of one button 23 is operated (pressed by an external force), the transmission portion 232 of the respective button 23 gives a signal to the control circuit board 21 through the respective transmission wire 40, thereby causing the control circuit board 21 to output a corresponding sound through the speaker 22 via the transmission wire 30.

The use of the music shoe 100 is described hereinafter with reference to FIGS. 3-7. After the user has the music shoe 100 put on the leg (the left leg), the user can move the other leg (the right leg) to press the operating portions 231 of the buttons 23 of the music shoe 100 selectively. At this time, the transmission portion 232 of the touched button 23 gives a signal to the control circuit board 21 through the respective transmission wire 40, thereby causing the control circuit board 21 to output a corresponding sound (Do, Re, Me, . . . etc.) through the speaker 22 via the transmission wire 30. Therefore, selectively pressing the buttons 23 causes the control circuit board 21 to output a corresponding sound through the speaker 22 via the transmission wire 30, i.e., the user can play music by operating the buttons 23 like playing an electric keyboard instrument (see FIGS. 3-5). Alternatively, the user can move the music shoe 100 to selectively touch the operating portions 231 of the buttons 23 against the right shoe. The user may operate the buttons 23 with the hands to play music when performing a dance as shown in FIG. 6. The user can also directly selectively press the buttons 23 on the floor to make sounds as shown in FIG. 7. The music shoe 100 can be arranged in such a manner that the control circuit board 21 outputs sounds of different scales (i.e., Do, Re, Me, . . . etc.), tones of different music instruments (sounds of guitar, drum, piano, wind instruments, . . . etc.), different melodies, or different songs when selectively pressing the buttons 23a-23g. Alternatively selector switch means may be used to control the output mode of the control circuit board 21, for example, mode 1 for output of sounds of different scales (i.e., Do, Re, Me, . . . etc.), mode 2 for output of tones of different music instruments (sounds of guitar, drum, piano, wind instruments, . . . etc.), mode 3 for output of different melodies.

The locations of the control circuit board and the speaker are not limited to the sole and the tongue. For example, the control circuit board and the speaker can be mounted in the vamp or the binding flap for securing the shoe body to the user's leg and kept from sight. Instead of the locations at the contour wall of the sole, the buttons can be mounted in the outside wall of the vamp.

FIGS. 8 and 9 show a music shoe 200 according to the second preferred embodiment of the present invention. According to this embodiment, the music shoe 200 comprises a shoe body 50 and a sound control unit 60. Substantially similar to the aforesaid first embodiment, the shoe body 50 comprises a sole 51 and a vamp 52. The sole 51 has a bottom face 511, a top face 512, a contour wall 513, and a locating groove 514 extended around the contour wall 513. The vamp 52 is fixedly fastened to the top face 511 of the sole 51.

The sound control unit 60 comprises a belt 61, a control circuit board 62, a speaker 63, and a plurality of buttons 64. The belt 61 is a narrow elongated flexible member fitting the locating groove 514 of the sole 51, having a first fastening member 611 and a second fastening member 612 respectively situated at the two distal ends thereof for joining the two distal ends. According to this embodiment, the first fastening member 611 is a tape of hook material, and the second fastening member 612 is a tape of loop material connectable to the tape of hook material of the fastening member 611. Further, the belt 61 has an enclosed receiving space 613 on the inside. The control circuit board 62, the speaker 63 and the buttons 64 are mounted inside the receiving space 613 at different locations. The speaker 63 and the buttons 64 are respectively electrically connected to the control circuit board 62 by transmission wires 70. Similar to the aforesaid first embodiment, the buttons 64 have the respective operating portions exposed to the outside of the belt 61 for operation.

Referring to FIGS. 8 and 9 again, the belt 61 is press-fitted into the locating groove 514 of the sole 51 of the shoe body 50 and then the first fastening member 611 and the second fastening member 612 are fastened together to secure the belt 61 firmly to the sole 51 of the shoe body 50. When pressing the operating portion of one button 64, the control circuit board 62 is triggered to output a corresponding sound through the speaker 63.

Although particularly embodiments of the present invention have been described in detail for purposes of illustration, various modifications and enhancements may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. For example, snap fastener, belt buckle, or any suitable fastening means may be used to substitute for the aforesaid first fastening member and second fastening member of the belt; the belt may be made having different color areas corresponding to the buttons of the sound control unit for quick identification of the buttons; the locating groove may be provided at one side of the sole for accommodating the belt and male and female fastening members may be respectively provided at the locating groove and the belt for securing the belt to the locating groove. Accordingly, the invention is not to be limited except as by the appended claims.