Title:
Self-positioning space organizer and holder
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A self-positioning space organizer and object holder apparatus for storing objects is shown. The holder comprises a body element enclosure snugly fitting an object by contact pressure gripping. The holder has one or more leg members contiguous with the body and leg ends with gripping surfaces using holder residual stress to conformable maintain available space position. The holder is malleable but can be compressed to provide a springing adherence force. A divider can be located in and around the holder for dividing the available space in the organizer further.



Inventors:
Bahu, Joel Bishara (Ben Lomond, CA, US)
Berritto III, Michael (Felton, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/187726
Publication Date:
02/09/2006
Filing Date:
07/22/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47B47/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BORLINGHAUS, JASON M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Walt Froloff (Aptos, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A self-positioning space organizer and object holder apparatus for storing objects comprising: a body element in a semi-enclosing geometry forming an object pressure gripping spring like enclosure for holding an object, a plurality of leg members contiguous with the body portion, being rigidly and uniformly connected with respect to each other, the leg members on opposing sides of the body element each having ends of gripping or non-slipping surface, wherein the holder apparatus installed within a volume with an adjacent surface, firmly secures an object by contact with the body, the body suspended within the available space.

2. The self-positioning space organizer and object holder in claim 1 further comprising one or more leg members and body element of a contiguous one-piece injection molded holder.

3. The self-positioning space organizer and object holder as in claim 1 further comprising legs and body of a tubular framework generally following a one-piece contiguous surface edge design having two opposing body sides with two opposing ends connected to one or more leg members.

4. The self-positioning space organizer and object holder in claim 1 further comprising a bendable material character with conformable stiffness.

5. The self-positioning space organizer and object holder in claim 1 further comprising a body enclosure of variable stiffness with frequency band isolating characteristics providing object with vibration protection from forcing frequency vibration.

6. The self-positioning space organizer and object holder in claim 1 further comprising a flexible construction that allows the holder to automatically adjust and fit securely in the available space.

7. The self-positioning space organizer and object holder in claim 1 further comprising leg end elements removably adhering to adjacent space surface.

8. The self-positioning space organizer and object holder in claim 1 further comprising capability to fit in and available space in longitudinal, transverse, or diagonal directions, depending on the size and shape of the available space volume.

9. The self-positioning space organizer and object holder in claim 1 further comprising an apparatus without user assembly required.

10. The self-positioning space organizer and object holder in claim 1 further comprising body element of a mesh or other material construction.

11. The self-positioning space organizer and object holder in claim 1 further comprising dividers that are adjustable allowing customization of the space organized.

12. The self-positioning space organizer and object holder in claim 1 further comprising holder apparatus to hold objects firmly when placed in any desired space or enclosure.

13. The self-positioning space organizer and object holder in claim 1 further comprising a cushioned environment for safely storing devices or objects within any enclosure.

14. The self-positioning space organizer and object holder in claim 1 further comprising spring-like leg and body grip design which acts to damp vibration from external forcing vibration or impact loads.

15. The self-positioning space organizer and object holder in claim 1 further comprising apparatus construction that retains residual stresses upon partial decompression providing an adhering force.

16. The self-positioning space organizer and object holder in claim 1 further comprising adaptability to securely accommodate small electronic or non-electronic devices or objects by conformably adjusting the body enclosure shape to the object.

17. The self-positioning space organizer and object holder in claim 1 further comprising interior body element interior surface lined with a rubber-gripping material to secure objects.

18. An organization and holder device for storage of items in a compartment of a vehicle, said compartment having a bottom surface, said device comprising: a body member having a plurality of legs and body member providing a support enclosure, the leg members each having a length extending from the body member to a distal end portion, body enclosure for firmly supporting an object; means for independently adjusting said length of each of the leg members extending between the body member and the distal end of each of the leg members, whereby body enclosure suspends an object to be stored.

19. The organization and holder device of claim 18, wherein each of the plurality of feet have gripping surfaces, bendable and contiguous to each distal end of each of the of leg members.

20. The organization and device of claim 19, wherein each of said mounting feet has means for engaging an inner surface of said compartment to suspend the body member within a storage compartment by compressing device to allow residual stresses to maintain position against surrounding surface.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application is a Continuation to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. US60/590,532 filed on Jul. 23, 2004, and which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety and for all purposes.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The field of the present invention relates in general to the fields of space organizers and holders for stored objects and in particular, for organizing and holding objects steady and safe from jarring or damaging vibration.

2. Background

Loose objects such as pens, pencils, notepapers, etc, tend to slide about when being transported in a vehicle not to mention the clutter that can collect in a vehicle if things are not organized. In addition, the consumer goods industry has given us calculators, PDAs, cell phones, MP3 players, camcorders, and many other small electronic devices. Leaving these lying free in a vehicle can lead to damage to the object during sudden stops, starts or worse, collisions. These can also lead to dangerous situations wherein these projectiles flying about the interior of the vehicle can injure the occupants. Moreover, the movement of these objects may distract the driver in attempts to retrieve the objects while driving, if his or her attention must be averted from the roadway, potentially causing an accident.

Attempts have been made to hold objects on vehicle glove boxes, dashboards or between seats. See U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,619,586; 4,577,788; 4,846,382; 5,419,265; 3,104,895; and 5,025,919 each describe an after-market box or tray-like structure that is designed to be mounted on a vehicle dashboard and provide a writing surface and/or storage for other items. These generally suffer from being large and unwieldy, and can partially obscure the drivers field of vision or are generally occupied by other facilities and not available. More over, they may provide rigid support which is not conducive to sudden movements transferring the load directly to sensitive electronic devices or otherwise too unforgiving to be suitable as a holder. Also, available space may be complex curving structure, with dips, slopes and compound curves. Thus, organizers and holders must be self-positioning and not overly rigid in their support of objects. Vehicles traveling over rough terrain, bad roads or construction zones are particularly prone to losing items.

Accordingly, there is a need for a multipurpose accessory, which can be secured in an available space to hold a variety of objects and prevent items stored from flying about. Such an accessory would not only provide convenience to the driver, but would be a safety feature because it would allow the driver to maintain concentration on the task at hand, driving and peace of mind that sudden positional changes will not damage his expensive devices.

Automobile glove compartments usually contain a single un-compartmentalized space of limited dimensions wherein a number of items may be stored. These items within a typical glove compartment, however, are usually difficult to find because the typical glove compartment does not have separate compartments and the items become bundled. It is desirable, however, to provide a space organizer to be installed in the glove compartment to divide the space in the glove compartment into several holding volumes for storage of various articles which may be conveniently found and selected when needed and also safely stored such that road jarring or sudden hits will not sustain damage to any sensitive electronic components.

The conventional compartment organizers and holding apparatus have numerous drawbacks and limitations. Some solutions have compartmentalized but they have not provided a secure volume. The support surface of the conventional compartment organizers also has smooth surfaces so that items may slide on the support surface. In addition, the conventional compartment organizers do not fit snugly into an available space and there is a variety of different makes and models of automobiles to accommodate. Likewise, the dash and console areas have solutions which also have limitations in size, obstructing visibility, are cumbersome, not self-positioning or not spring adjustable against sudden movements generating forces which can damage sensitive objects and electronic devices such as MP3 players, cell phones, jump memory sticks, flash cards, PDAs, pocket PCs, garage door openers, eye glasses, maps wallets, small containers or bottles, etc. Thus, it is desirable to provide a space organizer that overcomes the problems and limitations described above and it is to this end that the present invention is directed.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides an apparatus for organization and safe transportation of different items in accessory storage or available space volume. In the preferred embodiment, the self-positioning space organizer and object holder is provided with a conformable spring like body member having means for adjustably supporting an object within the apparatus rigidly held by pressure and having two or more extending leg elements. Each of the leg elements is bendable so that the length of the legs can be easily adjusted to support the body in a confined space. Affixed to the bottom side of each leg is a mounting foot having a mounting grip surface, for securing the leg members to the available compartment or surface surrounding available volume.

The self-positioning space organizer and object holder has a body element for holding and storing an object, and one or more bendable leg members with gripping feet for surface adhesion. The body enclosures or receptacles may be formed to store specific items and changed according to the needs of the user. Thus, disclosed is an apparatus that is adaptable for use in organizing and transporting items in the storage compartment or other available space of a vehicle.

The invention apparatus body and legs are contiguously connected to form one self-positioning space organizer and object holder. The holder leg member ends have the means to grip the walls of a compartment or space and to position a body within the available space of the storage compartment. The body enclosure provides the means for holding an object which then has limited movement and vibration insulation from vehicle motion. Other embodiments include various body and leg member materials and constructions that reduce apparatus size, weight, and material cost.

The following are the objects and advantages of the present invention:

1. The device provides a mechanism that allows the self-positioning space organizer and object holder to automatically adjust and fit securely in the available space.

2. The device provides and maintains a constant pressure against the sides of an enclosing volume that provides protection through isolation from forcing frequency vehicle vibration.

3. The device can fit in and available space in longitudinal, transverse, or diagonal directions, depending on the size and shape of the available space volume.

4. The device does not require any assembly and is easy to use.

5. The device can be easily placed or removed from the holding volume of a vehicle.

6. The dividers in the device are adjustable that allow the user to customize the space in the organizer.

7. The holder apparatus provides a shelf or box enclosure within any opening or space not designed to hold or position smaller objects.

8. The holder apparatus is self-positioning to and will hold objects firmly when placed in any desired space or enclosure.

9. The holder apparatus provides a cushioned environment for safely storing devices or objects within any enclosure.

10. The holder apparatus unique spring-like grip design acts to isolate from external forcing vibration or impact loads.

11. The modified design of the device can be used in vehicles with most any small space with gripping surfaces for attachment.

12. The apparatus is light, durable, economical in construction, and aesthetically pleasing.

13. The holder apparatus can be adapted to adjustably fit any electronic or non-electronic device or object by changing the size and shape of the holder or body element.

14. The interior of the holder apparatus body element can be lined with a rubber-gripping material to hold objects in a stable position.

15. The body element can also be adopted with a mesh or other material construction.

16. The holder apparatus can be a one-piece injection molded part the is contiguously supported by a plurality of leg members.

17. The holder apparatus body and let elements provide the unique adjustable spring stiffness which acts to insulate from external vibration and impact loads.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Additional objects and advantages of this invention will become apparent from a consideration of the following drawings and their description.

FIG. 1 is an isometric view of the self-positioning space organizer and object holder in accordance with a preferred embodiment;

FIG. 2 is a side view of the self-positioning space organizer and object holder in accordance with a preferred embodiment;

FIG. 3 is a bottom view of the self-positioning space organizer and object holder in accordance with a preferred embodiment;

FIG. 4 is an isometric view the self-positioning space organizer and object holder with a pocket body in accordance with another preferred embodiment;

FIG. 5 is a side view of a self-positioning space organizer and object holder in accordance with a preferred embodiment;

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The present invention is a self-positioning space organizer and object holder apparatus for use in vehicles and also compartments or spaces requiring organized storage of items with or without isolation from certain jarring or vibration.

Shown in FIG. 1 is a self-positioning space organizer and object holder apparatus 110 for use with and frequently provided as accessories for vehicles having limited interior storage space. The storage compartments are typically used for storage of a variety of items commonly carried in vehicles, including but not limited to MP3 players, cell phones, PDAs, pocket PCs, garage openers, jump memory sticks and many other vibration sensitive electronic devices, eye glasses, small delicate or breakable containers, cassette tapes, small tools, coins, maps, litter, beverages, and other items and materials. The present invention addresses the problem of keeping items and objects smartly organized within limited spaces and also safe from vibration or impact damage.

FIG. 1 is an isometric view of the self-positioning space organizer and object holder 110 in accordance with a preferred embodiment. This illustration of an embodiment of the invention shows the body 116, leg member 114, leg ends 112 or feet, and body insert 118. The holder is shown freely standing but is fully installable in a small space, storage compartment as well as floor mounted and oriented in most any position depending on the surrounding available space and surface angles and type. Conventional fasteners such as bolts are not needed in the installation. Because the holder in this embodiment is of spring like design and compressible molded body and leg members, it does not require assembly, can be easily placed or removed from the holding volume, allows the user to customize the space in the organizer, and can fit in an available space in longitudinal, transverse, or diagonal directions, depending on the size and shape of the available space.

The holder 110 body 116 portion is a semi-closed enclosure made of bendable construction so that the enclosure volume provided can be adjusted to wrap and grip hold an object enclosed. A preferred embodiment of the invention may have a body component insert lining 118 that adds a cushion securing character to the body 116 enclosure. The body 116 can be made from a variety of materials to be bendable and malleable yet of light material. This material may be a metal, metal alloy, plastic, composite, or another material combination. In another embodiment, the body element can also be adapted with a mesh or other material construction for vibration isolation, cost, weight or other desirable features.

In addition, the holder 110 or portion of the holder 110 may have a coating of material, providing a better gripping surface, cosmetic appeal, life to the holder, vibration absorption, and other properties. The coating material may include but is not limited to rubber, plastic, combinations of rubber and plastic. This coating may also have a surface conditioning providing a higher surface friction for gripping and vibration insulation.

FIG. 2 and FIG. 3 are the side and bottom views of the preferred embodiment shown in FIG. 1 respectively. The holder 210 310 is comprised of a body 216 316 leg members 214 314, feet 212 312 on leg ends and a body insert lining 218. The feet 214 314 can be rubber or some high friction or suction material capable of gripping the surrounding surface to support the body. The feet 214 314 also have some vibration isolating properties, passing or isolating from vibratory perturbations. The holder body and leg stiffness provide spring-like grip which acts to isolate the held object from external forcing vibration or impact loads.

Installation of this embodiment involves compressing the holder and inserting the holder into the desired space, compartment or opening. Upon releasing the holder in the desired location, the holder's residual stresses will compel the holder to spring back and lodge itself in place, pressing the feet against the adjacent surface. The holder body 216 316 is bendable and can conform to any electronic or non-electronic device fitting smartly in its adjustable body 216 316 enclosure.

The interior of the body 216 316 may have an insert 218, not visible in FIG. 3, which is a lining of rubber or other insulating and gripping material to hold the object in position.

FIG. 4 is an isometric view the self-positioning space organizer and object holder with a pocket body in accordance with another preferred embodiment of the invention. This preferred embodiment has a body pocket 416, attached leg members 414, leg ends 412 and a body lining 418. The major difference between the FIG. 1 and this FIG. 4 embodiment is that the body can be made to enclose the objects in degrees of enclosure and protection from movement. The material construction can be light, durable, economical in construction, and aesthetically pleasing. In another embodiment, the holder apparatus can be a one-piece injection molded part that is contiguously attached to and supported by a plurality of leg members.

FIG. 5 is a side view of a self-positioning space organizer and object holder in accordance with yet another embodiment.

As best shown in the FIG. 5 embodiment of the self-positioning space organizer and object holder 510 includes a body 516 portion contiguously attached to four bendable leg members 512 extending outwardly to mounting feet 512. The mounting feet 512 are provided to secure the body enclosure member to a surface within volume of the storage compartment or available space.

The body member 510 shown here has two pair of parallel sides contiguously joined at the corners to define an adjustable enclosure volume. The two sides are joined by surface formed to hold the enclosed object. In this embodiment, the leg members 514 extend from each corner of the base providing one of the four legs 514. The leg members can extend from other body locations. Also, the number of legs can vary in another embodiment. The holder 510 is preferably formed of a molded material, such as fiberglass, composite, bendable or plastic. The body member may have an opening 518 to allow an object to be conformably wedged into the body 516. A rectangular opening 518 is shown but a round opening for a cup or cylindrical object or rectangular opening for a parallelepiped shaped object can be used.

As shown in FIG. 5, each leg member 514 has a free end having an end attachment 512. The end attachment 512 provides added grip or adherence to a surface through spring pressure application from the holder's body and leg spring-like stiffness. The length of the legs can be shortened or lengthen by adding bends to permit the body enclosure to snugly fit fully within the available space of the storage compartment. Where the available space or volume surface is sloped, it may be necessary to adjust the length of the leg members by adding curvature or bend as needed. Also the leg ends can be bent to attach under outer surface layers such as rugs, flaps, etc.

As shown in FIG. 5, each mounting foot 512 is formed from solid material such as hard rubber. Each mounting foot 512 has a curved surface and is formed or attached to the free end of the leg member 514.

The feet members of the holder preferred embodiment, provide additional grip friction to maintain the hold position and are sufficiently malleable so that they can be bent slightly to conform to the adhering surface or surface layers/extensions.

The holder body and legs construction provides the characteristics to securely maintain an objects position through sudden changes in volume movement. In addition, the space surrounding the body and in between the holder legs can provide additional organized space in other portions of the storage compartment.

While the invention has been described in detail with reference to preferred embodiments, it is understood that variations and modifications thereof may be made without departing from the true spirit and scope of the invention.