Title:
Child car seat cover with vibration device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A child car seat cover to provide a comfortable sitting environment. The car seat cover includes a sheath with vibration devices mounted on opposite sides of the sheath for comforting a child occupying the car seat. The sheath includes integrally formed therewith a storage compartment for receipt therein of the vibration device. The vibration devices are operated by a wireless remote control.



Inventors:
Miles, Kristie (Woodbridge, VA, US)
Fillmann, Janet (Woodbridge, VA, US)
Application Number:
11/207401
Publication Date:
02/22/2007
Filing Date:
08/18/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
297/217.3
International Classes:
A47C7/62
View Patent Images:
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20020043836Tether strap that allows rotation of a safety seat about a vertical axisApril, 2002Maciejczyk et al.



Primary Examiner:
ABRAHAM, TANIA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Raymond M. Galasso (Austin, TX, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A car seat cover comprising: a sheath generally rectangular in shape, said sheath generally configured to mate with a car seat; said sheath including at least one storage compartment, said storage compartment; and at least one vibration device disposed in said sheath, said vibration device for providing vibrations to vibrate the car seat.

2. The car seat cover as recited in claim 1, and further comprising at least one aperture, said aperture being positioned on said sheath to receive therein a safety belt from said car seat.

3. The car seat cover as recited in claim 2, and further comprising at least one securing strap, said strap configured to releasably secure said sheath to said car seat.

4. The car seat cover as recited in claim 3, and further comprising at least one control unit, said control unit for activating said vibration device.

5. The car seat cover as recited in claim 4, wherein said control unit is a wireless remote control.

6. The car seat cover as recited in claim 5, wherein said vibration device is battery operated.

7. A child car seat cover comprising: a sheath generally rectangular in shape, said sheath having an upper portion and lower portion configured to conform to a child car seat; at least one storage compartment, said storage compartment being connected to said upper portion of said sheath; and at least one vibration device, said vibration device insertable into said at least one storage compartment, said as least one vibration device operable to provide vibrations to the child car seat.

8. The child car seat cover as recited in claim 8, and further comprising at least three apertures, with a first and a second of said apertures being positioned in said upper portion of said sheath, and a third of said apertures being positioned in said lower portion of said sheath, said apertures for receipt of a safety belt.

9. The child car seat cover as recited in claim 8, and further comprising a control unit, said control unit for activating said vibration devices.

10. The child car seat cover as recited in claim 9, and further comprising a securing strap, said strap being peripherally mounted to said sheath, said strap for releasably securing said sheath to said child car seat.

11. The child car seat cover as recited in claim 10, wherein said control unit is a wireless remote control unit.

12. The child car seat cover as recited in claim 11, wherein said vibration device is battery operated.

13. The child car seat as recited in claim 12, wherein said sheath is manufactured from at least one of terry cloth, cotton and polyester.

14. The child car seat as recited in claim 13, wherein said sheath is approximately 25 inches in length and 18.5 inches in width.

15. A child car seat assembly comprising: a car seat; a cover generally rectangular in shape, said cover having an upper portion and lower portion configured to conform to the car seat; two storage compartments connected to said cover, said storage compartment being positioned on opposited sides of said cover at said upper portion of said cover; at least two vibration devices, each of said at least two vibration devices being configured for insertion into said storage compartments, said at least two vibration devices operable to vibrate the car seat when inserted into said storgate compartments; and a control unit, said control unit to control the operation of said at least two vibration devices.

16. The child car seat assembly as recited in claim 15, and further comprising a plurality of apertures, with two of said apertures being positioned adjacently parallel on said upper portion of said cover and a third of said apertures being positioned on said lower portion of said cover, said plurality of apertures for receipt of a safety belt.

17. The child car seat assembly as recited in claim 16, and further comprising a securing strap, said securing strap peripherally mounted to said cover, said strap for releasably securing said cover to said car seat.

18. The child car seat cover as recited in claim 17, wherein said control unit is a battery operated remote control.

19. The child car seat cover as recited in claim 18, wherein said vibration devices are battery operated.

20. The child car seat cover as recited in claim 18, wherein said cover is manufactured from at least one of terry cloth, cotton and polyester.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a cover for car seats, more specifically but not by way of limitation a cover for a child car seat that has vibrating devices contained therein.

BACKGROUND

Traveling with infants can be a very demanding task. During long trips or even while driving short distances infants often can become fretful or annoyed. An upset infant can create a significant distraction to the driver thus causing a significant safety issue for the occupants of a vehicle. It is known that infants and small children usually do not like to sit in a car for any significant amount of time. Many infant seats are adaptable for hand carrying or attachable to strollers. Small children restrained to these devices for any significant length of time are known to become upset or irritable. Consumers continually create demand for products that can assist in comforting a child while the child is restrained in a car seat whether in a vehicle or while the seat is attached to a stroller.

Infants require constant interaction and stimulation. Riding in the back seat of a vehicle can create an isolating experience for a small child, which can cause the child to become very fussy. Having the ability to comfort the child without having to stop and increase the risk of an accident is very desirable for caretakers of small children during travel.

Another problem arises when the driver has to engage in frequent stops to comfort an upset child. Frequent stops to comfort an upset child not only presents an increased risk for potential accidents, it also represents a loss of time for the driver.

Accordingly there is a need for a device that can be integrated onto existing car seats, specifically a car seat cover with vibrating motors embedded therein with the cover being of a suitable shape designed to fit over commercially available car seats that will provide vibrations of different magnitude and durations in order to relax an upset child restrained in the car seat. A remote device so as to facilitate safe operation by the driver of the vehicle preferably will control the device.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is the object of the present invention to provide a child car seat cover, which can be readily secured to commercially available car seats and the car seat cover has contained therein a plurality of vibration motors providing vibrations of multiple magnitudes and durations.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a vibrating car seat cover that is controlled by a standard remote control device.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a vibrating car seat cover which has vibration motors contained therein that are battery operated.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a vibrating car seat cover in which the vibration motors are releasably contained therein to allow for easy removal of the vibration motors and subsequent ease of cleaning of the car seat cover.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a vibrating car seat cover that is lightweight, stain resistant and manufactured from terry cloth.

To the accomplishment of the above and related objects the present invention may be embodied in the form illustrated in the accompanying drawings. Attention is called to the fact that the drawings are illustrative only. Variations are contemplated as being a part of the present invention, limited only by the scope of the claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

A more complete understanding of the present invention may be had by reference to the following Detailed Description and appended claims when taken in conjunction with the accompanying Drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 illustrates a frontal perspective view of an embodiment of the present invention secured to a car seat;

FIG. 2 illustrates a rear perspective view of an embodiment of the present invention secured to a car seat; and

FIG. 3 illustrates a perspective view of a controller of an embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring now to the drawings submitted herewith, wherein various elements depicted are not necessarily drawn to scale, and in particular FIGS. 1 and 2, there is illustrated an infant car seat 100 constructed according to the principles of the present invention.

Infant car seat 100 includes a seat cover 102 which covers the seat portion 110. Seat cover 102 comprises a sheath 60 consisting of an upper portion 80 and a lower portion 70. The upper portion 80 is configured to conform to the plane of the head portion 115 of the seat portion 110. A pair of storage compartments 50 (shown in dashed lines) are positioned between the under side of sheath 60 and seat portion 110. A vibration device 10 is shown removed from one of the storage compartments 50. It is contemplated that the present invention could also be used in conjunction with and/or placed underneath a standard infant car seat cover. This would provide protection to the seat cover 102, as well as would provide additional padding and comfort to the user.

The lower portion 70 of the sheath 60 is configured to conform to the plane of the bottom portion 120 of the seat portion 110. The sheath 60 is made of fabric suitable for seat covers such as but not limited to terry cloth, cotton, or polyester. Those skilled in the art will recognize that the sheath 60 could be manufactured from numerous materials to achieve the desired function suggested herein. Although it is contemplated that the sheath 60 can be manufactured in various sizes to accommodate a variety of car seats, good results have been shown to be achieved with a sheath 60 that is twenty-five inches in length and eighteen and a half inches in width.

The sheath 60 contains three apertures 20, 22, and 24 which correspond to apertures in car seat portion 110. Apertures 20 and 22 are positioned proximate to each other in the upper portion 80 of the sheath 60 and aperture 24 is positioned in the lower portion 70 of the sheath 60. Apertures 20, 22 and 24 are positioned to allow safety belts to be passed through in order to secure the child in the car seat 100. Those skilled in the art will recognize that numerous different configurations of the apertures could exist in order to achieve the functionality suggested herein. Therefore, it is contemplated that the apertures could be strategically placed in different areas of the sheath 60 to allow for passage of safety belts for many different types of car seats.

Referring now to FIG. 2, around the peripheral edge 105 is a securing strap 90. The securing strap 90 functions to releasably secure the seat cover 100 to the car seat 110. The securing strap 90 is manufactured from elastic or semi elastic material. The securing strap 90 is secured to the peripheral edge 105 of the sheath 60 by suitable mechanical methods such as but not limited to sewing. It is contemplated within the scope of the present invention that numerous methods of securing the seat cover 102 to the car seat portion 110 are possible. More specifically, but not by way of limitation, hook/loop fasteners or snaps could be used to releasably secure the seat cover 102 to the car seat portion 110.

Integrated into the upper portion 80 of the sheath 60 proximate to the peripheral edge 105 positioned on opposite sides are a pair of storage compartments 50. The storage compartments 50 are generally rectangular in shape and hollow with an opening 125 to allow for receipt therein of a vibration device 10. The storage compartments 50 are manufactured of the same material as the seat cover 100 and are secured by suitable methods such as but not limited to sewing. Although the storage compartments 50 are shown in the figures submitted herewith, to be positioned on opposite sides proximate to their respective peripheral edges 105 in the upper portion 80 of the sheath 60, it is contemplated within the scope of the present invention that numerous storage compartments 50 could be disposed thereon the sheath 60 in a plurality of configurations to provide the functionality suggested herein. Those skilled in the art will recognize that numerous different amounts, shapes and sizes of the storage compartment 50 could be utilized in place of and/or in conjunction with the storage compartment 50 as shown in the figures submitted herewith to achieve the desired functionality.

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, the vibration devices 10 are standard battery operated mechanical vibration motors that are of shape to be compatible with the storage compartments 50 for insertion therein. It is contemplated within the scope of the present invention that the vibration devices 10 could also be powered by direct current in place of and/or in conjunction with standard batteries. It is further contemplated within the scope of the present invention that the vibration devices 10 could contain therein, rechargeable batteries that are recharged via a direct current connection from a vehicle using a standard a 12-volt outlet.

Now referring to FIG. 3, the remote control 200 comprises of a control unit 240 and is a standard remote control device that is used to control the vibration devices 10. The remote control 200 is a standard battery operated remote control comprising a control unit 240 that communicates with the vibration devices 10 via any of the well-known wave energy methods such as but not limited to infrared or radio frequency waves. Superposed on the control unit 240 is an activator 250. The activator 250 functions to engage the control unit 240 to turn the vibration devices 10 on and off. It is contemplated within the scope of the present invention that the remote control 200 could be a standard wired remote that is hard wired with standard wiring to each of the vibration devices 10.

Adjacent to the control unit 240 and integrally secured thereto is a clip 230. The clip 230 is designed to releasably secure the remote control 200 to a car visor. The clip 230 is manufactured from a resilient metal such as but not limited to aluminum. Those skilled in the art will recognize that numerous materials could be used in place of and/or in conjunction with aluminum to achieve the desired function suggested herein of the clip.

Now referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, the vibration devices 10 comprise of vibration motors such as standard mechanical vibration elements. The vibration devices 10 operate to produce a vibration substantially throughout the sheath 60 and car seat 100 producing a calming effect for the child occupying the seat. It is within the scope of the invention that the vibration devices 10 could be variable. The vibration devices 10 could be adjusted via the control unit 240 to alter the magnitude, frequency, duration and pattern of the vibrations. It is further contemplated within the scope of the present invention that the vibration devices 10 could be on a timer, producing vibrations at desired intervals. Those skilled in the art will also recognize that the vibration devices 10 do not require remote controls 200. The functionality of the vibration devices 10 could be controlled via an integrated control panel thereon the vibration device 10 providing the function of the vibration devices 10 as suggested herein.

Referring to FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 a description of the operation of the infant car seat 100 is as follows. A user will place the vibration devices 10 into the desired storage compartments 50. The user will then secure the seat cover 100 to a car seat 110 with the securing strap. The safety belts of the car seat 110 are passed through the apertures 20 proximate thereto allowing the safety belts to be in proper position for securing a child in the seat. After a child has been secured in the seat, the user operates the remote control 200 by depressing the activator 250 to turn on the vibration devices 10. The user can also use the remote control 200 to control the magnitude and duration of the vibrations. As the user is transporting the child in the seat, whether manually or in a vehicle, the user can continually adjust the magnitude, frequency and duration of the vibrations as needed to comfort the child occupying the car seat. Once the desired destination of the user has been reached, or the child occupying the seat no longer requires comforting, the user turns off the vibratory devices 10 via the remote control 200. Periodic maintenance of the batteries in the remote control 200 and the vibration devices 10 will be required either by replacing or recharging the batteries.

In the preceding detailed description, reference has been made to the accompanying drawings that form a part hereof, and in which are shown by way of illustration specific embodiments in which the invention may be practiced. These embodiments, and certain variants thereof, have been described in sufficient detail to enable those skilled in the art to practice the invention. It is to be understood that other suitable embodiments may be utilized and that logical changes may be made without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention. The description may omit certain information known to those skilled in the art. The preceding detailed description is, therefore, not intended to be limited to the specific forms set forth herein, but on the contrary, it is intended to cover such alternatives, modifications, and equivalents, as can be reasonably included within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.