Title:
Mannequin attachment system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention provides an mannequin attachment system that couples a mannequin head and a salon chair used in training beauty and salon technicians. The invention comprises a chair engaging and mannequin engaging portion. The chair engaging portion may engage a chair so that it secures the mannequin head with the mannequin engaging portion. The mannequin engaging portion may be adjustable to angle the mannequin head in various positions conducive to instructing students of technical arts such as salon, beauty, dental and other service or care of the head of a person



Inventors:
Brink, Keith (Moore, OK, US)
Application Number:
11/598499
Publication Date:
05/17/2007
Filing Date:
11/13/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C7/36
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
DUCKWORTH, BRADLEY
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Harvey Law, PC (Ardmore, OK, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A mannequin attachment system for attaching the mannequin head onto a chair, the system comprising: a chair-engaging portion, a mannequin-engaging portion, the mannequin-engaging portion disposed between the mannequin head and the chair-engaging portion.

2. The system in claim 1, the chair-engaging portion comprising a first element for securing the apparatus against a first surface of a chair, a second element for securing the apparatus against a second surface of a chair, a connecting element, the connecting element extending between the first element and second element.

3. The system in claim 2, the first element further comprising a top end of the first element and a bottom end of the first element, the top end of the first element being disposed towards a top of the chair and the bottom end of the second element being disposed distally of the top of the chair, the second element further comprising a top end of the second element and a bottom end of the second element, the top end of the second element being disposed toward the top of the chair and the bottom end of the second element being disposed distally of the top of the chair.

4. The chair-engaging portion of claim 3, whereby the bottom end of the first or second element biases towards the chair, securing the chair-engaging portion to the chair by friction.

5. The chair-engaging portion of claim 3, whereby the bottom end of the first and second element biases towards the chair, securing the chair-engaging portion to the chair by friction.

6. The chair engaging portion of claim 1 further comprising a buffer portion, the buffer portion being disposed between the chair-engaging portion and the chair, whereby the buffer portion prevents direct contact between the chair-engaging portion and the chair.

7. The system in claim 1, the chair-engaging portion further comprising a threaded coupling, the mannequin-engaging portion further comprising: a retaining housing, the retaining housing having a threaded end and a retaining end, the threaded end having internal threads to engage the threaded coupling of the chair-engaging portion, a mannequin mating portion, the retaining end of the retaining housing retaining the mannequin mating portion, whereby the mannequin mating portion may securely and removeably be placed into an orifice of a mannequin head.

8. The retaining housing in claim 7, the housing having a circular lip having a diameter less than the retaining housing, whereby as the retaining housing rotates down upon the threaded coupling, the circular lip at the retaining end retains the ball-shaped region and thereby holds the mannequin head upon the mannequin attaching system.

9. The mannequin mating portion in claim 7 further comprising a ball-shaped region, a shaft, whereby the ball-shaped region is retained by the retaining housing, the shaft frictionally retains the mannequin head, and a user of the system may align an orifice of the mannequin upon the mating portion of the mannequin engaging portion.

10. A mannequin attachment system for attaching a mannequin head onto a chair, the system comprising: a chair-engaging portion having at least one of a first element and a second element biasing inward, the chair engaging portion further having a threaded coupling above the first element and second element, a mannequin-engaging portion disposed above the chair-engaging portion and comprising a retaining housing having a threaded end for screwing onto the threaded coupling of the chair engaging portion and a retaining end with a lip, a mannequin mating portion having a ball shaped portion and a shaft, the retaining end of the retaining housing retaining the ball shaped portion mannequin mating portion, whereby the shaft of mannequin mating portion may securely and removeably be placed into an orifice of a mannequin head.

11. A method for training students to address the needs of seated customers or patients, the method comprising the following steps attaching a mannequin head to a mannequin head retaining system, securing the head retaining system to the back of a salon chair, simulating the application of beauty or oral hygiene services to the head of a human by rotating the mannequin head in appropriate planes of axis of the human head.

Description:

This application claims the benefit of Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/735,342, filed Nov. 12, 2005.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to instruction and training in the field of beauty and barber salon hair care and services. More specifically, the invention relates to a teaching tool for salon and hairdresser technicians that can more closely simulate those technicians' practice of working on a customer sitting in a chair used in the industry.

In the beauty care industry, salon technicians must be trained to perform head and hair-related services. Typically, technical schools and colleges have instructors who provide instruction and training to perform these head and hair-related services. In some instances, training may also occur in the salons and hair care shops as well.

The instruction and training for hair care students focus on simulating the experience of cutting and styling hair on a human head. The more similar the experience of training is for the student, the more likely that the student will carry that training over into practical salon application. Therefore, it is accepted in the industry of hair care training and instruction that mannequin heads be provided so that students can effectively apply learned techniques and training to the needs of their salon customers.

In the instruction and training settings presently discussed, instructors generally provide the mannequin heads with a tripod base. The tri-pod base securely holds the mannequin head at a distance from the floor that approximately simulates the distance from the floor to the head of he salon customer. The mannequin head attaches to the tripods used in the industry.

While this method of holding the mannequin head from the floor has been effective in simulating the distance between the salon customer's head and the floor, the set-up has inherent problems. First, the instruction or training takes place outside of the normal environment of both the hair care customer and the hair care student. Second, the tri-pod used to support the head of the mannequin does not allow the hair care student to experience the necessary feel of treating and interacting with the salon and hair care customer.

Thus, it can be seen that there is a continued need for salon students to train in an environment that more closely simulates the experience of serving a salon care customer on site. It can further be seen that an approach is needed that will allow the salon student to practice his or her trade by interacting with a salon chair. It can even be further seen that a need exists for any interaction with the chair to be secure and of no abrasive or consequential damage to the salon chair.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention achieves its intended purposes, objects, and advantages through a new, useful, and unobvious combination of component elements, with the use of a minimum number of functioning parts, at a reasonable cost to manufacture, and by employing only readily available materials. In these respects, the present version of the invention substantially departs from the conventional concepts and designs of the prior art, and in so doing provides an apparatus that substantially fulfills this need. Additionally, the prior patents and commercial techniques do not suggest the present inventive combination of component elements arranged and configured as disclosed herein.

These and other features, aspects and advantages of the present invention will become better understood with reference to the following drawings, description and claims. For a better understanding of the invention, its operating advantages and the specific objects attained by its uses, reference should be made to the accompanying drawings and descriptive matter in which there are illustrated preferred embodiments of the invention. The foregoing has outlined some of the more pertinent aspects of the invention. These aspects should be construed to be merely illustrative of some of the more prominent features and applications of the present invention. Many other beneficial results can be attained by applying the disclosed invention in a different manner or by modifying the invention within the scope of the disclosure. Accordingly, other aspects and objects may be discerned from a fuller understanding of the invention and the detailed description of the preferred embodiments in addition to the scope of the invention illustrated by the accompanying drawings.

The present invention may comprise a mannequin attachment system for attaching a mannequin head onto a chair, the system comprising a chair-engaging portion having a first element, a second element and a connecting element with at least one of the first element and second element biasing inward. The chair engaging portion may further have a threaded coupling above the first element and second element. The system may even further comprise a mannequin engaging portion disposed above the chair-engaging portion and may comprise further a retaining housing having a threaded end for screwing onto the threaded coupling of the chair engaging portion and a retaining end with a lip. The mannequin engaging portion may comprise a mannequin mating portion having a ball shaped portion and a shaft, the retaining end of the retaining housing may retain the ball shaped portion mannequin mating portion, whereby the shaft of mannequin mating portion may securely and removeably be placed into an orifice of a mannequin head

In another embodiment of the present invention, a method for training students to address the needs of seated customers or patients is disclosed. The method may comprise attaching a mannequin head to a mannequin head retaining system, securing the head retaining system to the back of a chair and simulating the application of beauty or oral hygiene services to the head of a human by rotating the mannequin head in appropriate planes of axis of the human head.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a side view perspective of a mannequin attachment system, according to preferred embodiments of the current invention.

FIG. 2 is a side view perspective drawing of the mannequin attachment system, according to preferred embodiments of the current invention.

FIG. 3 is a side rear view of the entire inventive system in use, according to preferred embodiments of the current invention.

FIG. 4 is a side perspective view having chair-engaging portion with an inward bias, according to preferred embodiments of the system.

DETAILED DESCRIPTIONI OF THE INVENTION

The following detailed description shows the best currently contemplated modes of carrying out the invention. The description is not to be taken in a limiting sense, but is made for the purpose of illustrating the general principles of the invention and the best mode for practicing the invention, since the scope of the invention is best defined by the appended claims.

Salon technicians offer many different types of services to their clients, dealing with treatment areas of their clients' heads, such as hair, facial and eyebrow. These treatments require a salon technician to manipulate a salon client's head to positions appropriate for the selected treatment. An important aspect to deliver those treatments and services is for the salon technician to interact with and utilize a salon chair. A salon chair's effectiveness and thus importance to the industry has been manifested in its long legacy in barbershops, salons and boutiques: The customers of those services must be seated in a comfortable chair that can move vertically, in circles, and possibly in a diagonal decline.

The instruction of salon technicians traditionally may occur in formal and informal settings. Some technicians will learn their trade through apprenticeship and on-the-job training; others will go through an educational/vocational training program at institutes of higher learning. The common denominator for both modes of learning salon services is that a head is heavily involved with the studies of services like hair styling and facial treatments. When services to a customers head are to be studied, a mannequin head is normally substituted for a future customer's head. Known art in those settings has not solved the need in salon service instruction for a mannequin head and the need that future salon technicians need to learn to ply their trade via the salon chair.

The present invention effectively addresses such needs associated with the instruction of salon technicians. In contrast to previous attempts to provide students of salon services with a means to learn how to address the customer's head, the present invention provides a solution of fixing a mannequin head to a salon chair. The advantages of this over other approaches in the art are many. The present invention uses a system not known in the present art, structurally configured to resemble and emulate the human cranial region (neck and head) positioned to receive salon services in a salon chair. The inventive system may join or mate with a mannequin head in a number of ways, and may provide the mannequin head different planes of movement. For instance a user of the mannequin head may tilt the head toward the back and down to practice applying facial services to the mannequin head. If the user was a student of dental arts, he or she could direct attention to the oral region of the mannequin head in such an orientation (back and down). The user may tilt the head in a frontal direction to practice cutting or trimming the hairline and neck. No prior art reference foresees a solution that accomplishes the objective of tilting the mannequin head in such a simple manner. The invention may also join or mate to the salon chair so that the oft-expensive chair is not torn or scuffed. By providing such an instructional system, the present invention accomplishes what the disclosed art attempted to solve unsuccessfully. The invention improves upon solutions in the art that invariably mate a mannequin head to independent stands that sit on a floor or counter by adding the importance dimension of addressing the head on a salon chair. In short, it emulates the experience of providing service such as salon or dental to a real life customer or patient.

As has been demonstrated, the present invention provides an advantageous system that, coupled with a mannequin head and salon chair, emulates the experience of providing salon service to a real life salon customer. While the preferred embodiments of the present invention have been described, additional variations and modifications in those embodiments may occur to those skilled in the art once they learn of the basic inventive concepts. Therefore, it is intended that the appended claims shall be construed to include both the preferred embodiment and all such variations and modifications as fall within the spirit and scope of the invention.

Looking at FIG. 1, an embodiment of the invention is seen as the mannequin attachment system 10. System 10 connects mannequin head 12 to chair 30 so that a user of the system may practice providing services and treatment upon the mannequin head 12. Mannequin head 12, an embodiment of the type used in the industry, generally contains an orifice with multiple channels oriented centrifugally so that the mannequin heads such as mannequin head 12 may accept a shaft that connects to, for instance in the prior art, an independent stand or a mannequin body. In one embodiment of the invention, mannequin engaging portion may be constructed of a single fabricated unit. In another embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-3, the system comprises more than one piece. In the present embodiment, system may comprise a mannequin engaging portion 20 and a chair engaging portion 14. The mannequin engaging portion 20 in FIG. 3 may secure the mannequin head 12 to the chair engaging portion 14, any other securing means known in the art may be utilized to secure the mannequin head 12 to the chair engaging portion 14.

Chair engaging portion 14 may comprise a threaded coupling 16 at an apical end 18 of the chair engaging portion 14. Chair engaging portion 14 may further comprise a first element 100, a second element 110 and a connecting element 120 that connects the first element 100 to the second element 110 of the chair engaging section. As seen in FIGS. 1-3, the first element 100, second element 110 and connecting element 120 are shown as a molded integral piece with solid walls for elements 100, 110 and 120. For example, ABS plastic may be heated and molded for a simple solution to creating an engaging interface for chair engaging portion 14. However, the present invention includes embodiments of the chair engaging portion that are not solid, integrally molded walls. For purposes of example and not limitation, elements 100, 110 and 120 may comprise smooth rods, mesh elements, or any other material and/or configuration of chair engaging portion that would allow its elements 100, 110 and 120 to engage a chair such as chair 36 in a secure fashion.

FIGS. 1-4 show an embodiment of the first element 100 having a top end 130 and a bottom end 140 as well as second 110 having a top end 150 and a bottom end 160. In an embodiment on the invention, at least one of the bottom ends 140 and 160 of the first element 100 and second element 120, respectively, are biased inwards against the chair. Looking at FIG. 4, by biasing at least one of the two bottom ends 140 and 160 of elements 100 and 120, the chair engaging portion 14 may frictionally engage the chair 36 to hold it more securely. Chair engaging portion may also comprise buffer portion 170 to prevent damage to the chair, which can invariably be quite expensive in salon and dental office settings. For purposes of example and not limitation, buffer portion may comprise foam, stuffed material such as leather, imitations thereof, or any other material that facilitates frictional resistance and thus security without damaging the chair 36 in any way.

FIG. 2 shows in more detail an embodiment of the mannequin engaging portion 20, envisioning the embodiment of the invention comprising multiple components. Mannequin engaging portion 20 may comprise a retaining housing 22 having a threaded end 28 and a retaining end 30. Threaded end 28 may comprise inner threads 24 for screwing upon the threaded coupling 16 of the chair engaging portion. Retaining housing 22 of mannequin engaging portion 20 may further comprise a lip 26 shown in the FIGS. 1-2 embodiments to be near the retaining end 30 of the retaining housing 22. Mannequin engaging portion 20 may even further comprise a ball-shaped portion 54 and a shaft 46, shown in the embodiment of invention as an integral component 58. The lip 26 of retaining housing 22 may retain ball-shaped portion 54 by having a diameter less than that of ball-shaped portion 54. As seen in FIGS. 1-2, shaft 46 of mannequin engaging portion 20 may comprise channels 60 that correlate and/or mate to the channels commonly seen in mannequin heads such as mannequin head 12. Other embodiments of the mannequin engaging portion are foreseen that secure the chair engaging portion 14 upon a chair 36.

In practice, the inventive system may operate in the following manner. A user may attach the chair engaging portion 14 onto a chair. In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-3, the user may then place the integral component 58 of the mannequin engaging portion 20 through the retaining housing 22, then screw the inner threads 24 of the retaining housing 22 upon the threaded coupling 16 of the chair engaging portion 14. The user may place the mannequin head 12 upon the shaft 46. If the user wishes to change the orientation of the mannequin head 12 relative to the chair 36 and the chair engaging portion 14, then the user may loosen or unscrew the retaining housing 22 from the threaded coupling 16 of the chair engaging portion so that the orientation ball shaped portion 54 (and thus, the integral component 54 and mannequin head 12) may be altered. Therefore, by changing the orientation of the ball-shaped portion 54 relative to the chair-engaging portion 14, a user may rotate the mannequin engaging portion of the retaining housing in a number of axis planes, and thus rotate the mannequin head about the chair-engaging portion in any axis in which the human head could be subjected during the application of salon and beauty services or during that of dental and oral treatment.

It will be understood the specification and examples are illustrative but not limitative of the present invention and other embodiments within the spirit and scope of the invention will suggest themselves to those skilled in the art.