Title:
Pillow with radio
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A pillow for use in tubs or spas that is capable of supporting the head of a person. The pillow is substantially waterproof and integrally houses an electronic audio device and at least one speaker. The electronic audio device and speaker are removable from the pillow and can be housed in waterproof casings. The pillow includes a first portion and a second portion, the first portion for contacting a surface ledge of a tub, and the second portion for contacting an inner wall of the tub during use. The first portion and the second portion form a substantially L-shaped configuration. The center of mass of the pillow is located within the first portion. The center of mass is such to create a moment sufficient to balance the first portion of the pillow on the surface ledge of the tub during use.



Inventors:
Roberts, Michael Richard (Richardson, TX, US)
Paroonagian, Garo (Upland, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/724608
Publication Date:
10/18/2007
Filing Date:
03/15/2007
Assignee:
Jacuzzi, Inc. (Dallas, TX, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47K3/024
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KELLEHER, WILLIAM J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
THE WEBB LAW FIRM, P.C. (PITTSBURGH, PA, US)
Claims:
The invention claimed is:

1. A pillow for supporting the head of a person comprising: a first portion for contacting a surface ledge, the center of mass of the pillow located within the first portion; and a second portion for contacting a wall depending from the surface ledge, the first portion connected to the second portion.

2. The pillow of claim 1, wherein the first portion and the second portion form a substantially L-shaped configuration.

3. The pillow of claim 1, wherein the angle formed between the first portion and the second portion is from about 90 to about 120 degrees.

4. The pillow of claim 1, further comprising an electronic audio device integrally received within at least one of the first portion or the second portion.

5. The pillow of claim 4, further comprising at least one speaker electrically connected to the electronic audio device.

6. The pillow of claim 5, wherein the first portion defines a pocket for receiving at least one of the electronic audio device or the at least one speaker.

7. The pillow of claim 5, wherein at least one of the electronic audio device or the at least one speaker is removable from the pillow.

8. The pillow of claim 5, wherein at least one of the electronic audio device or the at least one speaker is secured within a pocket within the pillow.

9. The pillow of claim 5, further comprising pillow walls having at least one undercut for securing at least one of the electronic audio device or at least one speaker electrically connected to the electronic audio device within the pillow.

10. The pillow of claim 1, comprising a substantially waterproof material.

11. The pillow of claim 10, wherein the substantially waterproof material is an antimicrobial resin.

12. The pillow of claim 1, wherein the pillow is encased at least partially in a waterproof shell.

13. In combination: a surface ledge of a supporting structure, having a wall depending therefrom; and a pillow for supporting the head of a person comprising: a first portion for contacting the surface ledge, the center of mass of the pillow located within the first portion; and a second portion for contacting the wall, the first portion connected to the second portion.

14. The pillow of claim 13, wherein the first portion and the second portion form a substantially L-shaped configuration.

15. The pillow of claim 13, wherein the pillow further comprises an electronic audio device integrally received within at least one of the first portion or the second portion.

16. The pillow of claim 15, further comprising at least one speaker electrically connected to the electronic audio device.

17. The pillow of claim 16, wherein the first portion defines a pocket for receiving at least one of the electronic audio device or the at least one speaker.

18. The pillow of claim 16, wherein at least one of the electronic audio device or the at least one speaker is removable from the pillow.

19. A method of supporting the head of a person, comprising the steps of: providing a structure having a surface ledge and a depending wall; providing a pillow for supporting the head of a person at least in part on the surface ledge, the pillow comprising: a first portion for contacting the surface ledge, the pillow having a moment sufficient to balance the first portion on the surface ledge, a second portion for contacting the depending wall, the first portion connected to the second portion; the pillow having a first extension and a second extension and a depressed area therebetween for receiving at least a portion of the head of the person therein.

20. The method of claim 19, wherein the pillow further comprises an electronic audio device integrally received within at least one of the first portion or the second portion.

21. The method of claim 19, wherein the center of mass of the pillow is located within the first portion.

22. The method of claim 19, wherein the first portion and the second portion form a substantially L-shaped configuration.

23. The method of claim 19, wherein the surface ledge is a surface ledge of a tub, and the depending wall is an inner wall of the tub.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/783,144 filed Mar. 16, 2006, the entire contents of which is hereby incorporated by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to pillows for use in tubs and whirlpools.

2. Description of the Related Art

Tubs, such as hot tubs, whirlpools and spas, are often used to provide a relaxing environment for a bather. However, conventional tubs are typically made of hard non-porous enamel or hard fiberglass and do not typically provide a comfortable surface on which a bather can rest their head. Accordingly, the relaxation of a bather can be greatly enhanced by providing a pillow, such as a head rest or cushion, to allow the bather to recline in comfort.

The relaxation of a bather can be further enhanced by other amenities, such as music. Prior tub head rests have been developed which cushion the head of a bather and include integral audio speakers to allow the bather to listen to music while reclining within a tub. These devices typically have a radio and/or audio speakers connected to an electronic device that are incorporated within or adjacent to a head rest. The radio and/or speakers are typically encased in a waterproof housing to prevent entry of tub water into the head rest. These conventional head rests are either permanently affixed to a specific portion of the tub, or require a cumbersome fastening system to secure the head rest to the tub. In some conventional devices, the weight of the bather holds the head rest in place. In other head rests, a fastening system, such as suction cups, hooks or straps is needed to secure the device against the tub wall. Most conventional tub head rests slide over time as the bather uses the head rest. This often necessitates readjustment of the head rest by the bather during use. This readjustment can detract from the bather's relaxation.

A portable head rest, or pillow, is desirable in that a bather may use the head rest in multiple tubs, or position the head rest in multiple orientations within a single tub. Portable head rests are also easier to maintain because the bather can remove the head rest from the tub to perform routine cleaning.

Accordingly, a need remains for a portable pillow for use in a tub which includes an integral audio device and does not require a cumbersome fastening system to restrain the pillow to the tub.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to a pillow for use in tubs or spas that is capable of supporting the head of a bather. The pillow is substantially waterproof and integrally houses an electronic audio device and at least one speaker. The electronic audio device and speaker are removable from the pillow and can optionally be housed in waterproof casings. The pillow includes a first portion and a second portion. The first portion of the pillow contacts a surface ledge of a tub, and the second portion of the pillow contacts an inner wall of the tub during use by a bather. The first portion and the second portion form a substantially L-shaped configuration. The center of mass of the pillow may be located within the first portion. The center of mass is such to create a moment sufficient to balance the first portion of the pillow on the surface ledge of the tub during use.

It is an aspect of the present invention to provide a pillow for supporting the head of a person including a first portion for contacting a surface ledge and a second portion for contacting a wall depending from the surface ledge, the first portion connected to the second portion. The center of mass of the pillow is located within the first portion.

The pillow may also include an electronic audio device integrally received within at least one of the first portion or the second portion. The pillow may also include at least one speaker electrically connected to the electronic audio device.

It is another aspect of the present invention to provide a combination of a surface ledge of a supporting structure, having a wall depending therefrom, and a pillow for supporting the head of a person. The pillow includes a first portion for contacting the surface ledge, and a second portion for contacting the wall. The first portion is connected to the second portion. The pillow has a center of mass located within the first portion.

The pillow may also include an electronic audio device integrally received within at least one of the first portion or the second portion. The pillow may also include at least one speaker electrically connected to the electronic audio device.

It is yet another aspect of the present invention to provide a method of supporting the head of a person, including the steps of providing a structure having a surface ledge and a depending wall, providing a pillow for supporting the head of a person at least in part on the surface ledge, and contacting at least a portion of the head of the person with at least one of the first portion or the second portion. The pillow further includes a first portion for contacting the surface ledge, and a second portion for contacting the depending wall. The first portion connected to the second portion. The pillow has a moment sufficient to balance the first portion on the surface ledge.

The pillow may also include an electronic audio device integrally received within at least one of the first portion or the second portion. The surface ledge may be a surface ledge of a tub, and the depending wall may be an inner wall of the tub.

These and other advantages of the present invention will be understood from the description of the preferred embodiments, taken with the accompanying drawings, wherein like reference numerals represent like elements throughout.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a tub and a pillow in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 1a is a perspective view of a tub and a pillow in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a front plan view of a pillow in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a top elevation view of a pillow in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a side plan view of a pillow in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 5 is a rear plan view of a pillow in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

For purposes of the description hereinafter, spatial or directional terms shall relate to the invention as it is oriented in the Figures. However, it is to be understood that the invention may assume various alternative variations, except where expressly specified to the contrary. It is also to be understood that the specific components illustrated in the attached drawings, and described in the following specification, are exemplary embodiments of the invention. Hence, specific dimensions and other physical characteristics related to the embodiments disclosed herein are not to be considered as limiting.

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 1a, a pillow 10 of the present invention is structured to rest at least in part on a surface ledge 11 of a tub 13. In one embodiment, the pillow 10 has a first portion 10a which contacts a surface ledge 11 of a tub 13 and a second portion 10b which contacts an inner wall 17 of the tub 13. The pillow 10 is designed for use in water-type or humid environments, such as spas, tubs, pools and the like, and is structured to support the head 15 of a person while reclining in a tub, hot tub, pool whirlpool, or spa.

As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, a pillow 10 in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention includes a contoured front surface 12 with two extensions 14 and 16 and a depressed area 18 therebetween for receipt of a head of a person. The first extension 14 and the second extension 16 are sized to secure the head of the bather therebetween. The pillow 10 may have any suitable dimensions sufficient to support the head of a person, such as a length L of from about 10 to about 14 inches, such as about 12 inches, and a height H of from about 8 inches to about 12 inches, such as about 10 inches. Preferably, at least one speaker 20, 22 may be housed within the pillow 10. More preferably, two speakers 20, 22 are provided. In another embodiment, a first speaker 20 may be housed within a first extension 14 and a second speaker 22 may be housed within a second extension 16. The speakers 20, 22 may be received within the pillow 10 through recesses 21 and 23 defined therein. In another embodiment, the speakers 20, 22 may be positioned within the pillow 10 near the ears of the person using the pillow 10. The speakers 20, 22 may be sealed within the pillow 10 by a waterproof seal, such as a silicone sealant, that allows sound to emanate from the pillow 10 and substantially resists the entry of water, such as from the tub, to enter the pillow 10 and/or the speakers 20, 22.

As shown in FIG. 3, the first extension 14 and the second extension 16 may have any suitable size and dimension to comfortably support the head of a person, such as having a length L1 of about 3 to about 5 inches, such as about 4 inches, and a height H1 of from about 3 to about 5 inches, such as about 4 inches. The pillow may be made of any suitable material that is lightweight, substantially waterproof, and capable of supporting the head of a person. In one embodiment, the pillow is encased in a deformable waterproof shell. In another embodiment, the pillow is made of a polymeric material, such as open or closed cell foam. In yet another embodiment, the pillow is made of an antimicrobial resin, such as CrossLite material. The pillow may be molded by any conventional molding techniques, and the speakers may be subsequently inserted into the pillow.

As shown in FIG. 4, the pillow 10 has a first portion 10a which is adapted to contact a surface ledge of a tub and a second portion 10b which is adapted to contact an inner wall 17 of the tub. A recess is defined by the generally “L-shaped” configuration of the pillow 10. At least a portion of an inner wall 17 of the tub is received within the recess 30. The first portion 10a includes a first surface 24 that is arranged to rest on a surface ledge of a tub or spa deck. The second portion 10b includes a second surface 28 that is arranged to contact an inner wall 17 of the tub and an outer surface 30 that is arranged to contact the head of a person using the pillow 10. The front view of the outer surface 30 of the pillow 10 is shown in FIG. 2. In one embodiment, the angle A between the first surface 24 of the first portion 10a and the second surface 28 of the second portion 10b is from about 90 to about 120 degrees.

Referring again to FIG. 4, the weight distribution of the pillow 10, particularly the first portion 10a, is such that it will stay or rest on the surface ledge 11 of a tub or spa deck without additional securement mechanisms, due to the center of mass R being such to create a moment M about the pivot point P in the direction shown. Hence, in this arrangement the pillow 10 can freely rest on a ledge of a tub due to the moment without the need of other types of mechanical fasteners or adhesives. In one embodiment, the moment M of the pillow 10 is sufficient to balance the first portion 10a on the surface ledge of the tub. In one embodiment, the center of mass R of the pillow 10 is located within the first portion 10a. In other words, the center of mass of the first portion 10a is sufficient to create a moment of the pillow 10 to freely rest on the ledge of the tub. The first portion 10a may have an increased mass as compared to the second portion 10b. In one embodiment, the first portion 10a may have a mass that is about ⅔ the mass of the entire pillow 10 and the second portion. 10b may have a mass that is about ⅓ the mass of the entire pillow. In another embodiment, the weight distribution of the pillow 10 is adjusted by removing core-out portions of the first portion 10a and 1 or second portion 10b.

Referring again to FIG. 4, in another embodiment, the first portion 10a of the pillow 10 has a density that is greater than the density of the second portion 10b. The first portion 10a may be constructed of a different material than the second portion 10b. In one embodiment, the first portion 10a may be made of a first molded material and the second portion 10b may be made of a second different molded material. Optionally, the pillow 10 may be secured to the surface ledge 11 or inner wall 17 of the tub by one or more suction cups 52 included on or within the first surface 24 and/or second surface 28 of the pillow 10.

Referring yet again to FIG. 4, the pillow 10 may have an overall width W of from about 3.5 inches to about 6 inches, such as about 4 inches. The second portion 10b of the pillow 10 may have a width W1 of from about 2 inches to about 3 inches, such as about 2.25 inches. The first portion 10a of the pillow 10 may have a width W2 of from about 1.5 inches to about 3 inches, such as about 2 inches. Also shown in FIG. 4, the first portion 10a may have a height H2 of from about 3 inches to about 4 inches, such as about 3.5 inches.

Referring to FIG. 5, in one embodiment, the pillow 10 includes an integral electronic audio device 40, such as a radio, CD player, MP3 player, cassette player or other audio player or a receiver having a casing shown in phantom. The electronic audio device 40 may be coupled to speakers 20, 22 by electric wires 42, also shown in phantom. In one embodiment, the electronic audio device 40 is electrically powered by batteries, solar power, or connected through conventional power cord means to a wall outlet (not shown). The electronic audio device 40 may be tightly received in a compartment or pocket 44 defined by the pillow walls 46. The pocket 44 can be included within the first portion 10a of the pillow 10. In another embodiment, the pillow 10 may include additional compartments or pockets 48, 50 for housing additional electric components, such as wireless technology, such as provided under the names WI-FI® owned by WI-FI Alliance Corporation and/or Bluetooth® owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc. In another embodiment, the electronic audio device 40 may be secured within the pillow 10 by snap-fit or resistance-fit means within the pocket 44. In yet another embodiment, the electronic audio device 40 and/or the speakers 20, 22 are removable from the pillow 10. The pillow walls 46 may optionally include at least one undercut to secure the electronic audio device 40 and/or speakers 20, 22 within the pillow 10.

Referring again to FIG. 5, in one embodiment, at least a portion of the section portion 10b of the pillow may be submerged in water from the tub during use. Preferably, the speakers 20, 22 and electronic audio device 40 are positioned above the water in the tub. Alternatively, the speakers 20, 22 can be marine-quality waterproof speakers. Optionally, the electronic audio device 40 may be remote controlled. In one embodiment, the electronic audio device 40, the electric wires 42, and the speakers 20, 22 are waterproof or have conventionally known waterproof casings allowing for operation in a wet and/or humid environment. The pillow 10 may also include a waterproof backing, not shown. The pillow 10 may also have a sufficient buoyancy to float if placed in water.

In operation, the pillow and electronic audio device is self-contained and does not require an external power supply to be provided for operation of the electronic audio device. Further, the present pillow has a center of gravity as such that it can be easily removeably rested or placed on a bath or spa ledge and stay in place without the need for fasteners or adhesives, or the like. The pillow need only be lifted to be removed when not in use, resulting in a portable pillow.

While specific embodiments of the invention have been described in detail, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that various modifications and alternatives to those details could be developed in light of the overall teachings of the disclosure. The presently preferred embodiments described herein are meant to be illustrative only and not limiting as to the scope of the invention which is to be given the full breadth of the appended claims and any and all equivalents thereof.