Title:
Glove with Fingertip Exposable Tactile Portions
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A glove comprises at least one elasticized opening located on the palm side of the glove and generally around an area corresponding to the first joint of either a finger or thumb. In use, a user wears the glove conventionally until the user needs to perform a task requiring additional dexterity and tactile feedback. The user then pulls the elasticized opening around a finger or thumb to expose the digit for use. The elasticized opening may be pushed down around the digit joint for comfort and unencumbered operation. If the user no longer needs the digit exposed, the elasticized opening is pulled back up around the digit. In an embodiment of the invention, the elasticized opening includes an elastic band within the elasticized stitching to bias the opening in a closed configuration. A stretchy insert is used to support the elasticized opening in materials such as leather, etc.



Inventors:
Richards, Linda D. (San Anselmo, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/772917
Publication Date:
01/17/2008
Filing Date:
07/03/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D19/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
QUINN, RICHALE LEE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PATWRITE LLC (MARSHALLTOWN, IA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A glove comprising: a hand portion having a thumb portion and plurality of finger portions disposed thereon; said glove having a palm facing side; an elasticized opening distally disposed on at least one of said thumb portion and plurality of finger portions palm facing side.

2. A glove according to claim 1 wherein said at least one of said plurality of finger portions palm facing side corresponds to a pointing finger location.

3. A glove according to claim 1 wherein said elasticized opening is made from an elastic thread.

4. A glove according to claim 1 further comprising an elastic band disposed within said elasticized opening to bias said elasticized opening in a closed configuration.

5. A glove according to claim 1 further comprising a stretchy insert distally disposed on at least one of said thumb portion and plurality of finger portions palm facing side wherein said elasticized opening is disposed within said stretchy insert to provide a stable platform for said elasticized opening.

6. A glove comprising: a hand portion having a thumb portion and plurality of finger portions disposed thereon; said glove having a palm facing side; an elasticized opening distally disposed on said thumb portion palm facing side; and an elasticized opening distally disposed on each of said plurality finger portions palm facing side.

7. A glove according to claim 6 wherein said elasticized opening distally disposed on said thumb portion palm facing side is generally located in a position corresponding to a first joint of a thumb and an elasticized opening distally disposed on each of said plurality finger portions palm facing side is generally located in a position corresponding to a first joint of a finger.

8. A glove according to claim 6 wherein said elasticized openings are made from an elastic polymer thread.

9. A glove according to claim 6 further comprising an elastic band disposed within said elasticized openings to bias said elasticized openings in a closed configuration.

10. A glove comprising: a hand portion having a thumb portion and plurality of finger portions disposed thereon; said glove having a palm facing side; a thumb stretchy insert distally disposed on said thumb portion palm facing side; an elasticized opening distally disposed on said thumb stretchy insert; a finger stretchy insert distally disposed on each of said plurality of finger portions; and an elasticized opening distally disposed on each of said finger stretchy inserts.

11. A glove according to claim 10 further comprising an elastic band disposed within said elasticized openings to bias said elasticized openings in a closed configuration.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority and herein incorporates by reference U.S. provisional patent application 60/818,408, filed Jul. 3, 2006.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Since the beginning of history, humans have been devising methods of protecting themselves from the environment. This quest for protection has allowed humans to live in regions which would be inhospitable without clothing. The human hand in particular led to an explosive use of tools and with a requisite need for hand protection.

Gloves and mittens are made of leather, cloth, rubber or other materials to protect the hand of the user. Specialized gloves and mittens are available such as chemically resistant, heat resistant, etc. that allow the user to handle objects, perform tasks and do things that would not be possible without hand protection.

While wearing hand protection is clearly useful, it also has serious shortcomings. There are many tasks that humans perform that require tactile feedback and dexterity that is difficult at best and often impossible to obtain while wearing hand protection. In those situations, the user must remove the glove or mitten to perform the task and then attempt to replace the hand protection. There is a need for a glove that allows a user to protect the hand while allowing the user to perform tasks that require fine sensory and tactile functions not available while wearing hand protection.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A glove comprises at least one elasticized opening located on the palm side of the glove and generally around an area corresponding to the first joint of either a finger or thumb. In use, a user wears the glove conventionally until the user needs to perform a task requiring additional dexterity and tactile feedback. The user then pulls the elasticized opening around a finger or thumb to expose the digit for use. The elasticized opening may be pushed down around the digit joint for comfort and unencumbered operation. If the user no longer needs the digit exposed, the elasticized opening is pulled back up around the digit. In an embodiment of the invention, the elasticized opening includes an elastic band within the elasticized stitching to bias the opening in a closed configuration. A stretchy insert is used to support the elasticized opening in materials such as leather, etc.

Other features and advantages of the instant invention will become apparent from the following description of the invention which refers to the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an illustration of an embodiment of a glove according to the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a detail view of an embodiment according to the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a detail view of an embodiment according to the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a detail view of an embodiment according to the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a close up view of a portion shown in FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is an illustration of a glove of an embodiment according to the present invention.

FIG. 7 is an illustration of a glove of an embodiment according to the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

In the following detailed description of the invention, reference is made to the drawings in which reference numerals refer to like elements, and which are intended to show by way of illustration specific embodiments in which the invention may be practiced. It is understood that other embodiments may be utilized and that structural changes may be made without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention.

Referring to FIG. 1, a glove 100 is shown having a hand portion 102 which includes finger portions 112 and a thumb portion 114. A plurality of elasticized openings 104 appear over the general area corresponding to a first joint position 116 and an elasticized opening 110 in thumb portion 114. In use, a user places a hand in glove 100 to protect the hand. In this configuration, glove 100 performs typical glove functions such as of protecting the hand, etc. During times when the user needs additional dexterity and/or tactile feedback such as when dialing a number on a cell phone, using a PDA, etc., the user moves finger portion 112 and/or thumb portion 114 until the user's finger or thumb is against elasticized opening 104/110 and then pushes his or her finger or thumb through elasticized opening 104/110. Finally, the user pushes finger portion 112 and/or thumb portion 114 down past first joint 116. Finger portion 112 is pushed down 108 exposing the user's digit. Thumb portion 114 is likewise moveable. If the user no longer needs the additional dexterity/tactile sense, the user reverses the process to restore full use of glove 100.

Now referring to FIG. 2, an elasticized opening 204 is disposed with a stretchy insert 202. Stretchy insert 202 allows elasticized opening to operate even when used with glove materials such as leather or other non-knit, non-stretching material. Stretchy insert 202 is attached to a digit portion 200 of a glove. Stretchy insert 202 may be made of plastic, nylon, carbon fiber composite, cotton, elastic or other suitable material to provide a stretchable platform to support elasticized opening 204 regardless of the material being used to produce the glove.

Referring now to FIGS. 4 and 5, a rubber band 404 is disposed within elasticized thread 402 to provide an elasticized opening that is biased to be normally closed during normal use. Elasticized thread 402 is under tension from rubber band 404 to provide the bias. Elasticized thread 402 is attached to glove digit portion 400 by stitching, glue or other attachment means as is known in the art. Rubber band 404 may be made of any suitable elastic material to provide a constant closing force that can be overcome by the user during use.

Referring to FIG. 3, a stretchy insert 420 is used with elasticized thread 402 to provide an elastic platform to support elasticized opening biased in a closed position in a non-stretchy glove as discussed above.

Reference is now made to FIGS. 6 and 7, an illustration of a glove 500 having a hand portion with a single elasticized opening 504 appearing on a location generally corresponding to a first joint of a digit. In this case, an embodiment having only a pointing finger elasticized opening 504 is illustrated, but other embodiments could include additional openings such as index finger, pointing finger and thumb, or just pointing finger and thumb, or any other combination as would be appropriate to specific uses.

In use, Gossamer Floss™ works well to provide an appropriate elasticized opening. A 0.5 mm semi-translucent cord was used to make a prototype with excellent results although other size threads are available. The Gossamer Floss™ is very strong and stretches up to seven times its original length, yet returns to its original length when the force is removed. Of course other elastic materials may be used such a Lycra®, woven elastic, knitted elastic, button hole elastic, draw cord elastic, surgical elastic, sports wear elastic or luggage elastic are among some of the materials suitable. The elastic thread may be doubled to provide a more durable opening and GS-Hypo cement or other cement or glue may be used to reinforce the opening as is known in the art.

Although the instant invention has been described in relation to particular embodiments thereof, many other variations and modifications and other uses will become apparent to those skilled in the art.