Title:
Smart Handbag
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A handbag (10) is provided with an integrated power source (20), an integrated conductive network and a user interface operatively associated with a multi-functional strap (14) separably associated with the handbag (10), all of which cooperating to provide means for improving the overall experience associated with managing a number of portable electronic devices (18) individually and/or simultaneously. The handbag (10) includes a body (12) that defines at least one compartment for accommodating various personal items and means suitable for accommodating any of a variety of portable electronic devices (18) so as to be operatively connected to the power source, the interface. In addition, the handbag (10) includes a separable strap (14) having the user interface (30, 60) operatively associated therewith. The strap (14) is also advantageously suitable to connect portable electronic devices (18) to remote devices and to effectuate refreshing the integrated power source (20) via an external power supply.



Inventors:
Marmaropoulos, George (Yorktown Heights, NY, US)
Vu, Giang (New York, NY, US)
Application Number:
11/576047
Publication Date:
05/15/2008
Filing Date:
09/22/2005
Assignee:
KONINKLIJKE PHILIPS ELECTRONICS, N.V. (EINDHOVEN, NL)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
150/112, 150/107
International Classes:
A45C15/00; A45C1/02; A45C13/30
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
DIAO, M BAYE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PHILIPS INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY & STANDARDS (Valhalla, NY, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A handbag (10) comprising: a body (12) defining at least one primary pocket (15) and one or more secondary pockets (16); and a multifunctional strap (14) separably connected to said body (12), wherein said body (12) has an integrated power source (20) and circuit (22) operatively connectable to one or more portable electronic devices (18) accommodated by said secondary pockets (16).

2. The handbag (10) of claim 1, wherein said multifunctional strap (14) includes a control interface suitable to operatively interact with a variety of different electronic devices.

3. The handbag (10) of claim 2, wherein said control interface is fashioned from a conductive fiber mesh.

4. The handbag (10) of claim 1, wherein said multifunctional strap (14) includes a first connector suitable for operatively connecting to any of a variety of remote electronic devices.

5. The handbag (10) of claim 4, wherein said first connector cooperates with said circuit (22) to facilitate effective interactive communication between said portable electronic devices (18) accommodated by said secondary pockets (16) and said variety of remote electronic devices.

6. The handbag (10) of claim 1, wherein said multifunctional strap (14) includes a second connector suitable for electrically connecting to a remote power source.

7. The handbag (10) of claim 6, wherein said second connector cooperates with said circuit (22) to facilitate effective electrical communication between said portable electronic devices (18) accommodated by said secondary pockets (16) and said variety of remote power sources.

8. A multifunctional strap (14) releasably connected to a handbag (10), said strap (14) comprising: first means suitable for connecting to a remote power source; and second means suitable for connecting to one or more remote electronic devices, wherein said strap (14) includes a control interface (30, 60) for controlling said remote devices.

9. The strap (14) of claim 8, wherein said first means conductively connects said remote power source to an integrated power source (20) in said handbag (10).

10. The strap (14) of claim 8, wherein said second means operatively connects any of said one or more remote devices to any one or more integrated devices accommodated by said handbag (10).

11. The strap (14) of claim 8, wherein said control interface (30, 60) facilitates operative communication between any of said one or more remote devices to any one or more integrated devices accommodated by said handbag (10).

12. The strap (14) of claim 8, wherein said first means is a power plug suitable for cooperative engagement with an AC power source, a DC power source, or both.

13. The strap (14) of claim 8, wherein said second means is a USB connector.

14. A method comprising the steps of: providing a handbag (10) with an integrated power source (20) and a conductive circuit (22) operatively connected to various portable electronic devices (18) accommodated by said handbag (10); providing said handbag (10) with a separable, multifunctional strap (14) that is operatively connectable to any one or more of said portable devices (18), a remote power source, a remote device or any combination thereof; and operatively connecting said strap (14) to any one or more of said portable devices, to said integrated power source (20), to said remote power source or any combination thereof either simultaneously or individually.

15. The method of claim 14, wherein said handbag (10) includes at least one primary pocket (15) for accommodating

16. The method of claim 14, wherein said multifunctional strap (14) includes a control interface (30, 60) suitable to operatively interact with a variety of different electronic devices.

17. The method of claim 14, wherein said multifunctional strap (14) includes a first connector suitable for operatively connecting to any of a variety of remote electronic devices.

18. The method of claim 17, wherein said first connector cooperates with said circuit (22) to facilitate effective interactive communication between said portable electronic devices (18) accommodated by said secondary pockets (16) and said variety of remote electronic devices.

19. The handbag (10) of claim 1, wherein said multifunctional strap (14) includes a second connector suitable for electrically connecting to a remote power source.

20. The handbag (10) of claim 19, wherein said second connector cooperates with said circuit (22) to facilitate effective electrical communication between said portable electronic devices (18) accommodated by said secondary pockets (16) and said variety of remote power sources.

Description:

The present disclosure is directed generally to portable electronic device management. More particularly, the present disclosure is directed to smart hand bags suitable for maintaining various portable electronic devices so that such devices can be serviced, accessed and/or otherwise managed.

Portable electronic devices such as, for example, digital cameras, cellular phones, PDAs, various entertainment systems such as MP3 players, as well as any of a variety of other similar devices, provide users with a tremendous amount of flexibility and convenience at various remote locations. As individuals have become more and more dependent on the benefits provided by these various portable devices, there has naturally developed a need to ensure that the devices are readily accessible and in condition for effective use at any time. Although various solutions have been developed in an effort to address this as well as other needs associated with effectively utilizing portable electronic devices, to date, no solution universally addresses these needs.

For example, as individuals often have more than one portable electronic device upon which they rely, and as all such devices are powered by portable means (i.e., batteries), individuals typically must charge all the respective portable power means individually. The process associated with servicing all of the portable devices to ensure that they are readily usable can be time consuming and inconvenient, especially when individuals are required to service all of the devices at or about the same time. Additionally, when individuals utilize these different portable devices to communicate with other remote electronic devices, the process associated therewith is often a bother, typically requiring an individual to carry a number of different connecting accessories (e.g., battery chargers, transformers, adapters, etc.). Hence, the effective management of the various electronic devices/accessories in terms of space, efficiency and use can often be an arduous task and despite efforts to date, there is still a need for improving how portable electronic devices are serviced, accessed and/or otherwise managed.

The present invention addresses disadvantages and/or shortcomings associated with portable electronic device management by providing means for effectively storing, maintaining, accessing and/or otherwise managing a number of portable electronic devices individually and/or simultaneously. In an illustrative embodiment of the present invention, a handbag is provided that includes at least an integrated power source, an integrated conductive network and a user interface. The present invention beneficially provides means for enhancing the effectiveness of various portable devices and ultimately improving the overall experience associated with managing a number of portable electronic devices individually and/or simultaneously.

The handbag, according to a beneficial aspect of the present invention, includes a body that defines at least one compartment suitable for accommodating various personal items and means suitable for accommodating any of a variety of portable electronic devices. The power source and conductive network are integrally associated with the body and operatively connected to the portable electronic devices accommodated by the handbag.

In another beneficial aspect of the present invention, the handbag includes a separable strap having the user interface operatively associated therewith. The strap is also advantageously suitable to connect portable electronic devices to remote devices and to effectuate refreshing the integrated power source via an external power supply.

Additional and/or alternative aspects, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent with reference to the following detailed description of an exemplary embodiment thereof.

For a better understanding of the present invention, reference is made to the following detailed description considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram of a handbag, in accordance with an illustrative embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram of the handbag of FIG. 1 operatively connected to various remote devices according to an exemplary aspect of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a schematic diagram of the handbag of FIG. 1 operatively connected to various power sources according to another exemplary aspect of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the handbag of FIG. 1 having a strap with a user interface operatively associated therewith in accordance with still another exemplary aspect of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a schematic diagram of the strap of FIG. 3 operatively associated directly to a remote device and a power source; and

FIG. 6 is a plan view of a fiber construction, in accordance yet another illustrative aspect of the present invention.

Referring to the drawings and in particular to FIG. 1, there is shown by way of illustrative example a handbag in accordance with the present invention generally represented by reference numeral 10. The handbag 10, as shown, includes a body 12 and at least one strap 14 operatively connectable to the body 12. The body 12 defines at least one primary pocket 15 suitable for accommodating any of a variety of different personal items and one or more secondary pockets 16, each suitable for accommodating a portable electronic device 18. The body 12 includes an integrated power source 20 and a circuit 22 operatively connecting the integrated power source 20 and any one or more portable electronic devices 18 accommodated by the secondary pockets 16.

The integrated power source 20, in an aspect of the present invention, is a rechargeable battery that can be recharged by a remote power source 24 via the strap 14. The integrated power source 20 preferably has a low profile being relative flat so as to not take up a significant amount of space. The integrated power source 20 preferably, in addition to providing power to the portable electronic devices 18 accommodated by the secondary pocket 16, can provide power to any of a variety of other electronic devices that are remote from the handbag 10. This operation may be accomplished, for example, via the strap 14. In another aspect of the present invention, the integrated power source 20 can be separably associated with the handbag 10. For example, the power source 20 can be separably connected to a surface 26 of the handbag 10.

The circuit 22, according to another aspect of the present invention, is a conductive network that preferably, in addition to electrically connecting any one or more portable electronic devices 18 accommodated by the secondary pockets 16 to the integrated power source 20 can in cooperation with the strap 14 facilitate operative communication between such portable devices 18 and any of a variety of remote devices 28. In an aspect of the present invention, the circuit 22 includes a control interface 30 for cooperating with the portable electronic devices 18 and/or the remote devices 28 so as to control or otherwise manipulate such devices. The circuit 22 can be in the form of a printed conductive ink preferably integrally associated with the surface 26 of the handbag 10. Further, as will be readily apparent to those having skill in the pertinent art from the teachings herein, the circuit 22 equally may be accomplished in a variety of different ways. For example, the circuit 22 may be accomplished via a fiber construction 32, such as shown in FIG. 6, including one or more conductive fibers 34 intertwined with one or more non-conductive fibers 36 in accordance with any method known for weaving, sewing or knitting to form a flexible, resilient and discrete conductive network integral with the material used to form the handbag 10.

The secondary pockets 16, in accordance with another aspect of the present invention, may be of any of a variety of different shapes and/or sizes. The secondary pockets 16 preferably include first means for facilitating conductive communication between the portable electronic device 18 accommodated thereby and the integrated power source 20. The first means may, for example, be a fabric interconnecting arrangement operatively associated, at least in part, with each secondary pocket 16. The interconnect arrangement, as shown, includes a connector 40 suitable for operatively connecting to the power port of any electronic device 18, 28. The connector 40 can be integral to each portable electronic device 18, or alternatively, separably connected thereto as appropriate to accomplish effective electrical communication. Additionally, the interconnect arrangement may include one or more predefined conductive areas 42 associated with each secondary pocket 16 so as to be in electrical communication with the integrated power source 20 via, for example, the circuit 22. The conductive areas 42 can be inherently conductive via, for example, the material properties associated with at least a portion of each secondary pocket 16. The conductive areas 42 can be made of any suitable conductive material, including for instance, a metalized foil, a conductive polymer, or a graphitized or metalized fiber or yarn. Alternatively or in addition, the conductive areas 42 can be made conductive via a conductive coating such as a conductive ink. The conductive areas 42 can also have any of a variety of shapes, sizes and/or configurations suitable to accomplish the objectives of the present invention. For example, each conductive area 42 may be defined by a number of protruding conductive fibers with a weight, tensile strength and consistency for resilient durability in use. The protruding fibers can have different shapes, sizes or configurations to accommodate any of a variety of different connection types.

According to still another aspect of the present invention, each secondary pocket 16 may likewise be provided with second means suitable for facilitating operative communication between the portable electronic device 18 accommodated by the secondary pocket 16 and any one or more of the remote devices 28. The second means, similar to the first means, may, for example, take the form of a fabric interconnect arrangement utilizing a connector 48 and/or a conductive pattern 50 operatively associated with each secondary pocket 16. This interconnect arrangement facilitates a variety of different communication connection types.

With reference now to FIGS. 2 and 3, the strap 14, in accordance with a further aspect of the present invention, is multifunctional with means for connecting to the remote power source 24 as well as means for connecting to various remote devices 28. For example, the strap 14 can have a first end 52 and a second end 54 each adapted for separable connection with the body 12 of the handbag 10. The first end 52, in an aspect of the present invention, defines a first connector 56 such as Universal Serial Bus (USB) connector or the like suitable for cooperative engagement with any of a number of remote electronic devices including, PDAs, digital cameras, personal computers, laptops, printers, cell phones, and like devices as demonstrated by FIG. 2. Whereas the second end 54 defines a second connector 58 such as a power plug or the like suitable for cooperative engagement with an AC power source (e.g., wall socket) and/or a DC power source (e.g., a battery) as demonstrated by FIG. 3. Thus, when the first connector 56 is separated from the body 12 and operatively connected to the remote device 28, any one or more of the portable devices 18 accommodated by any of the secondary pockets 16 are connectable to such remote device 28 via the circuit 22 so as to facilitate effective communication therebetween. Further, when the second connector 58 is separated from the body 12 and electrically connected to the remote power source 24, any one or more of the portable devices 18 accommodated by any of the secondary pockets 16 and/or the integrated power source 20 via the circuit 22 are rechargeable thereby.

Referring to FIG. 4, in an advantageous aspect of the present invention, the strap 14 is further provided with a control interface 60 integral therewith. The control interface 60 is preferably suitable to cooperate with any of the various portable devices 18 accommodated by the secondary pockets 16. The control interface 60 may, for example, be fashioned from a fiber construction similar to the circuit 22 previously described. That is, with reference again to FIG. 6, a mesh of conductive and non-conductive fibers 34, 36 can be intertwined to fashion a flexible electronic fabric control interface 60. The control interface 60 can be formed into a multitude of different patterns facilitating different applications in use.

The control interface 60, in addition to being formed from a combination of individually woven fibers, equally may be formed from an appropriate combination of material layers having conductive properties associated therewith and suitable to form one or more electrical switches and/or controls 62. The control interface 60 can take any of a variety of forms and may include any of a variety of controls 62. Thus, the control interface 60 is preferably a highly flexible, lightweight high-performance electronic interface that is capable of being integral with the strap 14 so as to cooperate with any of a variety of different electronics devices without compromising the effective utilization and/or durability of the strap 14.

The control interface 60, as shown in FIG. 5, may, according to yet a further aspect of the present invention, also operate separate from the handbag 10 so as to accomplish a variety of different electronic operations. For example, as shown, the control interface 60 may be operatively connected to a remote power source 24 and a remote device 28 simultaneously or independently as desired so as to provide power to such remote devices 28 and/or carry out different operations with respect to such devices. As may be recognized by those of skill in the pertinent art from the present disclosure, it is noted that the strap 14 may have any of a variety of additional and/or alternative features and may be adjustable, extensible, and/or replaceable as necessary for accommodating different applications in use.

Having identified and described various aspects and/or features of the illustrative embodiment of the present disclosure, in use, the handbag as disclosed herein with its integrated power source, conductive circuit connecting circuit and separable, multi-functional strap allows an individual to effectively manage a number of portable electronic devices individually and/or simultaneously.

It will be understood that the above described embodiment as well as the various aspects and features thereof are merely exemplary and that a person skilled in the art may make many variations and/or modifications without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention. All such variations and modifications are intended to be included within the scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.