Title:
STRAP ORGANIZER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A strap organizer is provided and configured to attach to a strap, rod or elongated member, comprising a main body of material configured with a fastener, a storage pocket and a non slip member to selectively position the organizer onto an object at a desired position. The organizer conveniently positions the device for the consumer and helps prevent vertical displacement during travel or transport.



Inventors:
Conforti, Carl J. (Fall River, MA, US)
Application Number:
12/131629
Publication Date:
12/11/2008
Filing Date:
06/02/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
29/527.1
International Classes:
A45F3/00
View Patent Images:
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20070138226Thigh holster strapJune, 2007Marinaj
20060273127Waterproof mail bagDecember, 2006Simms
20040217140Accessory carrying apparatusNovember, 2004Zola
20030116595Device for the attachment and adaptation of elastic box type watch straps to watchesJune, 2003Cerofolini
20060219742Bracelet with a cosmetic containerOctober, 2006Chen
20060043128Device to aid in screening personal itemsMarch, 2006Cushman
20070228094Removable carrying accessory for crutchOctober, 2007Bednarz



Primary Examiner:
WAGGENSPACK, ADAM J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CARL J CONFORTI (FALL RIVER, MA, US)
Claims:
1. An organizer for attachment to an elongated member, the organizer comprising: a main body of a soft, flexible material having a front panel surface area and a rear panel surface area; a non slip member on a portion of the rear panel surface area of the main body; a pocket on the front panel surface area of the main body to receive and store a device; and a fastener system attached to the main body for securely attaching the organizer to the elongated member at a desired position.

2. The organizer of claim 1 wherein the fastener system includes a hook and loop fastening material.

3. The organizer of claim 1, wherein the pocket includes a mesh like fabric attached to the main body.

4. The organizer of claim 1, wherein the main body is formed of at least one of a filler material, padded foam, and polyester.

5. The organizer of claim 1, further comprising: a second fastening system attached to a portion of the main body to attach the organizer to a second object.

6. The organizer of claim 5, wherein the second loop fastening system includes a hook and loop fastening material.

7. The organizer of claim 6, wherein the second fastening system is substantially in the range of one to three inches in length.

8. The organizer of claim 1, wherein the main body surrounds the elongated member when attached by the fastening system.

9. A method for forming an organizer for attachment to an elongated member, the method comprising the steps of: forming a sheet of material having a first area of a first width and a second area attached along an edge of the first area having a second width less than the first width; folding the second area over the first area along the edge; and adhering edges of the second area to the first area to form a pocket.

10. The method for forming an organizer according to claim 9, further comprising the steps of: attaching a backing of a non-slip material to at least a portion of the sheet of material.

11. The method for forming an organizer according to claim 9, further comprising the step of: attaching a fastening system to the sheet of material.

12. The method for forming an organizer according to claim 9, wherein the adhering step includes sewing.

13. An organizer comprising: a main body of a soft flexible material having a front panel surface area and a rear panel surface area; a pocket on the front panel surface area to store an object; an attachment means for securely attaching the main body at a desired position on an elongated member.

14. The organizer of claim 13, wherein the pocket includes a mesh like fabric attached to the front panel surface area main body.

15. The organizer of claim 13, wherein the pocket is formed within the front panel surface area of the main body.

16. The organizer of claim 15, wherein the main body includes a plurality of layers between the front panel surface area and the rear panel surface area and an opening in the front panel surface area; and wherein the pocket is formed through the opening in the front panel surface area and between the layers of the main body.

17. The organizer of claim 13, wherein the attachment means includes a fastening system for securely attaching the main body to the elongated member.

18. The organizer of claim 17, wherein the attachment means includes a nonslip material on at least a portion of the rear surface area of the main body.

19. The organizer of claim 17, wherein the fastening system includes a hook and loop fastener.

20. The organizer of claim 13 further comprising second loop fastening system attached to a portion of the main body to attach the main body to a second object.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED ACTIONS

This application claims in part the benefit of the U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/933,854 filed Jun. 9, 2007.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to organization of small articles stored for transportation and travel. More specifically, the present invention relates to an organizer that can be attached and selectively positioned on a belt or strap for convenient travel and transportation.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

In today's consumer market, electronic devices such as cell phones, PDA's and music players have become popular in our global marketplace. Aftermarket accessories for these devices have become a large secondary market for consumers. These devices are frequently used during travel. Furthermore in this day and age, automotive accessories have become a growing market within the United States. Many vehicles are commonly found equipped with added features in the field of electronics and safety. Although some vehicles may be equipped with certain devices and features, many such features and devices are provided as aftermarket installations. Alternatively, the features are achieved through use of portable devices that are hand carried by the operator during travel. The ever changing electronics industry places demand for new products and accessories in both the automotive and in the general consumer marketplace.

Electronic devices have become an essential part of consumers every day life. More importantly, these devices have provided a demand from markets including accessory, safety and software related industries. These devices are continuously upgraded and modified to meet consumer demand. Year after year, devices of various sizes and packages are offered to meet the preferences of consumers globally. In many cases, fashion, color and styles play an important role for consumer purchases.

In the cell phone and music industry, there has been an increase in sales with new technology and also an increase in regulations due to some safety issues found in both the use and technology features driving the market. In some cases, cell phones have been updated to have hands free features, or music storage devices have been made with output devices that are small and more compact for travel. Some regulations may prevent drivers from using cell phones or similar devices while driving a vehicle to avoid driver distractions and increase safety. Some regulations proscribe use of a hands free option. However, such regulations do not prevent incoming calls while driving an auto nor the distraction and risk of consumers trying to locate a phone or device that may not be readily available. In the current market, the automobile industry has been challenged with many accidents or unanticipated hazards when a driver has been distracted when trying to locate an electronic device while driving.

Even when the location of the device is known, it may not be easily retrieved by a driver. A cell phone kept in the driver's pants pocket may be difficult to retrieve while seated. Similarly, a cell phone in the driver's purse on the passenger seat may not be easily reachable. Thus, there is a need to store electronic devices in a vehicle for easy access. Vehicles are equipped with various compartments. However, such compartments are generally not accessible by the driver and/or not accommodating of electronic devices. Additionally, electronic devices need to be carried and stored when the driver is not in the vehicle. Thus, devices need a place for storage at home, in travel and while in transport. The need for an organizer to aid the consumer while in a vehicle or during travel is apparent within the global market. Various cases and carrying devices have been created and are available as aftermarket accessories. Yet, there remains a need to organize, locate and have a secure place to store an electronic device within reach of the auto passenger or traveler.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides various advantages and benefits for storing and transporting electronic devices and other objects. More specifically, the present invention provides a solution to store and position objects for transportation allowing consumers to store locate and position these objects at a desirable and convenient location, particularly inside a vehicle, and while traveling.

In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, a strap organizer is provided to hold a device which can be attached to a portion of a belt in a vehicle, strap or similar elongated member. The organizer includes a main body of material, an affixed gripping member, a pocket, and an attaching element. The main body of material has substantial width and height configured to hold an object. The pocket is conveniently located on the front portion of the main body of material. The pocket is sized to store an object or electronic device. The gripping member is selectively located on the back side of the main body of material to come in contact with the strap member and prevent movement. The attaching element securely attaches the organizer main body to the strap like member.

According to an aspect of the invention, the pocket is attached to the main body. The pocket may be formed of the same material or a different material as the main body. According to aspects of the invention, the pocket is formed of a soft, mesh like see through material, reflective foil like material or padded material to protect the object in transport. According to another aspect of the invention, the pocket is created as a slit in a multi-layer main body. According to another aspect of the invention, the pocket is formed as part of the main body of material. According to another aspect of the invention, the pocket is multi-layered. According to another aspect of the invention, the pocket is a single compartment. According to another aspect of the invention, the pocket has a height to conveniently remove the stored articles with only “one hand”.

According to aspects of the invention, the gripping member covers a portion of or the entire surface of the back side of the main body of material. According to another aspect of the invention, the gripping member is selectively place on a portion of the front panel such that when folded and attached it contacts the strap. According to aspects of the invention, the gripping member is of a material with a high coefficient of friction, elastomer, rubber, latex or other non slip configurations.

These and other advantages of the invention along with the invention itself will be more fully understood after review of the following figures, detailed description and claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front view of a folded strap organizer according to an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 2 is a front view of the unfolded strap organizer of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a rear view of the folded strap organizer of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a rear view of the unfolded strap organizer of FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is an exploded assembly view of a strap organizer according to an embodiment of the invention.

FIGS. 6a-6c are front views of folded, unfolded organizers according to different embodiments of the invention.

FIGS. 7a-7c are assembly views of use of a strap organizer according to an embodiment of the invention.

FIGS. 8a-8d are front construction views of a one piece organizer according to an embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The gripping member allows the strap organizer to be selectively positioned by the consumer for ease of accessibility, and limit movement to stored items within the proposed organizer. The organizer can be utilized in travel, transportation vehicles or like objects configured with an elongated strap like member.

The present invention provides an organizer for a storing and organizing devices for travel and inside a vehicle. More particularly, according to an embodiment of the invention, the organizer is configured to attach to a seat belt, strap, rod or elongated member, with a pocket that can vertically displaced and adjusted to a position to hold or store an electronic device.

According to an embodiment of the invention, as illustrated in FIGS. 1-4, the organizer 100 includes a main body 101 which can be attached to the strap like member. The main body 101 is configured to be folded and/or wrapped around the strap like member. FIG. 2 illustrates the front of the main body 101 when unfolded. FIG. 1 illustrates the front of the main body 101 when folded. In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-4, the main body 101 is folded in thirds, with the two ends overlapping. The strap or elongated member is received within the space formed by folding or wrapping the main body 101 from one end 103 through a second end 104. Preferably, the main body 101 has sufficient width to cover at least a portion of the strap like member. The position of the folds and the amount of overlap of the ends may be adjusted to accommodate different sized straps. The embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 1-4 wraps once around the strap. While it is more economical to fold once around a strap like member, it may be desirable to fold two or more times depending on the application and use. In some instances where padding is desired, a multiple wrap may be preferred. By wrapping the main body 101 around the strap like member, the organizer 100 can be adjustably positioned at a desired distance or height configured to allow the device to be in a safe driving position and within reach of the consumer inside the vehicle.

The ends of the wrapped or folded main body 101 are held in place with a fastening or attaching system. In an embodiment of the invention, the fastening or attaching system includes male 106 and a female 107 fastening components attached to the ends of the main body 101. When the male 106 and female 107 fastening components are coupled together, they securely attach the main body 101 to a strap or elongated member. Several configurations of fasteners can be considered like hook and loop, snaps, button and hole, clips, elastic loops of material, and like mechanical fasteners. Of course other types of fasteners could also be used. Magnets can be attached or embedded in the main body 101 as the fastening components 106, 107. Similarly, spring like material components may be coupled to the main body 101 of the organizer 100 to hold it securely to the strap like member.

The organizer 100 can be adjustable in adapting to various diameters or widths to universally fit a variety of strap like or elongated members. Common widths or diameters being from approximately one inch, to two inch and greater than two inches wide. The organizer configured to be slightly smaller than the outer peripheral shape to prevent movement, and easily adapt to and hold in place.

The type of fastening components 106, 107 used for the organizer 100 may advantageously permit the organizer to be positioned at other locations within the vehicle other than on a strap. For example, a hook and loop fastener may securely hold the organizer to upholstery or carpeting in the vehicle. Hook fastener may be positioned on one surface of the organizer to easily adapt and securely attach to a loop of common material (i.e. such as carpet or fabric like material) found inside a vehicle. Similarly, a magnetic fastener could hold the organizer to metal components in the vehicle.

The organizer 100 is configured to hold an object within a pocket 102 on the front panel of the main body 101. The pocket 102 is formed of a material, preferably soft and resilient, having a desired height 105 to support an object and provide easy access to store and remove the object when needed. The pocket 102 may be of a soft resilient fabric like material, mesh or formed as a part of the main body material. A see through material may be used so that the inner contents can be easily viewed. The pocket 102 fabric material configured to easily insert and remove objects from within.

The pocket 102 is illustrated in the embodiment of FIGS. 1-4, as being positioned at the bottom of the main body 101 and selectively positioned about the center in height 105 of the main front panel. However, the organizer 100 of the present invention is not limited to this desired or preferred position. The pocket 102 may be positioned anywhere on the organizer 100 including on the front, back and sides of the folded main body 101. Multiple pockets 102 may also be positioned on the main body 101 for use with multiple devices.

FIG. 4 illustrates a back view of the unfolded organizer 100 of FIG. 2. A gripping member 112 is positioned on a portion of the main body 101. The gripping member 112 is illustrated as covering one of the ends of the main body 101. However, it may cover other portions of the main body 101. For example, it could be positioned behind from center portion, or cover the entire back of the main body. Alternatively, it may cover only a portion of the height of the main body 101. Preferably, the gripping member 112 covers a minimum of one quarter of a panel of the main body 101. An alternative may include a strip of material configured as the gripping member 112, to contact a portion of the strap from one end of the organizer to the opposite end.

The gripping member is comprised of a non-slip material. When the organizer 100 is attached to a strap, the gripping member 112 is in contact with the strap to prevent movement between the two bodies. The gripping member 112 can be configured on one side of the organizer's body of material to come in contact with the strap member and prevent movement. The gripping member 112 allows the organizer 100 to be selectively positioned by the consumer for ease of accessibility, and limit movement to stored items within the organizer. The positioning of the organizer is preferred to be located in a vertical position, wherein the weight of the device may affect the accessibility of stored the device when needed. The gripping member 112 can be of a material having a high coefficient of friction, such as elastomer, rubber, foam rubber, latex, urethane or other non slip configurations. Alternatively, another fastening type device may be used to prevent motion of the organizer 100 due to motion or external forces. A retaining clip or spring clip may be used. Similarly, depending upon the type of strap or elongated member to which the organizer 100 is to be attached, a hook and loop fastener may be used which could function with the strap to hold the organizer 100 in place.

The gripping member 112 may also be used to position the organizer 100 within a vehicle without being wrapped around a strap. A non-slip material may prevent motion of the organizer 100 when placed on the dashboard, console, or other vehicle location. If a hook and loop fastener system is used as the gripping member 112, the organizer 100 can be held to upholstery and/or carpeting within the vehicle ( configured as loop) and the body of the organizer comprising of a hook fastener portion to securely hold the organizer in place when position on a loop material.

According to an embodiment of the invention, the organizer can be used to store, organize or position a device inside a vehicle and have the ability to attach to another strap or belt like member. This is possible by the organizer configured with a second fastening device attached to the exterior of the main body panel. An optional loop or fastener may be present on a portion of the organizer to allow the consumer to attach the device to a belt or bag. This strap fastener can be utilized to attach and detach the organizer when moving from one place to another (i.e. from a vehicle to a home or outdoors). As illustrated in FIGS. 1-4, a secondary fastening system 108 is conveniently located on the main body 101. The secondary fastening system 108 is configured to attach the organizer 100 to a strap, ring or other object to store the organizer 100, with or without the object or device, when not in use. In the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 1-4, the secondary fastening system 108 includes male and female components such as hook and loop, were the hook may be present on a portion of the organizer to readily adapt to loop on a carpet or adhesive backed loop component to stick in a desired area for affixing the organizer to a preferred location. The fastening system 108 may further comprise of a clip, hook or other attaching means that would allow the consumer to conveniently attach the organizer to a belt, purse, luggage or bicycle. Referring to FIG. 3, a back view of FIG. 1 is illustrated to show the optional secondary fastening system 108, having a first end 109 fixedly attached to the main body 101 and a second opposite end 110, spaced at a desired distance 111 to attach the organizer 100, onto a strap, purse, rail or rod of a desired diameter. Preferably a distance 111, from three quarter of an inch to three inches or greater is desired. The secondary fastening system can be located at either end, preferably at the top end to suspend objects with the center of gravity below the attachment, or centrally located as illustrated.

Referring to FIG. 5, the figure illustrates an exploded assembly view of an organizer 100 according to an embodiment of the invention. The organizer 100 includes a main body 101 of substantial width and length to cover a surface are or perimeter of a strap or elongated like member. The main body 101 can be optionally coupled with a polyester batting 115 or other like cushioning material or be a combination or two laminated materials to form the main body 101 as a preferred manufacturing method. The materials can be that of a soft fabric like material, a stain resistant, an ultraviolet light inhibiting material, a reflective foil material to resist radiant heat energy from the sun. Other articles such as food or drink may be stored, that may require regulated temperatures (i.e. water or snack related) to prevent spoiling. Preferably, the main body 101 is of a soft flexible material that is comfortable for the consumer and minimizes risk of injury is an accident was to occur. The fabric like material may be knit or similar material to mate or fasten to a hook like material for additional flexibility in positioning and attaching the organizer 100. Many fashionable designs may be preferred to market of sell the organizer product. Colors, patterns, print and advertising or promotions may be preferred to market the product as desired by the manufacturer or consumer demand. Reflective materials, including illuminating materials may be used for safety or other reasons.

A pocket 102, at least one or multiple versions can be attached to the main body 101 for storing objects. A fastening system with a male and female fastener 107, 106 located on the main body 101 to attach the organizer, tightly fitted to the outside perimeter of the strap or elongated member. A gripping member 112, located on a portion of an inner panel, or as part of a bias coupled to the main body to prevent movement.

A soft foam cushioned pocket may be more advantageous for vehicle safety and preferred by driver in the front seat of a vehicle. In some cases it may be more advantageous to position or locate the organizers between the seat or side panel of the seat so it is not in front of the driver or in a position where larger electronic devices may not be suitable between the driver and the steering wheel due to safety reasons. The padded organizer made of soft flexible fabric like material may consist of polyester batting, foam, other stuffing and further configured with a material that is soft and flexible with additional features such as waterproof, illuminating material, flashing electronic or motion activated or even having other printed matter or healthcare monitoring devices and promotions.

Although illustrated in FIGS. 1-4 as a rectangular shape with three wrapping panels, the organizer 100 may have various shapes and sizes depending upon the preferences of the user and the objects or devices to be carried or stored. Preferably, irregardless of the shape or size, the organizer 100 includes a main body 101 which can be wrapped around a strap or elongated member. Various possible shapes and sizes, in both a folded and unfolded state, are illustrated in FIGS. 6a-6d. Illustrated in FIG. 6d is a multi panel design, that can be more than one folded panel as shown.

FIG. 7 illustrates different shaped organizers 100 in connection with different types of straps. FIG. 7a illustrates an organizer 100 positioned at a desired height 119 on a seat belt strap. The seat belt strap extends from the receiving end 103 to the opposite end 104 of the main body. The pocket 102, holding a device 117, is securely held at a desired position along the seat belt strap so as to be accessible by the consumer. FIG. 7b illustrates another embodiment of an organizer 120, attached to an elongated member 125, configured with a pocket 122 to hold articles at a desired position. An optional fastener 121, configured as a snap provides a secure hold onto the elongated member were the gripping member 124, is configured in the outer perimeter to hold or grip a desired location on the elongated member.

Illustrated in FIG. 7c another embodiment of the organizer 130, configured with a pocket 132, is attached to a secondary strap or belt 136, by a secondary fastening system 135 made of a clip, loop or other like fastening method. The organizer 130 can be conveniently transferred from one location to the next, with a hands free design that includes a universal fastening system 135 to adapt to a variety of strap like members (i.e. a clothing belt, bag strap and or seat belt in a vehicle).

FIGS. 8a-8d illustrates construction embodiments for the organizer 140. The organizer 140 is constructed from one piece of material 144 which is folded and configured to form the main body 142 and the pocket 141. The material 144 is of a soft flexible fabric like material. The organizer 140 includes a backing material 143 of a rubber like or anti-slip grade of material over at least a portion of the backside. When constructed, the backing material will make contact with an object when the organizer is attached to the object. The material can be a laminated material of polyester, knit, fleece and vinyl or elastomer. The organizer 140 is folded along a centerline 145 and sewn to form a device to store and position objects on an elongated member or strap like body. An optional cut away 146, configured to the size of the pocket or less the surface area of the said pocket to maximize material usage in manufacturing, and minimize scrap waste. A preferred method of manufacturing would be die cut or heat or weld. An alternative method may comprise of die cut and finish sewing configured with fasteners. The same can be satisfied with other configurations of the same material.

As illustrated in FIGS. 8c and 8d, an organizer 150 includes at least one layer of material with a panel 151 extending from a portion of the material. The panel 151 is folded and sewn about a centerline 153 to form the pocket. A gripping member 154 and fastening means 155 are attached to the material. The organizer 150 configured to be cut to a desired pattern 156, of the approximate size of the pocket 152 or less the surface area of the said pocket to maximize material usage in manufacturing, and minimize scrap waste.

The foregoing description of the preferred embodiments of the present invention has been provided for the purpose of illustration and description. Various modifications, adaptations, and alterations will be readily apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art. The present invention is not limited by the embodiments set forth herein and is only limited by the claims attached hereto.