Title:
SPORT GLOVE
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A sport glove has a rolling mechanism disposed in the palm of the glove. The rolling mechanism includes one or more ball bearings, and the ball bearings can be positioned within the glove material or affixed to the glove material, such as in a housing or encasement.



Inventors:
Wright, Clifford (San Diego, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/121606
Publication Date:
12/18/2008
Filing Date:
05/15/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B71/14
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MORAN, KATHERINE M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Mintz Levin/San Diego Office (Boston, MA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A sport glove apparatus comprising: a glove that covers at least a palm of a wearer; and a rolling mechanism arranged in the glove at the palm of the wearer.

2. A sport glove apparatus as in claim 1, wherein the rolling mechanism includes at least one ball bearing that protrudes from the glove, wherein the ball bearing is configured to roll along a surface contacted by the ball bearing.

3. A sport glove apparatus as in claim 1, wherein the rolling mechanism includes at least one roller, each roller adapted to roll in a single direction at a time.

4. A sport glove apparatus as in claim 1, wherein the rolling mechanism includes a large ball bearing that bears against a plurality of smaller ball bearings.

5. A sport glove apparatus as in claim 1, wherein the rolling mechanism includes three ball bearings arranged in a triangle configuration.

6. A sport glove as in claim 1, further comprising a cushioning member positioned between the rolling mechanism and the palm of the wearer when the wearer's hand is positioned in the glove.

7. A sport glove as in claim 1, further wherein the rolling mechanism comprises at least one ball bearing.

8. A sport glove as in claim 1, further wherein the rolling mechanism comprises a plurality of ball bearings.

9. A sport glove as in claim 1, further wherein the rolling mechanism comprises a housing.

Description:

REFERENCE TO PRIORITY DOCUMENT

This application claims priority of co-pending U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/930,867 flied May 18, 2007. Priority of the aforementioned filing date is hereby claimed and the disclosure of the Provisional Patent Application is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND

A variety of gloves are used in a number of sports, primarily for protection. For example, skateboarders sometimes wear gloves to protect their hands from scratches or cuts resulting from a fall. Gloves absorb the friction and ballistic stress on the hand from the surface over which a user moves.

SUMMARY

This document discloses a sport glove having a rolling mechanism disposed in the palm of the glove. The rolling mechanism preferably includes one or more ball bearings, and the ball bearings can be positioned within the glove material or affixed to the glove material, such as in a housing or encasement. Alternatively, the rolling mechanisms can include one or more cylindrical rollers. The rollers can be aligned to a particular orientation on the glove to provide rolling along a very narrow range of directional movement, while braking-type resistance for all other directions.

The details of one or more embodiments are set forth in the accompanying drawings and the description below. Other features and advantages will be apparent from the description and drawings, and from the claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and other aspects will now be described in detail with reference to the following drawings.

FIG. 1 illustrates a sport glove.

FIG. 2 illustrates an alternative sport glove.

FIG. 3 illustrates another alternative sport glove.

FIG. 4 depicts a ball bearing assembly.

FIG. 5 depicts an alternative ball bearing assembly and arrangement.

FIG. 6 illustrates another alternative sport glove.

FIG. 7 depicts a roller assembly.

FIG. 8 illustrates another alternative sport glove and ball bearing assembly.

FIG. 9 shows a finger protector that interfaces with the glove.

FIG. 10 shows the finger protector in an exploded state.

Like reference symbols in the various drawings indicate like elements.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

This document describes a sport glove that includes a glove and an integrated rolling mechanism. In some implementations the rolling mechanism is one or more ball bearings or bearing assemblies. In other implementations, the rolling mechanism is a roller, or a cylindrical roller that includes a bearing for ease of rolling. The rolling mechanism can be any shape, size, or structure that is adapted to provide a rolling engagement between the glove and a surface. The sport glove can be used in any of a variety of sports such as skateboarding, rollerblading, luge, or any other sport in which the wearer might contact a planar or rigid surface.

FIG. 1 shows the palm and backhand sides of a sport glove in accordance with one implementation. The glove can be made of cotton or other cloth, nylon, rubber, rayon, gore-tex, polyester, a combination thereof, or other resilient yet flexible material, such as neoprene. The glove can be sized to fit the entire hand of a wearer, and may incorporate a wrist guard for wrist stabilization or the like. The glove can also include one or more lights, provided by a fiber optic light source or a set of light emitting diodes (LEDs) or other light technology. The lights can be powered by battery or via connection with the rolling mechanism. The glove can be reinforced at desired locations, such as in the palm area, or along the knuckle area, for instance, of a hand of a wearer.

The glove can be provided in any color or design. The glove may include an attachment strap for securing the glove to the wearer's hand. The attachment strap may use buttons, snaps, or hook-and-loop fasteners.

The glove includes one or more ball bearings. In preferred implementations, the one or more ball bearings are provided in the palm area of the glove, and can be placed in any orientation or arrangement. For example, FIG. 1 shows an exemplary embodiment of a glove 100 that is adapted to fit over the hand of a user. FIG. 1 shows a front side (i.e., palm side) and a back side of the glove. The glove 100 has a palm section that fits over the wearer's palm and a plurality of fingers that fit over the wearer's fingers. Alternately, the glove can have a mitten configuration. A roller assembly 105 (or rolling mechanism) is located on a region of the glove. In an embodiment, the roller assembly 105 is located on the front side on the palm section of the glove 100. It should be appreciated that the roller assembly 105 can be located on other sections of the glove and that the glove can have multiple roller assemblies on multiple regions of the glove.

In the embodiment of FIG. 1, the roller assembly 105 comprises three large ball bearings in the palm of the glove, where two large ball bearings are aligned toward the finger side of the palm and one large ball bearing is arranged toward the wrist side of the palm. The spatial arrangement and positioning of the ball bearings can vary. Moreover, the quantity of ball bearings can also vary.

FIG. 2 shows the palm side of a glove 100 having a roller assembly 105 formed of one large ball bearing 205. The large ball bearing can be centered, or may be positioned anywhere on the glove. Alternately, the glove 100 can have a plurality of such roller assemblies on different locations of the glove, such as one on the palm, one on each of the finger tips, etc. As illustrated in FIG. 2, the large ball bearing is provided substantially in the center of the glove and embedded in a housing 210. The housing 210 can be covered substantially by glove material, or can be attached to the glove by an attachment mechanism such as glue, sewing, rivets or the like.

FIG. 3 shows a glove 100 with a roller assembly 105 having three large ball bearings, arranged where one large ball bearing is oriented toward the finger side of the palm, and two other large ball bearings are placed closer to the wrist side of the palm. Two or more large ball bearings allow the rolling mechanism to abut an edge as well as a flat surface, to enable the glove to slide over the edge or surface. This embodiment also includes a housing that houses the ball bearings.

As mentioned, the roller assembly can vary in structure, size, shape, and the quantity of ball bearings. For example, the one or more large ball bearings can abut one or more smaller ball bearings, as illustrated in FIG. 4. The roller assembly 105 of FIG. 4 includes a housing 210 that includes an internal cavity in which one or more ball bearings 405 are rollably positioned. The roller assembly 105 can include ball bearings of various sizes including large and relatively small ball bearings. In exemplary implementations, each large ball bearing 405a is surrounded and abutted by 12 to 20 small ball bearings 405b, and preferably 16 small ball bearings. This allows the large ball bearings to rotate more freely and smoothly. In the arrangement shown in FIG. 4, the large and small ball bearings are encased in a housing. The glove material 410 overlays most of the housing and is attached to the top of the housing 210 near an opening in the housing 210 through which the large ball bearing 405a protrudes. A cushioning member, such as padding of foam or gel pack 410, can be provided on the bottom of the housing 210 to insulate the wearer's hand from impacts from the housing.

FIG. 5 shows a similar arrangement of a large ball bearing 405a surrounded by smaller ball bearings 405b in a housing 210, but here the housing is attached onto the glove material 410. Thus the housing and bearing assembly protrudes from the glove more readily. The housing can be glued, sewn, riveted or stitched onto the glove material.

As mentioned, the roller assembly 105 can include any structure or mechanism that facilitates or permits rolling on a surface. Thus, the roller assembly can include ball bearings, as described above, or other types of structures. For example, the roller assembly 105 can also include one or more rollers 605, as shown in FIG. 6. The rollers 605 have an elongated shape that is adapted to roll. For example, the rollers 605 can have cylindrical shapes rather than the spherical or substantially spherical shapes of the ball bearings. The roller 605 can be attached to the glove via an axle or by protrusion, and can include one or more bearings as well. The rollers 605 can be positioned and aligned such that the one or more rollers provide one direction or a narrow range of directions of rolling ability, while all other directions of movement of the glove relative to a surface encounter resistance or friction.

The one or more rollers 605 can be angled toward an object that the glove 100, and in particular the wearer's palm, might curve around, as shown in FIG. 7. The object can be a rail or coping of a skatepark, for instance. Alternatively, the rolling mechanism can include at least two rolling mechanisms such as bearings or rollers that can be dynamically and flexibly angled toward each other, for example if the user cups his or her hand around an object or edge surface.

FIG. 8 shows an implementation of a sport glove having two large ball bearings 405 placed next to each other. The implementation shown illustrates the large ball bearings 405 aligned along an angle parallel to the wearer's arm and hand, although the bearing assembly and housing may be rotatable such that the bearings could be aligned horizontally or perpendicularly to the wearer's arm. Thus, an edge surface can fit between the two large ball bearings. Shown in FIG. 8 is also a cross-sectional view of a bearing assembly including the two large ball bearings surrounded and abutted by smaller ball bearings. The smaller ball bearings are provided in a housing, and arranged at an angle with respect to the smaller ball bearings abutting the other large ball bearing. This arrangement at least allows the large ball bearings to be placed closer together.

The smoothness and ease with which the rolling mechanism operates can be adjustable to provide at least a minimal amount of control or braking. As such, biasing mechanisms such as springs or levers can be used to inhibit too free a movement of the rolling mechanism.

The bearings can be formed of hardened steel, nylon, rust-proof anodized steel, aluminum, or any other material that is hard enough not to break under at least 30-40 lbs/in2. The roller can include an outer layer that is soft or pliable, such as polyurethane, rubber, or the like. The housing for the one or more bearings and/or rollers can include a face plate that is interchangeable with other face plates, for customized design by a wearer of a sport glove. Alternatively, the entire housing can be interchangeable to allow swapping in and out of various arrangements of rolling mechanisms.

FIG. 9 shows a finger protector 905 that interfaces with the glove 100. FIG. 10 shows the finger protector 905 in an exploded state. The finger protector 905 is adapted to fit partially or entirely over the finger portion of a glove to add protection to the wearer's finger. The finger protector 905 includes a cap 910 that is sized and shaped to conform to a wearer's finger. The cap 910 can vary in size to suit various finger sizes. In the illustrated embodiment, the cap 910 has a rounded tip that connects to a cylindrical section to collectively form a finger-like shape.

With reference to FIGS. 9 and 10, the finger protector 905 includes one or more couplers 915 over which the cap 910 removably mounts. The couplers 915 are annular or partially annular members that fit around the finger portion of the glove 100. The couplers can be sewn around or into the finger portions of the gloves. The cap 910 can removably couple to the couplers 915 such as in a snap-fit or press fit fashion.

In use, the wearer mounts the finger protector 905 over the finger portion of one or more fingers in the glove. The cap 905 is desirably made of a resilient or otherwise protective material that is adapted to protect the fingers against damage or injury that might occur during use of the glove. The cap 905 serves to protect the wearer's finger during use. As may be appreciated, the cap portion of the finger protector can wear out or possibly be damaged after extended use of the glove. Advantageously, the cap 905 can be removed from the coupler 915 when replacement is desired or necessary. The wearer can then attach a new cap 905 to the coupler 915 that is attached to the glove. In this manner, the finger protector 905 is re-usable.

Although a few embodiments have been described in detail above, other modifications are possible. Other embodiments may be within the scope of the following claims.