Title:
SOUND MUFFLING HEADWEAR
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Sound muffling headwear includes a flexible circumferential band, flexible housings coupled to opposing sides of the flexible circumferential bands, and flexible earmuffs received at least partially within the flexible housings. Sound muffling headwear can also include flexible earmuffs received at least partially within the flexible housings. The flexible earmuffs can include a base layer and at least one additional layer secured to the base layer with a silicone material, the additional layer having a recess defined therein.



Inventors:
Fairclough, Jacob Frederick (Salt Lake City, UT, US)
Haley, Michele Renee (Salt Lake City, UT, US)
Application Number:
12/351352
Publication Date:
07/16/2009
Filing Date:
01/09/2009
Assignee:
SMUFFS, LLC (Salt Lake City, UT, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A42B1/06
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HOEY, ALISSA L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PATE BAIRD, PLLC (Murray, UT, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. Sound muffling headwear, comprising: a flexible circumferential band; flexible housings coupled to opposing sides of the flexible circumferential bands; and flexible earmuffs received at least partially within the flexible housings.

2. The sound muffling headwear of claim 1, further comprising a top portion coupled to the flexible circumferential band.

3. The sound muffling headwear of claim 2, wherein the sound muffling headwear is configured as a beanie.

4. The sound muffling headwear of claim 2, wherein the sound muffling headwear is configured as a cap.

5. The sound muffling headwear of claim 2, further comprising at least one lower strap portion coupled to at least one of the flexible housings.

6. The sound muffling headwear of claim 1, wherein the flexible earmuffs include a plurality of layers secured together with silicone.

7. Sound muffling headwear, comprising: a flexible circumferential band; flexible housings coupled to opposing sides of the flexible circumferential bands; and flexible earmuffs received at least partially within the flexible housings, the flexible earmuffs include a base layer, and at least one additional layer secured to the base layer with a silicone material, the additional layer having a recess defined therein.

8. The sound muffling headwear of claim 7, wherein the base layer is formed from neoprene.

9. The sound muffling headwear of claim 8, further comprising a second additional layer configured to cooperate with the additional layer to form the recess, the additional layer including neoprene and the second additional layer including memory foam.

10. The sound muffling headwear of claim 9, further comprising a soft foam material positioned at least partially within the recess.

11. The sound muffling headwear of claim 10, wherein at least one of the flexible circumferential band and the flexible housing are formed from a fabric material.

12. The sound muffling headwear of claim 11, wherein the fabric material is a fleece material.

13. A method of making sound muffling headwear, comprising: providing a housing and a flexible circumferential headband; forming flexible earmuffs by securing at least one layer having a recess defined therein to a base material using a silicone material; and coupling the flexible earmuffs to housings.

14. The method of claim 13, wherein coupling the flexible earmuffs to the housings includes sewing the flexible earmuffs to the housings.

15. The method of claim 13, wherein providing the housing and the flexible circumferential headband includes providing an integral housing and flexible circumferential headband.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/020,641 filed Jan. 11, 2008 and entitled “Smuffs or S/Muffs (short for ‘Sound Muffs’)”, the disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. The Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to sound muffling headwear and to sound muffling headwear that includes a flexible, circumferential band.

2. The Relevant Technology

It is often desirable for parents or caretakers to allow a child to remain asleep. However, any number of disturbances can create sufficient noise to awaken the child. For example, television programs, stereos, or other domestic occurrences can all make noise to wake a child. Accordingly, parents often must choose between waking their child and pursuing normal pursuits. Other sources of noise can be entirely outside of the parents' or caretakers' control, such as barking dogs, ringing telephones, and the like.

Further, parents or caretakers may be prevented from attending certain activities because of the noise level, regardless of whether the child is asleep. For example, parents or caretakers are often unable to take children to events such as sporting events, fireworks shows, musical events, or other types of events where noise can be a factor.

The subject matter claimed herein is not limited to embodiments that solve any disadvantages or that operate only in environments such as those described above. Rather, this background is only provided to illustrate one exemplary technology area where some embodiments described herein may be practiced.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Sound muffling headwear includes a flexible circumferential band, flexible housings coupled to opposing sides of the flexible circumferential bands, and flexible earmuffs received at least partially within the flexible housings. Sound muffling headwear can also include flexible earmuffs received at least partially within the flexible housings. The flexible earmuffs can include a base layer and at least one additional layer secured to the base layer with a silicone material, the additional layer having a recess defined therein.

Additional features and advantages of the invention will be set forth in the description that follows, and in part will be obvious from the description, or may be learned by the practice of the invention. The features and advantages of the invention may be realized and obtained by means of the instruments and combinations particularly pointed out in the appended claims. These and other features of the present invention will become more fully apparent from the following description and appended claims, or may be learned by the practice of the invention as set forth hereinafter.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

To further clarify the above and other advantages and features of the present invention, a more particular description of the invention will be rendered by reference to specific embodiments thereof that are illustrated in the appended drawings. It is appreciated that these drawings depict only typical embodiments of the invention and are therefore not to be considered limiting of its scope. The invention will be described and explained with additional specificity and detail through the use of the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of sound muffling headwear according to one example;

FIG. 2 illustrates a partial cross-sectional view of an earmuff portion of sound muffling headwear taken along section 2-2 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 illustrates a perspective view of sound muffling headwear according to one example; and

FIG. 4 illustrates a perspective view of sound muffling headwear according to one example.

Together with the following description, the Figures demonstrate and explain the principles of the sound muffling headwear. In the Figures, the thickness and configuration of components may be exaggerated for clarity. The same reference numerals in different Figures represent similar, though not necessarily identical, components.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Sound muffling headwear is provided herein that includes a flexible circumferential band. As used herein, the term circumferential band shall be broadly understood to mean a band that forms a continuous perimeter, although it may be formed of more than one piece. In at least one example, the sound muffling headwear includes flexible housings coupled to or integrated with the circumferential band. The flexible housings are configured to receive earmuffs. When assembled, the circumferential band and the flexible housing cooperate to place the earmuffs in proximity with a wearer's ears to thereby provide muffle or reduce ambient noises detected by the wearer, such as a child.

In at least one example, the circumferential band can be made of a fabric material with a soft hand, such as a fleece material. Such a configuration can allow a wearer, such as a child, to comfortably wear the headwear in a variety of settings. Allowing the user to comfortably wear the headwear can in turn help ensure that the user will not become annoyed by the headwear and remove it. As a result, such a configuration can help ensure that the headwear will remain in place and thus be allowed to muffle sound to thereby protect the wearer. The circumferential nature of the flexible band can also further ensure that the headwear will remain in place.

The following description supplies specific details in order to provide a thorough understanding. Nevertheless, the skilled artisan would understand that the apparatus and associated methods of using the apparatus can be implemented and used without employing these specific details. Indeed, the apparatus and associated methods can be placed into practice by modifying the illustrated apparatus and associated methods and can be used in conjunction with any other apparatus and techniques conventionally used in the industry.

FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of sound muffling headwear 100. As illustrated in FIG. 1, the sound muffling headwear 100 includes a flexible circumferential band 110. The sound muffling headwear 100 further includes housings 120 coupled to or integrated with the flexible circumferential band 110. The housings 120 are configured to receive earmuffs 130. The earmuffs 130 can be secured to the housings 120 in any suitable manner. In at least one example, the earmuffs 130 can be sewn into the housing 120. In other examples, the housings 120 can be configured as flapped pockets such that the earmuffs 130 can be removably coupled to the housings 120. It will be appreciated that the earmuffs 130 can be secured to the housings 120 in any suitable manner.

The flexible circumferential headband 110 can be formed of any suitable material, including cloth or fabric materials. In at least one example, the flexible circumferential band 110 can be formed of a fleece material. The flexible circumferential band 110 can also include elastic properties which allow the flexible circumferential band 110 to stretch to be readily fitted to a wearer. In at least one example, the circumferential band 110 can have an adjustable circumference. One such example can be provided to include headwear configured as an adjustable cap, such as an adjustable baseball-style cap.

Similarly, the housings 120 can be formed of flexible material, such as a cloth or fabric material. The housings 120 can be formed of the same or different materials than the flexible circumferential band 110. In at least one example, the housings 120 can be formed of a cloth material with a soft hand and wicking properties to allow the earmuffs 130 to be comfortably maintained in close proximity to a wearer's ears.

FIG. 2 is a cross sectional view of one of the earmuffs 130 taken along section 2-2 of FIG. 1. As illustrated in FIG. 2, the earmuff 130 can include a base layer 200 and additional layers 210, 220. The base layer 200 can be formed of any flexible material with sound muffling properties. In at least one example, the base layer 200 can be formed of a neoprene material. In other examples, the base layer 200 and/or the other layers 210, 220 can be formed of closed cell rubber, closed cell foam, memory foam, or any other material.

The additional layers 210, 220 can be secured to each other and to the base layer 200 to form a recess. In at least one example, layer 210 can be formed of a sound muffling material, such as neoprene. Layer 220 can also be formed of a softer material having sound muffling properties. Further layer 220 can be formed of a material that conforms to the wearer. In at least one example, layer 220 can be formed of a memory foam material. The layers 210, 220 cooperate to form a recess configured to engage or receive a wearer's ear.

In at least one example, the recess can be at least partially filled with a soft material 230 that can have sound muffling properties as well. For example, the recess can be at least partially filled with a soft foam material that can have antibacterial properties.

The layers 210, 220 can be secured to the base layer 200 in any suitable manner. In at least one example, silicone, such as aquarium-grade silicone gel, can be used to secure layer 210 to the base 200 and/or to secure layer 220 to layer 210. It has been found that the use of silicone provides additional sound muffling properties, thereby enhancing the efficacy of the noise muffling headwear in isolating noise.

In the illustrated example, the earmuffs 130 are part of noise muffling headwear that is configured as a headband. It will be appreciated that other configurations are possible. Several additional configurations will be described in more detail below.

FIG. 3 illustrates noise muffling headwear 100′ according to one example. As illustrated in FIG. 3, the noise muffling headwear 100′ includes an optional top portion 300 secured to or integrated with the flexible circumferential headband 110 and optional lower straps 310 integrated with the housings 120. Accordingly, the noise muffling headwear 100′ can be configured as a beanie or a touque.

In other examples, such as illustrated in FIG. 4, noise muffling headwear 100″ can also include a bill 400 coupled to or integrated with the flexible circumferential headband 110 such that the noise muffling headwear 100″ is configured as a cap. Accordingly, the noise muffling headwear can be configured in any number of ways.

The present invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from its spirit or essential characteristics. The described embodiments are to be considered in all respects only as illustrative and not restrictive. The scope of the invention is, therefore, indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description. All changes that come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are to be embraced within their scope.





 
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