Title:
Ergonomic Stylus Jacket
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A jacket for a stylus of an electronic gaming device includes a grip portion having a generally cylindrical outer surface and three facets located on the outer surface so as to be equally spaced around the grip outer surface. The jacket includes an inner cylindrical cavity sized for receiving the stylus such that a tapered end of the stylus extends outwardly from an opening of the jacket.



Inventors:
Swan, Phillip (Redmond, WA, US)
Application Number:
12/193649
Publication Date:
08/20/2009
Filing Date:
08/18/2008
Assignee:
UK Gal, LLC (Kirkland, WA, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D65/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MORGAN, EMILY M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP - West Coast (Atlanta, GA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A jacket for an stylus of an electronic gaming device, the jacket comprising: a main body having an outer surface with a generally rounded contour and three facets that are equally spaced around a grip portion of the outer surface; an inner cavity of the main body having a longitudinal axis and a generally uniform diameter along its length such that the inner cavity is configured to slidably receive a stylus having a substantially cylindrical body portion and a tapered front end; wherein main body has an elastic construction such that the jacket encloses the body portion of the stylus.

2. The jacket as in claim 1, wherein the main body further includes a tail portion.

3. The jacket as in claim 1, wherein the stylus has a tail end and the jacket tail portion is configured to enclose the tail end.

4. The jacket as in claim 2, wherein the tail portion is configured to resemble an aircraft tail.

5. The jacket as in claim 2, wherein the tail portion is configured to have a spherical shape.

6. The jacket as in claim 1, wherein the stylus comprises a fin at the back end such that the inner cavity is adapted to receive the stylus fin.

7. The jacket as in claim 1, wherein the outer surface of the grip portion on which the facets are located comprises an elongated polygon.

8. The jacket as in claim 1, wherein the outer surface of the grip portion substantially defines a constant radius cylinder.

9. The jacket as in claim 1, wherein the outer surface of the grip portion is tapered, having a larger circumference at the tail portion and a smaller circumference at the stylus tapered end.

10. The jacket as in claim 1, wherein the jacket is constructed of a flexible material.

11. The jacket as in claim 5, wherein the flexible material comprises silicon.

12. The jacket as in claim 1, wherein the grip portion and the tail portion are constructed of different materials.

13. The jacket as in claim 1, wherein the tail portion has an outer surface that has a different shape from that of the grip portion.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation-in-part application of co-pending U.S. Design patent application Ser. No. 29/303,883 entitled “Stylus Rocket” by Phillip D. Swan filed Feb. 19, 2008. The disclosure of the prior application is incorporated herein by reference as if set forth in full.

BACKGROUND

Many electronic devices are provided with a stylus for operation. For example, an electronic gaming device may include a stylus that a user employs on a touch-screen of the device to make menu selections and initiate actions within the game or other application executing on the device. Other devices that may include a stylus are, for example, smart phones, PDAs, and portable data terminals.

Handheld electronic gaming devices are popular, predominantly with young people. These devices employ a screen that is touch-sensitive and is designed to accept input from a user via touch or pointing on the screen. A stylus is a convenient means for interacting with in-game elements to control characters or objects and permit user navigation through the touch-screen displays of the user interface. The stylus usually features a simple and nondescript rigid design that has a smooth cylindrical body and a tapered end that acts as a pointer for interacting with the touch-screen of the device.

Young users have relatively small hands and often find it difficult to securely grip the stylus. In addition, the small size of the cylindrical body makes gripping the stylus more difficult and increases the risk of painful cramping for users. Moreover, many users like to customize their gaming devices with accessories for more convenient use and for greater aesthetic appeal and enjoyment.

The stylus of smart phones, portable data terminals, and similar electronic devices are usually used extensively throughout the day. Such devices are often an integral part of carrying out an employee's job and it may be difficult to avoid using the stylus for extended periods of time. The ease and comfort of gripping the stylus are very important for such users.

Thus, there is a need for increased ease and enjoyment of using a stylus with an electronic touch-screen device. It would be advantageous to reduce the strain and painful cramping of using the stylus for extended periods of time. The present invention satisfies this need.

SUMMARY

A jacket for a stylus of an electronic device includes a main body having an outer surface with a generally rounded contour and three facets that are equally spaced around a grip portion of the outer surface, and an inner cavity of the main body having a longitudinal axis and a generally uniform diameter along its length such that the inner cavity is configured to slidably receive a stylus having a substantially cylindrical body portion and a tapered front end, wherein the outer surface is configured such that the jacket encloses the body portion of the stylus. In this way, the jacketed stylus is easier to grip and is more enjoyable to use, and the stylus may be used for extended periods of time with reduced strain and pain.

Other advantages of the present invention will be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art upon review of the detailed description of the present invention and the included drawing figures.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an ergonomic stylus jacket with an enclosed stylus.

FIG. 2 is a sectional illustration of the jacket and stylus shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the ergonomic stylus jacket of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a bottom plan view of the ergonomic stylus jacket of FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is a right side elevation view of the ergonomic stylus jacket of FIG. 1.

FIG. 6 is a left side elevation view of the ergonomic stylus jacket of FIG. 1.

FIG. 7 is a front elevation view of the ergonomic stylus jacket of FIG. 1.

FIG. 8 is a rear elevation view of the ergonomic stylus jacket of FIG. 1.

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of an alternative embodiment of an ergonomic stylus jacket.

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of an alternative embodiment of an ergonomic stylus jacket.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Embodiments of the disclosure are directed to ergonomic jackets for use with a stylus of an electronic device. The disclosed ergonomic stylus jacket increases the ease and enjoyment of using an electronic device and can be provided with a customized look having a greater aesthetic appeal. The ergonomic stylus jacket comprises a main body that includes a grip portion with three facets that are equally spaced around the grip outer surface and a tail portion that is contiguous with the grip portion. The three facets have similar shapes and together help a user to grip the stylus with greater ease and enjoyment. This stylus jacket is exemplary, however, and not limiting, as other embodiments in accordance with the disclosure are possible.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an ergonomic stylus jacket 100 constructed in accordance with the invention. The jacket 100 has a flexible construction such that the jacket can be stretched to receive a stylus 102. The stylus itself does not form a part of any of the embodiments described herein. The ergonomic stylus jacket 100 comprises an elongated main body 104 having an outer surface 106. The ergonomic stylus jacket 100 further includes an inner cavity 108 having a longitudinal axis. The inner cavity 108 is indicated by dashed lines in FIG. 1 and has a generally uniform diameter along its length for slidably receiving a stylus of an electronic device.

FIG. 2 is a sectional illustration of the jacket 100 and stylus 102 shown in FIG. 1. FIG. 2 shows that the stylus has an elongated generally cylindrical body portion 202. The elongated body portion 202 may include a tapered front end 204 and a tail end 206. The stylus 102 further includes a tip 208, which is extended outwardly from the tapered front end 204 and is used for designating an input choice on a touch screen or other input mechanism of a device. The inner cavity 108 of the jacket main body 104 is configured to enclose the body portion 202 of the stylus 102. By enclosing the body of the stylus, the jacket 100 holds the stylus securely while it provides a more comfortable grip and improves the ease of use and overall balance of the jacket and stylus combination. The inner cavity 108 has a longitudinal axis and a generally uniform diameter along its length such that the inner cavity can slidably receive the stylus 102 having a substantially cylindrical body portion and a tapered front end.

As illustrated in FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, the jacket outer surface 106 includes a grip portion 110 and a tail portion 112. The tail portion 112 is configured to enclose the tail end 206 of the stylus 102. The grip portion 110 of the jacket outer surface 106 has a generally rounded outer surface with three gripping facets 114 that are equally spaced around the circumference of the outer surface. The facets 114 facilitate gripping and handling of the stylus 102 by providing surfaces on which a user may rest their fingers in a natural and convenient gripping action.

The circumference and diameter of the grip portion 110 may be selected to accommodate particular user groups or hand sizes. For example, the maximum jacket diameter (that is, the diameter of the circle defined by the outer surface 106 of the jacket between the facets 114) in the drawings is approximately 0.75 inch (approximately 2.0 cm). This size has been found to be effective in providing comfortable use and ease of grippping for the age group of users for whom the stylus jacket 100 is intended. That is, the illustrated size is configured to provide an arrangement of finger rests 114 and gripping diameter of ergonomic comfort so as to make gripping easier and reduce user hand fatigue through use of the jacket/stylus combination. Other diameter sizes may be configured, depending on the hand size of the intended user group.

The grip portion 110 further includes a circular opening 116 at the front end where the tapered end of the stylus 102 extends outwardly from the opening 116. The outer radius of the grip portion 110 decreases slightly moving away from the facets 114 and then increases again approximately at the tail portion 112. Other exterior configurations can also be provided, as described further below.

As shown in FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, the tail portion 112 is contiguous with the grip portion 110 such that the outer surface of the tail portion is angled upwardly by producing a transitional surface 120 and provides a raised rectangular surface 122. The raised surface 122 provides an enlarged space 205 of the inner cavity 108 configured to receive the tail end 206 of the stylus 102. For aesthetic reasons, the tail portion 112 of the jacket can be configured to resemble an aircraft tail with two horizontal fins 124 and 126, and one vertical fin 130 disposed over the raised rectangular surface 122.

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the ergonomic stylus jacket 100 illustrating how the gripping facets 114 are located around the grip portion 110. FIG. 3 shows that two of the gripping facets 114 are visible from the top view of the jacket. As best illustrated in FIG. 1, the transitional surface 120 is a construction wherein the outer surface of the jacket tail portion 112 is angled upwardly to meet the raised rectangular surface 122 of the tail portion, which provides the enlarged space of the internal cavity 108 to receive the stylus and accommodate the stylus tail 206.

The ergonomic stylus jacket 100 may be constructed of a flexible and elastic material so that the jacket may slidably receive the stylus 102 and enclose it. For more economical production, the jacket preferably has a homogeneous construction. For example, the jacket 100 may be constructed of a stretchable and elastic material such as silicon. Silicon has the desirable property that it can be momentarily stretched to slidably receive the stylus and then will shrink back toward its original shape so as to wrap around the stylus and enclose it with a snug fit. In this way, the stylus is securely held without slippage during use.

In some embodiments, the grip portion 110 and the tail portion 112 of the jacket 100 may be provided with different construction, so that they may be made of different materials or have different appearances, so long as there is sufficient flexibility and elasticity for the jacket as a whole to be momentarily stretched to receive the stylus and then to shrink back so as to enclose the stylus and securely hold it without slippage. For example, the grip portion 110 may have a more rigid construction for more stable gripping facets 114 and the tail portion 112 may have a sufficiently stretchable construction so as to be pulled out from the grip portion so the inner cavity 108 may more easily receive the stylus, and then the tail portion can shrink back and be fitted over the tail of the stylus to completely enclose it within the jacket.

FIG. 3 shows that the tail portion 112 of the jacket 100 further includes an extended tab 302. The extended tab 302 provides a convenient structure with which to grasp the end of the jacket and stretch it so as to help pull the jacket over the stylus. The extended tab may be provided with a circular opening 304, which provides a convenient attachment point for a lanyard or the like, for more convenient handling of the jacket and stylus combination and to reduce the risk of loss or misplacement.

FIG. 4 shows a bottom plan view of the ergonomic stylus jacket. As shown in FIG. 4, the bottom side of the outer surface of the tail portion 112 has an aperture 402 that can be used to more easily insert the stylus into the ergonomic stylus jacket 100. The aperture makes insertion easier by letting air escape from the inner cavity 108 during insertion. The aperture 402 can be used as an opening through which the front end 204 of the stylus can be inserted, wherein the stylus is inserted into the cavity 108 such that the stylus tip 208 extends outwardly from the jacket opening 116, whereupon the jacket tail portion 112 can be pulled over the stylus tail 206 and then released to enclose the stylus.

FIGS. 5 and 6 show a right side elevation view 500 and a left side elevation view 600, respectively, of the ergonomic stylus jacket 100. The side view of the aperture 402 and gripping facets 114 may be seen from both the right and left side elevation views 500 and 600, respectively.

FIG. 7 is a front elevation view 700 of the ergonomic stylus jacket 100. FIG. 7 shows the front view of different parts of the stylus jacket 100 including the circular opening 116, the outer surface of the grip portion 110, the horizontal fins 124 and 126, the vertical fin 130, and the angled transitional surface 120 of the tail portion 112. FIG. 7 further illustrates the front view of the stylus tip 208.

FIG. 8 is a rear elevation view 800 of the ergonomic stylus jacket. The outer surface of the grip portion 110, the rounded tab 302, the raised rectangular surface 122, the horizontal fins 124 and 126, and the vertical fin 130 of the stylus jacket 100 are all illustrated from a rear elevation view in FIG. 8.

Configurations of stylus jackets other than as described thus far in FIGS. 1-8 are possible without departing from the teachings of the invention. With reference to FIG. 9, for example, an alternative embodiment of an ergonomic stylus jacket 900 is shown. The FIG. 9 jacket is shown without an enclosed stylus. Hence, the open end of the jacket internal cavity 908 is visible in the drawing. The jacket 900 has an outer surface 906 having a generally rounded outer contour. The jacket has a grip portion 910 and a tail portion 912. The FIG. 9 tail portion 912 is configured to have a spherical shape in the form of a ball 913. As with the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 1-8, the FIG. 9 jacket 900 has a grip portion 910 with three gripping facets 914 that are equally spaced around the circumference of the outer surface 906. The facets 914 facilitate gripping and handling of the enclosed stylus (not illustrated in FIG. 9). The ball 913 can be used to adjust balance of the stylus and jacket combination for more convenient use. The jacket 900 has a stretchable and elastic construction so that the jacket may be stretched to enclose a stylus and securely hold it.

As mentioned above, the tail portions may have alternative configurations as compared with the illustrated tail portions 112, 912 without departing from the teachings of the invention. For example, sculpted designs or alternative shapes may be provided as tail portions to provide aesthetic features, such as to embody characters, animals, decorative features, plants, flowers, imaginary or fantasy beings, and the like. Thus, the rocket 112 or ball 912 tail portions may be replaced with an embodiment of a fantasy character, a flower, a car, a boat, or any other desired artifact. The tail portion may include utilitarian features as well, such as loops or latches for providing lanyards that assist in carrying the jacketed stylus. As noted below, the tail portion may even be left off entirely.

FIG. 10 illustrates an embodiment of an ergonomic stylus jacket that comprises a jacket 1000 having an outer surface 1006 that includes only a grip portion 1010. That is, there is no differentially shaped tail portion in the FIG. 10 embodiment. As with the prior illustrated embodiments, the stylus jacket 1000 has a flexible and elastic construction so that the stylus jacket may be stretched to enclose a stylus (not illustrated in FIG. 10). The jacket may be produced of a stretchable and elastic material, such as silicon. The FIG. 10 jacket is shown without an enclosed stylus. Hence, the open end of the jacket internal cavity 1008 is visible in the drawing.

Any of the embodiments described herein may include an embossed design or printed design to appear on any surface of the jacket. For example, the jacket 1000 of FIG. 10 is shown with an arrowhead 1003 design for the grip portion 1010. The arrowhead provides a design addition to the appearance of the jacket. Different designs may be provided with any one of the embodiments according to user aesthetics, as desired. For example, flowers, drawings, letter and numerals, and depicted objects or characters may be added to any part of the body portion 110, 910, 1010 or tail portion 112, 912. The added design, such as the arrowhead 1003, is preferably embossed into the material from which the jacket is constructed. An embossed design is less likely to peel off or become disfigured, as compared with a design that is simply printed on the flexible jacket material.

The present invention has been described above in terms of a presently preferred embodiment so that understanding of the present invention can be conveyed. There are, however, many configurations for stylus jacket not specifically described herein but with which the present invention is applicable. The present invention should therefore not be seen as limited to the particular embodiments described herein, but rather, it should be understood that the present invention has wide applicability with respect to stylus jacket generally. All modifications, variations, or equivalent arrangements and implementations that are within the scope of the attached claims should therefore be considered within the scope of the invention.