Title:
Systems and Methods for 2-D and 3-D Soft Products Having Heartbeat Sound Emission
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A 2-D or 3-D soft product including sound and/or vibration emitter(s) having activation sensors distributed at a multiplicity of points throughout the product, wherein the emitter(s) provide outputs of a mother's heartbeat that are detectable by a child contacting and/or using the product.



Inventors:
Viniotis, Despina (Cary, NC, US)
Application Number:
12/578716
Publication Date:
04/15/2010
Filing Date:
10/14/2009
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
5/482
International Classes:
A63H3/28; A47G9/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20100056017STUFFED TOY UTILIZING REPLACEABLE HEATING PACKSMarch, 2010Kyse
20060021905Portable toy train carrying case and track layoutFebruary, 2006Johnson
20050136793Collapsible play boxJune, 2005Strunk
20090029330Toddler DeviceJanuary, 2009Moran
20090045217Musical soap dispenserFebruary, 2009Bobrowski
20030033970Whistle with cushioned mouthpieceFebruary, 2003Hills et al.
20090163111INTERACTIVE TOY WITH POSITIONAL SENSORJune, 2009Garbos et al.
20090005186HORSE-RIDING SIMULATION DEVICEJanuary, 2009Tseng
20050142980Container for a toy comprising different partsJune, 2005Rivero
20060079150Toy for collecting and dispersing toy vehiclesApril, 2006Filoseta et al.
20080173686BACKPACK OR OTHER WEARABLE OBJECT WITH DEPLOYABLE APPENDAGESJuly, 2008Kennedy



Primary Examiner:
CEGIELNIK, URSZULA M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NEO IP (DURHAM, NC, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A 2-D soft product for calming a child or animal comprising: a substantially 2-D form having a soft outer surface and an interior cavity, further comprising sound and/or vibration emitter(s) having activation sensors distributed and positioned at a multiplicity of points throughout the 3-D form in proximity to the outer surface, wherein the emitter(s) provide outputs of a mother's heartbeat that are detectable by a user contacting the product.

2. The 2-D soft product of claim 1, wherein the emitter(s) are activated when the sensors detect a contact from the user.

3. The 2-D soft product of claim 2, wherein the contact is an applied pressure.

4. The 2-D soft product of claim 2, wherein the contact is an impact.

5. The 2-D soft product of claim 1, wherein the substantially 2-D form is a blanket.

6. The 2-D soft product of claim 1, wherein the sound level is audible within a range of between about 5 and about 20 dB.

7. A 3-D soft product for calming a child or animal comprising: a 3-D form having a soft outer surface and an interior cavity, further comprising sound and/or vibration emitter(s) having activation sensors distributed and positioned at a multiplicity of points throughout the 3-D form in proximity to the outer surface, wherein the emitter(s) provide outputs of a mother's heartbeat that are detectable by a user contacting the product.

8. The 3-D soft product of claim 7, wherein the emitter(s) are activated when the sensors detect a contact from the user.

9. The 3-D soft product of claim 8, wherein the contact is an applied pressure.

10. The 3-D soft product of claim 8, wherein the contact is an impact.

11. The 3-D soft product of claim 7, wherein the form is a shaped support device.

12. The 3-D soft product of claim 11, wherein the shaped support device is selected from a C-shaped form, a ring-shaped form, a triangular form, a rectangular form, a polygonal form, a spherical form, a random-shaped form, and combinations thereof.

13. The 3-D soft product of claim 7, wherein the 3-D form is a stuffed animal or a soft toy.

14. The 3-D soft product of claim 7, wherein the sound level is audible within a range of between about 5 and about 20 dB.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present invention is related to the following co-pending applications: it claims priority from U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 61/196,076 filed Oct. 14, 2008, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to systems and methods for calming a child with a product incorporating the sound of a mother's heartbeat. Further, the present invention relates to 2-D and 3-D soft products including at least one emitter for providing the sound of a mother's heartbeat to providing a calming effect on a child using the product.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Generally it is known in the relevant art to provide various devices for use to calm a child using a recording playback of a mother's heartbeat or simulation thereof.

By way of example of prior art relevant to the present invention include:

U.S. Pat. No. 6,004,259 for Baby calmer kit using mother's heartbeat sound, which provides a practical method for the mother to record her own heartbeat, which is played back by a device automatically activated by the crying of the baby.

However, while there are prior art embodiments that either provide for 2-D or 3-D soft products that incorporate at least the simulation of the sound of a mother's heartbeat, none provides a system that is flexibly adapted to work in both 2-D and 3-D embodiments, including activation of the sound by infant or child using the product. Thus there remains a need for 2-D and 3-D soft products including the sound of a mother's heartbeat having a multiplicity of heartbeat sound emitters that provide a calming effect on a child using one of the products.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A first aspect of the present invention is to provide a 2-D soft product including sound and/or vibration emitter(s) having activation sensors distributed at a multiplicity of points throughout the product, wherein the emitter(s) provide outputs of a mother's heartbeat that are detectable by a child using the product.

A second aspect of the present invention is to provide 3-D soft product including sound and/or vibration emitter(s) having activation sensors distributed at a multiplicity of points throughout the product, wherein the emitter(s) provide outputs of a mother's heartbeat that are detectable by a child using the product.

These and other aspects of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art after a reading of the following description of the preferred embodiment when considered with the drawings, as they support the claimed invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of a 2-D soft product embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 illustrates a perspective view of a 3-D soft product embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring now to the drawings in general, the illustrations are for the purpose of describing a preferred embodiment of the invention and are not intended to limit the invention thereto.

The present invention provides for 2-D or 3-D soft products including sound and/or vibration emitter(s) having activation sensors distributed at a multiplicity of points throughout the product, wherein the emitter(s) provide outputs of a mother's heartbeat that are detectable by a child using the product, thereby providing a calming effect and feeling of security on the child during use. For a 2-D product, preferably it is embodied as a substantially 2-D form having a soft outer surface and an interior cavity, further including at least one sound and/or vibration emitter having activation sensors distributed and positioned at a multiplicity of points throughout the 3-D form in proximity to the outer surface, wherein the sound and/or vibration emitter(s) provide outputs of a mother's heartbeat that are detectable by a user contacting the product, wherein the user is a child or an animal.

Preferably, the mother's heartbeat is recorded using high sensitivity equipment that are generally used by physicians or licensed health care practitioners in order to provide a high quality recording for use in the products. Also, preferably, the recorded heartbeat rate may be modified or manipulated after the recording in order to provide a rate between about 60 and about 80 beats per minute, most preferably about 70 beats per minute, which is the most common rate level and that which would correspondingly be the most soothing to a child. Alternatively, the recording could be made by the mother herself, using a kit at home; however, the quality of the recording and heartbeat frequency may not be optimized using this approach. Thus, it is preferred that for optimum quality of sound recording that the recording be done professionally.

The present invention provides for input sensor language wherein the input sensors capture sound and/or vibrations associated with the mother's heartbeat, which is operable to integrate the vibration with the human- and/or animal-detectable sound. Preferably, the vibrations are input directly by sensors and captured, recorded or stored digitally, and then output so that it is recorded and/or stored in a format that is detected as being “live” from the mother's heartbeat; however, just as with the sound, it may be modified, enhanced, supplemented, and/or amplified to provide a vibration of about 70 beats per minute equivalent (or Hz or other frequency metric). Also, preferably, the vibrations match, are similar to, and/or are derived from the mother's heartbeat signal in order to most closely approximate the experience of actual biological mother's heartbeat for the child. However, in other embodiments, a vibration that simulates heartbeat or other soothing vibration may be used in substitution or in addition to the actual biological mother's heartbeat.

Preferably, activation of the sound and/or vibration of the present invention is provided when the child is using the 2-D or 3-D soft product having a body form and a body cavity with the sensors disposed therein for detection of predetermined items, such as by an applied pressure, an impact, and/or a body temperature detected by the sensors in the product. Activation by pressure from touching or holding is preferred, especially if activation is enabled in more than one location on the 2-D or 3-D soft product. By way of example and not limitation, as illustrated in FIG. 1, an embodiment of a 2-D soft product is shown. It is a blanket 10 having a multiplicity of activation areas 12 distributed at predetermined locations or regions 14 throughout the blanket body. While prior art provides for pressure activation when a child's or animal's body weight is detected within only one region of a blanket or cushion, this limits the likelihood of activation if the child or animal moves or deviates from that location. By contrast, the present invention provides for activation by a child having any contact with the 2-D product (and similarly for a 3-D product). So merely holding or lightly caressing the blanket would provide adequate pressure for activation of the output signal of the mother's heartbeat sound and/or vibration. Similarly, in the case of a 3-D product like a stuffed animal or other soft toy, generally referenced 20, as illustrated in FIG. 2, sensors 22 positioned at a multiplicity of points distributed over the body surface or just underneath it 24 of the animal or toy provide for activation when the child holds the toy in almost any manner, such as by holding with fingers, holding next to his/her body, hugging it, squeezing it, etc.

Sound level, audible within a range of between about 5 and about 20 dB. In an alternative embodiment, the sound level is not audible to adults or persons who are not in direct contact with the device, i.e., if another person were standing next to a child holding a 3-D soft product, such as a stuffed animal or other soft toy, or a child holding a 2-D soft product, such as blanket, or wearing a 2-D soft product, such as a jacket, then the other person would not be able to detect any sound with the naked ear. Preferably, this “sound” would be detectable but not audible to anyone other than the child using the 2-D or 3-D soft product.

Certain modifications and improvements will occur to those skilled in the art upon a reading of the foregoing description. By way of example and not limitation, while it is generally preferred to use the actual mother's heartbeat, the father's heartbeat, or a simulation of the sound and vibration may be used. Also, either sound or vibration may be used, separately or in combination. Voice recordings may also be used in addition to or instead of the heartbeat sound. Other sounds and/or vibrations may be included to supplement the main sound and/or vibration of the mother's heartbeat. Also, heat may be added to simulate body temperature of human beings and/or animals. Additionally, 2-D embodiments are not limited to the examples hereinabove and may include any 2-D soft product suitable for a child or infant, such as an article of clothing, jacket, or other garment. Similarly, 3-D embodiments are not limited to the examples either, and may include any 3-D soft product suitable for a child or infant, such as a pillow, a shaped support device (C-shaped, ring-shaped, triangular, etc.). The above-mentioned examples are provided to serve the purpose of clarifying the aspects of the invention and it will be apparent to one skilled in the art that they do not serve to limit the scope of the invention. All modifications and improvements have been deleted herein for the sake of conciseness and readability but are properly within the scope of the present invention.