Title:
Apparatus Comprising a Cable
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An apparatus including a casing; a cable configured to be moved between a first position and a second position, wherein the cable includes an attachment portion and in the first position the attachment portion is positioned outside of the casing and in the second position the attachment portion is positioned within the casing; and a pulling member configured to enable a user to pull the cable from the first position towards the second position.



Inventors:
Kari, Juhani Valdemar (Lieto, FI)
Knuuttila, Osmo (Turku, FI)
Toivola, Timo (Turku, FI)
Ranki, Juha (Rusko, FI)
Application Number:
13/726833
Publication Date:
06/26/2014
Filing Date:
12/26/2012
Assignee:
Nokia Corporation (Espoo, FI)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65H75/44
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LOPEZ CRUZ, DIMARY S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Harrington & Smith, Attorneys At Law, LLC (Shelton, CT, US)
Claims:
1. An apparatus comprising: a casing; a cable configured to be moved between a first position and a second position, wherein the cable comprises an attachment portion and in the first position the attachment portion is positioned outside of the casing and in the second position the attachment portion is positioned within the casing; and a pulling member configured to enable a user to pull the cable from the first position towards the second position.

2. An apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein at least a portion of the pulling member is located outside of the casing.

3. An apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein the pulling member comprises at least one of a portion of the cable which extends out of the casing, a strap which is connected to the cable.

4. (canceled)

5. An apparatus as claimed in claim 5 wherein the cable is configured to be moved from the second position towards the first position by a user pulling the cable.

6. An apparatus as claimed in claim 5 wherein the pulling member is configured so that when the cable is moved from the second position towards the first position at least a portion of the pulling member is moved into the casing.

7. An apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein the cable comprises a flexible member.

8. An apparatus as claimed in claim 7 wherein the cable is arranged so that the flexible member comprises a bend portion.

9. An apparatus as claimed in claim 8 wherein a spool is provided in the bend portion.

10. An apparatus as claimed in claim 9 wherein the spool is configured to move linearly within the casing as the cable moves between the first and second position.

11. An apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein the attachment portion is configured to be attached to another apparatus when the cable is in the first position.

12. An apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein the attachment portion is configured to be completely retained within the casing when the cable is in the second position.

13. An apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein the cable comprises at least a portion coated in at least one of polymer, textile.

14. (canceled)

15. An apparatus comprising: a casing; a cable configured to be moved between a first position and a second position, wherein the cable comprises an attachment portion and in the first position the attachment portion is positioned outside of the casing and in the second position the attachment portion is positioned within the casing; and at least one magnet configured to pull the cable towards the second position.

16. An apparatus as claimed in claim 15 wherein at least one magnet is provided on the cable.

17. An apparatus as claimed in claim 15 wherein at least one magnet is provided on an inner surface of the casing.

18. An apparatus as claimed in claim 15 wherein the at least one magnet is configured to pull the cable towards the second position when an end of the cable is close to a closed end of the casing.

19. An apparatus as claimed in claim 15 wherein the at least one magnet is configured to pull the cable towards the first position when an end of the cable is close to an open end of the casing.

20. An apparatus as claimed in claim 15 wherein the cable comprises contact portions which are configured to enable the cable to make electronic contact with at least one electronic component provided within the casing.

21. (canceled)

22. An apparatus as claimed in claim 15 wherein the attachment portion is configured to be attached to another apparatus when the cable is in the first position.

23. An apparatus as claimed in claim 15 wherein the attachment portion is configured to be completely retained within the casing when the cable is in the second position.

24. (canceled)

25. (canceled)

Description:

TECHNOLOGICAL FIELD

Examples of the present disclosure relate to an apparatus comprising a cable. In particular, they relate to an apparatus comprising a cable where the cable is configured to be housed within the casing of the apparatus.

BACKGROUND

Apparatus comprising cables are known. For example a cable may be used to connect an apparatus comprising a power source or memory to an electronic device.

When the cable is not in use it may be useful to enable the cable to be retracted to a position within the casing of the apparatus.

BRIEF SUMMARY

According to some, but not necessarily all examples of the disclosure there may be provided an apparatus comprising: a casing; a cable configured to be moved between a first position and a second position, wherein the cable comprises an attachment portion and in the first position the attachment portion is positioned outside of the casing and in the second position the attachment portion is positioned within the casing; and a pulling member configured to enable a user to pull the cable from the first position towards the second position.

In some examples at least a portion of the pulling member may be located outside of the casing.

In some examples the pulling member may comprise a portion of the cable which extends out of the casing.

In some examples the pulling member may comprise a strap which is connected to the cable.

In some examples the cable may be configured to be moved from the second position towards the first position by a user pulling the cable. The pulling member may be configured so that when the cable is moved from the second position towards the first position at least a portion of the pulling member is moved into the casing.

In some examples the cable may comprise a flexible member. The cable may be arranged so that the flexible member comprises a bend portion. A spool may be provided in the bend portion. The spool may be configured to move linearly within the casing as the cable moves between the first and second position.

In some examples the attachment portion may be configured to be attached to another apparatus when the cable is in the first position.

In some examples the attachment portion may be configured to be completely retained within the casing when the cable is in the second position.

In some examples the cable may comprise at least a portion coated in polymer.

In some examples the may cable comprise at least a portion coated in textile.

According to some, but not necessarily all examples of the disclosure there may be provided an apparatus comprising: a casing; a cable configured to be moved between a first position and a second position, wherein the cable comprises an attachment portion and in the first position the attachment portion is positioned outside of the casing and in the second position the attachment portion is positioned within the casing; and at least one magnet configured to pull the cable towards the second position.

In some examples at least one magnet may be provided on the cable.

In some examples at least one magnet may be provided on an inner surface of the casing.

In some examples the at least one magnet may be configured to pull the cable towards the second position when an end of the cable is close to a closed end of the casing.

In some examples the at least one magnet may be configured to pull the cable towards the first position when an end of the cable is close to an open end of the casing.

In some examples the cable may comprise contact portions which may be configured to enable the cable to make electronic contact with at least one electronic component. The at least one electronic component may be provided within the casing.

In some examples the attachment portion may be configured to be attached to another apparatus when the cable is in the first position.

In some examples the attachment portion may be configured to be completely retained within the casing when the cable is in the second position.

In some examples the cable may comprise at least a portion coated in polymer.

In some examples the cable may comprise at least a portion coated in textile.

The apparatus may be for connecting electronic components to an electronic device. The electronic components may comprise components such as power sources, memories or any other suitable components.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION

For a better understanding of various examples that are useful for understanding the detailed description, reference will now be made by way of example only to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIGS. 1A to 1C illustrate an apparatus;

FIGS. 2A and 2B illustrate an apparatus;

FIG. 3 illustrates an apparatus;

FIG. 4 illustrates an apparatus;

FIG. 5 illustrates an apparatus;

FIG. 6 illustrates an apparatus;

FIGS. 7A to 7C illustrate an apparatus;

FIGS. 8A to 8E illustrate an apparatus;

FIGS. 9A and 9B illustrate an apparatus; and

FIGS. 10A to 10C illustrate an apparatus.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The Figures illustrate an apparatus 10 comprising: a casing 15; a cable 11 configured to be moved between a first position and a second position, wherein the cable 11 comprises an attachment portion 13 and in the first position the attachment portion 13 is positioned outside of the casing 15 and in the second position the attachment portion 13 is positioned within the casing 15; and a pulling member 21 configured to enable a user to pull the cable 11 from the first position towards the second position.

The Figures also illustrate an apparatus 10 comprising: a casing 15; a cable 11 configured to be moved between a first position and a second position, wherein the cable 11 comprises an attachment portion 13 and in the first position the attachment portion 13 is positioned outside of the casing 15 and in the second position the attachment portion 13 is positioned within the casing 15; and at least one magnet 51, 53 configured to pull the cable 11 towards the second position.

In the following description the term coupled means operationally coupled and any number or combination of intervening elements can exist (including no intervening elements).

FIGS. 1A to 1C illustrate an apparatus 10 according to examples of the disclosure.

The example apparatus 10 illustrated in FIG. 1A comprises a casing 15, and a cable 11.

The cable 11 may comprise a first end and a second end and a mid-portion between the first and second end. The first end of the cable 11 may be retained within the casing 15 and so is not illustrated in FIGS. 1A to 1C. For example the first end of the cable 11 may be fixed to an inner surface of the casing 15. In other examples the first end of the cable 11 may be configured to move within the casing 15.

In the examples of FIGS. 1A to 1C the mid-portion of the cable 11 extends out of the casing 15. An opening may be provided in the casing 15 which may enable the cable 15 to extend out of the casing.

The cable 11 comprises an attachment portion 13. The attachment portion 13 may be provided at the second end of the cable 11.

The attachment portion 13 may comprise any means which may enable the cable 11 to be connected to another apparatus. The another apparatus may comprise, for example, an electronic device 20. The attachment portion 13 may comprise means which may enable an electrical connection to be established between the apparatus 10 and the electronic device 20. For example the attachment portion may be a connector such as a USB (universal serial bus) connector.

The cable 11 may be configured to connect the attachment portion 13 to the casing of the apparatus 10. The cable 11 may be configured to provide an electrical connection between the attachment portion 13 and electronic components of the apparatus 10.

In some examples the cable 11 may comprise a flexible portion. The flexible portion may be configured to be bent or twisted. The bends in the flexible portion of the cable 11 may be used to enable the cable 11 to be retracted back into the casing 15.

The cable 11 may be configured to be moved between a first position and a second position. The cable 11 is illustrated in the first position in FIGS. 1A to 1C. When the cable 11 is in the first position the attachment portion 13 is positioned outside the casing 15. When the cable 11 is in the first position the attachment portion 13 may be connected to another apparatus such as an electronic device 20.

When the cable 11 is in the second position the attachment portion 13 may be positioned within the casing 15. When the cable 11 is positioned within the casing 15 then the attachment portion 13 may be positioned relative to the casing 15 so that it cannot be connected to another apparatus such as an electronic device 20. When the cable 11 is positioned within the casing 15 the attachment portion 13 may be hidden by the casing 15 so that the attachment portion 13 cannot be seen. In some examples, when the cable 11 is in the second position the attachment portion 13 may be completely retained within the casing 15.

The cable 11 may comprise a coating which may reduce the friction between the cable 11 and the casing 15 as the cable 11 is moved between the first and second positions. This may make it easier for the user to move the cable 11 between the first and second positions. For example in some embodiments the cable 11 may comprise a polymer coating such as a Teflon coating and/or the cable 11 may comprise a textile coating.

The casing 15 may house electronic components such as power source or memory or any other suitable components. The casing 15 may provide a protective housing for the components of the apparatus 10. The casing 15 may protect the components of the apparatus 10 from the ingress of fluid and/or dirt and may also provide protection from physical impacts.

FIGS. 1B and 1C illustrate the apparatus 10 connected to an electronic device 20. In FIG. 1B the cable 11 is arranged in the first position and the attachment portion 13 is connected to a corresponding socket in the electronic device 20. This may enable an electrical connection to be established between the apparatus 10 and the electronic device 20. The electrical connection may enable the transfer of data and/or power between the apparatus 10 and the electronic device 20.

The electronic device 20 may be for example, a mobile cellular telephone, a personal computer, a camera, a gaming device, a personal digital assistant, an electronic book reader, a personal music player, a tablet computer or any other similar electronic device 20 which may be connected to another apparatus 10 via a cable 11. The electronic device 20 may be a handheld device which can be carried in a user's hand, handbag or pocket of their clothing for example.

FIG. 1C also illustrates the apparatus 10 connected to an electronic device 20. In FIG. 1C the attachment portion 13 is connected to a socket of the electronic device 20. In the example of FIG. 1C the casing 15 of the apparatus 10 may also be connected to the casing 25 of the electronic device 20. The connection between the casing 15 of the apparatus 10 and the casing 25 of the electronic device 20 may hold the apparatus 10 and the electronic device 20 in position relative to each other. The connection between the casing 15 of the apparatus 10 and the casing 25 of the electronic device 20 might not provide any electrical connection between the apparatus 10 and the electronic device 20.

FIGS. 2A and 2B illustrate an apparatus 10 according to examples of the disclosure. FIGS. 2A and 2B comprise a plan view of the insides of an apparatus 10.

The example apparatus 10 illustrated in FIGS. 2A and 2B also comprises a casing 15, cable 11 and an attachment portion 13 as described above.

The first end of the cable 11 is illustrated in FIGS. 2A and 2B. The first end of the cable 11 may be fixed in position so that the first end of the cable 11 does not move relative to the casing 15. In this example the first end of the cable is secured to an inner side of the casing 15 of the apparatus 10.

In the example of FIGS. 2A and 2B the first end of the cable 11 is secured to the inner side of the casing 15 at a point adjacent to the opening through which the cable 11 extends. The cable 11 is arranged in a bent configuration so that the attachment portion 13 may be moved through the opening adjacent to the first end of the cable 11. In the example of FIG. 2A a U-shaped bend is provided in the cable 11. It is to be appreciated that in other examples the cable 11 may be bent into a different shape.

The apparatus 10 of FIGS. 2A and 2B also comprises a power source 17. In this example the power source 17 comprises a battery. It is to be appreciated that in other examples the power source 17 may comprise any suitable means for enabling power to be provided to an electronic device 20 via the cable 11. It is also to be appreciated that the apparatus 10 may comprise additional or alternative components such as one or more memories or any other suitable components.

As described above the cable 11 may be configured to be moved between a first position and a second position. The cable 11 is illustrated in the first position in FIG. 2A. When the cable 11 is in the first position the attachment portion 13 is positioned outside the casing 15 so that the attachment portion 13 may be connected to an electronic device 20.

The cable 11 is illustrated in the second position in FIG. 2B. When the cable 11 is in the second position the attachment portion 13 may be positioned within the casing 15. In the example of FIG. 2B the attachment portion 13 is retained completely within the casing 15. In some examples a locking portion may be provided which may enable the attachment portion 13 to be held in position within the casing 15.

The apparatus 10 of FIGS. 2A and 2B comprises a pulling member 21. The pulling member 21 may comprise any means which may be configured to enable a user of the apparatus 10 to pull the cable 11 from the first position toward the second position.

The pulling member 21 may be connected to the cable 11. The pulling member 21 may comprise a portion which is located outside of the casing 15. The casing 15 may comprise an opening through which the pulling member 21 may extend. In this example the opening for the pulling member 21 may be located on an opposite side of the casing 15 to the opening for the cable 11.

In the example of FIGS. 2A and 2B the pulling member 21 comprises a strap 23 which is connected to the cable 11. The strap 23 may comprise a flexible member which may be gripped and pulled by the user of the apparatus 10.

The strap 23 may be connected to the cable by any suitable means. FIGS. 3 to 5 illustrate examples of means for connecting the strap 23 to the cable 11 in more detail.

When the cable 11 is in the first position as illustrated in FIG. 2A a first portion 24 of the strap 23 is located within the casing 15 and a second portion 26 of the strap 23 is located outside of the casing 15. The first portion 24 of the strap 23 may be connected to the cable 11.

The second portion 26 of the strap 23 may be configured so that a user can grip the second portion 26 of the strap 23. For example, in FIG. 2A the second portion 26 of the strap 23 comprise a handle or portion that may be gripped by the user.

When the cable 11 is in the second position as illustrated in FIG. 2B both the first portion 24 of the strap 23 and the second portion 26 of the strap 23 may be located outside of the casing 15.

The user may move the cable 11 from the first position illustrated in FIG. 2A towards the second position as illustrated in FIG. 2B by pulling on the pulling member 21. A user may pull on the pulling member 21 by applying a force towards the direction indicated by the arrow 29.

As the pulling member 21 is connected to the cable 11 when the pulling member 21 is pulled towards the direction of the arrow 29 this also pulls the cable 11 into the casing 15. The user may be able to pull the pulling member 21 until the attachment portion 13 of the cable 11 is arranged into the second position. The user may be able to pull the pulling member 21 until the attachment portion 13 of the cable 11 is retained within the casing 15.

The user may move the cable 11 from the second position illustrated in FIG. 2B towards the first position as illustrated in FIG. 2A by pulling on the cable 11 and/or attachment portion 13. A user may pull on the cable 11 and/or attachment portion 13 by applying a force towards the direction indicated by the arrow 31.

As the cable 11 is connected to the pulling member 21 when the cable 11 is pulled towards the direction of the arrow 31 this pulls the cable 11 out of the casing 15 and also pulls the first portion 24 of the strap 23 into the casing 15. The user may be able to pull the cable 11 until the cable 11 is arranged into the first position. The user may be able to pull the cable 11 until the attachment portion 13 of the cable 11 is positioned outside of the casing 15 so that it can be connected to another apparatus.

FIGS. 3 to 5 illustrate apparatus 10 according to further examples. The apparatus 10 comprises a casing 15, a cable 11 and attachment portion 13 as described above. The apparatus 10 also comprises a strap 23 as described above in relation to FIGS. 2A and 2B. The examples of FIGS. 3 to 5 illustrate various methods of attaching the strap 23 to the cable 11. It is to be appreciated that other examples may be used in other embodiments.

In the example of FIG. 3 the strap 23 is connected to the cable by a ring 33. The ring 33 may comprise any suitable material such as metal or plastic. In the example of FIG. 3 the ring forms a circular loop. It is to be appreciated that other shaped rings may be provided in other examples.

Both the cable 11 and the strap 23 pass through the opening of the ring 33. This secures the strap 23 and the cable 11 together. This ensures that when the user pulls on the strap 23 the cable 11 is pulled in the same direction as the strap 23. The ring 33 also ensures that when the attachment portion 13 is pulled out of the casing 15, the first portion 23 of the strap 24 is pulled into the casing 15.

In the example of FIG. 4 both the cable 11 and the strap 23 comprise a U-shaped bend. The two U-shaped bends are hooked together to secure the strap 23 and the cable 11 together. This ensures that when the user pulls on the strap 23 the cable 11 is pulled in the same direction as the strap 23. The arrangement of the U-shaped bends also ensures that when the attachment portion 13 is pulled out of the casing 15, the first portion 23 of the strap 24 is pulled into the casing 15.

In the example of FIG. 5 a sleeve 35 is provided on a portion of the cable 11. The sleeve 35 may be made of any suitable material such as metal or plastic. The sleeve 35 comprises openings 37 though which the strap 23 may be threaded to secure the strap 23 and cable together 11. The sleeve 35 is configured to ensure that when the user pulls on the strap 23 the cable 11 is pulled in the same direction as the strap 23. The sleeve 35 also ensures that when the attachment portion 13 is pulled out of the casing 15, the first portion 23 of the strap 24 is pulled into the casing 15.

In some examples the apparatus 10 may comprise means for preventing the user from pulling the strap 23 too far into the casing 15. The means may also prevent the strap 23 from twisting inside of the casing 15 as twisting of the strap 23 could make it harder for the user to pull the strap 23 back out of the casing 15. The means may comprise a rib provided in the opening in the casing 15 through which the strap 23 extends. The rib may be configured so that the strap 23 exits the casing 15 on one side of the rib and bends back into the casing on the other side of the rib.

FIG. 6 illustrates an apparatus 10 according to another example. The apparatus 10 comprises a casing 15, a cable 11 and attachment portion 13 as described above.

In the example of FIG. 6 the first end of the cable 11 is fixed in position so that the first end of the cable 11 does not move relative to the casing 15. The cable 11 is arranged in a bent configuration with a U-shaped bend provided in the cable 11.

In the example of FIG. 6 a spool 41 is provided in the U-shaped bend of the cable 11. The spool 41 may comprise a cylindrical portion. The U-shaped bend of the cable 11 may extend around the cylindrical portion of the spool 41.

The spool 41 may be configured to move linearly within the casing 15. The spool 41 may be configured to move linearly in the directions indicated by the arrows, 43, 45. The spool 41 may be configured to move linearly when the user pulls on the strap 23 and/or the cable 11.

The spool 41 may be configured to optimise the shape of the bend in the cable 11. The shape of the bend may be optimised to reduce the amount of space which the cable 11 takes up inside the casing 15. In some examples the shape of the bend may be optimised to make it easier for the user to move the cable 11 between the first and second positions.

FIGS. 7A to 7C illustrate an apparatus 10 according to another example. The example apparatus 10 illustrated in FIGS. 7A to 7C also comprises a casing 15, cable 11 and an attachment portion 13 as described above.

As in the previous examples the cable 11 may be configured to be moved between a first position and a second position. The cable 11 is illustrated in the first position in FIG. 7A in which the attachment portion 13 is positioned outside the casing 15. The cable 11 is illustrated in the second position in FIG. 7B in which the attachment portion 13 may be positioned within the casing 15.

In the example of FIGS. 7A to 7C the first end of the cable 11 is secured to an inner side of the casing 15 of the apparatus 10. In the example of FIGS. 7A to 7C the first end of the cable 11 is secured to the inner side of the casing 15 at a point adjacent to the opening through which the cable 11 extends. The cable 11 is arranged in a bent configuration so that a U-shaped bend is provided in the cable 11.

The apparatus 10 of FIGS. 7A to 7C also comprises a pulling member 21. As described above, the pulling member 21 may comprise any means which may be configured to enable a user of the apparatus 10 to pull the cable 11 from the first position towards the second position.

In the example of FIGS. 7A to 7C the pulling member 21 comprises a portion of the cable 11 which extends out of the casing 15. The portion of the cable 11 which extends out of the casing 15 may comprise the U-shaped bend portion.

The casing 15 comprises an opening 49 which is illustrated in FIG. 7C. The cable 11 is configured to extend through the opening 49 to provide the pulling member 21. In this example the opening 49 is located on an opposite side of the casing 15 to the opening for the attachment portion of the cable 11.

The opening 49 also comprises a rib 48. The rib 48 may be configured to prevent the user pulling the cable 11 too far into the casing 15. The rib 48 may be provided so that the cable 11 exits the casing 15 on one side of the rib 48 and bends back into the casing 15 on the other side of the rib 48.

The user may move the cable 11 from the first position illustrated in FIG. 7A towards the second position as illustrated in FIG. 7B by pulling on the pulling member 21, which in this example comprises the portion of the cable 11 which extends out of the casing 15. A user may pull on the pulling member 21 by applying a force towards the direction indicated by the arrow 29.

As the pulling member 21 is part of the cable 11 when the pulling member 21 is pulled towards the direction of the arrow 29 this pulls the attachment portion 13 of the cable 11 into the casing 15. The user may be able to pull the pulling member 21 until the attachment portion 13 of the cable 11 is arranged into the second position. The user may be able to pull the pulling member 21 until the attachment portion 13 of the cable 11 is retained within the casing 15.

The user may move the cable 11 from the second position illustrated in FIG. 7B towards the first position as illustrated in FIG. 7A by pulling on the end of the cable 11 comprising the attachment portion 13 towards the direction indicated by the arrow 31.

As the pulling member 21 is part of the cable 11 this will cause part of the cable 11 to be pulled in to the casing 15. The rib 48 in the opening of the casing 15 may prevent the user from pulling all of the cable 11 into the casing 15 so that a portion of the cable 11 remains outside the casing 15 to provide the pulling member 21.

The user may be able to pull the cable 11 until the cable 11 is arranged into the first position. The user may be able to pull the cable 11 until the attachment portion 13 of the cable 11 is positioned outside of the casing 15 so that it can be connected to another apparatus.

FIGS. 8A to SE illustrate an apparatus 10 according to another example. The example apparatus 10 illustrated in FIGS. 8A to 8E also comprises a casing 15, cable 11 and an attachment portion 13 as described above.

FIGS. 8A to 8E illustrate the cable 11 being moved from a second position, in which the attachment portion 13 is positioned within the casing 15 to a first position in which the attachment portion 13 is positioned outside of the casing 15.

In the examples of FIGS. 5A to 8E the first end of the cable 11 is configured to move within the casing 15. The movement of the first end of the cable 11 within the casing 15 may enable the cable 15 to be moved between the first position and the second position.

In the examples of FIGS. 8A to 8E the casing 15 comprises a first magnet 51 and a second magnet 53. The first and second magnets 51 are provided on inner surfaces of the casing 15. In the particular example of FIGS. 8A to 8E the first magnet 51 is provided on a closed end of the casing and the second magnet 53 is provided close to an opening of the casing. The attachment portion 13 of the cable 11 may extend through the opening. The first and second magnets 51, 53 may be positioned opposite to each other. It is to be appreciated that in other examples other arrangements of magnets may be provided. Different example arrangements of magnets and magnetic portions are illustrated in FIGS. 10A to 10C and described below.

The cable 11 comprises a magnetic portion 55. The magnetic portion 55 may be provided on the first end of the cable 11. The magnetic portion 55 may comprise any material which may be subject to a magnet force from the first and second magnets 51, 53. For example, the magnetic portion may comprise a ferrous material such as iron or steel.

The cable 11 may also comprise one or more connection portions 61. The connection portions 61 may be configured to enable the cable to make electronic contact with at least one electronic component when the cable 11 is in the first position. The connection portions 61 may be configured to connect to corresponding connection portions 65 provided within the casing 15. The connection portions 65 of the casing 15 may be located close to the opening through which the cable 11 extends.

In FIG. 8A the cable 11 is provided in the second position and the attachment portion 13 is provided within the casing 15. The attachment portion 13 may be retained completely within the casing 15.

In the arrangement of FIG. 8A the magnetic portion 55 of the cable 11 is positioned adjacent to the first magnet 51 of the casing 15. The first magnet 51 provides an attractive force which acts to pull the magnetic portion 55 of the cable 11 towards the first magnet 51 as indicated by the arrow 71. This acts to hold the cable 11 in the second position.

In FIG. 8B a user begins to move the cable 11 from the second position towards the first position. The user may move the cable 11 by pulling on the attachment portion 13 of the cable 11. For example, the user may apply a force in the direction indicated by the arrow 73.

The force applied by the user pulls the magnetic portion 55 of the cable away from the first magnet 51 so that the first end of the cable 11 moves within the casing 15 towards the second magnet 53.

In FIG. 8C the user has continued to apply the force indicated by the arrow 73 so that the first end of the cable 11 has reached the midpoint of the casing 15. The midpoint of the casing 15 is indicated by the arrows 50 in FIGS. 8A to 8E. At the midpoint of the casing 15 the forces from the first magnet 51 and the second magnet 53 upon the magnetic portion 55 may be balanced so that without any additional external force the magnets 51, 53 would not cause motion of the magnetic portion 55. If the user pulls the magnetic portion 55 to the right of the midpoint then the magnetic portion 55 may be closer to the second magnet 53 than the first magnet 51. The force acting on the magnetic portion 55 from the second magnet 53 may be stronger than the force acting on the magnetic portion 55 from the first magnet 51. This may cause the magnetic portion 55 to be pulled towards the second magnet 53 and so may pull the cable 11 towards the first position.

Similarly, if the user were to push the magnetic portion 55 to the left of the midpoint then the magnetic portion 55 would be closer to the first magnet 51 than the second magnet 53. The force acting on the magnetic portion 55 from the first magnet 51 would be stronger than the force acting on the magnetic portion 55 from the second magnet 53. This may cause the magnetic portion 55 to be pulled towards the first magnet 51 and so may pull the cable 11 towards the second position.

In FIG. 8D the user has pulled the magnetic portion 55 to the right of the midpoint so that the magnetic portion 55 is closer to the second magnet 53 than the first magnet 51. The second magnet 53 provides an attractive force which acts to pull the magnetic portion 55 of the cable 11 towards the second magnet 53 as indicated by the arrow 75.

In FIG. 8E the second magnet 53 has pulled the magnetic portion 55 towards the second magnet 53 so that the cable 11 is provided in the first position and the attachment portion 13 can be connected to another apparatus.

When the cable 15 is in the first position the connection portions 61 of the first end of the cable 11 may make electronic contact with the connection portions 65 of the casing 15. This may enable electronic contact to be made between the cable 11 and the other components within the casing 15.

When the cable 11 is in the first position the second magnet 53 provides an attractive force which acts to pull the magnetic portion 55 of the cable 11 towards the second magnet 53. This acts to hold the cable 11 in the first position and ensures that a reliable connection is established between the connection portions 61 of the first end of the cable 11 and the connection portions 65 of the casing 15.

It is to be appreciated that a user may return the cable 11 to the second position by pushing the cable 11 until the magnetic portion 55 of the cable is located close enough to the first magnet 51 so that the first magnet 51 can pull the cable 11 back to the second position.

FIGS. 9A and 9B illustrate an apparatus 10 according to another example. The example apparatus 10 illustrated in FIGS. 9A to 9B also comprises a casing 15, cable 11 and an attachment portion 13 as described above.

In the example of FIGS. 9A and 9B the cable 11 is flexible and is configured to be bent multiple times. In the particular example of FIGS. 9A and 9B the cable 11 is configured to be bent in a series of sharp turns in alternating directions to create a zigzag shape. The zigzag shape enables the cable 11 to be folded down to a small size so that it does not take up very much space within the casing 15.

The examples provide for a cable 11 which may be easily extracted and retracted from a casing 15.

The pulling members 21 and respective magnets 51, 53 may be arranged so that the cable 11 can be easily pulled back into the casing 15 and removed whenever needed.

In some examples, the cable 11 may be completely retained within the casing 15 so that there are no external attachment portions to the apparatus 10. This may improve the aesthetics of the apparatus 10 when it is not in use.

The cable 11 may be arranged so that it takes up a minimal amount of space within the casing 15.

The term ‘comprise’ is used in this document with an inclusive not an exclusive meaning. That is any reference to X comprising Y indicates that X may comprise only one Y or may comprise more than one Y. If it is intended to use ‘comprise’ with an exclusive meaning then it will be made clear in the context by referring to “comprising only one” or by using “consisting”.

In this detailed description, reference has been made to various examples. The description of features or functions in relation to an example indicates that those features or functions are present in that example. The use of the term “example” or “for example” or “may” in the text denotes, whether explicitly stated or not, that such features or functions are present in at least the described example, whether described as an example or not, and that they can be, but are not necessarily, present in some of or all other examples. Thus “example”, “for example” or “may” refers to a particular instance in a class of examples. A property of the instance can be a property of only that instance or a property of the class or a property of a sub-class of the class that includes some but not all of the instances in the class.

Although examples of the present disclosure have been described in the preceding paragraphs with reference to various examples, it should be appreciated that modifications to the examples given can be made without departing from the scope of the claims. For instance, in the above described examples two magnets are provided within the casing. In other examples one magnet may be provided on the cable which may be attracted to magnetic portions within the casing.

FIGS. 10A to 10C schematically illustrate apparatus 10 with different example arrangements of magnets and magnetic portions.

The apparatus 10 comprises a cable 11 which can be moved between a first and second position relative to a casing 15 as described above. The casing 15 comprises a closed end 100 and an open end 110. The cable 11 may extend through the open end 110. In the examples of FIGS. 10A to 10C the end of the cable 11 is positioned at the mid-point of the casing 15 as indicated by the arrows 50. It is to be appreciated that the end of the cable 11 may move between the ends 100, 110 of the casing 15.

In the example of FIG. 10A a first metal portion 101 is provided adjacent to the closed end 100 and a second metal portion 103 is provided adjacent to the open end 110. A magnet 105 is provided on the cable 11 and arranged so that the magnet 105 can move between the two metal portions 101, 103 as indicated by the arrow 120.

In the example of FIG. 10B a first magnet 111 is provided adjacent to the closed end 100 and a second magnet 113 is provided adjacent to the open end 110. A metal portion 115 is provided on the cable 11 and arranged so that the metal portion 115 can move between the two magnets 111, 113 as indicated by the arrow 120.

In the example of FIG. 10C a first magnet 121 is provided adjacent to the closed end 100 and a second magnet 123 is provided adjacent to the open end 110. A third magnet 125 is provided on the cable 11 and arranged so that the third magnet 125 can move between the first and second magnets 121, 123 as indicated by the arrow 120.

It is to be appreciated that different arrangements of magnets and metal or magnetic portions may be selected for use in different examples of the apparatus 10. The factors which may influence the selection of the magnetic arrangement may include the space available within the casing 15, the holding power required to hold the cable 11 in position and the effect of the magnetic flux on other components in or near the apparatus 10 or any other suitable factor.

Features described in the preceding description may be used in combinations other than the combinations explicitly described.

Although functions have been described with reference to certain features, those functions may be performable by other features whether described or not.

Although features have been described with reference to certain embodiments, those features may also be present in other embodiments whether described or not.

Whilst endeavoring in the foregoing specification to draw attention to those features believed to be of particular importance it should be understood that the Applicant claims protection in respect of any patentable feature or combination of features hereinbefore referred to and/or shown in the drawings whether or not particular emphasis has been placed thereon.

I/we claim:





 
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