Title:
HELMET PROVIDING WEATHER PROTECTION
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention provides a helmet configured for affording hands free weather protection, such as an air canopy, for a user of the helmet. The helmet comprises a helmet body and an induction system including an air intake fan mounted atop of the helmet body to gather ambient air into the helmet body and to channel the air through a series of vent outlets positioned around the largest circumference of the helmet.



Inventors:
Verela, Erick (Brooklyn, NY, US)
Application Number:
14/733126
Publication Date:
12/08/2016
Filing Date:
06/08/2015
Assignee:
Verela Erick
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A42B3/28; A42B3/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ANNIS, KHALED
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
EVELYN M. SOMMER (NEW YORK, NY, US)
Claims:
1. A helmet for providing weather protection for a user, comprising an air intake fan, mounted at the top of a helmet body; a plurality of air baffles, each having one end gathered around the air intake fan, extending downwardly through the helmet body, formed in between the exterior and interior surface of the helmet body; and a plurality of air outlets, formed on the periphery of the helmet body, evenly distributed along its largest circumference, wherein the air baffles define channels for air flow from the air intake fan to the air outlets and each air baffle corresponds to at least one air outlet, and the air intake fan, the plurality of air baffles and the air outlets are configured to create an air canopy having a height of 3 feet.

2. The helmet of claim 1, further comprising a camera.

3. The helmet of claim 2, wherein the camera is placed on a front side of the helmet.

4. The helmet of claim 2, wherein the camera is placed on a back side of the helmet.

5. The helmet of claim 2, wherein the camera is placed on a left side of the helmet.

6. The helmet of claim 1, wherein a plurality of LED lights are placed inside of the air outlets, configured to illuminate the entire circumference of the air outlets.

7. The helmet of claim 1, wherein the helmet further comprise a speaker and microphone assembly.

8. The helmet of claim I, wherein the speaker and microphone assembly is a standalone accessory to the helmet.

9. The helmet of claim 1, further comprising a power supply using 9V, 12V and 24V DC current.

10. The helmet of claim 1, further comprising a Bluetooth connection to establish connections between a smart phone to the air intake fan, a camera, LED light and a speaker/microphone assembly.

11. The helmet of claim 1 which is made of lightweight plastic or fiberglass.

12. An air induction system comprising a helmet comprising an air intake fan, mounted at the top of the helmet; a plurality of air baffles; and a plurality of air outlets, formed on the periphery of the helmet body, wherein the air baffles define channels for air flow from the air intake fan to the air outlets and the air which is discharged out of the air outlets is capable of redirecting particulates having a weight of less than 0.1 g, to be 3 feet away from the user.

13. The air induction system of claim 12, wherein the air intake fan is to a high CFM fan.

14. A method for providing weather protection for a user, comprising providing a helmet of claim 1; gathering air from the air intake fan; guiding the air flow from the air intake fan to air outlets through the space in between the exterior and interior surfaces of the helmet; redistributing the air flow through the air outlets; and redirecting the particles in the incoming air away from the user.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to a head protection device, for example, a helmet and more particularly, to a helmet having an induction system for redirecting the rain, snow, pollens, dust or other particulates to achieve proper weather protection for the user. Even more particularly, the helmet of the invention is constructed so as to make the user more visible to other persons travelling or crossing the same roadways as the user. Furthermore, the wearer or user of the helmet is protected from injury in the case of traveling action or accident involving the wearer of the helmet.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

One of the primary reasons for a user to wear a helmet is to protect the user's head and prevent injury in the case of a fall. On one hand, the recent advanced designs of such helmets have evolved over a number of years in an attempt to improve characteristics like weight, safety and aerodynamic drag for helmets used in competitive sport.

On the other hand, advanced designs for a protective helmet have also been made to improve a user's sensation while wearing a helmet. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 7,801,318 teaches a device having a cooling fan to provide a cooling or heat radiating effect to the wearer of the helmet.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a helmet configured to provide hands free weather protection similar to an air canopy for a user.

A primary object of the present invention is to provide a helmet, which can gather the air from the environment and channel the air flow through a helmet body and then vent out to a proximity or surroundings of a user to achieve weather protection, wherein the outlet air flow is strong enough to redirect particulates in the air.

It is another object of the present invention, to provide a helmet having functional features such as a video camera, which can take video images in 360 degrees.

It is still another object of the present invention, to provide a helmet having decorative features, for example, the circumference of the helmet can be illuminated to be attractive to the user and simultaneously to others wearing the helmet and thus avoiding unnecessary accidents.

It is a further object of the present invention, to provide a helmet having entertainment features such as a microphone and speaker assemblies, which can be a plug in/add on device or otherwise integrated into the helmet.

Still another object of the present invention is, to provide a helmet wherein the functional, decorative and entertainment features are all connected to and controlled by a smart phone through a Bluetooth connection.

The present invention describes an improved structural design for a helmet, which comprises an induction system including an air intake fan, a bundle of air baffles and a plurality of air outlets, wherein the air intake fan is mounted on the top of the helmet, and the bundle of air baffles, each of which has one end gathered around and connected to the air intake fan through a connecting base. The air baffles extend downwardly from the air intake fan to the plurality of air outlets. The air outlets formed on the periphery of the helmet, are evenly distributed along the largest circumference of the helmet.

In one aspect of the present invention, the helmet further comprises a camera fixed on either the front or rear side of the helmet.

In still another aspect of the present invention, the helmet further comprises a plurality of red LEDs illuminating a circumference of the helmet.

The helmet, in another aspect of the present invention, further comprises a microphone and speaker assembly, to be integrated into the helmet, as a plug in unit to the helmet or as an independent accessory separate from the helmet.

In a further aspect of the present invention, the air intake fan, the camera, the LEDs, and the speaker/microphone assembly are all in communication with a smart phone through a Bluetooth connection.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will be readily understood by the following detailed description in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein like reference numerals designate like structural elements, and in which:

FIG. 1 is a left side perspective view of a helmet comprising an air induction system;

FIG. 2 is a detailed drawing of the helmet in FIG. 1, wherein the air induction system comprises an air fan, a bundle of air baffles and air outlets wherein the air fan is mounted on top of the helmet, a plurality of air outlets in the shape of grills are evenly distributed along a circumference of the helmet and the bundle of air baffles are sandwiched between the exterior and interior of the helmet body and connected with the air intake fan and air outlets;

FIG. 3 is a detailed view of the air induction system in the helmet of FIG. 1, wherein the air fan and the bundle of air baffles are connected through a connecting base and each air baffle corresponds to an individual air outlet;

FIG. 4 is a top view of the air induction system of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a top perspective view of the helmet of FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is a back perspective view of the helmet of FIG. 1;

FIG. 7 is a front view of the helmet of FIG. 1, wherein the interior of the helmet in FIG. 1 is shown.

FIG. 8 is a partial front view of the helmet in FIG. 1;

FIG. 9 shows the air induction system of FIG. 1, wherein the air induction system comprises an air fan, a bundle of air baffles and air outlets, an air fan mounted on top of the helmet, a plurality of air outlets in a shape of grills evenly distributed along a circumference of the helmet and the bundle of air baffles are sandwiched between the exterior and the interior of the helmet body and connected with the air intake fan and air outlets;

FIG. 10 is a view of the top of the air induction system as shown in FIG. 9;

FIG. 11 is a view of the left side view of the helmet in FIG. 1, wherein the air flow shown therein in dotted lines is shown as an environment in which it is used.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EXAMPLE EMBODIMENTS

Reference will now be made in detail to representative embodiments illustrated in the accompanying drawings. It should be understood that the following descriptions are not intended to limit the embodiments to one preferred embodiment. To the contrary, it is intended to cover alternatives, modifications, and equivalents that can be included within the spirit and scope of the described embodiments which are defined by the appended claims.

In the scope of the present invention, referring to FIGS. 1-7, a helmet comprising an air induction system is described. FIG. 1 shows a left side perspective view of the helmet, wherein the helmet comprises a helmet body and an induction system, wherein the induction system comprises an air intake fan, a bundle of air baffles and a plurality of air outlets. The air intake fan is mounted on the top of the helmet. The bundle of the air baffles is not visible from the outside of the helmet. Referring to FIG. 7 the bundle of the air baffles is also not visible at the interior of the helmet. The bundle of the air baffles is placed in between the exterior and interior surfaces of the helmet.

Referring to FIGS. 2-4, the air intake fan is assembled to the bundle of air baffles through a connecting base. Each air baffle in the bundle has two ends. One end of each air baffle is evenly gathered around the connecting base, which allows the air intake fan to be installed in a flat manner. The air baffles extend downwardly conforming to a contour or topography of the helmet. Each air baffle is evenly distributed across the helmet. The other end of each air baffle is connected to an individual air outlet. The plurality of air outlets are placed along one circumference of the helmet, preferably said circumference is the largest horizontal circumference around the helmet (FIG. 3), so that the air canopy formed can be at a maximum projection diameter.

In one example of the present invention, the air intake fan is round and the connecting base is round (FIGS. 1-6). In another example, the air intake fan is squared and the connecting base is also squared.

In another aspect of the present invention, the air intake fan is a miniature CFM fan.

In another aspect of the present invention, the air baffles are made of plastic.

In another aspect of the present invention, the air outlets are round shaped holes. In another example, the air outlets are square shaped and a plurality of the air outlets are evenly disposed so as to resemble a grill.

In still another aspect of the present invention, the air intake fan can gather air from the environment, channel it through the air baffles and direct the air through the air outlets. The air discharged from the air outlets can redirect the direction of incoming particulate matter into the surroundings of the user. Examples of particulates are raindrops, and in another example, the particulates are snowflakes. In still another example, the particulates are pollen. In still yet another example, the particulates are air pollutants. The particulates weigh about 0.01-0.5 g. In yet another example, the incoming particulates are less than 3 feet away from the user.

In yet another aspect of the present invention, the air intake fan can gather air in the environment, channel it through the air baffles and discharge the air through the air outlets. The air constantly discharged from the air outlets forms an air canopy centering on the user who is wearing the helmet. In one example, the air canopy has a height of 3 feet. In another example, the air canopy has a projected diameter of 3-6 feet.

In yet another embodiment, there is a method provided offering weather protection to a user of a helmet as described herein. The method comprises providing a helmet having an air induction system including an air intake fan, a bundle of air baffles and a plurality of air outlets. After gathering air from the air intake fan, guiding the air flow from the air intake fan to the air outlets through spaces provided in between the exterior and interior surfaces of the helmet; redistributing the air flow through the air outlets; and redirecting the particles in the incoming air around the user.

In the foregoing embodiments, a circumference of the helmet is described as the reference to the position of the LEDs and the vents. The circumference of the helmet can be in small, medium or large sizes as typically provided with all helmets, based on user's head size. Further the number of vents and lights may vary from one size to another. In addition, either slotted vents or circular vents can be used in the present invention.

The helmet disclosed herein, further comprises a camera (not shown), capturing a 360 degree panoramic view of the surroundings. The camera may be placed on the front side of the helmet. The camera may be placed on both the front and rear sides of the helmet. The images or videos captured by the camera can be wirelessly sent to and temporarily stored by a smart phone and viewed by the smart phone in real time. In one embodiment, the 360 degrees view is accomplished by fixing the camera at more than one location or by having a camera capable of capturing images using large viewing angles. In one example, the helmet is equipped with a first camera in the front and a second camera in the back in fixed positions, which are sufficient in providing a 360 degree of view. In one example, the cameras are mini cameras provided in the marketplace.

The helmet disclosed herein, further comprises an illumination unit, which includes a plurality of LEDs. The LEDs are distributed along an entire circumference of the helmet. In one example, the LEDs are placed in side or near each individual air outlet. In another example, the LEDs are distributed evenly across the circumference where the air outlets are, but only in proximity or near selected outlets. The LEDs, when they are lit up, are visible from the outside of the helmet (FIGS. 5 and 6). In one example, the LEDs are red LEDs.

Additionally, the helmet may further comprise a speaker and microphone assembly. Depending on a specific structure design of the basic structure of the helmet, the speaker and microphone assembly may be installed directly in the helmet or may come as a separate unit, which can be attached to the helmet when it is in use or taken apart for storage.

In accordance with other aspects of the present invention, the helmet disclosed herein can communicate with a smart phone wirelessly. The foregoing features of the helmet are connected to a smart phone via a blue tooth connection so that a user can operate various functions of the helmet via a user interface on his/her smart phone. Through a Bluetooth connection of the smart phone, a user can turn on/off the air intake fan of the helmet, adjust the rotation speed of the fan dynamically; the user can review camera images or video clips in real time; the user can turn on/off the lights and adjust the brightness levels of the LEDs; and the user can turn on/off and adjust the volume for the speaker or microphone when they are in use.

The helmet further comprises a power supply to operate the helmet by a DC current at 9V, 12V or 24V.

The helmet does not limit to any material that can be used for the interior or exterior of the helmet. Desirably the exterior material used is intended to provide protection from injury and the interior material used is designed to allow skin breathing or airflow to increase user's comfort. In one example, the materials which are the exterior of the helmet are made of fiberglass. In another example, the materials used for the exterior of the helmet are made of high impact plastics. In one example the material used for the exterior of the helmet is the same material used for conventional motorcycle helmets. In another example, the material used for the exterior of the helmet is the same material used for conventional bicycle or riding helmets. Additionally, Styrofoam is also included in the helmet to provide thermal insulation and/or act as a safety cushion for the helmet. The baffles will then be fitted between the helmet body and Styrofoam.

FIG. 7 shows an interior of the helmet described herein. The interior of the helmet uses cushioned liner material to provide comfort to the user. In one example, the liner material is made with polyester fabric.

The helmet further comprises a fast strap. A pair of strap loops is also attached to the front on the left and right to form a chin strap which is used to retain the helmet snugly in place upon the head of the user. The attachment points of the straps are specifically selected so that the sides of the strap will engage the user's head and prevent tilting of the helmet when it is in use.

The helmet having an induction system for weather protection in the present invention can be made of lightweight plastic or fiber glass. In accordance with the various aspects of the present invention, the helmet can be used anywhere where a head protection device is used, for providing additional weather protection. It can be used not only by bicyclists in competitive sports but also by the general public including a pedestrian, a cyclist, a motorcyclist, a law enforcement agent, a person who does skateboarding or a skier, a construction worker, etc.

In addition, the exterior appearance of the helmet can be further improved to adopt a more fashionable look to provide a helmet having an induction system for weather protection more suitable for everyday use than those presently available.

Reduction to Practice:

A prototype has been made using an existing (Bell) fiberglass motorcycle helmet. A hole was made on top of the helmet, to allow for the Air Induction System (FIGS. 1 and 2), which is comprised of a miniature 12 Volt motor of 2500 revolutions per minute (rpm) (FIGS. 3 and 4), and a plastic turbine fan (FIG. 3), which increases the air flow CFM (Cubic Feet Per Minute). Circular perforations were made along the circumference of the helmet to allow for the air to flow outward away from the helmet/wearer (FIGS. 5 and 6). The Maximum Protection Diameter of the air flow will be approximate 24 to 28 inches from the helmets air openings. The air induction system was then attached to a baffle system (FIG. 3) to channel the air through the circular perforations. The circular perforations are lined on the inside with strips of LED Lighting (FIGS. 5 and 6) with white lighting in the front, and red lighting in the rear of the helmet. The helmet is also equipped with a speaker system (for phone and music). The final product will come with miniature cameras the while being affixed to the front and rear of the helmet, and a microphone. Both of which are not shown here. The entire system: Air umbrella, lights, speakers, cameras and microphone will be operated via a smart phone app, which will use “Bluetooth” connectivity.

The foregoing description, for purposes of explanation, used specific nomenclature to provide a thorough understanding of the described embodiments. However, it will be apparent to one skilled in the art that the specific details are not required in order to practice these embodiments. Thus, the foregoing descriptions of the embodiments set forth herein are presented for purposes of illustration and description only. They are not meant to be exhaustive or to limit the embodiments to the precise forms disclosed. It will be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art that many modifications and variations are possible in view of the above teachings.

The advantages of the embodiments described are numerous. Different aspects, embodiments or implementations can yield one or more advantages. Many features and advantages of the present embodiments are apparent from the written description and, thus, it is intended by the appended claims to cover all such features and advantages of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, the embodiments should not be limited to the exact construction and operation as illustrated and described. Hence, all suitable modifications and equivalents can be resorted to as coming within the scope of the invention.