GB2551734A - An Antenna configuration for an electronic device - Google Patents

An Antenna configuration for an electronic device Download PDF

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Publication number
GB2551734A
GB2551734A GB1611201.3A GB201611201A GB2551734A GB 2551734 A GB2551734 A GB 2551734A GB 201611201 A GB201611201 A GB 201611201A GB 2551734 A GB2551734 A GB 2551734A
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GB
United Kingdom
Prior art keywords
control device
device according
control
antenna
located
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Pending
Application number
GB1611201.3A
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GB201611201D0 (en
Inventor
Collins Brian
Vermae Clark Rebecca
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
NAIM AUDIO Ltd
Original Assignee
NAIM AUDIO Ltd
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by NAIM AUDIO Ltd filed Critical NAIM AUDIO Ltd
Priority to GB1611201.3A priority Critical patent/GB2551734A/en
Publication of GB201611201D0 publication Critical patent/GB201611201D0/en
Publication of GB2551734A publication Critical patent/GB2551734A/en
Application status is Pending legal-status Critical

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Classifications

    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01QANTENNAS, i.e. RADIO AERIALS
    • H01Q1/00Details of, or arrangements associated with, antennas
    • H01Q1/12Supports; Mounting means
    • H01Q1/22Supports; Mounting means by structural association with other equipment or articles
    • H01Q1/2291Supports; Mounting means by structural association with other equipment or articles used in bluetooth or WI-FI devices of Wireless Local Area Networks [WLAN]
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01QANTENNAS, i.e. RADIO AERIALS
    • H01Q1/00Details of, or arrangements associated with, antennas
    • H01Q1/44Details of, or arrangements associated with, antennas using equipment having another main function to serve additionally as an antenna, e.g. means for giving an antenna an aesthetic aspect
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01QANTENNAS, i.e. RADIO AERIALS
    • H01Q21/00Antenna arrays or systems
    • H01Q21/06Arrays of individually energised antenna units similarly polarised and spaced apart
    • H01Q21/20Arrays of individually energised antenna units similarly polarised and spaced apart the units being spaced along or adjacent to a curvilinear path
    • H01Q21/205Arrays of individually energised antenna units similarly polarised and spaced apart the units being spaced along or adjacent to a curvilinear path providing an omnidirectional coverage
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04BTRANSMISSION
    • H04B1/00Details of transmission systems, not covered by a single one of groups H04B3/00 - H04B13/00; Details of transmission systems not characterised by the medium used for transmission
    • H04B1/06Receivers
    • H04B1/08Constructional details, e.g. cabinet

Abstract

A control device 100 for an electronics device, such as audio or multimedia device, the control device having a rotary control element (control knob) 104 and an antenna (not shown), whereby the antenna is located within central module 106 which is located within the knob. The antenna may be a crossed-slot antenna suitable for a wireless network such as local area network, Wifi, Bluetooth etc. The knob 104 is located above a base section 102 and has a cylindrical bezel (see also 118, fig 4) which is grasped and rotated by a user about an axis of rotation relative to the base section. The bezel may be substantially flush with the top cover of the device housing. The control device may also include a control printed circuit board (PCB, 108 fig 4) located below the base section.

Description

An Antenna Configuration for an Electronic Device

The present invention relates to a control device and antenna configuration. More particularly, the present invention relates to a control device comprising an integrated antenna.

Digital electronic devices such as amplifiers, streaming music and video players and compact disc (CD) players are well known in the art. These devices are capable of generating and/or playing media content such as audio tracks. Alternatively, such multimedia devices may comprise audio-visual devices capable of receiving and outputting audio-visual media content such as movies, games or videos.

Increasingly, downloading and/or streaming of media content across a network is becoming the preferred method for obtaining and consuming media content such as audio tracks and video.

In general, an electronic media player can obtain the media content from either a local storage device (such as solid-state storage or a local hard drive) or a remote media source through a network. The network may comprise a local network, for example a local wireless (“Wi-Fi”) network or Bluetooth network to which the media source is connected. Alternatively, the media source may be a remote media server on the Internet; for example, an internet radio station.

In addition, the networked multimedia device may comprise part of a proprietary wireless network separate from a Wi-Fi network and to which other proprietary multimedia components are connected.

In further alternatives, the networked multimedia device may receive the media content from the network or another source (e.g. a CD, DVD, smartphone, tablet or other storage device) and store the media content locally prior to playing the media content.

The networked multimedia device may itself comprise audio or audio-visual output capabilities and may, for example, include an amplifier and a loudspeaker arrangement.

Alternatively, the networked multimedia device may store content locally and stream this content across the relevant network to a playback device connected to the network.

Whilst there are many variations of multimedia device, a key aspect of such streaming multimedia device is that the wireless network connection must have sufficient bandwidth and a low enough latency to enable high-quality multimedia content to be played without any degradation in quality. For example, a reduction in bandwidth may lead to undesirable pauses in the playback due to buffering or an unacceptable reduction in quality and resolution of audio or video playback.

Additionally, the electronic media device may be controlled by another electronic device across a network, for example, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, where the other device is used as a remote control to select, for example, particular media content or adjust the volume of the media content. Whilst such data connections may not necessarily require high bandwidth, the connection between devices needs to be reliable and consistent to ensure that the electronic media device is responsive to the user’s input commands. Any delay or unresponsiveness can lead to a poor user experience.

In order to meet these requirements, a networked multimedia device must have sufficient capability to receive and transmit the necessary data at the necessary data rate and with minimal errors. In addition, the device must be capable of receiving and transmitting signals and have a good range and coverage of a room in which it is placed. A key aspect of this is to provide a suitable and efficient antenna for the electronic device.

Wireless networks receive and transmit data at specific frequencies. The necessary network radio transmitters and receivers require a suitable antenna or antennas to receive incoming data and/or to radiate outgoing data.

Some network antennas are mounted externally of the networked device as seen on, for example, wireless routers. However, for many electronic devices, this is visually undesirable and so for these devices the antennas are embedded inside the hardware enclosure of the multimedia device.

One form of antenna used within electronic devices is a slot antenna excited by a microstrip transmission line. Such antennas comprise a flat conductive plate with a slot approximately one half wavelength long at the required operating frequency cut therein and a microstrip transmission line passing across the slot. The transmission line may be galvanically connected to one edge of the slot or may pass across the slot and extend across the slot by typically one quarter wavelength at the frequency of operation. When the microstrip transmission line is excited at a driving frequency, the slot radiates electromagnetic waves similarly to a dipole antenna, albeit in a different polarisation.

The shape and electrical size of the slot determine its radiation pattern.

The signal strength of a wireless network experienced by a networked multimedia device depends greatly on the power gain of the antenna. Power gain is measured in decibels (dB), and this represents ratio of the maximum signal strength radiated by an antenna compared with that radiated by a standard reference antenna. The efficiency of an antenna is the ratio of the total power transmitted to the available power delivered to the antenna terminals by the transmitted. A number of problems can arise with regard to modem electronic multimedia devices. Many modern electronic devices comprise housings formed from metal. Metals such as aluminium or stainless steel can be painted, polished or brushed to provide a high quality appearance, whilst providing the necessary mechanical strength. These qualities have become desirable within the consumer electronics industry, particularly for mid- to upper-end consumer products.

Nevertheless, a metal housing poses numerous problems when attempting to design an internal antenna arrangement which has high gain and useful range. The most obvious of these is that the metal housing can form, in certain cases, a Faraday cage. A Faraday cage comprises an enclosure formed of a conducting material. The conducting material attenuates or blocks any external electromagnetic radiation impinging upon the interior of the housing. Further, internally-generated electromagnetic radiation (e.g. radiation from an internally-located antenna) will also be significantly attenuated or blocked for the same reasons.

This problem may be circumvented by appropriate use of apertures and/or plastic (or other non-conducting materials) in the construction of the housing. However, this may reduce the perceived quality of the electronic device if such areas are visible in normal use.

It is also generally not practical to utilise the metal casing of an electronic device as a conductor in its own right because these regions may be contacted by a user in use, which may cause variations in signal strength or directionality.

Compounding these issues, consumers often demand devices which are unobtrusive in use and may be incorporated into areas having limited space. Consequently, many electronic devices are very component-dense. In other words, a large number of components are incorporated into a housing which is as small as practicable. This creates challenges in terms of packaging and cooling of devices. Further, this provides limited space and opportunity for antennas to be placed in the housing for optimum signal strength and coverage.

Therefore, a technical problem exists in the art is that it is difficult to provide an efficient antenna with a reliable radiation pattern within a compact electronic device. The present invention addresses these issues.

According to a first aspect of the present invention, there is provided a control device for an electronic multimedia device, the control device comprising a control member configured and arranged to be touched or manipulated by a user in order to control, in use, a function of the electronic multimedia device and an antenna arranged to transmit and/or receive data across a wireless network, wherein the antenna is located within the control member.

In one embodiment, the control member comprises a mechanical device operable to be manipulated and/or moved by a user to control, in use, a function of the electronic multimedia device.

In one embodiment, the control device comprises a base section and the control member is operable, in use, to be grasped and rotated by a user about an axis of rotation relative to the base section.

In one embodiment, the control member comprises a substantially cylindrical bezel rotatable about said axis of rotation.

In one embodiment, the base section further comprises a central portion located within the control member such that the control member is rotatable with respect to the central portion.

In one embodiment, the antenna is located within the central portion.

In one embodiment, the central portion forms at least a part of the outer surface of the control member.

In one embodiment, the central portion has a cover member forming part of the outer surface of the control member, and wherein the cover member is formed from plastic and/or other non-conducting material.

In one embodiment, said graspable cylindrical bezel is substantially flush with the cover member.

In one embodiment, the cover member is substantially circular and the cylindrical bezel is arranged immediately adjacent the circumference of the display panel.

In one embodiment, the antenna is located within the central portion underneath the cover member.

In one embodiment, the antenna is substantially planar.

In one embodiment, the antenna comprises a slot antenna.

In one embodiment, the antenna comprises a crossed-slot antenna.

In one embodiment, the control device further comprises a wireless network controller operatively connected to the antenna, and wherein the wireless network controller and antenna form a wireless network interface.

In one embodiment, the wireless network interface is arranged to operate on a frequency in the range of 2 to 5 GHz.

In one embodiment, the wireless network comprises a local area network, intranet, Bluetooth or Wi-Fi network.

In one embodiment, the wireless network controller is formed on a printed circuit board which is spaced from the antenna.

In one embodiment, said printed circuit board is located on the opposite side of the base portion from the antenna.

In one embodiment, the printed circuit board further comprises a controller operatively connected to the control member.

In one embodiment, the printed circuit board further comprises one or more light sources.

In one embodiment, the one or more light sources are operable, in use, to illuminate the control member.

In one embodiment, the control member further comprises a rotary bearing to provide a rotatable connection with the base section.

In one embodiment, the control member further comprises a rotation detector for detecting rotation of the control member.

In one embodiment, said rotation detector comprises an electronic emitter and sensor located on said base section, and a ring located on said control member and comprising a plurality of protrusions, said ring being rotatable with said control member such that the protrusions of said ring pass between the emitter and sensor.

According to a second aspect of the present invention, there is provided an electronic multimedia device comprising an external housing and a control device according to any one of the preceding claims.

In one embodiment, the control device is arranged within the housing such that the control member is located on an upper surface of the housing.

In one embodiment, the control member is located in a recess in the housing.

In one embodiment, the external housing is substantially formed from metal.

In one embodiment, the electronic multimedia device is in the form of an electronic audio device and comprising an amplifier.

In one embodiment, the electronic audio device is in the form of an audio player.

Embodiments of the present invention will now be described in detail with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

Figure 1 is an isometric view of an electronic audio player suitable for use with the control device of the present invention;

Figure 2 is a more detailed view of the electronic audio player of Figure 1 showing the control device of the present invention in more detail;

Figure 3 is an isometric view of a control device according to an embodiment of the present invention;

Figure 4 is an exploded isometric view of the control device of Figure 3;

Figure 5 is a section view through the control device of Figures 3 and 4;

Figure 6 is an isometric view showing key components of the control device of Figures 3 and 4;

Figure 7 is an exploded view of the components of Figure 6;

Figure 8 is a view similar to Figure 3 with a cover panel removed for clarity; and

Figure 9 is section through the electronic audio device of Figure 1 including the control device of Figures 3 to 8.

Figure 1 is an isometric view of an electronic device in the form of an electronic audio device 10. The electronic audio device 10 is arranged to play audio media received from any suitable source; for example, audio data streamed via a network, a compact disc (CD) player or other audio input.

The electronic audio device 10 comprises a housing 12 formed from a rigid material such as wood and/or metal. A control panel 14 is located at the front of the housing 12. Within the housing 12 is located an amplifier (not shown). Outputs (not shown) are provided to enable a plurality of loudspeakers (not shown) to be connected to the electronic audio device 10. It is to be understood that the above-described audio device 10 is merely exemplary and the skilled person would readily be aware of alternative devices which could be used with the present invention.

The housing 12 comprises a substantially planar upper surface 16. A circular cut-out 18 is formed in the upper surface and comprises a frustoconical chamfered recess 20. A control device 100 according to an embodiment of the present invention is located within the cut-out 18 and the chamfered recess 20. Figure 2 shows the control device 100 and electronic audio device 10 in more detail. The control device 100 is arranged such that a user can readily grasp or otherwise manipulate at least a part of the control device 100 in order to control one or more functions of the electronic audio device 10. The control device 100 is inset into cut-out 18 so that the control device 100 does not extend beyond the level of the planar upper surface 16.

The control device 100 is shown in more detail in Figures 3 to 9. Figure 3 shows an isometric view of the control device 100 separate from the electronic audio device 10.

Figure 4 shows an exploded view of the components of the control device 100. Figure 5 is a section view through the control device, and Figures 6 and 7 show elements of the control device in combined and exploded views respectively. Figure 8 the control device absent a cover member (described below), and Figure 9 shows a section view through the electronic audio device 10 including the control device 100.

The control device 100 comprises a base section 102, a rotary control element 104, a central module 106 and a control PCB 108.

The base section 102 is arranged to secure the control device 100 to the remainder of the electronic audio device 10 and to enable electronic connections thereto to be established.

The base section 102 comprises first and second portions 110, 112. The first portion 110 includes an outer surface forming the chamfered recess 20. The second portion 112 comprises an annular channel 114 operable to receive the rotary control element 104. The second portion 112 may, in addition, be formed from a transparent material to enable illumination as will be described later. A mount portion 116 is located inwardly of the annular channel 114 and comprises a raised cylindrical section which functions to support the central module 106 as will be described later.

The rotary control element 104 comprises a graspable cylindrical bezel 118 and a castellation ring 120. The graspable bezel 118 is manipulate by a user to adjust a parameter of the electronic audio device 10 in use, for example, the volume of an audio track or to select a particular mode of operation of, or media content item on, the electronic audio device 10. In this embodiment, the rotary control element 104 is arranged to rotate about an axis X-X as shown in Figures 3 and 5.

In this embodiment, the bezel 118 is formed from metal; for example, machined aluminium. Machined aluminium provides a high-quality tactile user experience.

However, other metals, or materials such as plastic, wood or metal/plastic hybrids could be used in place of aluminium.

The castellation ring 120 comprises a plurality of projecting castellations disposed around the perimeter of the castellation ring 120. The castellation ring 120 is, in use, connected to the bezel 118 and arranged to move therewith.

The rotary control element 104 is arranged to be supported in the annular channel 114 which provides an interface between the stationary base section 102 and the rotatable bezel 118. The interface may take any suitable form; for example, the annular channel 114 may contain a race of ball bearings to provide smooth rotational movement.

In use, the castellations are arranged to extend into the path between an infrared (IR) emitter and receiver forming part of an Infra-red (IR) motion sensor (not shown) arranged on the mount portion 116 such that, as the bezel 118 is rotated, the projecting castellations intermittently block the transmission of IR radiation from the IR emitter to the IR sensor 118.

In this way, the speed and direction of rotation of the bezel 118 can be detected efficiently without recourse to mechanical devices which may impede the smooth movement of the bezel 118 and which may be susceptible to failure and damage in use.

The central module 106 will now be described in more detail with reference to Figures 4 to 8. The central module 106 comprises a base structure 122, an outer panel 124 and an antenna module 126. The central module 106, in use, is arranged to remain stationary with respect to the remainder of the electronic audio device 10 such that the rotary control element 104 is operable to rotate about the central module 106.

The base structure 122 is configured to be attached to the mount portion 116 and includes electrical connections to connect the antenna module 126 to the control PCB 108.

The outer panel 124 is, in this embodiment, formed from a plastic material such as ABS or Perspex. However, other materials, for example, wood, may be used. The outer panel 124 may be formed from a coloured material, such as darkly-coloured or black plastic. The outer panel 124 may also take on different structural configurations and need not be planar. For example, the outer panel 124 may be gently tapered, conical or hemispherical. The skilled person would be aware that the exact structure of the outer panel 124 may be varied as appropriate.

The antenna module 126 is shown in more detail in Figures 6 and 7. The antenna module 126 comprises a circular PCB 128 upon which is formed a crossed-slot Bluetooth antenna 130. The antenna is cross pole and omnidirectional in nature, and operable to radiate between 2.4 and 2.5GHz, preferably 2.4 GHz. However, the skilled person would understand that this is not to be taken as limiting and that other frequencies or wireless communication bands could be used. Further, multiple frequencies may be used simultaneously - for example, through use of a dual band antenna. The antenna module 126 is arranged to radiate omnidirectionally outwardly and upwardly from the housing 12.

The antenna PCB 128 comprises metallic conductors on opposing faces of an insulating laminate. One face of the antenna PCB is substantially covered with a conductive material (not shown) such as copper foil. The conductive material comprises a crossed slot antenna formed therein. Each slot has a length which is approximately a half wavelength long. In use, the currents within each slot are 90 degrees out of phase.

The other, opposing face of the antenna PCB 128 is provided with a microstrip transmission line (not shown). One end of the transmission line is connected to an input (for example, one or more of the connectors on the base structure 122. The other end of the transmission line extends across the width of the slots and terminates in an open circuit approximately one electrical quarter wavelength beyond the closest edge of the slots.

Alternatively, the transmission line may be galvanically connected to an edge of the crossed slots. Impedance matching means such as a network of capacitors and/or inductors may optionally be provided between the input connection and the proximate edge of the slots. A cross-slot antenna has numerous advantages in this present application. For example, the omnidirectional nature of the radiation pattern is useful to take advantage of environmental factors; for instance, reflections from a ceiling, roof, walls and/or other room surfaces or items to give improved coverage. However, other forms of antenna may be used with the present invention, for example, other Wi-Fi or other network antenna, single slot or other antenna configurations.

The antenna module 126 is arranged within the diameter of the rotary control element 104 above the base structure 122 and underneath the outer panel 124. The antenna PCB 128 has a plurality of radial slots 132 formed therein. As shown in Figures 6 and 7, the slots 132 are arranged to engage with radial projections 134 on the base structure 122 to secure the antenna module 126 thereto. The antenna module 126 has a diameter less than that of the base structure 122.

The outer panel 124 can then be attached or secured on top of the antenna module 126 so that the antenna module 126 is protected from the environment and not visible to a user of the electronic device 10. The outer panel 124 can be secured to the outer portion of the base structure adjacent the radial projections 134.

As shown in Figures 5 to 7, the control PCB 108 is secured below the base section 102. In this embodiment, the control PCB 108 is secured with screws. However, other fixing means may be utilised.

The control PCB 108 comprises numerous electronic components. The control PCB 108 is electrically connected to the antenna module 126 and comprises control circuitry for controlling the Bluetooth antenna module 126. In addition, the control PCB 108 includes control elements to control the function of the rotary control element 104. For example, if the rotary control element 104 is operable to provide a physical volume control, then the control PCB 108 may include circuit elements, controllers and encoders to control the volume level output by the electronic media device 10. In other words, the control PCB 108 is a combined antenna driver and controller for the function allocated to the rotary control member 104.

The control PCB 108 has a further operational function. The location of the control PCB 108 directly below and spaced from the omnidirectional antenna module 126 enables the control PCB 108 also to function as a shield for other components of the electronic audio device 10 within the housing 12. This can be seen with reference to Figure 9. Since high fidelity and quality is required from the components within the housing 12 (e.g. a digital amplifier), then any interference from the radiation emitted by or received from the antenna module 126 is unwelcome. Consequently, the positioning of the control PCB 108 assists in shielding other components from any downwardly-emitted radiation from the antenna module 106.

Finally, the control PCB 108 may optionally comprise light sources as described below. The periphery of the base section 102 surrounding the rotary bezel 118 is arranged to be illuminated in use. In this regard, a circumferential flange 136 is formed in the second portion 112 of the base section 102 which forms a light guide.

The upper surface of the control PCB 108 comprises a plurality of surface-emitting LEDs 138 equi-spaced about the circumference of the second portion 112 of the base surface 102 adjacent the circumferential flange 136.

In this embodiment, the LEDs 138 comprise white (or near-white) inorganic LEDs that are integrated directly onto the control PCB 108. White LEDs are generally formed from a UV or blue emitting semiconductor LED which excites a suitable phosphor to produce white light. The LEDs 138 are surface mounted on the control PCB 108.

When illuminated, the LEDs 138 are arranged to emit light into the circumferential flange 136. This light will be visible as a “halo” or a “glowing” effect around the outer circumference of the bezel 118. In other words, when the control device 100 is located within the circular cut-out 18, light emission from the LEDs 138 will cause the outer edge of the rotary bezel 118 to “glow” through a combination of refraction, reflection and transmission through the transparent plastic of the second portion 112 of the base section 102.

In order to provide a uniform “glow” around the entire circumference of the rotary bezel 118, it is necessary to diffuse the light from the LEDs 138 so that the glow appears continuous. To achieve this, a suitable diffusing element is provided. The nature of this element is not material to the present invention, but may, for example, comprise through holes, partially-drilled holes, diffraction gratings, frosted plastic, corrugations or other shapes which diffuse and/or redirect the light emitted from the LEDs 138 sufficiently result in a continuous, unbroken “glow” of light emission around the rotary bezel 118.

The above-described combined control arrangement has numerous technical benefits. Firstly, the space within the diameter of the rotary control element 104 provides a useful location for electronic components in the device. Further, the location within the rotary control element 104 comprises a region of the outer surface of the electronic device 10 which is not formed from metal. The region within the rotary control element 104 is necessarily separate and isolated from the remainder of the housing 12 of the electronic device 10. Therefore, it is possible to provide a different, non-metallic, material in this region without destroying the continuity of the material structure of the remainder of the housing 12.

Indeed, a user would naturally understand that the region within the diameter of the rotary control element 104 need not be identical to that of the surrounding housing 12, and so would not consider this element to spoil the lines of the housing 12.

Further, this region provides a convenient space within a component-dense device to house an antenna with minimal interference with other components, resulting in a compact and high quality device. A further benefit to the location of the antenna within the diameter of the rotary control device 104 is that, because the rotary control device 104 is graspable by a user to control the volume or other function of the electronic device 10, the user will instinctively place the electronic device 10 in a room in a position where the rotary control device 104 can be readily accessed by a user.

In other words, the user is unlikely to place the electronic device 10 under, for example, a low shelf, in a cupboard or to stack other electronic devices on top of the electronic device 10 because this would impede access to the rotary control device 104. Therefore, by providing this arrangement, sufficient clearance will naturally be provided for the rotary control device 104 and, correspondingly, for the antenna 126 located within. This ensures that the radiation pattern from the antenna 126 will not be impeded by furniture or other obstacles, ensuring good coverage of an environment.

As described above, in use, the control device 100 is integrated into the electronic audio device 10. In this embodiment, the electronic audio device 10 is configured to play audio media received from a suitable source; for example, audio data streamed via a network, a compact disc (CD) player or other audio input. The audio media is can then be played from attached speakers (not shown).

In use, a user can control the operation functions of the electronic audio device 10 using the control device 100. In one non-limiting example, the absence of a control input from the user, the outer ring illumination (from the LEDs 138) is arranged to be switched off.

The user may then, for example, choose to play an audio track. This may be done by means of a remote control or “smartphone” (not shown) connected through the Bluetooth network, or may be initiated by a user touching the bezel 118 for example, by detecting movement of the bezel 118 using the IR sensors.

The user can then adjust the volume by rotating the bezel 118 as appropriate. Rotation of the bezel 118 will cause the castellation ring 120 to rotate relative to the IR emitter and sensor. This will be detected as a mark-space ratio by the IR sensor 118 and from this, the speed and direction of rotation of the bezel 118 can be determined. The volume can then be adjusted as appropriate.

When the volume is adjusted in this manner, the outer illumination of the bezel 118 (via the LEDs 138) assists the user. A plurality of peripheral volume segments may also be illuminated around the circumference of the bezel 118.

Once the user has adjusted the volume to the desired level and has removed his/her hand from the bezel 118, after a particular period of time then the illumination on the outer ring will be switched off or dimmed if programmed to do so.

Variations of the above arrangement will be apparent to the skilled person. The specific configuration of components may vary and still fall within the scope of the present invention.

For example, whilst the control device 100 described above has been described and illustrated comprising a rotary control device, this need not be the case. Instead, a control device having a different form of movement may be utilised; for example, a push button or translatable device that is operable to move laterally or vertically within predefined limits.

Alternatively and/or additionally, the control device 100 need not have mechanically-moving elements. For example, the bezel of the control device may comprise one or more (fixed) capacitance sensors which the user can touch and/or manipulate to control the function of the control device. For example, the user may run his or her fingers around the periphery of the control device to control or adjust the assigned control function.

In addition, whilst the above example has been described and illustrated with reference to the control device being operable to control the volume of an electronic audio device, the skilled person would realise that other control functions could be implemented within the scope of the present invention.

Finally, the control device as described need not be used solely with the exemplary audio device of Figures 1 and 2. To the contrary, the control device may be used with numerous other electronic devices, for example audio- or audio-visual based devices for use in domestic, business, automotive, aeronautical or industrial environments. The skilled person would readily be aware of devices which would be suitable for use with the control device and/or display panel of the present invention.

Embodiments of the present invention have been described with particular reference to the examples illustrated. While specific examples are shown in the drawings and are herein described in detail, it should be understood, however, that the drawings and detailed description are not intended to limit the invention to the particular form disclosed. It will be appreciated that variations and modifications may be made to the examples described within the scope of the present invention.

Claims (33)

1. A control device for an electronic multimedia device, the control device comprising a control member configured and arranged to be touched or manipulated by a user in order to control, in use, a function of the electronic multimedia device and an antenna arranged to transmit and/or receive data across a wireless network, wherein the antenna is located within the control member.
2. A control device according to claim 1, wherein the control member comprises a mechanical device operable to be manipulated and/or moved by a user to control, in use, a function of the electronic multimedia device.
3. A control device according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the control device comprises a base section and the control member is operable, in use, to be grasped and rotated by a user about an axis of rotation relative to the base section.
4. A control device according to claim 3, wherein the control member comprises a substantially cylindrical bezel rotatable about said axis of rotation.
5. A control device according to claim 3 or 4, wherein the base section further comprises a central portion located within the control member such that the control member is rotatable with respect to the central portion.
6. A control device according to claim 5, wherein the antenna is located within the central portion.
7. A control device according to claim 6, wherein the central portion forms at least a part of the outer surface of the control member.
8. A control device according to claim 7, wherein the central portion has a cover member forming part of the outer surface of the control member, and wherein the cover member is formed from plastic and/or other non-conducting material.
9. A control device according to claim 8 when dependent upon claim 4, wherein said graspable cylindrical bezel is substantially flush with the cover member.
10. A control device according to claim 8 or 9, wherein the cover member is substantially circular and the cylindrical bezel is arranged immediately adjacent the circumference of the display panel.
11. A control device according to claim 8, 9 or 10, wherein the antenna is located within the central portion underneath the cover member.
12. A control device according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the antenna is substantially planar.
13. A control device according to claim 12, wherein the antenna comprises a slot antenna.
14. A control device according to claim 13, wherein the antenna comprises a crossed-slot antenna.
15. A control device according to any one of the preceding claims, further comprising a wireless network controller operatively connected to the antenna, and wherein the wireless network controller and antenna form a wireless network interface.
16. A control device according to claim 15, wherein the wireless network interface is arranged to operate on a frequency in the range of 2 to 5 GHz.
17. A control device according to claim 16, wherein the wireless network comprises a local area network, intranet, Bluetooth or Wi-Fi network.
18. A control device according to claim 15, 16 or 17, wherein the wireless network controller is formed on a printed circuit board which is spaced from the antenna.
19. A control device according to claim 18, wherein said printed circuit board is located on the opposite side of the base portion from the antenna.
20. A control device according to claim 18 or 19, wherein the printed circuit board further comprises a controller operatively connected to the control member.
21. A control device according to claim 20, wherein the printed circuit board further comprises one or more light sources.
22. A control device according to claim 21, wherein the one or more light sources are operable, in use, to illuminate the control member.
23. A control device according to any one of claims 3 to 22, wherein the control member further comprises a rotary bearing to provide a rotatable connection with the base section.
24. A control device according to any one of claims 3 to 23, wherein the control member further comprises a rotation detector for detecting rotation of the control member.
25. A control device according to claim 24, wherein said rotation detector comprises an electronic emitter and sensor located on said base section, and a ring located on said control member and comprising a plurality of protrusions, said ring being rotatable with said control member such that the protrusions of said ring pass between the emitter and sensor.
26. An electronic multimedia device comprising an external housing and a control device according to any one of the preceding claims.
27. An electronic multimedia device according to claim 26, wherein the control device is arranged within the housing such that the control member is located on an upper surface of the housing.
28. An electronic multimedia device according to claim 27, wherein the control member is located in a recess in the housing.
29. An electronic multimedia device according to any one of claims 26 to 28, wherein the external housing is substantially formed from metal.
30. An electronic multimedia device according to any one of claims 26 to 29, in the form of an electronic audio device and comprising an amplifier.
31. A control device for an electronic device substantially as hereinbefore described and/or illustrated with reference to the accompanying drawings.
32. An electronic multimedia device substantially as hereinbefore described and/or illustrated with reference to the accompanying drawings.
33. An audio device substantially as hereinbefore described and/or illustrated with reference to the accompanying drawings.
GB1611201.3A 2016-06-28 2016-06-28 An Antenna configuration for an electronic device Pending GB2551734A (en)

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GB2551734A true GB2551734A (en) 2018-01-03

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US20070024509A1 (en) * 2005-07-26 2007-02-01 Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. Antenna for portable terminal
JP2008135975A (en) * 2006-11-28 2008-06-12 Kenwood Corp Portable radio device
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