US20080173561A1 - Portable electronic devices and carrying cases with built-in network detectors - Google Patents

Portable electronic devices and carrying cases with built-in network detectors Download PDF

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Publication number
US20080173561A1
US20080173561A1 US12017210 US1721008A US2008173561A1 US 20080173561 A1 US20080173561 A1 US 20080173561A1 US 12017210 US12017210 US 12017210 US 1721008 A US1721008 A US 1721008A US 2008173561 A1 US2008173561 A1 US 2008173561A1
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Prior art keywords
network
detector
device
apparatus
case
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Abandoned
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US12017210
Inventor
W. Shaun Jackson
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Jackson W Shaun
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    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04WWIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS NETWORKS
    • H04W48/00Access restriction; Network selection; Access point selection
    • H04W48/16Discovering, processing access restriction or access information

Abstract

A convenient configuration for determining the presence of a wireless network includes an electronic network detector device supported either on the carrying case for a portable electronic device or the device itself, be it a laptop or hand-held computer, smart phone, or portable digital assistant. In the preferred embodiment, the electronic network detector device is supported on, or integrally formed with, the computer case. The detector may be disposed on a handle, shoulder strap, or other location providing convenient access. The network detector may detect a Wi-Fi network or other wireless infrastructure, and may show the signal strength of the network and/or the direction in which the signal strength of the network is the strongest.

Description

    REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • This application claims priority from U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/885,750, filed Jan. 19, 2007, the entire content of which is incorporated herein by reference.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • This invention relates generally to portable computing devices and, in particular, to computers and carrying cases with built-in network detectors.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • Small retail stores such as coffee shops, and much larger public buildings, including airports, are being equipped with complementary or password-protected wireless networking. Currently the most common protocol is Wi-Fi, a technology based on IEEE 802.11 standards. Another popular protocol is Bluetooth.
  • If a computer user knows that a network signal is available in a particular location, he or she can simply activate their portable computing device and go online. If a person does not know whether a network is available, they must sometimes walk around with their laptop or other device turned on to “hunt” for a signal.
  • To assist in this process, very small network signal-strength detectors have recently become available. Conveniently, some of these are small enough to fit on a keychain as a “fob.” Devices of this type are described in Published U.S. Patent Application Serial Nos. 2005/0176420 and 2007/0253395, the content of both being incorporated herein by reference. However, even with such devices, electronic device users in unknown environments need to refer to two different devices to locate a network having sufficient strength, often referring back and forth between their keychain and portable electronic device.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • This invention provides a convenient configuration for determining the presence of a wireless network by providing an electronic network detector device supported either on the carrying case for a portable electronic device or the device itself, be it a laptop or hand-held computer, smart phone, or portable digital assistant.
  • In the preferred embodiment, the electronic network detector device is supported on, or integrally formed with, the computer case. The detector may be disposed on a handle, shoulder strap, or other location providing convenient access. The network detector may detect a Wi-Fi network or other wireless infrastructure, and may show the signal strength of the network and/or the direction in which the signal strength of the network is the strongest.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 shows a computer case according to the invention having a handle including a network detector activated by a button;
  • FIG. 2 shows a network detector located in the shoulder strap of a carrying case; and
  • FIG. 3 shows how a detector may be located on the computer case itself.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • This invention addresses the issues outlined above by providing a network signal-strength detector in a piece of computer luggage. The preferred embodiment is shown in FIG. 1. A computer case 102 having a handle 104 includes a network detector 106 activated by a button 108. This allows the user to look for sufficient signal strength by simply pressing the button with their thumb while holding their computer case, thereby eliminating the need to refer to a different item, such as a key fob.
  • The invention is not limited in regards to the type of network detected, and the display of signal strength is optional. That is, the invention is compatible with Wi-Fi and any other available or yet-to-be-developed networks, and a simple yes/no type of display may be used or even a more sophisticated capability including arrows to guide a user to the strongest signal available.
  • FIGS. 2 and 3 illustrate alternative embodiments of the invention, wherein, in FIG. 2, the network detector is located in the shoulder strap of the carrying case. Alternatively, the detector may be located on the computer case itself, as shown in FIG. 3. As a further alternative, though not shown, a network detector may be provided as a separate unit, using hook-and-loop fasteners or other attachment means, to place it on to the computer case in any of the locations described herein. This would allow it to be removed, and perhaps used as a key fob, for other applications.

Claims (8)

  1. 1. Network detection apparatus, comprising:
    a carrying case for a portable electronic device; and
    an electronic wireless network detector device supported on the case.
  2. 2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein:
    the carrying case has a handle; and
    the network detector is supported on the handle of the case.
  3. 3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein:
    the carrying case has a shoulder strap; and
    the network detector is supported on a shoulder strap of the case.
  4. 4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the network detector detects a Wi-Fi network.
  5. 5. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the network detector detects a Bluetooth signal.
  6. 6. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the network detector shows the signal strength of the network.
  7. 7. The apparatus of claim 5, wherein the network detector displays the direction in which the signal strength of the network is the strongest.
  8. 8. Network detection apparatus, comprising:
    a portable electronic device; and
    an electronic wireless network detector device integrally formed on the device.
US12017210 2007-01-19 2008-01-21 Portable electronic devices and carrying cases with built-in network detectors Abandoned US20080173561A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US88575007 true 2007-01-19 2007-01-19
US12017210 US20080173561A1 (en) 2007-01-19 2008-01-21 Portable electronic devices and carrying cases with built-in network detectors

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US12017210 US20080173561A1 (en) 2007-01-19 2008-01-21 Portable electronic devices and carrying cases with built-in network detectors

Publications (1)

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US20080173561A1 true true US20080173561A1 (en) 2008-07-24

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US12017210 Abandoned US20080173561A1 (en) 2007-01-19 2008-01-21 Portable electronic devices and carrying cases with built-in network detectors

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Cited By (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20090023484A1 (en) * 2007-07-18 2009-01-22 Bonnette Louise Macklin Apparatus and Method for Carrying and Using a Cell Phone

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US6724306B1 (en) * 2002-06-21 2004-04-20 Ralph O. Parsley, Jr. Luggage locating system
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US20040203433A1 (en) * 2002-10-02 2004-10-14 Csi Wireless Llc System and method for WLAN signal strength determination
US20050125693A1 (en) * 2003-12-05 2005-06-09 Jean-Pierre Duplessis Automatic detection of wireless network type
US20060082489A1 (en) * 2004-10-15 2006-04-20 Liu Jiewen J Radar presence alert for WLAN
US20060214765A1 (en) * 2003-03-04 2006-09-28 Pitchers Stephen M Wireless transmission tag
US7313113B1 (en) * 2003-04-04 2007-12-25 Airespace, Inc. Dynamic transmit power configuration system for wireless network environments
US7338053B2 (en) * 2005-07-07 2008-03-04 Umagination Labs, L.P. Electronic devices for luggage
US20080106413A1 (en) * 2006-11-03 2008-05-08 D B Industries, Inc. Radio frequency identification connector
US20090088207A1 (en) * 2007-09-28 2009-04-02 Embarq Holdings Company Llc System and method for a wireless ringer function
US20090152144A1 (en) * 2007-12-17 2009-06-18 Karsten Manufacturing Corporation Golf Bag Having Shoulder Strap With An Electronic Device
US7588146B1 (en) * 2008-07-07 2009-09-15 The Gem Group, Inc. Computer case

Patent Citations (24)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4775083A (en) * 1987-02-02 1988-10-04 Motorola, Inc. Portable radio carrying case
US5043702A (en) * 1990-05-09 1991-08-27 Kuo Chun Chang Luggage with alarm device
USD332006S (en) * 1990-09-27 1992-12-29 Handbag
US5854980A (en) * 1994-03-18 1998-12-29 Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba Radio communication apparatus connected with a base station used in a service area prior to the others
US5760690A (en) * 1996-05-02 1998-06-02 Digital Equipment Corporation Portable computer with integrated alarm system
US6047752A (en) * 1998-04-21 2000-04-11 Southwick; Linda S. Handbag system
US5963131A (en) * 1998-06-19 1999-10-05 Lexent Technologies, Inc. Anti-theft device with alarm screening
US6265975B1 (en) * 2000-02-25 2001-07-24 Harry I. Zimmerman Proximity system for baggage
US6456487B1 (en) * 2001-04-30 2002-09-24 Nokia Corporation Enclosure for wireless communication device
US20020165758A1 (en) * 2001-05-03 2002-11-07 Hind John R. Identification and tracking of persons using RFID-tagged items
US20030093187A1 (en) * 2001-10-01 2003-05-15 Kline & Walker, Llc PFN/TRAC systemTM FAA upgrades for accountable remote and robotics control to stop the unauthorized use of aircraft and to improve equipment management and public safety in transportation
US20040029623A1 (en) * 2002-04-23 2004-02-12 Ellis Janet Curry Cellular telephone and PDA carrying system
US6724306B1 (en) * 2002-06-21 2004-04-20 Ralph O. Parsley, Jr. Luggage locating system
US6772879B1 (en) * 2002-06-25 2004-08-10 The Gem Group, Inc. Standing case for personal digital assistant
US20040203433A1 (en) * 2002-10-02 2004-10-14 Csi Wireless Llc System and method for WLAN signal strength determination
US20060214765A1 (en) * 2003-03-04 2006-09-28 Pitchers Stephen M Wireless transmission tag
US7313113B1 (en) * 2003-04-04 2007-12-25 Airespace, Inc. Dynamic transmit power configuration system for wireless network environments
US20050125693A1 (en) * 2003-12-05 2005-06-09 Jean-Pierre Duplessis Automatic detection of wireless network type
US20060082489A1 (en) * 2004-10-15 2006-04-20 Liu Jiewen J Radar presence alert for WLAN
US7338053B2 (en) * 2005-07-07 2008-03-04 Umagination Labs, L.P. Electronic devices for luggage
US20080106413A1 (en) * 2006-11-03 2008-05-08 D B Industries, Inc. Radio frequency identification connector
US20090088207A1 (en) * 2007-09-28 2009-04-02 Embarq Holdings Company Llc System and method for a wireless ringer function
US20090152144A1 (en) * 2007-12-17 2009-06-18 Karsten Manufacturing Corporation Golf Bag Having Shoulder Strap With An Electronic Device
US7588146B1 (en) * 2008-07-07 2009-09-15 The Gem Group, Inc. Computer case

Cited By (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20090023484A1 (en) * 2007-07-18 2009-01-22 Bonnette Louise Macklin Apparatus and Method for Carrying and Using a Cell Phone

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