US20090008419A1 - Tethered device holder - Google Patents

Tethered device holder Download PDF

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Publication number
US20090008419A1
US20090008419A1 US11/773,182 US77318207A US2009008419A1 US 20090008419 A1 US20090008419 A1 US 20090008419A1 US 77318207 A US77318207 A US 77318207A US 2009008419 A1 US2009008419 A1 US 2009008419A1
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US
United States
Prior art keywords
catch
prongs
device
position
anchor head
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.)
Abandoned
Application number
US11/773,182
Inventor
Chun Chee Tsang
Wing Fai Luk
Original Assignee
Chun Chee Tsang
Wing Fai Luk
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 Chun Chee Tsang, Wing Fai Luk filed Critical Chun Chee Tsang
Priority to US11/773,182 priority Critical patent/US20090008419A1/en
Priority claimed from US12/100,141 external-priority patent/US20090007390A1/en
Publication of US20090008419A1 publication Critical patent/US20090008419A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A45HAND OR TRAVELLING ARTICLES
    • A45FTRAVELLING OR CAMP EQUIPMENT: SACKS OR PACKS CARRIED ON THE BODY
    • A45F5/00Holders or carriers for hand articles; Holders or carriers for use while travelling or camping
    • A45F5/02Fastening articles to the garment
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A45HAND OR TRAVELLING ARTICLES
    • A45FTRAVELLING OR CAMP EQUIPMENT: SACKS OR PACKS CARRIED ON THE BODY
    • A45F5/00Holders or carriers for hand articles; Holders or carriers for use while travelling or camping
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A45HAND OR TRAVELLING ARTICLES
    • A45CPURSES; LUGGAGE; HAND CARRIED BAGS
    • A45C11/00Receptacles for purposes not provided for in groups A45C1/00 - A45C9/00
    • A45C2011/002Receptacles for purposes not provided for in groups A45C1/00 - A45C9/00 for portable handheld communication devices, e.g. mobile phone, pager, beeper, PDA, smart phone
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A45HAND OR TRAVELLING ARTICLES
    • A45FTRAVELLING OR CAMP EQUIPMENT: SACKS OR PACKS CARRIED ON THE BODY
    • A45F5/00Holders or carriers for hand articles; Holders or carriers for use while travelling or camping
    • A45F2005/006Holders or carriers for hand articles; Holders or carriers for use while travelling or camping comprising a suspension strap or lanyard

Abstract

A shell or case for holding a cell phone, with a releasable tether attached to the case, for quickly locating and retrieving the cell phone from the depths of a handbag or tote bag. A catch device is attached to an external surface of the shell, with a push-button release mechanism. The tether has a post and anchor head that snaps into the catch device. Pushing the release mechanism opens the catch. A biasing spring ejects the anchor head from the device. The tether may be attached at its other end to a handbag or tote bag strap, so that it is easily and quickly located. Pulling on the tether retrieves the shell with phone or other electronic device from the bag. Pushing the release button automatically releases and ejects the end of the tether from the shell, so that the user may used the cell phone or device freely, without any restraint on freedom of movement.

Description

    BACKGROUND INFORMATION
  • 1. Field of the Invention
  • The invention relates to the field of article carriers and, particularly, to cases or carriers for handheld electronic devices. More particularly, the invention relates to tethered holders, which facilitate retrieval of such devices from a larger storage area.
  • 2. Description of the Prior Art
  • Handheld electronic devices are ubiquitous in today's world. People routinely carry PDAs, cell phones, pagers, and other devices. For the sake of simplicity, reference shall be made to a cell phone hereinafter, although it is understood that this term is also representative of PDAs, pagers, and other handheld electronic devices. Men typically carry such devices, when not in use, in their pants pocket or clipped to their pants belt, so they are generally readily accessible. Women, on the other hand, generally carry such devices in a handbag. When the phone rings, the user then has to quickly locate the cell phone in the handbag and retrieve it before the caller has given up and terminated the call. The problem with storing a cell phone in a handbag is, that the phone, being small and denser than other objects in the handbag, sinks to the bottom of the bag. Depending on the size and contents of the bag, it may take some time to locate and retrieve the device. The same problem applies when carrying the cell phone in a back pack, tote bag, book bag, or other large carrier.
  • One solution to the problem above is to attach a tether to the device. Many embodiments of a spooled tether are known. Typically, a case for the handheld electronic device is attached to a belt. Also attached to the belt is a spooled tether case. The end of the tether is attached to the electronic device. The tether is generally spring-biased to retract automatically into its case. This allows the tether to remain on the device during use, yet allow sufficient freedom of movement so that the device can be used comfortably for its intended function. That is, the device can comfortably be raised to the ear or held in the hand. This system also works well for key rings, which are attached to the end of the tether and are carried close to the spooled tether case.
  • This type of tether system is not particularly suitable for use with cell phones that are stored in a handbag or other type of bag. If the spooled tether case is attached to some strap or loop in the bag, the user is forced to use or at least respond to a call on the cell phone in close proximity to the bag, and this is not always convenient.
  • What is needed, therefore, is a device for tethering a handheld electronic device to a handbag or tote bag for quick retrieval, that will instantly allow untethered use of the device.
  • BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The invention is a tethered holster for holding a handheld electronic device. The handheld electronic device may be a cell phone, PDA, pager, or other device that is typically carried in a handbag, back pack, book bag, or tote bag, and that is typically held by the user during use. The term “cell phone” or “phone” is used hereinafter as representative of handheld electronic devices. The holster is adapted to hold the handheld electronic device securely, while providing ready access to the operational features of the device. A tether is releasably attached to the holster. A cell phone user generally wants to be able to respond to an incoming call quickly and to use the phone without being restrained in freedom of movement. For this reason, the tethered holster according to the invention has a instant-release button that immediately releases the end of the tether from the holster.
  • The tethered holster comprises a shell or case that holds the cell phone or electronic device, such that it may be used while still held in the shell. A tether is releasably attachable to a catch device on the shell. The other end of the tether may be attached to or wrapped around another object, such as the strap or handle of a handbag, backpack, etc., so as to tether the case to the object. This allows the user to quickly locate the proximal end of the tether and to pull on it to retrieve the shell or case that is attached to the distal end. The distal end of the tether has a post with an anchor head that is releasably restrained within the catch device. The catch device is spring loaded, so that the catch is biased to a catch position that secures the anchor head within the catch device. A catch release, such as a push-button, works against the spring bias to open the catch. An ejection spring placed beneath the catch forces the anchor head out of the catch device when the catch release is actuated. In this manner, the tether is quickly released from the shell by the push of a button, so that the user may use the cell phone in the shell, without any restraints on personal movement.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The present invention is described with reference to the accompanying drawings. In the drawings, like reference numbers indicate identical or functionally similar elements. The drawings are not drawn to scale.
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the holster according to the invention, holding an electronic device.
  • FIG. 2 is a plane view of the holding area of the holster.
  • FIG. 3 is a plane view of the tether post.
  • FIG. 4 is perspective view of the tether catch device, with tether post engaged.
  • FIG. 4A is a top plane view of the tether catch device.
  • FIG. 4B is a first cross-sectional view of the tether catch device, a lengthwise cut through the catch device.
  • FIG. 4C is a second cross-sectional view of the tether catch device, a transverse cut through release button end of catch device.
  • FIG. 4D is a third cross-sectional view of the tether catch device, a transverse cut through tether catch end of the device, showing the tether post in the catch.
  • FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the catch-device housing, showing the outer and the inner surfaces.
  • FIG. 5A is a top plane view of the inside of the housing.
  • FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the underside of the button
  • FIG. 6A is an plane elevational view of the button.
  • FIG. 6B is a cross-sectional view of the button, showing the contour of the slider push block.
  • FIG. 6C is a cross-sectional view of the button, showing the slider push block and the button spring post.
  • FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the backplate.
  • FIG. 7A is a top plane view of the backplate.
  • FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the slider.
  • FIG. 8A is a top plane view of the slider.
  • FIG. 8B is a side elevational view of the slider.
  • FIG. 8C is a side view of the leaf spring.
  • FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the catch prong.
  • FIG. 9A is a top plane view of the catch prong.
  • FIG. 9B is a plane side view, showing a spring-retaining groove.
  • FIG. 9C is a cross-sectional view of the catch prong.
  • FIG. 10 is a partial assembly drawing, showing the slider assembled on the backplate, with the slider pushed to the release position and the prongs superimposed and shown held in their release position by the slider.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention will now be described more fully in detail with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which the preferred embodiments of the invention are shown. This invention should not, however, be construed as limited to the embodiments set forth herein; rather, they are provided so that this disclosure will be complete and will fully convey the scope of the invention to those skilled in the art.
  • FIGS. 1 and 2 show a holster 1000 according to the invention, for holding a small handheld electronic device ED. The holster 1000 is constructed to allow ready access to the operational features of the electronic device ED while it is held in the holster. The holster 1000 has a case 100 formed of side walls 102, a bottom wall 104, a back wall 112, and a catch device 200 mounted on the back wall. A continuous lip 106 on the edge of the back wall 112 and side walls 102 defines a storage area 108 on the case 100.
  • FIG. 3 shows a tether 400, which has a tether line 420, the ends of which are captured in a tether post 410. A post end 412 has an anchor head 414. FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the catch device 200, shown without the case 100. The catch device 200 comprises a catch 260 for releasably holding the anchor head 414 and a catch release 220. The anchor head 414 is shown captured in the catch 260. The catch release 220 in the embodiment shown is a button 230, which, when pushed, opens the catch 260, allowing the tether 400 to be quickly and easily released from the case 100.
  • FIGS. 4A-9B illustrate the construction and various features of the catch device 200 and FIG. 10 is a partial assembly drawing, showing the internal catch components in their assembled position. FIGS. 4A-4D show the catch device, with the tether post 410 engaged in the catch 260. FIG. 4A is a top plane view, FIG. 4B a cross-sectional side view, FIG. 4C a cross-sectional view showing the catch release 220, and FIG. 4D a cross-sectional view showing the anchor head 414 of the tether post 410 held in the catch 260. The catch 260 and the catch release 220 are enclosed in a housing 300 that comprises an upper housing 310 and a backplate 330. The catch release 220 includes the button 230 that is spring biased by a first spring 232 to hold the catch 260 in a restraining position. A more detailed discussion of the cooperation among the various components to actuate the catch 260 and the catch release 220 continues below, after the individual components have been explained.
  • FIGS. 5-5B show the inside of the upper housing 310, which has a button aperture 332 that provides access to the button 230 and a post aperture 336 into which the tether post 410 is inserted into the catch 260. Mounting holes 302 are provided for mounting the catch device 200 to the case 100.
  • FIG. 6 shows the underside of the button 230, which has a first push block 234 and a post 232A on which the first spring 232 is assembled. FIGS. 6A-6C illustrate the contours of the button 230 and push block 234.
  • FIG. 7 is a perspective view 330 and FIG. 7A a top plane view of the backplate 330. The backplate 330 has various features that are constructed to hold a slider assembly 270, which will be described in connection with FIGS. 8-8B below. Mounting holes 332 are provided, for attached the catch device 200 to the case 100.
  • FIG. 8A is a top plane view of the slider assembly 270, which is assembled on and slides along the backplate 330 to open or close the catch 260. The slider assembly 270 comprises a slider body 278, a leaf spring 274 that extends across a slider aperture 271, cam surfaces 276, a second push block 275, and a second biasing spring 272. FIG. 8C shows the contour of the leaf spring 274. FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the slider body 278, shown from its underside, without the leaf spring 278 and the second biasing spring 272 assembled.
  • FIGS. 9-9C illustrate a post prong 240 which has a recess 240A, a spring receiving groove 240B for retaining a third biasing spring 242, and a push surface 246. A pair of prongs 240 is assembled within the upper housing 310. During assembly, the prongs 240 are held in place by a lubrication substance that is applied to a surface of the prong, which is then pressed against the inner surface of the housing 310. Once the housing 310 is assembled on the backplate 330, the confines of the housing 310 and backplate 330 serve to hold the prongs 240 in their operative positions. The lubrication serves as a glide adhesive: it initially holds the prongs in position, yet allows the prongs to slide between a catch position and a release position, to be discussed with reference to FIG. 10.
  • FIG. 10 is a partial assembly drawing of the catch device 200, with the upper housing 310 removed, and which illustrates the catch and catch-release operations of the catch device 200. The slider 278 is assembled on the backplate 330, such that it is movable in the longitudinal direction, indicated by a first directional arrow A1. The catch release elements that are assembled in the upper housing 310 are shown with dashed lines, superimposed over the slider assembly 270. The button 230 with its first push block 234 is positioned above the second push block 276 on the slider 278. The pair of prongs 240 are movably retained within the upper housing 310. A third biasing spring 242 on each prong 240 biases the prongs toward the center of the catch device 200. The recesses 240A are dimensioned such, that they encompass the diameter of the tether post 410, yet are narrower than the diameter of the anchor head 414. Pressing on the button 230 forces the first push block 234 against the second push block 275 on the slider 278. This pushes the slider assembly 270 upward, that is, in the direction against the second biasing spring 272. In so doing, the cam edges 276 of the slider body 278 push against the push surfaces 246 on the prongs 240, which forces them to move in a lateral direction indicated by directional arrow A2, that is, away from the center and toward the sides of the catch device 200. This effectively widens the area between the prong recesses 240A, so that the anchor head 414 on the tether post 410 can escape the catch 260. The leaf spring 274 has an upward bias, up toward the upper housing 310, and serves as an ejection spring. When the prongs 240 are opened, so as to release the anchor head 414, the ejection spring 274 pushes the anchor head 414 upward and out of the catch 260.
  • To capture the tether 400 in the catch device 200, the user need only insert the anchor head 414 in the post aperture 336 and push slightly. The anchor head 414 and the edges of the recess 240A on the prongs 240 are contoured such, that the downward force on the prongs 240 forces them apart. The anchor head pushes past the opening formed by the recesses. The prongs 240, being spring biased toward the center of the device, snap to their catch position, in which the anchor head 414 is held in the catch device 200 by the prongs 240.
  • It is understood that the embodiments described herein are merely illustrative of the present invention. Variations in the construction of the catch device and phone holster may be contemplated by one skilled in the art without limiting the intended scope of the invention herein disclosed and as defined by the following claims.

Claims (10)

1. A catch device for capturing a tether post, said catch device comprising:
a catch-device housing comprising an upper housing and a backplate;
a catch release assembly comprising a slider assembly slidably mounted on said backplate and a release button assembled in an aperture on said upper housing, so as to be actuatable from outside said catch-device housing;
and a catch assembly comprising a pair of prongs that are slidably captured between said upper housing and said backplate and that form a releasable catch aperture for retaining an anchor head of a tether within said housing;
wherein said prongs in a catch position hold said anchor head caught within said catch-device housing,
wherein, when an actuating force is exerted on said release button, said button forces said slider assembly to move from a catch position to a release position;
wherein, when said slider assembly is in said release position, said prongs are forced open to allow said anchor head to escape; and
wherein an ejection spring exerts an upward force on said anchor head, so as to eject said anchor head from said catch-device housing.
2. The catch device of claim 1, wherein said release button has a first push block, said slider assembly includes a slider body having a second push block and push edges, and said prongs have a push surface; and
wherein, when said actuating force is exerted on said release button, said first push block pushes against said second push block on said slider body, forcing said slider body to slide in a longitudinal direction along said backplate and to move from said catch position to said release position, with said push edges of said slider body thereby pushing against said push surface of said prongs, forcing said prongs to slide in a transverse direction relative to said longitudinal direction of said slider body, so as to move said prongs to said open position.
3. The catch device of claim 2, wherein said release button has a first biasing spring that biases said button upward.
4. The catch device of claim 2, wherein said slider assembly has a second biasing spring that biases said slider body to a catch position.
5. The catch device of claim 2, wherein said prongs have a third biasing spring that biases each prong inward in a transverse direction relative the longitudinal direction of said slider assembly, to a catch position.
6. A holster for releasably securing an object, said holster comprising:
a shell adapted to hold an object;
a tether having a distal end with a post and an anchor head and a proximal end for attached to an external object;
a catch device for releasably holding said anchor head of said tether, said catch-device comprising a housing that includes an upper housing and a backplate;
a catch release assembly comprising a slider assembly slidably mounted on said backplate and a release button assembled in an aperture on said upper housing, so as to be actuatable from outside said catch-device housing;
and a catch assembly comprising a pair of prongs that are slidably captured between said upper housing and said backplate and that form a releasable catch aperture for retaining an anchor head of a tether within said housing;
wherein said catch device is attached to a outer surface of said shell, so as to be accessible external to said shell;
wherein said prongs in a catch position hold said anchor head caught within said catch-device housing;
wherein, when an actuating force is exerted on said release button, said button forces said slider assembly to move from a catch position to a release position;
wherein, when said slider assembly is in said release position, said prongs are forced open to allow said anchor head to escape; and
wherein an ejection spring exerts an upward force on said anchor head, so as to eject said anchor head from said catch-device housing.
7. The holster of claim 6, wherein said release button has a first push block, said slider assembly includes a slider body having a second push block and push edges, and said prongs have a push surface; and
wherein, when said actuating force is exerted on said release button, said first push block pushes against said second push block on said slider body, forcing said slider body to slide in a longitudinal direction along said backplate and to move from said catch position to said release position, with said push edges of said slider body thereby pushing against said push surface of said prongs, forcing said prongs to slide in a transverse direction relative to said longitudinal direction of said slider body, so as to move said prongs to said open position.
8. The holster of claim 6, wherein said release button has a first biasing spring that biases said button upward.
9. The holster of claim 6, wherein said slider assembly has a second biasing spring that biases said slider body to a catch position.
10. The holster of claim 6, wherein said prongs have a third biasing spring that biases each prong inward in a transverse direction relative the longitudinal direction of said slider assembly, to a catch position.
US11/773,182 2007-07-03 2007-07-03 Tethered device holder Abandoned US20090008419A1 (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US11/773,182 US20090008419A1 (en) 2007-07-03 2007-07-03 Tethered device holder

Applications Claiming Priority (3)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US11/773,182 US20090008419A1 (en) 2007-07-03 2007-07-03 Tethered device holder
US12/100,141 US20090007390A1 (en) 2007-07-03 2008-04-09 Tethered Device Holder
PCT/CN2008/001260 WO2009003370A1 (en) 2007-07-03 2008-07-02 A catch device and tethered device holder

Related Child Applications (1)

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US12/100,141 Continuation-In-Part US20090007390A1 (en) 2007-07-03 2008-04-09 Tethered Device Holder

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US20090008419A1 true US20090008419A1 (en) 2009-01-08

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US11/773,182 Abandoned US20090008419A1 (en) 2007-07-03 2007-07-03 Tethered device holder

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Cited By (9)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
DE102010017173A1 (en) * 2010-05-31 2011-12-01 Frank Bieber & Consultants Limited Device for holding tablet-computer, has shell for accommodating tablet-computer and provided with bearing, where bearing defines rotational axis, so as to movably rotate tablet-computer which is supported in shell
EP2547232A1 (en) * 2010-03-19 2013-01-23 Richard Joseph Rekuc Magnetically activated positive locking carrying device
WO2013101291A2 (en) * 2011-12-29 2013-07-04 West Coast Chain Mfg. Co. Retractor carrying case
US20140027482A1 (en) * 2012-07-30 2014-01-30 Kenneth Ray Crawford Mobile device grasping attachment and holder for use with same
US8979144B2 (en) 2012-04-27 2015-03-17 Boake Paugh Self-aligning catch and latch
US9072363B2 (en) 2011-12-29 2015-07-07 West Coast Chain Mfg. Co. Retractor carrying case
US9306612B2 (en) 2014-07-02 2016-04-05 Quantas Forsythe Mobile electronic device holder
USD802572S1 (en) 2014-03-04 2017-11-14 Loralie Designs, LLC Attachment for electronic device
US10377559B1 (en) 2013-12-10 2019-08-13 Leah Ceee O. Boomsma Holder for a squeeze pouch

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Cited By (14)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US8827127B2 (en) * 2010-03-19 2014-09-09 Richard Joseph Rekuc Magnetically activated positive locking carrying device
EP2547232A1 (en) * 2010-03-19 2013-01-23 Richard Joseph Rekuc Magnetically activated positive locking carrying device
US20130105527A1 (en) * 2010-03-19 2013-05-02 Richard Joseph Rekuc Magnetically activated positive locking carrying device
EP2547232A4 (en) * 2010-03-19 2014-12-31 Richard Joseph Rekuc Magnetically activated positive locking carrying device
DE102010017173A1 (en) * 2010-05-31 2011-12-01 Frank Bieber & Consultants Limited Device for holding tablet-computer, has shell for accommodating tablet-computer and provided with bearing, where bearing defines rotational axis, so as to movably rotate tablet-computer which is supported in shell
WO2013101291A3 (en) * 2011-12-29 2014-05-01 West Coast Chain Mfg. Co. Retractor carrying case
WO2013101291A2 (en) * 2011-12-29 2013-07-04 West Coast Chain Mfg. Co. Retractor carrying case
US9016531B2 (en) 2011-12-29 2015-04-28 West Coast Mfg. Co. Retractor carrying case
US9072363B2 (en) 2011-12-29 2015-07-07 West Coast Chain Mfg. Co. Retractor carrying case
US8979144B2 (en) 2012-04-27 2015-03-17 Boake Paugh Self-aligning catch and latch
US20140027482A1 (en) * 2012-07-30 2014-01-30 Kenneth Ray Crawford Mobile device grasping attachment and holder for use with same
US10377559B1 (en) 2013-12-10 2019-08-13 Leah Ceee O. Boomsma Holder for a squeeze pouch
USD802572S1 (en) 2014-03-04 2017-11-14 Loralie Designs, LLC Attachment for electronic device
US9306612B2 (en) 2014-07-02 2016-04-05 Quantas Forsythe Mobile electronic device holder

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