US20090100732A1 - Magnetic display device - Google Patents

Magnetic display device Download PDF

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Publication number
US20090100732A1
US20090100732A1 US11/875,688 US87568807A US2009100732A1 US 20090100732 A1 US20090100732 A1 US 20090100732A1 US 87568807 A US87568807 A US 87568807A US 2009100732 A1 US2009100732 A1 US 2009100732A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
display
magnetic
display device
magnets
plurality
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Abandoned
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US11/875,688
Inventor
Stewart Seidler
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Concept Workshop Worldwide LLC
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Concept Workshop Worldwide LLC
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Priority to US11/875,688 priority Critical patent/US20090100732A1/en
Assigned to CONCEPT WORKSHOP WORLDWIDE, LLC reassignment CONCEPT WORKSHOP WORLDWIDE, LLC ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: SEIDLER, STEWART
Publication of US20090100732A1 publication Critical patent/US20090100732A1/en
Priority claimed from US12/546,503 external-priority patent/US20100024271A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47GHOUSEHOLD OR TABLE EQUIPMENT
    • A47G1/00Mirrors; Picture frames or the like, e.g. provided with heating, lighting or ventilating means
    • A47G1/06Picture frames
    • A47G1/065Interconnected frames; Frame assemblies; Frames for two or more pictures
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47FSPECIAL FURNITURE, FITTINGS, OR ACCESSORIES FOR SHOPS, STOREHOUSES, BARS, RESTAURANTS OR THE LIKE; PAYING COUNTERS
    • A47F7/00Show stands, hangers, or shelves, adapted for particular articles or materials
    • A47F7/14Show stands, hangers, or shelves, adapted for particular articles or materials for pictures, e.g. in combination with books or seed-bags ; for cards, magazines, newspapers, books or booklike articles, e.g. audio/video cassettes
    • A47F7/146Show stands, hangers, or shelves, adapted for particular articles or materials for pictures, e.g. in combination with books or seed-bags ; for cards, magazines, newspapers, books or booklike articles, e.g. audio/video cassettes the show stands or the like being provided with compartments or pockets
    • A47F7/147Show stands, hangers, or shelves, adapted for particular articles or materials for pictures, e.g. in combination with books or seed-bags ; for cards, magazines, newspapers, books or booklike articles, e.g. audio/video cassettes the show stands or the like being provided with compartments or pockets being individually detachable
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47GHOUSEHOLD OR TABLE EQUIPMENT
    • A47G1/00Mirrors; Picture frames or the like, e.g. provided with heating, lighting or ventilating means
    • A47G1/06Picture frames
    • A47G2001/0672Picture frames employing magnets

Abstract

A display device including a display case for displaying an item, and a frame disposed around a perimeter edge of the display case, the frame comprising at least one magnetic frame element. In an exemplary embodiment, multiple display devices are arranged to form a modular display device. In another exemplary embodiment, multiple display devices may be arranged in a modular display device album.

Description

    FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention relates to display devices, and in particular to display devices that can be releaseably attached to one another to provide a modular display system.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • Display devices, such as, for example, photo frames, compact disc holders, and other such devices for holding and displaying various items such as stamps, advertising products, coins, a clock, or LCD temperature displays are usually stand-alone items, and if available in modular form, often requires a number mechanical steps to engage or disengage the display device from an adjacent display device. For example, in the case of adding a photo to a photo album, one must either insert the photo into a sleeve of a photo album page, or add another page to the album that will hold the photo. This task is often more time-consuming than expected, since the photo must be aligned with other photos on the album page or the added page must be mechanically fastened to the other pages.
  • Accordingly, there is a need for a modular display device system that allows for quick and easy addition or removal of individual display devices while also having the capability to temporarily or permanently store such display devices.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • A display device according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention comprises: a display case for displaying an item; and a frame disposed around a perimeter edge of the display case, the frame comprising at least one magnetic frame element.
  • In at least one embodiment, the display case comprises a first side and a second side opposite the first side, and the at least one magnetic frame element is disposed around one of the first and second sides of the display case.
  • In at least one embodiment, the at least one magnetic frame element comprises a first magnetic frame element and a second magnetic frame element.
  • In at least one embodiment, the first magnetic frame element is disposed around the first side of the display case and the second magnetic frame element is disposed around the second side of the display case.
  • In at least one embodiment, the at least one magnetic frame element comprises: a housing having an opening; and a magnet disposed within the opening.
  • In at least one embodiment, the at least one magnetic frame element has an outer surface and a magnet attached to the outer surface.
  • In at least one embodiment, the at least one magnetic frame element is made of a magnetic material.
  • In at least one embodiment, the at least one magnetic frame element comprises a groove that mates with the perimeter edge of the display case.
  • In at least one embodiment, the display case is a photo display case.
  • In at least one embodiment, the display case is a compact disc display case.
  • A modular display device according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention comprises: a plurality of display units, each display unit comprising: a display case for displaying an item, the display case having a display face; and a frame disposed around a perimeter edge of the display case, the frame comprising at least one magnetic frame element.
  • In at least one embodiment, the magnetic frame element of a first one of the plurality of display device units comprises a first magnet and the magnetic frame element of a second one of the plurality of display device units comprises a second magnet, so that the first magnetic display device unit is attached to the second magnetic display device unit by the magnetic attraction between the first magnet and the second magnet, and the first magnetic display device unit is rotatable relative to the second magnetic display device unit about an imaginary axis extending through center-points of the first and second magnets.
  • In at least one embodiment, the magnetic frame element of a first one of the plurality of magnetic display device units comprises at least one first magnet and the magnetic frame element of a second one of the plurality of magnetic display device units comprises at least one second magnet, so that the first magnetic display unit and the second magnetic display unit are attached to one another by the magnetic attraction between the at least one first magnet and the at least one second magnet and movable relative to one another to at least one of the following configurations: 1) a first configuration wherein the display face of the first magnetic display unit is generally co-planar with the display face of the second magnetic display unit and the first and second magnets have opposite magnetic orientations; and 2) a second configuration wherein the display face of the first magnetic display unit is superposed over the display face of the second magnetic display unit and the first and second magnets have the same magnetic orientation.
  • In at least one embodiment, the at least one first magnet comprises a plurality of first magnets and the at least one second magnet comprises a plurality of second magnets, and in the first configuration the plurality of first magnets and the plurality of second magnets form a plurality of essentially superposed pairs of magnets, and the first magnetic display unit and the second magnetic display unit are movable relative to one another to a third configuration wherein the display face of the first magnetic display unit is generally co-planar with the display face of the second magnetic display unit, the first and second magnets have opposite magnetic orientations and the first and second magnets of the superposed pairs of magnets are essentially not superposed.
  • In at least one embodiment, the at least one first magnet comprises a plurality of first magnets and the at least one second magnet comprises a plurality of second magnets, and in the second configuration the plurality of first magnets and the plurality of second magnets form a plurality of essentially superposed pairs of magnets, and the first magnetic display unit and the second magnetic display unit are movable relative to one another to a third configuration wherein the display face of the first magnetic display unit is at least partially superposed over the display face of the second magnetic display unit, the first and second magnets have the same magnetic orientation and the first and second magnets of the superposed pairs of magnets are essentially not superposed.
  • In at least one embodiment, the magnetic frame element of a first one of the plurality of magnetic display device units comprises at least one first magnet and the magnetic frame element of a second one of the plurality of magnetic display device units is made of a magnetizable material, so that the first magnetic display unit and the second magnetic display unit are attached to one another by the magnetic attraction between the at least one first magnet and the magnetizable material and movable relative to one another to at least one of the following configurations: 1) a first configuration wherein the display face of the first magnetic display unit is generally co-planar with the display face of the second magnetic display unit; and 2) a second configuration wherein the display face of the first magnetic display unit is superposed over the display face of the second magnetic display unit.
  • In at least one embodiment, the magnetic frame element of a first one of the plurality of display units comprises at least one magnet and the magnetic frame element of a second one of the plurality of display units is made of a magnetizable material, so that the first display unit and the second display unit are attached to one another by the magnetic attraction between the at least one first magnet and the magnetizable material and movable relative to one another.
  • In at least one embodiment, the magnetic frame element of the second display unit comprises a groove, and the at least one magnet is slideable within the groove so that the first display unit and the second display unit are movable relative to one another.
  • In at least one embodiment, the modular display further comprises a rack for holding the plurality of display units.
  • In at least one embodiment, the rack is made of a magnetizable material.
  • In at least one embodiment, at least one of the plurality of display units comprises a side wall that is angled outwardly relative to its display face.
  • In at least one embodiment, at least one of the plurality of display units comprises a support rod that is moveable in contact with another one of the plurality of display units to hold the at least one display unit in position relative to the another one of the display units.
  • In at least one embodiment, at least one of the plurality of display units comprises a bottom surface made of a friction-causing material.
  • A display album according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention comprises: a plurality of display device units, each display device unit comprising: a display case for displaying an item, the display case having a display face; and a frame disposed around a perimeter edge of the display case, the frame comprising at least one magnetic frame element; and an album cover that houses the plurality of display device units.
  • In at least one embodiment, the album cover comprises: a front cover section; a back cover section; a fold that separates the front cover section from the back cover section; and a sleeve disposed around the front cover section, the sleeve being slideable relative to the front cover section so as to adjust storage capacity of the display album.
  • In at least one embodiment, the magnetic frame element of a first one of the plurality of display device units comprises at least one first magnet and the magnetic frame element of a second one of the plurality of magnetic display device units comprises at least one second magnet, so that the first magnetic display unit and the second magnetic display unit are attached to one another by the magnetic attraction between the at least one first magnet and the at least one second magnet and movable relative to one another to at least one of the following configurations: 1) a first configuration wherein the display face of the first display device unit is generally co-planar with the display face of the second display device unit and the first and second magnets have opposite magnetic orientations; and 2) a second configuration wherein the display face of the first display device unit is superposed over the display face of the second display device unit and the first and second magnets have the same magnetic orientation.
  • In at least one embodiment, the first display device unit comprises a back face opposite to the display face of the first display device unit, the back face comprises a first attachment mechanism, the display face of the second display device unit comprises a second attachment mechanism, and the first attachment mechanism engages with the second attachment mechanism to attach the first display unit to the second display unit in the second configuration.
  • In at least one embodiment, the first attachment mechanism comprises a hole and the second attachment mechanism comprises a peg.
  • These and other features of this invention are described in, or are apparent from, the following detailed description of various exemplary embodiments of this invention.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • Various exemplary embodiments of this invention will be described in detail, with reference to the following figures, wherein:
  • FIGS. 1 and 2 are perspective views of a modular display device according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIGS. 3 and 4 are perspective views of a modular display device according to another exemplary embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIGS. 5-7 are perspective views of a modular display device according to another exemplary embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIGS. 8-10 are perspective views of a modular display device according to another exemplary embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIGS. 11-13 are perspective views of a modular display device according to another exemplary embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIGS. 14-17 are perspective views of a modular display device according to another exemplary embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIG. 18 is a perspective view of a modular display device according to another exemplary embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIGS. 19-21 are perspective views of a modular display device according to another exemplary embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIG. 22 is a perspective view of a modular display device album according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIGS. 23 and 24 are partial perspective views of the modular display device album of FIG. 22 showing adjacent display device units arranged in alternative magnetically stable configurations;
  • FIGS. 25-27 are perspective views of the modular display device album of FIG. 22 showing the adjustment of the thickness of the album to accommodate additional display device units;
  • FIGS. 28 and 29 are perspective views of a modular display device rack according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIGS. 30 and 31 are perspective views of a modular display device according to another exemplary embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIGS. 32-34 are perspective views of a modular display device according to another exemplary embodiment of the present invention; and
  • FIG. 35 are perspective views of a modular display device according to another exemplary embodiment of the present invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a modular display device, generally designated by reference number 10, according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention. The modular display device 10 includes a first display unit 20 and a second display unit 30. Although only two display units 20, 30 are shown in FIG. 1, it should be appreciated that any number of such display units may be arranged to form the modular display device 10. The display unit 20 includes a display case 22 and a frame 24 disposed around the perimeter of the display case 22. This display case 22 may be capable of holding and displaying any type of item, such as, for example, a photograph, a compact disc, advertising products, stamps, coins, a clock, LCD temperature displays, or any combination of such items. In this regard, the display case 22 preferably has a display face 23 that is made of a transparent material, such as, for example, plastic or glass, through which an item may be displayed. Although the display case 22 is shown as being rectangular-shaped in FIG. 1, it should be appreciated that the display case 22 may have any other shape, such as, for example, circular or triangular.
  • The frame 24 includes a number of frame elements 26 disposed around the perimeter edges of the display case 22. As shown in FIG. 1, one or more of the frame elements 26 may include a magnet 27, so that one or more of the frame elements 26 may be considered a magnetic frame element. In this embodiment, the magnets 27 are preferably disc-shaped, and attached to a corresponding frame element 26 at the mid-point of the frame element 26.
  • The second display unit 30 preferably has the same structure as the first display unit 20, including a display case 32, a frame 34, frame elements 36 and magnets 37. Thus, a magnetic frame element of the first display unit 20 may be disposed adjacent a magnetic frame element of the second display unit 30, resulting in magnetic attraction between the corresponding magnets 36, 37. As shown in FIG. 2, this arrangement allows the first display unit 20 and the second display unit 30 to pivot relative to one another about an imaginary X-axis extending through the magnets 36, 37.
  • FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a modular display device, generally designated by reference number 100, according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention. The modular display device 100 has the same general structure as the modular display device 10, except for the shape of the magnets. In particular, the modular display device 100 includes a first display unit 120, a second display unit 130, and corresponding display cases 122, 132, display faces 123, 133, frames 124, 134, frame elements 126, 136 and magnets 127, 137. The magnets 127, 137 in the present embodiment preferably have a generally rectangular shape. Also, the magnets 127, 137 are preferably oriented on the frames 126, 136 so that their exposed major surfaces have opposite magnetic orientations when in face-to-face relation to one another. For example, the magnets 127 may have an outer major surface having a north (N) magnetic orientation and an inner major surface having a south (S) magnetic orientation, while the magnets 137 may have an outer major surface having a south (S) magnetic orientation and an inner major surface having a north (N) magnetic orientation. Thus, the first display unit 120 and the second display unit 130 are attached to one another by the magnetic attraction between the magnets 127, 137 and movable relative to one another between a first configuration in which the display face 123 of the first display unit 120 is generally co-planar with the display face 133 of the second display unit 130 and the magnets 127, 137 have opposite magnetic orientations (as shown in FIG. 3) and a second configuration wherein the display face 123 of the first display unit 120 is superposed over the display face 133 of the second display unit 130 and the magnets 127, 137 have the same magnetic orientation (as shown in FIG. 4).
  • FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a modular display device, generally designated by reference number 200, according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention. The modular display device 200 has the same general structure as the modular display device 100, except for the arrangement of the magnets. In particular, the modular display device 200 includes a first display unit 220, a second display unit 230, and corresponding display cases 222, 232, display faces 223, 233, frames 224, 234 and frame elements 226, 236. Each frame element 226, 236 is a generally elongated element and is attached to a corresponding perimeter edge of the display case 222, 232 so that the frame elements 226, 236 form a generally rectangular boarder around the display cases 222, 232. One or more of the frame elements 226, 236 may include corresponding magnets 227, 229 and 237, 239, so that one or more of the frame elements 26 may be considered a magnetic frame element. The magnets 227, 229, 237, 239 in the present embodiment preferably have a generally rectangular shape. Also, the exposed major surfaces of the magnets 227, 229 preferably have magnetic orientations opposite to the magnetic orientations of the exposed major surfaces of the magnets 237, 239 when in face-to-face relation to one another.
  • In the present embodiment, the magnet 227, 237 is disposed at one end of a magnetic frame element and the magnet 237, 239 is disposed at an opposite end of the magnetic frame element. As shown in FIG. 5, this arrangement allows for a portion of the magnets 227, 237 and 229, 239 to be exposed at magnetic frame elements which are adjacent and perpendicular to the magnetic frame elements to which the magnets 227, 237 and 229, 239 are attached.
  • As shown in FIGS. 5-7, the display unit 230 may be rotated relative to the display unit 220 about an imaginary z-axis extending perpendicular to the center-point of the display face 223 so that the exposed major faces of the magnets 227, 229 are no longer in face-to-face relation with the exposed major faces of the magnets 237, 239. That is, as shown in FIG. 7, after rotation, the magnets 227, 229 are essentially aligned and co-planar with the magnets 237, 239, with the exposed minor face of the magnet 237 being in face-to-face relation with the exposed minor face of the magnet 227 and the minor faces having opposite magnetic orientation.
  • FIGS. 8-10 are perspective views of a modular display device, generally designated by reference number 300, according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention. The modular display device 300 has generally the same construction as that of the previous embodiments, except for the arrangement of the display units and magnets. In particular, in the present embodiment, one of the display units 320, 330 may swivel about the other display unit 320, 330 about an imaginary z-axis extending through one of a first pair of magnets 327, 337 and a second pair of magnets 329, 339. For example, as shown in FIG. 8, the second display unit 330 may be disposed over the first display unit 320 so that the magnets 327, 337 form a plurality of first superposed pairs and the magnets 329, 339 form a plurality of second superposed pairs. The magnets in each superposed pair of magnets preferably have the same magnetic orientations so that the display units 320, 330 are magnetically attracted to one another when the second display unit 330 is disposed over the second display unit 320. The second display unit 330 may then be pivoted relative to the first display unit 320 about one of the superposed pairs of magnets. For example, as shown in FIGS. 9 and 10, the second display unit 330 may be pivoted relative to an imaginary z-axis extending through the center point of the superposed pair of magnets made up of the magnets 327, 337.
  • FIGS. 11-13 are perspective views of a modular display device, generally designated by reference number 400, according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention. The modular display device 400 includes a first display unit 420, a second display unit 430, and corresponding display cases 422, 432, display faces 423, 433, frames 424, 434 and frame elements 426, 436. Each display unit 420, 430 also has an opposite face 450, 460, respectively, to that of the display face 423, 433. Each frame element 426, 436 is a generally elongated element and is attached to a corresponding perimeter edge of the display case 422, 432 so that the frame elements 426, 436 form a generally rectangular boarder around the display cases 422, 432. One or more of the frame elements 426, 436 may include a series of corresponding magnets 427, 437, so that one or more of the frame elements 426, 436 may be considered a magnetic frame element. The magnets 426, 436 in the present embodiment may have any suitable shape, such as, for example, rectangular or cylindrical.
  • First major surfaces of the magnets 426, 436 are preferably co-planar with their corresponding display faces 423, 433 and opposite second major surfaces of the magnets 426, 436 are preferably co-planar with their corresponding opposite faces 450, 460. Also, the first exposed major surfaces of the magnets 426, 436 preferably have the same magnetic orientation and the second exposed major surfaces of the magnets 426, 436 preferably have the same magnetic orientations. In this regard, the second display unit 430 may be disposed over the first display unit 420 so that the magnets 426, 436 form a plurality of magnetically attracted and superposed pairs. The magnets 426, 436 in each superposed pair of magnets have the same magnetic orientation (resulting in their exposed faces having opposite magnetic orientations when in face to face relation to one another) so that the display units 420, 430 are magnetically attracted to one another when the second display unit 430 is disposed over the first display unit 420. As shown in FIGS. 12 and 13, the second display unit 430 may then be slid relative to the first display unit 420 into a variety of magnetically stable orientations.
  • FIGS. 14-17 are perspective views of a variation of the exemplary embodiment shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. In the present embodiment, the magnet 127 of first display unit 120 is replaced with a magnetic frame element 150 made of a magnetizable metal, such as, for example, steel. This allows the second display unit 130, along with its magnet 137, to be slid vertically relative to the first display unit 120, with the magnet 137 sliding along the magnetic frame element 150. In this regard, the magnetic frame element 150 may be a rail-like structure that guides the magnet 137 to keep the display units 120, 130 co-planar while being slid relative to one another.
  • FIG. 18 is a perspective view of a variation of the exemplary embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. In the present embodiment, the magnet 27 of the first display unit 20 is replaced with a magnetic frame element 50 made of a magnetizable metal, such as, for example, steel. This allows the second display unit 30, along with its magnet 37, to be slid vertically relative to the first display unit 20, with the magnet 37 sliding along the magnetic frame element 50, as well as pivot relative to the first display unit 20 around an imaginary x-axis extending through the center point of the magnet 37. In this regard, the magnetic frame element 50 may be a rail-like structure that guides the magnet 37 while the second display unit 30 is moved relative to the first display unit 20.
  • FIGS. 19-21 are perspective views of a variation of the exemplary embodiment shown in FIGS. 11-13. In the present embodiment, the magnets 427 of the first display unit 420 is replaced with magnetic frame elements 450 made of a magnetizable metal, such as, for example, steel. This allows the second display unit 430, along with its magnets 437, to slide along the first display unit 420, with the magnets 437 sliding along the magnetic frame elements 450.
  • FIG. 22 is a perspective view of a modular display album, generally designated by reference number 500, according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention. The modular display album 500 is capable of holding a plurality of individual display units, which are, in this embodiment, compact disc display units 510. However, it should be appreciated that the modular display album 500 is capable of holding any type of modular display units, such as, for example, modular display units capable of housing and displaying photos, stamps, etc. The modular display units 510 may have structure that is substantially the same as any of the structure previously described in relation to the exemplary embodiments of the modular display devices. For example, as shown in FIGS. 23-24, each modular display unit 510 may include magnets 512 arranged along the edges of the modular display unit 510, as in the exemplary embodiment shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, so that the modular display units 510 attract one another in two magnetically stable positions (an open configuration shown in FIG. 23 and a closed configuration shown in FIG. 24).
  • Each modular display unit 510 includes a display face 514 and an opposite face 516. The display face 514 of each modular display unit 510 may include a first attachment mechanism 518 that mates with a corresponding second attachment mechanism 520 included on the opposite face 516 of an immediately adjacent modular display unit 510. For example, as shown in FIG. 22, the first attachment mechanism 518 may be a peg that mates with the second attachment mechanism 520, which may be a hole that accepts the peg. The first and second attachment mechanisms 518, 520 aid in holding the modular display units 510 together when disposed within the album 500.
  • The modular display album 500 also includes a cover, generally designated by reference number 540. The cover 540 may be made of any suitable material, and preferably a flexible material, such as, for example, polypropylene. The cover 540 includes a front cover section 542 and a back cover section 544, with an integral fold 546 formed in the cover 540 between the front cover section 542 and the back cover section 544. The cover 540 also includes a sleeve 548 slideably disposed around the front cover section 542. As shown in FIGS. 25-27, the sleeve 548 can be slid away from the integral fold 546 so as to provide clearance for the placement of additional modular display units 510 within the modular display album 500.
  • Alternatively, the modular display units 510 may be arranged on a rack. For example, as shown in FIGS. 28 and 29, the modular display units 510 may be disposed on a rack 580 made of steel or other magnetic material. In particular, the magnets 512 of each modular display unit 510 may be disposed in contact with the rack 580 so that a user may flip through the modular display units 510 as though they were in an album.
  • FIGS. 30 and 31 are perspective views of a modular display device, generally designated by reference number 600, according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention. The modular display device 600 may have the same structure as any of the previously described embodiments, including a first display unit 620, a second display unit 630, and corresponding display cases 622, 632, display faces 623, 633, frames 624, 634 and frame elements 626, 636, as well as any of the other magnet configurations. However, in this embodiment, the side faces 621, 631 of each of the first and second display units 620, 630 may be angled outwardly relative to the display faces 623, 633. As shown in FIG. 30, angled side faces 621, 631 abut one another to prevent the first display unit 620 from being completely folded outwardly relative to the second display unit 630. This provides the modular display device 600 with a slightly bent configuration when opened, which prevents the modular display device 600 from falling over.
  • FIGS. 32-34 are perspective views of a modular display device, generally designated by reference number 700, according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention. The modular display device 700 may have the same structure as any of the previously described embodiments, including a first display unit 720, a second display unit 730, and corresponding display cases 722, 732, display faces 723, 733, frames 724, 734 and frame elements 726, 736, as well as any of the other magnet configurations. However, in the present embodiment, a support rod 750 is pivotally attached to the first display unit 720. The support rod 750 can be pivoted into engagement with the second display unit 730. In this regard, the second display unit 730 may include a support rod engagement member (not shown), such as, for example, a hook or aperture. Once the support rod 750 is engaged with the second display unit 730, the modular display device 700 is prevented from being fully extended, as shown in FIG. 34. Thus, the support rod 750 provides stability to the modular display device 700.
  • FIG. 35 is a perspective view of a modular display device, generally designated by reference number 800, according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention. The modular display device 800 may have the same structure as any of the previously described embodiments, including a first display unit 820, a second display unit 830, and corresponding display cases 822, 832, display faces 823, 833, frames 824, 834 and frame elements 826, 836, as well as any of the other magnet configurations. In the present embodiment, friction-causing material 850 may be disposed on the bottom surface of each of the first and second display units 820, 830. The friction-causing material 850 may be, for example, rubber or any other suitable material that provides some resistance against the modular display device 800 from opening to its full extent due to the friction-causing material's 850 contact with the surface on which the modular display device 800 rests.
  • While this invention has been described in conjunction with the exemplary embodiments outlined above, it is evident that many alternatives, modifications and variations will be apparent to those skilled in the art. Accordingly, the exemplary embodiments of the invention, as set forth above, are intended to be illustrative, not limiting. Various changes may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

Claims (25)

1. A display device comprising:
a display case for displaying an item; and
a frame disposed around a perimeter edge of the display case, the frame comprising at least one magnetic frame element.
2. The display case of claim 1, wherein the display case comprises a first side and a second side opposite the first side, and the at least one magnetic frame element is disposed around one of the first and second sides of the display case.
3. The display device of claim 2, wherein the at least one magnetic frame element comprises a first magnetic frame element and a second magnetic frame element.
4. The display device of claim 3, wherein the first magnetic frame element is disposed around the first side of the display case and the second magnetic frame element is disposed around the second side of the display case.
5. The display device of claim 1, wherein the at lease one magnetic frame element comprises:
a housing having an opening; and
a magnet disposed within the opening.
6. The display device of claim 1, wherein the at least one magnetic frame element has an outer surface and a magnet attached to the outer surface.
7. The display device of claim 1, wherein the at least one magnetic frame element is made of a magnetic material.
8. The display device of claim 1, wherein the display case is a photo display case or a compact disc case.
9. A modular display device, comprising:
a plurality of display units, each display unit comprising:
a display case for displaying an item, the display case having a display face; and
a frame disposed around a perimeter edge of the display case, the frame comprising at least one magnetic frame element.
10. The modular display device of claim 9, wherein the magnetic frame element of a first one of the plurality of display units comprises a first magnet and the magnetic frame element of a second one of the plurality of display units comprises a second magnet, so that the first display unit is attached to the second display unit by the magnetic attraction between the first magnet and the second magnet, and the first display unit is rotatable relative to the second display unit about an imaginary axis extending through the first and second magnets.
11. The modular display device of claim 19, wherein the magnetic frame element of a first one of the plurality of display units comprises at least one first magnet and the magnetic frame element of a second one of the plurality of display units comprises at least one second magnet, so that the first display unit and the second display unit are attached to one another by the magnetic attraction between the at least one first magnet and the at least one second magnet and movable relative to one another to at least one of the following configurations:
1) a first configuration wherein the display face of the first display unit is generally co-planar with the display face of the second display unit and the first and second magnets have opposite magnetic orientations; and
2) a second configuration wherein the display face of the first display unit is superposed over the display face of the second display unit and the first and second magnets have the same magnetic orientation.
12. The modular display device of claim 11, wherein the at least one first magnet comprises a plurality of first magnets and the at least one second magnet comprises a plurality of second magnets, and in the first configuration the plurality of first magnets and the plurality of second magnets form a plurality of essentially superposed pairs of magnets, and the first display unit and the second display unit are movable relative to one another to a third configuration wherein the display face of the first display unit is generally co-planar with the display face of the second display unit, the first and second magnets have opposite magnetic orientations and the first and second magnets of the superposed pairs of magnets are essentially not superposed.
13. The modular display device of claim 11, wherein the at least one first magnet comprises a plurality of first magnets and the at least one second magnet comprises a plurality of second magnets, and in the second configuration the plurality of first magnets and the plurality of second magnets form a plurality of essentially superposed pairs of magnets, and the first magnetic display unit and the second magnetic display unit are movable relative to one another to a third configuration wherein the display face of the first display unit is at least partially superposed over the display face of the second display unit, the first and second magnets have the same magnetic orientation and the first and second magnets of the superposed pairs of magnets are essentially not superposed.
14. The modular display device of claim 9, wherein the magnetic frame element of a first one of the plurality of display units comprises at least one magnet and the magnetic frame element of a second one of the plurality of display units is made of a magnetizable material, so that the first display unit and the second display unit are attached to one another by the magnetic attraction between the at least one first magnet and the magnetizable material and movable relative to one another.
15. The modular display device of claim 14, wherein the magnetic frame element of the second display unit comprises a groove, and the at least one magnet is slideable within the groove so that the first display unit and the second display unit are movable relative to one another.
16. The modular display device of claim 9, further comprising a rack for holding the plurality of display units.
17. The modular display device of claim 16, wherein the rack is made of a magnetizable material.
18. The modular display device of claim 9, wherein at least one of the plurality of display units comprises a side wall that is angled outwardly relative to its display face.
19. The modular display device of claim 9, wherein at least one of the plurality of display units comprises a support rod that is moveable in contact with another one of the plurality of display units to hold the at least one display unit in position relative to the another one of the display units.
20. The modular display device of claim 9, wherein at least one of the plurality of display units comprises a bottom surface made of a friction-causing material
21. A display album comprising:
a plurality of display device units, each display device unit comprising:
a display case for displaying an item, the display case having a display face; and
a frame disposed around a perimeter edge of the display case, the frame comprising at least one magnetic frame element; and
an album cover that houses the plurality of display device units.
22. The display album of claim 21, wherein the album cover comprises:
a front cover section;
a back cover section;
a fold formed in the album cover that separates the front cover section from the back cover section; and
a sleeve disposed around the front cover section, the sleeve being slideable relative to the front cover section so as to adjust storage capacity of the display album.
23. The display album of claim 21, wherein the magnetic frame element of a first one of the plurality of display device units comprises at least one first magnet and the magnetic frame element of a second one of the plurality of magnetic display device units comprises at least one second magnet, so that the first magnetic display unit and the second magnetic display unit are attached to one another by the magnetic attraction between the at least one first magnet and the at least one second magnet and movable relative to one another to at least one of the following configurations:
1) a first configuration wherein the display face of the first display device unit is generally co-planar with the display face of the second display device unit and the first and second magnets have opposite magnetic orientations; and
2) a second configuration wherein the display face of the first display device unit is superposed over the display face of the second display device unit and the first and second magnets have the same magnetic orientation.
24. The display album of claim 23, wherein the first display device unit comprises a back face opposite to the display face of the first display device unit, the back face comprises a first attachment mechanism, the display face of the second display device unit comprises a second attachment mechanism, and the first attachment mechanism engages with the second attachment mechanism to attach the first display unit to the second display unit in the second configuration.
25. The display album of claim 24, wherein the first attachment mechanism comprises a hole and the second attachment mechanism comprises a peg.
US11/875,688 2007-10-19 2007-10-19 Magnetic display device Abandoned US20090100732A1 (en)

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US12/546,503 US20100024271A1 (en) 2007-10-19 2009-08-24 Magnetic album

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