US20090144943A1 - Interchangeable electronic device clip - Google Patents

Interchangeable electronic device clip Download PDF

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Publication number
US20090144943A1
US20090144943A1 US12001309 US130907A US2009144943A1 US 20090144943 A1 US20090144943 A1 US 20090144943A1 US 12001309 US12001309 US 12001309 US 130907 A US130907 A US 130907A US 2009144943 A1 US2009144943 A1 US 2009144943A1
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US
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
base
unit
element
device
clip
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
US12001309
Inventor
Manuel Arranz Del Rosal
Yaron Sheba
Derek T. Niizawa
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.)
SanDisk Technologies LLC
Original Assignee
SanDisk Corp
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

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Classifications

    • 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
    • A45F2200/00Details not otherwise provided for in A45F
    • A45F2200/05Holder or carrier for specific articles
    • A45F2200/0508Portable audio devices, e.g. walkman, discman, radio, MP3 player, headphones
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A45HAND OR TRAVELLING ARTICLES
    • A45FTRAVELLING OR CAMP EQUIPMENT: SACKS OR PACKS CARRIED ON THE BODY
    • A45F2200/00Details not otherwise provided for in A45F
    • A45F2200/05Holder or carrier for specific articles
    • A45F2200/0516Portable 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
    • A45F5/02Fastening articles to the garment
    • A45F5/021Fastening articles to the garment to the belt
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC
    • Y10TTECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER US CLASSIFICATION
    • Y10T24/00Buckles, buttons, clasps, etc.
    • Y10T24/13Article holder attachable to apparel or body
    • Y10T24/1391Article held by clip with spring [e.g., leaf, coil] member

Abstract

A portable device that comprises a built in coupling that allows various types of clips to be attached to the device. The device can be attached to different items present in different situations by using different types of attaching devices in the coupling. For example, an attaching device for clothing can be removed and one for a vehicle may be inserted. In such a way, the portable device, for example a music player, can easily be transported and conveniently used in different environments.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • [0001]
    This application is related to U.S. Design Patent Application No. ______, entitled “______”, filed on the same day as the present application.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    The size reduction of electronic devices makes it feasible to carry a greater variety of devices while on the go. It is therefore desirable to attach certain of those devices to the user or to a vehicle or other environment where they are frequently used.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0003]
    One aspect of the invention is a portable device that comprises a built in coupling that allows various types of clips and mounting devices to be attached to the device. Thus, the device can be attached to different items present in different situations by using different types of attaching devices in the coupling. For example, an attaching device for clothing can be removed and one for a vehicle may be inserted. In such a way, the portable device, for example a music player, can easily be transported and conveniently used in different environments.
  • [0004]
    Another aspect of the invention relates to an assembly that comprises a base of an electronic device. The base comprises a female docking receptacle which in turn comprises a recessed area having a width sufficient to receive a male element of an accessory, a lip overhanging a first portion of the recessed area but not a second portion of the recessed area, such that the male element fits within the recessed area at the second portion of the recessed area and is aligned with the lip but not engaged by the lip in the second portion of the recessed area. The lip overhangs the male element when the male element is at the first portion of the recessed area, thereby coupling the accessory to the electronic device when the male element is positioned at the first portion of the recessed area.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0005]
    FIG. 1 is general isometric view of assembly 100.
  • [0006]
    FIG. 2 is an exploded view of some of the components of assembly 100.
  • [0007]
    FIG. 3 is a cross section of some of assembly 100.
  • [0008]
    FIG. 4 is perspective of clip member 21.
  • [0009]
    FIGS. 5 and 6 are views of base unit 22.
  • [0010]
    FIGS. 7 and 8 are views of base plate 11.
  • [0011]
    FIG. 9 illustrates base support 13.
  • [0012]
    FIGS. 10A and 10B illustrate a closed and open position respectively of a clip embodiment.
  • [0013]
    FIG. 11 is an isometric view of the embodiment shown in FIGS. 10A and 10B.
  • [0014]
    FIG. 12 is an elevation of a clip embodiment.
  • [0015]
    FIGS. 13A and 13B illustrate the closed and open position of the embodiment shown in FIG. 12.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • [0016]
    An electronic device can be coupled to various hooks, holders, carriers or the like via an easy to use and robust coupling. For example, the device can be coupled to a carrier with a suction cup to mount it to a windshield or other suitable surface. The coupling is lightweight and economical and comprises polymeric parts to save weight while providing flexibility but also uses metallic parts where high durability is required. A male member is preferably first placed in a guide so that it can easily be slid into a locked position. The locking is achieved with a spring loaded (tensioned or compressed) retaining element that engages recesses of the male unit. Sufficient force by the user will engage or disengage the coupling. Friction between the coupling and the device is minimized by providing a small surface area where contact takes place while sliding the pieces against each other.
  • [0017]
    In embodiments comprising a clip, the electronic device can be clipped to the user's clothing. Complementary geometric features on both the electronic device and the clip pinch or grab the fabric between the features to enhance the friction of the clip and minimize slippage. Fabric is preferably forced into a serpentine pattern to enhance to minimize slippage.
  • [0018]
    A preferred embodiment comprises two primary components: the unit or base of the portable device where this invention will be engaged and the engaging unit, which in some embodiments includes or forms a clip. For both units, there may be metallic and plastic components. Preferably the spring type materials or biasing materials (locking element of the portable device and the clip spring) and the pin are metals such as Stainless Steel 304. The preferred material for the engaging base unit of the clip is a die casting material such as a zinc alloy. An alternate polymeric or composite material with high mechanical properties may alternatively be utilized in the (male) base unit of the clip, such as, but not limited to: polycarbonate (“PC”), PC with a certain percentage of fiberglass, PEEK(®, etc. The remaining components for both units are preferably made of polymeric materials. Due to specific mechanical and performance requirements and to particular aesthetic specifications, the polymeric materials may comprise, but not are not limited to: PC, Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene “ABS”) or a combination of both.
  • [0019]
    FIG. 1 depicts a general isometric view of assembly 100 comprising base 10 of the portable device and engaging unit or clip 20. FIG. 2 shows an exploded view of the components of assembly 100. Base 10 comprises base plate 1, an (arcuate) locking element 12, and a base support 13. Engaging unit 20, which is some embodiments includes a clip, comprises biased element or clipping unit 21, an engaging base unit 22, a pin 23, and a biasing element or spring 24.
  • [0020]
    FIG. 3 illustrates a cross section view of assembly 100 when the base plate 11 is engaged with the base unit 22 of the clip 20, and the clipping unit 21 is in full surface contact or 0° with element 11. An interlocking engagement INT25 is also shown in this figure. Note that ring r of the element 21 is of a smaller diameter than that of ring R of the element 11. This design allows a tight fitting interlock between clipping unit/member 21 and base plate 11 that causes any fabric to be gripped in a serpentine fashion. The serpentine geometry increases the surface area and aids in maintaining the position of the clip. In addition, the proper spring force generated by the biasing element 24 will provide enough grip effect and retention of the clip, so the cloth where this device is clipped will not slip and eventually fall. The ring interlock may center both units (clip 20 and device base 10) and may also prevent the clip unit 20 from having any lateral displacement in respect to device base 10.
  • [0021]
    The preferred manufacturing process envisioned for all the polymer parts is injection molding. This process in conjunction with the right DFMA (Design for Manufacturing and Assembly) considerations yields fairly inexpensive plastic parts that do not require further preparation once the parts are extracted from the plastic injection mold. 10022] In regards to the metallic parts, it is preferred that base unit 22 of the clip unit 20 is obtained by die casting by using a Zinc alloy such as Zamak #3. The remaining metal parts (locking element 12 and the spring 24) are custom made springs that can be manufactured with standard stamping and spring manufacturing processes. The variation of the spring 24 selected for this preferred embodiment of this invention is a torsion spring with 4 coils, an outside diameter of approximately 2.3 mm to 2.5 mm, and a coil diameter of approximately 0.60 mm to 0.65 mm. This selected spring preferably provides a momentum such that the force required to open the clip 21 and to disengage it from ring R of element 11 is within the range of 0.5 to 2 Kg.
  • [0022]
    The spring accommodation and locating feature SpF 50 shown in FIG. 4 serves as guiding feature for the spring 24 when it is assembled, so it may prevent any lateral movement of the spring and therefore reduces the time and effort required to build this assembly.
  • [0023]
    FIGS. 5 and 6 illustrate features of base unit 22. FIG.5 illustrates the locating feature SpL 52 for the spring or locking element 12. This helps position element 12 within base unit 22. The positioning feature SpP 80 allows the base unit to align itself with the base plate 11. A cavity SpC 70 has also been provided in this embodiment to help place the torsion spring 24 with the base unit 22. This also aids in the assembly process of this spring. FIG. 6 shows two ribs that have been designed so that the clip 20 does not scratch base plate 11 when it is inserted and interlocked as shown in FIG. 3. These ribs have an approximate diameter of 0.5 mm and a length of 9 to 12 mm. The smooth finish on the die casting mold provides high surface quality on these ribs, and consequently the friction between parts 22 and 11 occurs only along two single lines. A painting process with the right coating (such as, but not limited to: UV, PU coatings) will help avoid any scratches between parts 22 and 11. It is preferred that the contacting area of the ribs or other protruding features be less than 10% of the surface area of base unit 22 in order to minimize the friction between base unit 22 and device base 10.
  • [0024]
    FIG. 7 depicts a top isometric view of the base plate 11 showing the recessed receiving area 11S where the clip unit 20 through its base unit 22 fits in and interlocks when slid below annular or arcuate locking ring 11R. The vertical member 11T adds rigidity to base plate 11, ring 11R, and the overall interlocking mechanism of which it is a part. It also helps align the clip base 22 though its feature SpP80 when both are coupled/interlocked together. The structure of semi circular or annular ring 11R prevents the clip 20 from falling or disengaging once it is interlocked with the device unit 10. The isometric view of the back of base plate 11 of FIG. 8 illustrates two alignment pins 66 used to assemble the base support 13. In a preferred embodiment, the thickness of base unit 22 at the outer portion that slides under locking ring 11R is approximately 0.85 mm ± 0.2 mm, the width approximately 12.9 mm ± 0.2 mm, SPL radius of curvature approximately 1.1 mm and SpP approximately 2.5 mm wide.
  • [0025]
    FIG. 9 shows the base support 13 of device base 10. The cavity 13C is shaped and positioned in such way that helps align the locking element 12. The holes 13H are aligned with their corresponding pins 66 of the base plate 11. The welding features 13W are designed in such way that there are two concentric sets of features 13W.
  • [0026]
    As far as the assembly procedure is concerned, FIG. 2 may be used as a guideline. Unit 10 (mp3 players, PDA, etc) is placed upside down with the visible area 11S facing down. A fixture can be used to place this part properly and accurately. The locking element 12 is aligned with the docking component 11 and its corresponding mating features. Ultimately, the base support is ultrasonically welded onto the back surface (not visible) of base plate 11. A specific horn and nest are needed to perform the ultrasonic welding process. The nest for that ultrasonic welding process could be used as a fixture to place the (semicircular metallic) locking ring 12 onto base plate 11. Finally, in a separate station, the clip unit 20 is assembled. The clip base 22 is held in a proper fixture; the torsion spring 24 is place on the cavity SpC70 of base unit 22; the clipping part 21 is held manually in such way that it allows the axial insertion of the pin 23 through the corresponding holes of parts 22 and 21 and concentric with the torsion spring 24 (placed between the supporting pin holes in part 22). Final processes of paint in one or different colors may be applied to all the parts mentioned in this text with the exception of the metallic parts (12, 23, and 24), although certain of those parts may also be painted such as base unit 22.
  • [0027]
    As far as the clip unit 20 is concerned, the overall dimensions for the clipping units are between 35 to 55 mm long, 15 to 40 mm wide, and 1-2.5 mm thick. The inner ring of unit 21 ranges from 12 to 18 mm. The outside diameter of the clip base 22 is between 9 and 15 mm.
  • [0028]
    FIGS. 10A and 10B show a sequence when the clipping unit is closed, and when it is open, respectively. The approximate maximum opening angle is between 10° to 20°, allowing, any object such as standard fabric cloth or thin leather material less than 4 to 5 mm thick to be clipped.
  • [0029]
    A variation of the clip embodiment may comprise the same bodies (the unit 10 or base of the portable device and the engaging unit or clip 20B) as the earlier described embodiment with some structural modifications that may provide improved grip for a wider range of fabrics or other clipped material.
  • [0030]
    FIG. 11 depicts a general isometric view of this variation comprising the unit or base 10 of the portable device and engaging unit or clip 20B. Such variation of the clip 20B may comprise a different gripping feature from that described on clip 20. In more detail, the feature 120Th of FIG. 11 shows a rib that may create a partial or total ring. FIG. 12 shows a cross section view of this variation of the present invention. The clip unit 20B is displayed in a closed position. That is with the ring comprising the feature 120Th in full contact with the surface 120S of the base plate 11 of unit 10. The embodiment depicted in FIG. 12 shows an outer ring (i.e., ring belonging to clip unit 20B) and an inner ring 120BR (i.e., ring belonging to the base plate 11 of the unit 10). The performance of this mechanism may be improved by having the outer ring on the movable part—clip 20B. This variation showing the outer ring of the clip 20B and the inner ring BR of the unit 10 increases the adherence of the portable unit to the cloth or fabric to which it is clipped. In other words, if the rotating movement to open the clip unit 20B follows path R+ around the hinge pin 23, as shown in FIG. 12, having an outer ring on the moving part 20B may diminish the opening of such movable part. On the other hand, if the outer ring is located on the fixed part 11, when the movable part 20B is being opened, the pulling force exerted over the portable unit may help open even more the movable part 20B. The thickness of the fabric or cloth where this invention is to be clipped at may be, but not limited, to a range between 0.2 mm to 2.5 mm. The clearance provided for that purpose is depicted in FIG. 12 by gap 120G. The height 120H of the inner ring 120BR of the fixed part 11 may be, but not limited to, of a range between 0.5 to 2 mm. The outer ring with the feature 120Th of the movable part 20B is depicted with a 120° span in this variation. An alternative variation may include an outer ring 120BR ranging from 15° to 360° (complete outer ring).
  • [0031]
    FIGS. 13A and 13B show a sequence with a 120° span in the outer ring of the movable part 20B, when the clipping unit is closed (i.e., 0°), and when it is open, respectively. The approximate maximum opening angle may be between 10° to 20°, allowing any item such as standard fabric cloth or thin leather material (less than 4 to 5 mm thick) to be clipped.
  • [0032]
    Note that while embodiments of a clip are shown in many of the figures attaching to the interlocking base, as mentioned earlier, any type of mounting device can be attached to the interlocking base.

Claims (18)

  1. 1. An assembly comprising:
    a base of an electronic device, the base comprising a female docking receptacle, the female docking receptacle comprising:
    a recessed area having a width sufficient to receive a male element of an accessory;
    a lip overhanging a first portion of the recessed area but not a second portion of the recessed area, such that the male element fits within the recessed area at the second portion of the recessed area and is aligned with the lip but not engaged by the lip in the second portion of the recessed area,
    the lip overhanging the male element when the male element is at the first portion of the recessed area, thereby coupling the accessory to the electronic device when the male element is positioned at the first portion of the recessed area.
  2. 2. The assembly of claim 1, wherein the accessory comprises a member coupled to the male element at a first end of the member.
  3. 3. The assembly of claim 2, wherein the accessory further comprises one or more springs that force a second end of the member against the base of the electronic device when the male element of the accessory is positioned under the overhanging lip.
  4. 4. The assembly of claim 2, wherein the member of the accessory comprises first a surface mating feature at the second end of the member.
  5. 5. The assembly of claim 4, wherein the base further comprises second surface mating feature adjacent to the first surface mating feature of the accessory.
  6. 6. The assembly of claim 5, wherein the first and second surface mating features form a serpentine path for fabric placed between the features.
  7. 7. The assembly of claim 3, wherein the one or more springs are configured such that a force required to distance the second end of the member from the base of the electronic device is in the range of 0.5 to 2 Kg.
  8. 8. The assembly of claim 1, wherein the male element is made of metal.
  9. 9. The assembly of claim 8, wherein the male element is die cast and comprises a zinc alloy.
  10. 10. The assembly of claim 1, wherein the recess has a width of approximately 13 mm.
  11. 11. The assembly of claim 1, wherein the male element comprises a first face disposed towards the base of the electronic device and located between a second face of the male element and the device when the device and the male element are coupled together, the male element comprising two substantially parallel ridges protruding from the first face, the substantially parallel ridges aligned substantially parallel to a direction from the second portion to the first portion.
  12. 12. The assembly of claim 1, wherein the female docking receptacle comprises an annular retaining clip configured to engage one or more recesses within a perimeter of the male element.
  13. 13. A method of coupling an electronic device to an object, the method comprising:
    providing a positioning accessory comprising a male element having a width, the width less than a width of an oblong recess within a base of the electronic device;
    placing the male element within the oblong recess;
    sliding the male element from a first position within the oblong recess to a second position within the oblong recess, thereby positioning the element under a lip surrounding a portion of the recess;
    locking the male member in the second position.
  14. 14. The method of claim 13, further comprising providing raised portions upon the male element, the raised portions oriented in the direction of the sliding and having a surface area not more than 10% of the surface area of the male element, the raised portions making contact with the base of the electronic device, the male member sliding along the raised portions during the step of sliding the male element.
  15. 15. The method of claim 13, further comprising providing a clipping member coupled to the male element.
  16. 16. The method of claim 13, further comprising providing a positioning device coupled to the male member.
  17. 17. The method of claim 16, wherein locking the male member comprises causing a locking member to enter a recess of the male member.
  18. 18. The method of claim 17, wherein the locking member is compressed against the male member and at least a portion of the locking member enters the recess as a result of sliding the male member to the second position.
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US20110219589A1 (en) * 2010-03-11 2011-09-15 General Research Of Electronics, Inc. Clip Device

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