US20090294617A1 - Gripping mechanism for gripping portable object - Google Patents

Gripping mechanism for gripping portable object Download PDF

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Publication number
US20090294617A1
US20090294617A1 US12195894 US19589408A US2009294617A1 US 20090294617 A1 US20090294617 A1 US 20090294617A1 US 12195894 US12195894 US 12195894 US 19589408 A US19589408 A US 19589408A US 2009294617 A1 US2009294617 A1 US 2009294617A1
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US
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Patent type
Prior art keywords
arm
holding device
platform
outward
coupled
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
US12195894
Inventor
Jonathan Stacey
Tsin-Cheng Chang
Wilson Shu Chiu Tse
Tony Bidmead
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ACCO Brands USA LLC
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ACCO Brands USA LLC
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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60RVEHICLES, VEHICLE FITTINGS, OR VEHICLE PARTS, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B60R11/00Arrangements for holding or mounting articles, not otherwise provided for
    • B60R11/02Arrangements for holding or mounting articles, not otherwise provided for for radio sets, television sets, telephones, or the like; Arrangement of controls thereof
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04BTRANSMISSION
    • H04B1/00Details of transmission systems, not covered by a single one of groups H04B3/00 - H04B13/00; Details of transmission systems not characterised by the medium used for transmission
    • H04B1/38Transceivers, i.e. devices in which transmitter and receiver form a structural unit and in which at least one part is used for functions of transmitting and receiving
    • H04B1/3827Portable transceivers
    • H04B1/3877Arrangements for enabling portable transceivers to be used in a fixed position, e.g. cradles or boosters
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M1/00Substation equipment, e.g. for use by subscribers; Analogous equipment at exchanges
    • H04M1/02Constructional features of telephone sets
    • H04M1/04Supports for telephone transmitters or receivers
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60RVEHICLES, VEHICLE FITTINGS, OR VEHICLE PARTS, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B60R11/00Arrangements for holding or mounting articles, not otherwise provided for
    • B60R2011/0001Arrangements for holding or mounting articles, not otherwise provided for characterised by position
    • B60R2011/0003Arrangements for holding or mounting articles, not otherwise provided for characterised by position inside the vehicle
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60RVEHICLES, VEHICLE FITTINGS, OR VEHICLE PARTS, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B60R11/00Arrangements for holding or mounting articles, not otherwise provided for
    • B60R2011/0042Arrangements for holding or mounting articles, not otherwise provided for characterised by mounting means
    • B60R2011/0049Arrangements for holding or mounting articles, not otherwise provided for characterised by mounting means for non integrated articles
    • B60R2011/0064Connection with the article
    • B60R2011/0075Connection with the article using a containment or docking space
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60RVEHICLES, VEHICLE FITTINGS, OR VEHICLE PARTS, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B60R11/00Arrangements for holding or mounting articles, not otherwise provided for
    • B60R2011/0042Arrangements for holding or mounting articles, not otherwise provided for characterised by mounting means
    • B60R2011/008Adjustable or movable supports

Abstract

A holding device. The holding device can hold portable objects such as MP3 players, mobile phones, navigation devices, etc. The holding device has one or more arms, which can grip the portable object. In predetermined orientations, one arm is prevented from moving outward, to prevent the held portable object from falling even when it is being inserted or removed from the holder.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This patent application is a non-provisional of and claims the benefit of the filing date of U.S. provisional patent application No. 61/057,574 filed on May 30, 2008 which is herein incorporated by reference in its entirety for all purposes.
  • BACKGROUND
  • A number of devices for holding portable objects exist. Often a portable object, such as a mobile phone, a music player, a movie player, or other device (including combinations of the aforementioned) is used in an automobile or other location where hands-free operation is desirable. The purpose of such devices is to allow the portable object to be operated even when a user is occupied with other tasks. To accomplish hands-free operation, holders must both maintain a solid grip on the portable object, and provide a way to anchor the device and the holder so that they do not move in unintended ways.
  • It is difficult to maintain a solid grip on the portable object. Portable objects come in all shapes and sizes, and the holder needs to be able to accommodate any of them. One method known in the prior art uses a docking cavity that receives a portable object such as an MP3 player. However, the use of a docketing cavity is of limited value, since it is sized to receive only one type of portable object. Furthermore, the prior art dock has limited flexibility, as a portable object within the dock cannot be placed at various viewing angles.
  • Embodiments of the invention address the above problems and other problems, individually and collectively.
  • BRIEF SUMMARY
  • Embodiments of the present invention include a holding device for holding portable objects.
  • One embodiment of the present invention includes a holding device comprising: a platform; a first arm attached to the platform; a second arm attached to the platform opposing the first arm, wherein the first arm or the second arm is capable of moving inward and outward; a first locking mechanism adapted to prevent the first arm or the second arm from moving outward; and a second locking mechanism adapted to prevent the first arm or the second arm from moving outward when the platform is in a predetermined orientation.
  • Another embodiment of the present invention includes a holding device comprising: a platform, wherein the platform has an adjustable rotation; a first arm attached to the platform; a second arm attached to the platform opposing the first arm, wherein the first arm or the second arm are disposed to move inward and outward; a first means for locking the first arm or the second arm from moving in the outward direction; means for releasing the first means for locking; and a second means for locking the first arm or the second arm when the platform is at a predetermined rotation relative to the surface.
  • Another embodiment of the present invention includes a method of using a holding device comprising: placing a portable object in the holding device comprising first and second arms; securing the portable object in the holding device using the first and second arms, wherein the object is in a portrait orientation; and rotating the portable object so that it is in a landscape orientation while the portable object is held by the first and second arms.
  • These and other novel aspects of the present invention will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art upon review of the drawings and the remaining portions of the specification.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of a holding device according to an embodiment of the invention.
  • FIG. 2 illustrates various positions the holding device of FIG. 1 can be placed in, and also the relative movement of the arms.
  • FIG. 3 shows a portrait view of a head unit according to an embodiment of the invention.
  • FIG. 4 shows an inside perspective view of an embodiment of a holding device.
  • FIG. 5 shows a back perspective view of a holding device according to an embodiment of the invention.
  • FIG. 6 shows an overhead view of some internal components of a holding device according to an embodiment of the invention.
  • FIG. 7 shows a rear view of an embodiment of an arm of a holding device.
  • FIG. 8 shows a side view of some internal components of a holding device according to an embodiment of the invention.
  • FIG. 9 shows a method of using a holding device according to an embodiment of the invention.
  • FIGS. 10-11 show close up views of an electrical connector.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • Embodiments of the invention are directed to a holding device. The holding device can be used to grasp portable objects (e.g., portable electronic objects). Examples of portable objects that can be held by embodiments of the invention include phones, media players such as an IPOD™ or other MP3 and video players, navigation devices, and other suitable devices. In some implementations, a portable object that is held by the holding device can establish an electrical connection with an electronic connector present in the holding device. Electronics in the holding device can connect with an automobile or other power source, to recharge the batteries of the portable object and provide output signals.
  • Some portable objects can be used in multiple orientations and positions. For example, the iPhone™ produced by Apple, Inc. can be positioned in either a portrait mode or a landscape mode. In portrait mode, a portable phone such as the iPhone™ is positioned by a user with an orientation such that its vertical height is greater than its lateral width. In the landscape mode, the orientation of the phone is such that its lateral width is greater than its vertical height. However, many conventional holding devices are not able to hold a portable object in both a portrait or landscape orientation. Embodiments of the invention, on the other hand, allow the holding device to hold a portable object, and allow for rotation of the portable object from a portrait mode to landscape mode, and vice-versa. Embodiments of the invention are directed to a holding device that can hold a portable object in multiple orientations, such as portrait and landscape, but can also provide for greater holding ability without dropping the held portable object.
  • An exemplary holding device according to an embodiment of the invention includes a platform attached to two arms. The arms are capable of moving inward and outward relative to each other. There is a first locking mechanism adapted to prevent the arms from moving outward independent of orientation, and also a second locking mechanism adapted to prevent the arms from moving outward when the platform is in a predetermined orientation. This predetermined orientation can correspond to, for example, the landscape orientation of a portable electronic object. An object such as a portable phone can be placed on the platform, and then the arms can be pushed inward to grip the portable phone, and prevent it from falling out of the holding device. The arms are held in a predetermined position (i.e., prevented from sliding outwards) by the first locking mechanism. While held by the arms, the phone can be rotated from the portrait orientation to the landscape orientation, to access landscape features of the phone. If the user wants to remove the phone while it is held by the holding device in the landscape orientation, the user may push a release lever which will release the topmost arm, allowing the phone to be removed from the holding device. The arm that is at the bottom of the phone will remain in place, as it is held in a fixed predetermined position by by the second locking mechanism. This provides a support for the phone so that it does not accidentally separate from the holding device. Embodiments of the invention will be described in greater detail below, with reference to the figures.
  • I. Functionality
  • FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of a holding device 100 according to an embodiment of the invention. In this implementation, holding device 100 is configured to hold an MP3 player such as an iPod™. However, in other implementations, holding device 100 can be configured to hold other kinds of portable objects. Holding device 100 connects to a power supply by means of power connector 109. Power connector 109 can be a cigarette lighter adapter (CLA), that connects to the cigarette lighter outlet of a car. Holding device 100 can then power a held object by providing electricity from a car power source (e.g., a cigarette lighter), through the CLA 109, to the held object.
  • The holding device 100 may also include an auxiliary connector 108. Auxiliary connector 108 can be an auxiliary jack, which connects to an auxiliary connector in a car. If the auxiliary connector in the car receives signals (e.g., music signals) from the auxiliary connector 108, this can allow the holding device 100 to output music or video data from the held portable object to an audio system in the car so that music or video can be played back by the car.
  • In this example, power connector 109 and auxiliary connector 108 can be attached to stand 105. Wires or other connection means (not shown) can run inside of the holding device 100, and can electrically couple both auxiliary connector 108 and electrical connector 109 to an electrical connector 104. Electrical connector 104 can be designed to interface with the held portable object (not shown), and can both power the portable object and allow for signals to be transferred between the held object and the car.
  • Power connector 109 can serve to anchor the holding device 100, by coupling device 100 to an outlet or other power source. Stand 105 attaches to power connector 109 and can function to support device 100 while it is holding a portable object. Stand 105 can connect to flexible support 106. Any suitable flexible support 106 may be used in embodiments of the invention. For example, an exemplary flexible support can be found in U.S. Pat. No. 7,004,596, which is herein incorporated by reference. The flexible support 106 can preferably maintain its position after being manipulated by a user. Such supports are particularly useful, since different automobiles may have cigarette lighters with different orientations and/or positions. In addition, different persons may have different heights and/or viewing preferences. By using a flexible support 106 (which may be referred to as a “gooseneck” in some cases), it is possible to adjust the held object in a desired position.
  • In other embodiments, a flexible support is not needed. For example, a rigid support could be used in certain embodiments of the invention.
  • Flexible support 106 connects to neck connector 102, which in turn is rotatably coupled to head unit 100 a. Head unit 100 a functions to hold the portable object, and is able to rotate around neck connector 102. The combination of rotation around neck connector 102 with the flexible support 106 provides for a large number of positions that a device held within head unit 100 a can be placed in. This allows for usage of holding device 100 by various different users who may have different location preferences, and also allows for great flexibility in location such as within a car.
  • Head unit 100 a includes a platform 101 upon which a portable object can rest, first and second arms 103 a, 103 b, on opposite sides of platform 101, and a base 107. An electrical connector 104 is coupled with the base 107. A portable object such as an MP3 player (not shown) can interface with the electrical connector 104, and the first and second arms can move inwards to grip the portable object. In this manner, the portable object can be supported from below by base 107, in the back by platform 101, and held on the sides by first and second arms 103 a, 103 b. The power connector 109 can be connected to the cigarette outlet of a car, and the auxiliary connector 108 can be connected to a radio input. This allows for use of the MP3 player in the car, with audio recordings stored on the MP3 player output through the car stereo.
  • FIG. 2 illustrates various positions the holding device 100 of FIG. 1 can be placed in, and also the relative movement of the arms. Both first arm (“left arm”) 103 a and second arm (“right arm”) 103 b can move inward (i.e., towards the platform 101) and outward (i.e., away from platform 101). In exemplary embodiments, inward and outward are directions independent of the rotation or position of device 100. That is, the terms “inward” and “outward” signify motion of the arms relative to the platform 101 no matter what position the arms and the platform are in. In other embodiments, the terms “inward” and “outward” can be dependent on the orientation of the device 100.
  • FIG. 1 shows holding device 100 in the portrait orientation 181. In this orientation, the first arm 103 a and the second arm 103 b are laterally spaced apart from each other, and base 107 is located below the arms such that it is perpendicular to flexible support 106. In the portrait orientation, there is a first locking mechanism (not shown) that will prevent both the first and second arm from moving outward.
  • Holding device 100 can also be placed in a predetermined configuration, such that a second locking mechanism (not shown) will prevent one of the first or second arms 103(a), 103(b) from moving outward, even when the first locking mechanism has been released. As described above, this allows for the portable object to be removed without falling out of the holding device, while the holding device is in a predetermined configuration. In some embodiments, the predetermined configuration can be an orientation such as a landscape orientation. This can occur when the head unit 100 a is rotated approximately 90 degrees about the neck connector 102 from the portrait orientation. In the example of FIG. 2, there can be two predetermined orientations. The left landscape orientation 180 a can be when the bottom of the head unit 100 a is rotated 90 degrees to the left, and the right landscape orientation 180 b can be when the bottom of the head unit 100 a is rotated 90 degrees to the right.
  • When holding device 100 is in a predetermined position, one of the arms 103 a or 103 b may not move outward, even if a release mechanism is activated. In exemplary implementations, arm 103 b can be so locked into a predetermined position when the holding device 100 is in left landscape orientation 180 a, and arm 103 a will be so locked when the holding device 100 is in right landscape orientation 180 b. In other embodiments, different arms can be locked. In one such example the arm closest to the ground can be locked.
  • FIG. 3 shows a portrait configuration of a head unit 100 a according to an embodiment of the invention. In this embodiment, a platform 101 is attached to left arm 103 a, right arm 103 b, and neck connector 102. In some implementations, neck connector 102 can couple with a support and other connector structures (not shown). Also connected to platform 101, by way of a stem 135, is a base 107. Coupled with the base 107 is an electrical connector 104, which can be used to electrically and mechanically connect to a portable object (not shown). Electrical connector 104 can be configured to transmit power and data to the portable object, and to receive data from the portable object and transmit it to an output connector (not shown) for use with suitable devices, such as speaker systems, computers, car radios, etc. Electrical connector 104 is capable of sliding across base 107 in a lateral direction. This can be accomplished with a slot 112 formed within base 107. Electrical connector 104 can have a portion or stand (not shown) that is wider than slot 112. This allows electrical connector 104 to slide laterally within slot 112, but not be removed. Electrical connector 104 may be any style of connector necessary to connect to portable objects, such as a standard 30 pin connector used to connect to an iPhone™.
  • FIGS. 10-11 show a close up view of electrical connector 104. In FIG. 10, electrical connector 104 has been moved to one side of slot 112 within base 107, to accommodate various portable objects. In FIG. 11, electrical connector 104 is shown removed from holding device 100. Electrical connector 104 can sit on a portion 130 that is wider than slot 112 from FIG. 10. This allows the connector to slide within the slot 112 without falling out. A wire (i.e. a cable) 132 is attached at one end to electrical connector 104, and can run through the holding device 100. The other end of wire 132 can connect to a power connector. Wire 132 is guided by guidepost 131. Guidepost 131 can hold wire 132 with a clip, and can prevent wire 132 from getting tangled while electrical connector 104 slides within the holding device.
  • Left arm 103 a and right arm 103 b of FIG. 3 can each have a contact pad 113 on the inside of the arm. To be held, a portable object is placed between the two arms, connected to electrical connector 104, and then the arms may be moved inward until they grip the portable object. Contact pads 113 can be made of a soft material, and allow for the arms to maintain a strong grip on the portable object without damaging it. The contact pads may be made of any suitably resilient material such as rubber, foam, etc.
  • Further adding to the adjustability of the holding device is extendable platform 101 a. It is operatively coupled with thickness knob 111. Rotation of thickness knob 111 (which can reside on the end of neck connector 102) can extend the extendable platform 101 a out past the platform 101. This allows the holding device to adjust for portable objects of various thicknesses. The combination of the moving arms 103 a and 103 b, the sliding electrical connector 104, and the extendable platform 101 a results in a highly adjustable holding device. Examples such a holding device can conform to a wide variety of portable objects. Consumers will not need to purchase multiple holding devices to support their diverse collections of portable objects, as a single device according to embodiments of the invention can suffice.
  • II. Locking Mechanisms
  • The inside mechanisms of an exemplary holding device will be explained with reference to FIGS. 4-8. FIG. 4 shows a perspective view of an embodiment in which the front of holding device 100 is not shown. On the back of device 100 can be seen thickness knob 111. This is coupled with bar 212 such that rotation of the thickness knob 111 results in bar 212 extending in or out by means of a screw mechanism. Bar 212 can be attached to an extendable platform, which can then extend along with bar 212 as described above with reference to extendable platform 101 a. Towards the bottom of holding device 100 can be seen electrical connector 104, residing on stand 130. Stand 130 can have portions that are wider than lateral slot 112 in FIG. 3. Stand 130 may float freely within slot 112 with electrical connector 112 extending above the slot to allow for coupling with a portable object. There can be a cable (not shown) coupled on one end with electrical connector 104. The cable can run along the inside of holding device 100, guided by grooves 140, and the other cable end can extend outside the holding device. In one example, the cable may run through the head unit of the device, into the support structure, and may connect with both a power connector and an auxiliary connector (not shown).
  • A left arm 103 a and a right arm 103 b are attached to a platform 101, such that both arms may move inward and outward. The arms can be held apart by plate 315, which can serve to maintain the plates in their positions and can be attached by screws (or other means known in the art) to the inside of the housing or to the brake plate (not shown). Coupled with left arm 103 a is a biasing member 202, such as a spring. Biasing member 202 provides an outward force against the left arm 103 a. It can be coupled on one end with (i.e., push against) the left arm 103 a, and on the other end it can couple with an interior portion of platform 101, or some other relatively fixed object. A second biasing member such as a spring (not shown) can be located behind left arm 103 a, and provide outward force against right arm 103 b. In certain embodiments, a single biasing member may provide outward force against both the right and the left arms. Plate 315 may include a rack 203, which couples with gear 204 located on left arm 103 a. Rack 203 may be attached to, or formed as part of, plate 315. Gear 204 rotates relatively slowly, which can retard the outward sliding motion of arm 103 a. Gear 204 can be coated with a viscous grease, or may rotate slowly by other means well known in the art. Right arm 103 b can similarly have a gear (not shown) coupled with a rack (such as located on brake plate of FIG. 5) to slow the outward motion.
  • A first locking mechanism may prevent the left arm 103 a or the right arm 103 b from moving outward. It may prevent one or both both arms 103 a, 103 b from moving outward. When the first locking mechanism is engaged, it couples with the first arm or the second arm and prevents one or both arms from moving outward. There is a release mechanism that releases the first locking mechanism, allowing the left arm 103 a or the right arm 103 b to move outward (due to the force of their respective biasing members). The release mechanism includes a release button 210, which is accessible to a user from outside the body of holding device 100. When a user depresses the release button 210, it can push against the lower portion of release lever 209 causing it to rotate. Release lever 209 can be rotatably attached to a support post 209 a on the inside of holding device 100, and its rotation can pull release link 208 lower. Guides 213 can hold release link 208 in place laterally while allowing it to move vertically.
  • Release link 208 can couple with either or both of left arm 103 a and right arm 103 b by means of locking tabs 205. Locking tabs 205 include teeth (not shown), that can mate with left primary rack 206 and right primary rack 207. When locking tabs 205 are engaged with left primary rack 206 and right primary rack 207, the left arm 103 a or the right arm 103 b can be held in position such that they cannot move outward.
  • The first release mechanism can operate as follows: when the release button 210 is activated, it rotates release lever 209, which can lower release link 208. This can disengage the locking tabs 205 from the right primary rack 207 or the left primary rack 206. In certain embodiments, the teeth on the primary racks 206, 207 can be right angle triangles, where the angled side of the teeth faces inward and the opposing sides of the teeth are approximately vertical. In this aspect, the first locking mechanism can prevent the arms from moving outward. However, the arms can still move inward even while the first locking mechanism is engaged. In other embodiments, the teeth may include other shapes, such as isosceles triangle- or square-like shapes, as will be well known to one skilled in the art.
  • FIG. 5 shows a back perspective view of a holding device according to an embodiment of the invention. The outer shell of the holding device is not shown in order to further explicate the second locking mechanism. At the same time that the left arm 103 a and the right arm 103 b (sandwiching plate 315) can be engaged with a first locking mechanism, there is a second locking mechanism that can engage when the holding device is at a predetermined orientation. In exemplary embodiments, the predetermined position occurs when the head unit 100 a rotates around the neck connector 102 to reach a landscape orientation. Head unit 100 a can rotate about screw 212, which can be attached to neck connector 102 and inner pivot 301. In this manner, both the neck connector 102 and the inner pivot 301 can remain stationary relative to the rotating head unit. The circular shaped inner pivot 301 can reside within an outer housing (not shown), while the neck connector 102 can reside outside the housing. As the head unit 100 a rotates around screw 212, the brake plate 307 rotates with the head unit. Attached on the brake plate 307 can be cam followers 305 a and 305 b. They can be attached to portions 302 of brake plate 307 that is pliable. In one example, brake plate 307 can be made of a plastic. Portions 302 can be surrounded by etchings within the brake plate, allowing portions 302 to move relative to the brake plate 307.
  • Inner pivot 301 can feature a protrusion 301 a on approximately half of its circumference. Protrusion 301 a can be less than a third to over half of the circumference of inner pivot 301. In certain implementations, inner pivot 301 can have multiple protrusions. In exemplary embodiments, protrusion 301 a is approximately half the circumference of inner pivot 301, with the thickness of the protrusion increasing from its edges towards its center. The protrusion 301 a can couple with an auxiliary rack located on the left arm 103 a or the right arm 103 b. As brake plate 307 rotates around screw 212, protrusion 301 a can engage with cam follower 305 a or 305 b. In certain implementations, protrusion 301 a may engage with the cam followers when the holding device is in a landscape orientation. When the holding device is in the right landscape orientation, protrusion 301 a can engage with cam follower 305 a. This can cause the cam follower 305 a to extend outward, to mate with auxiliary rack 309. Once the cam follower 305 a mates with auxiliary rack 309, the left arm 103 a is held from moving outward. Similarly for the right arm 103 b, when the holding device is in the left landscape orientation, protrusion 301 a can engage with cam follower 305 b. This can cause the cam follower 305 b to extend outward, to engage with an auxiliary rack (not shown) located on the bottom portion of right arm 103 b. Once the cam follower 305 b mates with the auxiliary rack, the right arm 103 b is held from moving outward. Rotation of the holding device back to the portrait orientation can serve to disengage the cam follower from protrusion 301 a, releasing the second locking mechanism.
  • FIG. 6 shows an overhead view of some internal components of a holding device according to an embodiment of the invention. Left arm 103 a and right arm 103 b are held spaced apart by plate 315 and can be capable of holding a portable object. Auxiliary rack 309 may be attached to, or formed as part of, left arm 103 a. Cam follower 305 a may be attached to, or formed as part of, brake plate 307, and is capable of engaging with auxiliary rack 309 as described above. The brake plate 307 and arms 103 a, 103 b can rotate relative to inner pivot 301, which can be attached to neck connector 102. A protrusion 301 a can be attached to, or formed as part of, inner pivot 301. When the holding device is in a predetermined orientation (such as a landscape orientation), the protrusion 301 a can couple with auxiliary rack 309 by pushing the cam follower 305 a to mate with the teeth of the auxiliary rack 309.
  • FIG. 7 shows a rear view of an embodiment of right arm 103 b. Behind right arm 103 b is separator plate 315, which can serve to keep apart the right arm 103 b from the left arm. Auxiliary rack 310 and right primary rack 207 can both be coupled to (including by attachment or formed as a part of) right arm 103 b. A first locking mechanism, including locking tabs 205 coupled to release link 208, is engaged with right primary rack 207. This can prevent right arm 103 b from moving outward while it is a part of a holding device.
  • FIG. 8 shows a side view of some internal components and the left arm 103 a of a holding device according to an embodiment of the invention. Coupled with left arm 103 a is a left primary rack 206. The first locking mechanism, including locking tabs 205 and release link 208, can engage with the left primary rack 206 and also a right primary rack (not shown). The first locking mechanism is held up by a biasing member 210, such as a spring. This will keep the first locking mechanism engaged with the primary racks. Activation of the release button 210, for example by pushing it inwards, can rotate release lever 209, which can cause locking tabs 205 to disengage from the primary racks. This can release the first locking mechanism, while the release button is activated. The left arm 103 a or the right arm (not shown) can be coupled with the biasing member 222, which can provide outward force to the arms such that they can move outward when the first locking mechanism is released.
  • The device can rotate about screw 220. When in a predetermined position such as a landscape orientation, a protrusion 301 a located on inner pivot 301 can couple with an auxiliary rack located on the left arm 103 a or the right arm. The protrusion 301 a can engage a cam follower 305 a or 305 b (for the right landscape orientation or the left landscape orientation, respectively) located on brake plate 307, which will in turn engage with the auxiliary rack.
  • In certain exemplary embodiments, the secondary locking mechanism includes protrusions coupling with auxiliary racks, in order to prevent a first arm or a second arm (ie, including one or both arms) from moving outward. However, the secondary locking mechanism can include any suitable mechanism known to those skilled in the art. In one example, the secondary locking mechanism can comprise a ball bearing disposed within a trough or tube within a holding device. The tube can have the shape of the letter “v”, or any suitable shape. When the device of the example is in a predetermined position, such as being rotated sideways with an arm substantially parallel with the ground, gravity will pull the ball bearing to the lower end of the tube. In this position, the ball bearing can jam the first or the second arm, such that it cannot move outward. Rotating the holding device back to a portrait position can pull, due to gravity, the ball bearing back to the center of the tube.
  • III. Method of Use
  • FIG. 9 shows a method of using a holding device 100 according to an embodiment of the invention. In step 1 a, the release button 210 is pushed. This releases a first locking mechanism connected to the left arm 103 a or the right arm 103 b, allowing them to move outward as shown in step 1 b. In step 1 c, a portable object 400 can be placed in the holding device 100. Portable object 400 can connect to electrical connector 104, located on base 107. In step 1 d, the left arm or the right arm can be moved inward. The device is thereon held by the grip of the left and right arms 103 a, 103 b, and the support of base 107.
  • Step 2 shows how the holding device can be adjusted to hold various sized portable objects. In step 2 a, the thickness knob 111 can be rotated. This can cause extendable platform 101 a to extend out from platform 101, until it is able to support portable object 400 as shown in step 2 b. Step 3 shows the rotation of head unit 100 a, from a portrait orientation to a predetermined orientation such as a left landscape orientation or a right landscape orientation. In the predetermined orientations, a second locking mechanism is adapted to prevent the left arm 103 a or the right arm 103 b from moving outward.
  • Embodiments of the invention may have two separate locking mechanisms including a primary and a secondary locking mechanism. Some embodiments may have a single locking mechanism that can perform the function of both a primary and a secondary locking mechanism. Exemplary embodiments may have a primary and secondary locking mechanism that appear as a single mechanism, however all functions of a primary and secondary locking mechanism can be performed.
  • Embodiments of the invention can securely hold and connect to a wide variety of portable objects. Portable objects come in an array of shapes and sizes. Even portable objects made by the same manufacturer can have varying sizes across model ranges. Embodiments of the holding device have movable arms, a sliding electrical connector, and an extendable back platform. Adjusting these can lead to a large number of combinations, capable of coupling with many portable objects. Furthermore, certain portable objects can be used in various orientations, such as portrait and landscape modes. Embodiments of the invention provide for a holding device that can rotate to allow use of a held portable object in any desired orientation. One of the arms of the holding device may be prevented from moving outward when in a landscape orientation, while the other one of the arms may be allowed to move outward. This provides for easy insertion and removal of a portable object from within the holder, yet the non-moving lower arm also provides for a stable platform. As such, portable objects are more securely held and more easily removed without being dropped.
  • Holding devices according to embodiments of the invention may be formed by appropriate means as is known to one skilled in the art. Portions of the holding device may be formed from molded plastic, metal, or other suitable materials. The portions may be fastened together using glue, screws, nails, or any suitable fastening means. Various portions may be formed from a single continuous material, or may be formed in several pieces and fastened together. For example, the primary and secondary racks may be formed as part of the left and right arms, or may be formed separated and attached thereto. The protrusion on the inner pivot may be a separate material glued or otherwise fastened thereto, or the inner pivot may be formed (by molding or other suitable means) inherently with a suitable protrusion.
  • The terms and expressions which have been employed herein are used as terms of description and not of limitation, and there is no intention in the use of such terms and expressions of excluding equivalents of the features shown and described, or portions thereof, it being recognized that various modifications are possible within the scope of the invention claimed.
  • Moreover, any one or more features of any embodiment of the invention may be combined with any one or more other features of any other embodiment of the invention, without departing from the scope of the invention.
  • All patent applications, patents, and publications mentioned above are herein incorporated by reference in their entirety for all purposes. None is admitted to be prior art.
  • Any reference to “a”, “an” or “the” is intended to include “one or more” unless specifically indicated to the contrary.

Claims (24)

  1. 1. A holding device comprising:
    a platform;
    a first arm attached to the platform;
    a second arm attached to the platform opposing the first arm, wherein the first arm or the second arm is capable of moving inward and outward;
    a first locking mechanism adapted to prevent the first arm or the second arm from moving outward; and
    a second locking mechanism adapted to prevent the first arm or the second arm from moving outward when the platform is in a predetermined orientation.
  2. 2. The holding device of claim 1, further comprising:
    a release mechanism for releasing the first locking mechanism.
  3. 3. The holding device of claim 1, further comprising:
    a biasing member coupled with the first arm and or second arm, wherein the biasing member is configured to provide outward force.
  4. 4. The holding device of claim 3, wherein the biasing member is a spring.
  5. 5. The holding device of claim 1, further comprising:
    a flexible support member coupled with the platform
  6. 6. The holding device of claim 1, wherein both the first arm and the second arm are capable of moving inward and outward, and further wherein the first locking mechanism is adapted to prevent the first arm and the second arm from moving outward.
  7. 7. The holding device of claim 1, wherein the predetermined orientation comprises a rotation of the platform such that the platform is in a landscape orientation.
  8. 8. The holding device of claim 1, wherein the first locking mechanism comprises:
    a primary rack coupled to the first arm or the second arm;
    locking tabs capable of engaging with the primary rack; and
    a release lever coupled with the locking tabs, wherein rotation of the release lever results in the locking tabs disengaging from the primary rack.
  9. 9. The holding device of claim 1, wherein the second locking mechanism comprises:
    an auxiliary rack coupled to the first arm or the second arm; and
    a circular shaped inner pivot, wherein approximately half the circumference of the inner pivot comprises a protrusion and further wherein the platform is capable of rotating relative to the inner pivot such that the protrusion couples with the auxiliary rack, when the platform is in the predetermined orientation.
  10. 10. The holding device of claim 8, wherein the protrusion couples with the auxiliary rack by means of a cam follower, wherein at the predetermined orientation of the platform, the protrusion engages the cam follower such that the cam follower mates with the auxiliary rack.
  11. 11. The holding device of claim 9, wherein the auxiliary rack is a first auxiliary rack coupled to the first arm, the holding device further comprises a second auxiliary rack coupled to the second arm, wherein the protrusion couples one of the first auxiliary rack or the second auxiliary rack when the platform is in the predetermined orientation.
  12. 12. The holding device of claim 1, further comprising:
    a base attached to the platform;
    an electrical connector coupled with the base; and
    a cable having two ends, wherein one cable end is coupled to the electrical connector and the other cable end is coupled to a power connector.
  13. 13. The holding device of claim 12, wherein the electrical connector is capable of connecting to a portable media device.
  14. 14. The holding device of claim 12, wherein the electrical connector is capable of sliding across the base in a lateral direction.
  15. 15. The holding device of claim 14, further comprising:
    a lateral slot across the base;
    a stand disposed within the slot, wherein the connector is attached to the stand; and
    a clip coupled to the stand, wherein the clip is configured to guide the cable.
  16. 16. The holding device of claim 1, wherein the second locking mechanism comprises:
    a tube disposed within the platform, wherein the tube has two ends and wherein at least one tube end couples with the first arm or the second arm; and
    a ball bearing disposed within the tube, wherein the ball bearing is forced by gravity to the at least one tube end when the platform is in the predetermined orientation.
  17. 17. The holding device of claim 16, wherein the predetermined location occurs when the first arm or the second arm is substantially parallel with the ground.
  18. 18. The holding device of claim 16, wherein the ball bearing holds in place the first arm or the second arm coupled with the at least one tube end, when the platform is at the predetermined orientation.
  19. 19. The holding device of claim 19, further comprising:
    at least one biasing member coupled with at least one of the first arm and the second arm, wherein the biasing member is configured to provide force in the outward direction.
  20. 20. The holding device of claim 1, wherein both the first arm and the second arm are capable of moving inward and outward, and further wherein the second locking mechanism is adapted to prevent the first arm and the second arm from moving outward when the platform is in predetermined orientations.
  21. 21. A holding device comprising:
    a platform, wherein the platform has an adjustable rotation;
    a first arm attached to the platform;
    a second arm attached to the platform opposing the first arm, wherein the first arm or the second arm are disposed to move inward and outward;
    a first means for locking the first arm or the second arm from moving in the outward direction;
    means for releasing the first means for locking; and
    a second means for locking the first arm or the second arm when the platform is at a predetermined rotation relative to the surface.
  22. 22. The holding device of claim 21, wherein the first arm and the second arm are disposed to move inward and outward;
    the first means includes means for locking the first arm and the second arm from moving in the outward direction; and
    the second means includes means for locking the first arm and the second arm when the platform is at predetermined rotations relative to the surface.
  23. 23. The holding device of claim 21, wherein the predetermined rotation comprises a left landscape orientation or a right landscape orientation.
  24. 24. A method of using a holding device comprising:
    placing a portable object in the holding device comprising first and second arms;
    securing the portable object in the holding device using the first and second arms, wherein the object is in a portrait orientation; and
    rotating the portable object so that it is in a landscape orientation while the portable object is held by the first and second arms.
US12195894 2008-05-30 2008-08-21 Gripping mechanism for gripping portable object Abandoned US20090294617A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

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US5757408 true 2008-05-30 2008-05-30
US12195894 US20090294617A1 (en) 2008-05-30 2008-08-21 Gripping mechanism for gripping portable object

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US12195894 US20090294617A1 (en) 2008-05-30 2008-08-21 Gripping mechanism for gripping portable object

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US20090294617A1 true true US20090294617A1 (en) 2009-12-03

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US12195894 Abandoned US20090294617A1 (en) 2008-05-30 2008-08-21 Gripping mechanism for gripping portable object

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US20100051771A1 (en) * 2008-08-26 2010-03-04 Htc Corporation Holder
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US20120241581A1 (en) * 2011-03-21 2012-09-27 Chung Chih-Cheng Support stand
KR101222356B1 (en) 2010-08-02 2013-01-15 밍-시엔 후앙 Holding apparatus
US20130068908A1 (en) * 2011-09-15 2013-03-21 Henryk Bury Retaining Device
US20130105656A1 (en) * 2011-10-31 2013-05-02 Otto Karl Allmendinger Holder mechanism for a multi-function electronic device
US20130206942A1 (en) * 2010-07-29 2013-08-15 Octa Llc Positioning grip for a mobile electronic device
CN103292117A (en) * 2012-02-23 2013-09-11 致伸科技股份有限公司 Holding means
US8567737B2 (en) * 2012-02-15 2013-10-29 Primax Electronics Ltd. Clamping device
US20130292296A1 (en) * 2012-05-02 2013-11-07 Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. Cradle
US20140204529A1 (en) * 2013-01-23 2014-07-24 ACCO Brands Corporation Security apparatus with a modular system for accessories
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US9103492B2 (en) 2013-03-01 2015-08-11 Stand For Stuff Llc Adjustable holder for devices
US9278652B1 (en) 2015-02-05 2016-03-08 Allstate Insurance Company Phone holder
US9281857B1 (en) 2015-02-05 2016-03-08 Allstate Insurance Company Phone holder
US9333437B2 (en) 2011-10-31 2016-05-10 Traxxas Lp Modular transmit controller
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US9609105B1 (en) 2015-02-05 2017-03-28 Allstate Insurance Company Phone holder
US9647712B2 (en) 2012-12-19 2017-05-09 Camel IP Pty Ltd Phone holder
US9699285B1 (en) 2015-02-05 2017-07-04 Allstate Insurance Company Phone holder
RU172822U1 (en) * 2016-06-06 2017-07-26 Юрий Леонидович Козаков Holder for mobile electronic devices
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US9808730B2 (en) 2011-10-31 2017-11-07 Traxxas Lp Multi-function electronic device-enabled transmit controller
US9859940B1 (en) 2015-02-05 2018-01-02 Allstate Insurance Company Phone holder
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US7963494B2 (en) * 2008-02-15 2011-06-21 Wistron Corporation Holder, and assembly of the holder and an electronic device
US20090207558A1 (en) * 2008-02-15 2009-08-20 Wistron Corporation Holder, and Assembly of the Holder and an Electronic Device
US20100051771A1 (en) * 2008-08-26 2010-03-04 Htc Corporation Holder
US9115843B2 (en) * 2008-08-26 2015-08-25 Htc Corporation Holder
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US20110185776A1 (en) * 2010-01-29 2011-08-04 Robert Mahaffey Securing Apparatus for Portable Electronic Devices
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US9647712B2 (en) 2012-12-19 2017-05-09 Camel IP Pty Ltd Phone holder
US9141145B2 (en) * 2013-01-23 2015-09-22 ACCO Brands Corporation Security apparatus with a modular system for accessories
US20140204529A1 (en) * 2013-01-23 2014-07-24 ACCO Brands Corporation Security apparatus with a modular system for accessories
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WO2015051393A1 (en) * 2013-10-11 2015-04-16 Gregor Schnoell Portable control unit for steering aircraft
US20160224065A1 (en) * 2015-02-04 2016-08-04 Inducomp Corporation Tablet computer system
US20170308122A1 (en) * 2015-02-04 2017-10-26 Inducomp Corporation Tablet computer system
US9727085B2 (en) * 2015-02-04 2017-08-08 Inducomp Corporation Tablet computer system
US9699285B1 (en) 2015-02-05 2017-07-04 Allstate Insurance Company Phone holder
US9281857B1 (en) 2015-02-05 2016-03-08 Allstate Insurance Company Phone holder
US9609105B1 (en) 2015-02-05 2017-03-28 Allstate Insurance Company Phone holder
US9278652B1 (en) 2015-02-05 2016-03-08 Allstate Insurance Company Phone holder
US9859940B1 (en) 2015-02-05 2018-01-02 Allstate Insurance Company Phone holder
WO2017184517A1 (en) * 2016-04-18 2017-10-26 Nite Ize, Inc. Systems and methods for an adjustable electronic device holder
RU172822U1 (en) * 2016-06-06 2017-07-26 Юрий Леонидович Козаков Holder for mobile electronic devices
US9961306B1 (en) * 2017-05-22 2018-05-01 Yaron LEV Smart holder

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Free format text: CORRECTIVE ASSIGNMENT TO CORRECT THE MISSING ASSIGNEES ON THE RELEASE OF SECURITY INTEREST IN PATENTS PREVIOUSLY RECORDED ON REEL 028168 FRAME 0738. ASSIGNOR(S) HEREBY CONFIRMS THE ASSIGNEES ACCO BRANDS USA LLC, AND GENERAL BINDING CORPORATION ARE ADDITIONAL ASIGNEES;ASSIGNOR:DEUTSCHE BANK AG NEW YORK BRANK, AS COLLATERAL AGENT;REEL/FRAME:028488/0056

Effective date: 20120430

Owner name: ACCO BRANDS CORPORATION, ILLINOIS

Free format text: CORRECTIVE ASSIGNMENT TO CORRECT THE MISSING ASSIGNEES ON THE RELEASE OF SECURITY INTEREST IN PATENTS PREVIOUSLY RECORDED ON REEL 028168 FRAME 0738. ASSIGNOR(S) HEREBY CONFIRMS THE ASSIGNEES ACCO BRANDS USA LLC, AND GENERAL BINDING CORPORATION ARE ADDITIONAL ASIGNEES;ASSIGNOR:DEUTSCHE BANK AG NEW YORK BRANK, AS COLLATERAL AGENT;REEL/FRAME:028488/0056

Effective date: 20120430

Owner name: GENERAL BINDING CORPORATION, ILLINOIS

Free format text: CORRECTIVE ASSIGNMENT TO CORRECT THE THE MISSING ASSIGNEES ON THE RELEASE OF SECURITY INTEREST IN PATENTS PREVIOUSLY RECORDED ON REEL 028168 FRAME 0713. ASSIGNOR(S) HEREBY CONFIRMS THE ASSIGNEES ACCO BRANDS USA LLC AND GENERAL BINDING CORPORATION ARE ADDITIONAL ASSIGNEES;ASSIGNOR:U.S. BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, AS COLLATERAL TRUSTEE;REEL/FRAME:028487/0671

Effective date: 20120430

Owner name: ACCO BRANDS USA LLC, ILLINOIS

Free format text: CORRECTIVE ASSIGNMENT TO CORRECT THE THE MISSING ASSIGNEES ON THE RELEASE OF SECURITY INTEREST IN PATENTS PREVIOUSLY RECORDED ON REEL 028168 FRAME 0713. ASSIGNOR(S) HEREBY CONFIRMS THE ASSIGNEES ACCO BRANDS USA LLC AND GENERAL BINDING CORPORATION ARE ADDITIONAL ASSIGNEES;ASSIGNOR:U.S. BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, AS COLLATERAL TRUSTEE;REEL/FRAME:028487/0671

Effective date: 20120430

Owner name: ACCO BRANDS CORPORATION, ILLINOIS

Free format text: CORRECTIVE ASSIGNMENT TO CORRECT THE THE MISSING ASSIGNEES ON THE RELEASE OF SECURITY INTEREST IN PATENTS PREVIOUSLY RECORDED ON REEL 028168 FRAME 0713. ASSIGNOR(S) HEREBY CONFIRMS THE ASSIGNEES ACCO BRANDS USA LLC AND GENERAL BINDING CORPORATION ARE ADDITIONAL ASSIGNEES;ASSIGNOR:U.S. BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, AS COLLATERAL TRUSTEE;REEL/FRAME:028487/0671

Effective date: 20120430

Owner name: GENERAL BINDING CORPORATION, ILLINOIS

Free format text: CORRECTIVE ASSIGNMENT TO CORRECT THE MISSING ASSIGNEES ON THE RELEASE OF SECURITY INTEREST IN PATENTS PREVIOUSLY RECORDED ON REEL 028168 FRAME 0738. ASSIGNOR(S) HEREBY CONFIRMS THE ASSIGNEES ACCO BRANDS USA LLC, AND GENERAL BINDING CORPORATION ARE ADDITIONAL ASIGNEES;ASSIGNOR:DEUTSCHE BANK AG NEW YORK BRANK, AS COLLATERAL AGENT;REEL/FRAME:028488/0056

Effective date: 20120430