US20120305422A1 - Portable device protector case - Google Patents

Portable device protector case Download PDF

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Publication number
US20120305422A1
US20120305422A1 US13150974 US201113150974A US20120305422A1 US 20120305422 A1 US20120305422 A1 US 20120305422A1 US 13150974 US13150974 US 13150974 US 201113150974 A US201113150974 A US 201113150974A US 20120305422 A1 US20120305422 A1 US 20120305422A1
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US
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Patent type
Prior art keywords
portable device
jacket
rim
case
method
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
US13150974
Inventor
Jesse Vandiver
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.)
Scosche Industries Inc
Original Assignee
Scosche Industries Inc
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

    • 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
    • H04M1/18Telephone sets modified for use in ships, mines, or other places exposed to adverse environment
    • H04M1/185Improving the rigidity of the casing or resistance to shocks
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F2200/00Indexing scheme relating to G06F1/04 - G06F1/32
    • G06F2200/16Indexing scheme relating to G06F1/16 - G06F1/18
    • G06F2200/163Indexing scheme relating to constructional details of the computer
    • G06F2200/1633Protecting arrangement for the entire housing of the computer
    • 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
    • H04M1/0202Portable telephone sets, e.g. cordless phones, mobile phones or bar type handsets
    • H04M1/026Details of the structure or mounting of specific components
    • H04M1/0274Details of the structure or mounting of specific components for an electrical connector module

Abstract

A portable device case includes a flexible material jacket conformably surrounding at least a portion of the periphery of the portable device and a rigid rim conformably surrounding the jacket comprising one or more hinges and a snap lock to encase the jacket and the portable device surrounded therein, wherein total functionality of the portable device is accessible through apertures and contacts in the jacket and rim and no accessory tools or affixing devices are required to install the portable device in the case.

Description

    BACKGROUND
  • 1. Field
  • The present disclosure relates generally to protector cases for mobile devices, and more particularly to a protector case for an Apple™ iPhone™.
  • 2. Background
  • Mobile personal consumer electronic products are vulnerable to damage if dropped. Smart phones, such as the Apple™ iPhone™, constitute a valuable and increasingly costly vehicle for storage of contact data, appointment information, photography, entertainment data storage and retrieval, all in addition to the primary function of communication, whether by voice or data. There is a need for a system in which it is easy to install the smart phone that is effective protection against shock damage, and enables access to all the functionality of the smart phone.
  • SUMMARY
  • In one aspect of the disclosure, a portable device case includes a flexible material jacket conformably surrounding at least a portion of the periphery of the portable device and a rigid rim conformably surrounding the jacket comprising one or more hinges and a lock to encase the jacket and the portable device surrounded therein, wherein total functionality of the portable device is accessible through apertures and contacts in the jacket and rim and no accessory tools or affixing devices are required to install the portable device in the case.
  • In another aspect of the disclosure, a method of protecting a portable device includes conformally encasing at least a portion of a periphery of the portable device with a flexible material jacket, conformally surrounding the flexible material with a rigid rim comprising one or more hinges and a lock to encase the jacket and the portable device surrounded therein, wherein the conformally encasing and conformally surrounding is achieved without accessory tools or affixing devices, and retaining total access to all functionality of the portable device through apertures and contacts in the jacket and rim.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1A is a conceptual perspective view of an embodiment of a protector case containing an iPhone™ in accordance with the disclosure.
  • FIG. 1B is a conceptual perspective view of an embodiment of a bottom portion of the protector case of FIG. 1A.
  • FIG. 2 is a conceptual exploded perspective view of an embodiment of a rim, jacket and an iPhone™ according to FIGS. 1A and 1B.
  • FIG. 3 is a conceptual exploded perspective view of an embodiment of the jacket and rim of FIGS. 1A and 1B with distal portions of the rim opened.
  • FIG. 4 is a conceptual perspective view of an embodiment of a top portion of the case containing an iPhone™ showing details of a lock for enclosing the jacket in the rim of FIGS. 1A and 1B.
  • FIG. 5 is a conceptual perspective view of an embodiment of a bottom portion of a case for an iPhone™ including a hinged connector cap in accordance with the disclosure.
  • FIG. 6 is a conceptual perspective front view of another embodiment of a protector case containing an iPhone™ in accordance with the disclosure.
  • FIG. 7 is a conceptual perspective back view of the protector case of FIG. 6.
  • FIG. 8 is a conceptual exploded perspective view of the case of FIG. 6.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • The present disclosure is described more fully hereinafter with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which various aspects of a portable device protector case are presented. This disclosure, however, may be embodied in many different forms and should not be construed as limited by the various aspects of the device presented herein. The detailed description of the portable device protector case with reference to the Apple™ iPhone™ is provided below so that this disclosure will be thorough and complete, and will fully convey the scope of the present disclosure to those skilled in the art. However, the disclosure is not limited to one particular device as a protector case, and details of the various aspects described may vary with respect to different portable devices.
  • The detailed description may include specific details for illustrating various aspects of the portable device protector case. However, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that the disclosure may be practiced without these specific details. In some instances, well known elements may be shown in block diagram form, or omitted, to avoid obscuring the inventive concepts presented throughout this disclosure.
  • By way of example, various aspects of the portable device protector case may be illustrated by describing components that arc coupled, attached or connected together, However, the disclosure, while described in terms of an Apple™ iPhone™, may be practiced with other portable devices. As used herein, the terms “coupled”, “attached”, and “connected” may be used to indicate either a direct connection between two components or, where appropriate, an indirect connection to one another through intervening or intermediate components. In contrast, when a component is referred to as being “directly coupled”, “directly attached” or “directly connected” to another component, there are no intervening elements present.
  • Relative terms such as “lower” or “bottom” and “upper” or “top” may be used herein to describe one element's relationship to another element illustrated in the drawings. It will be understood that relative terms are intended to encompass different orientations of a portable device equipped with the protector case in addition to the orientation depicted in the drawings. By way of example, if a protector case for a portable device in the drawings is turned over, elements described as being on the “bottom” side of the other elements would then be oriented on the “top” side of the other elements. The term “bottom” can therefore encompass both an orientation of “bottom” and “top” depending on the particular orientation of the apparatus.
  • Various aspects of a protector case for a portable device may be illustrated with reference to one or more exemplary embodiments. As used herein, the term “exemplary” means “serving as an example, instance, or illustration,” and should not necessarily be construed as preferred or advantageous over other embodiments of a protector case disclosed herein.
  • In an aspect of the disclosure, FIGS. 1A and 1B illustrate perspective views of an iPhone™ 101 contained in a protector case 100. The protector case includes a flexible material jacket 125 that surrounds the iPhone™ 101 around the peripheral edges, leaving a display touch screen 110, a microphone 112, a camera 113, an operations button 114 on a front surface 118 and speakers 154 and a power/I/O cable connection port 156 on the bottom of the iPhone™ 101 exposed and accessible to a user. The protector case 100 is configured such that the front surface 118 and a back surface 120 of the iPhone™ 101 are accessible but recessed from external dimensions of the protector case 100.
  • The protector case 100 includes a flexible material jacket 125 conformably surrounding at least a portion of the periphery of the portable device 100. The protector case 100 further includes a rigid rim 130 conformably surrounding the jacket 125.
  • Preferably, the rigid rim 130 is comprised of metal, plastics (e.g., polycarbonate), carbon fiber, wood, etc. The rigid rim 130 is configured to receive the brunt of an impulse of shock waves in the event that the iPhone™ 101 is dropped. The rigid rim is in conformal contact with the jacket 125, where the jacket 125 may be made from a flexible material that has a sufficient amount of elastic damping to absorb and dissipate the shock waves from an impact, thereby reducing an amount of shock vibration received by the iPhone™ 101. The jacket 125, is in substantially conformal contact with surfaces of the iPhone™ 101 to prevent a significant amount of vibration and shockwave motion of the iPhone™ 101 with respect to either the jacket 125 or the rim 130.
  • The flexible material may be a silicone rubber or a rubberized material having absorbing and damping properties and dimensional characteristics suitable to prevent damage according to a defined set of impact conditions. For example, a combination of damping properties and material thickness of the jacket 125 may be determined, for example, to prevent operational damage to the iPhone™ 101 when it experiences a drop from a defined height and impacting a hard surface in any of a number of defined orientations and impact edges.
  • FIG. 2 illustrates an exploded perspective view of the iPhone™ 101, the jacket 125 and the rigid rim 130. The jacket 125 and rim 130 may include a plurality of holes to provide access to connectors ports and buttons on the edge of the iPhone™ 101. Referring also to FIGS. 1A and 1B, a headphone jack hole 150, a mute switch hole 152, and a hole 153 for the speakers 154 and the power/I/O cable connection port 156 are included. The jacket 125 may further include feed through buttons that are depressible to contact and operate buttons in corresponding locations on the iPhone™ 101. Such feed through buttons may include an ON/OFF button and Volume (+ and −) buttons 128 and 129, respectively. Access holes and feed through buttons for other portable devices may vary in detail and location, depending on the configuration of the device.
  • A thickness dimension of the jacket 125 from back to front of the iPhone™ 101 may be somewhat greater than a thickness of the iPhone™ 101, in order to prevent the touch screen 110 from contacting flat surfaces. In some locations of the jacket, such as at least at the corners where impact is likely to be more concentrated at a point, the thickness dimension may be made larger to provide a greater amount of shock absorption material. In addition the rim 130, being rigid, may distribute, and thereby dilute, the impact shock over a greater volume and perimeter of the jacket 125, further reducing the likelihood of damage to the iPhone™ 101.
  • Still referring to FIG. 2, and also to FIG. 1A, the rim 130 may include holes corresponding to holes and feed through buttons in the jacket 125. For example, the iPhone™ ON/OFF button 127 and the Volume buttons 128, 129 may protrude through holes in the rim 130. The rim 130 may optionally include a rocker insert (not shown) that inserts into the two holes from beneath the rim 130 corresponding to the two Volume buttons of the jacket 125. The rocker insert can provide a firm sense of contact when pressure is applied to change a volume setting. The rim 130 may also include holes corresponding to the holes in the jacket 125 to provide access, for example, via a headphone jack hole 150 for the headphone jack, and a mute switch hole 155, holes 153 a for speakers 154 and a hole 153 b for the power/I/O cable connection port 156 on the iPhone™. The mute switch hole 155 in the rim 130 may be configured to hold a slidable mute switch extension 160 that is configured to contact and slidably operate the mute switch on the iPhone™ 101.
  • The rim 130 may further include one or more hinges to subdivide the rim 130 into two or more portions to enable insertion of the iPhone™ 101, which is already installed in the jacket 125 by press-fitting and minor stretching, into the rim 130. Referring to FIG. 3, the rim 130 has, for example, two distal portions 310, 320, and a main portion 330 may be opened by outward rotation of two hinges 340. With the two distal portions 310, 320 thus outwardly opened, the iPhone™ 101 encased in the jacket 125, may be inserted against the main portion 330 with corresponding holes and protrusions appropriately mated. The two distal portions, 310, 320 may then be pressed against the jacket 125 by rotation of the hinges 340 to bring the two distal portions 310, 320 together.
  • Referring to FIG. 4, a snap lock 400 comprising a hook 420 on the distal portion 320 and a catch 410 (not shown, but inside a tip of distal portion 310) may be arranged to meet as the distal ends of each distal portion 310, 320 of the rim 130 are pressed together, thus caging the jacket 125 inside the rim 130. The snap lock 400 may be disengaged by pressing the distal end 320 including the hook 420 inwardly against the jacket 125, which is compressible, while pushing the distal end 310 with the catch 410 away from the hook 420. The catch 410 may be a spring loaded assembly (not shown). The spring loaded assembly may be attached to the distal portion 310 with one or more screws. However, the spring loaded assembly may be permanently or replaceably press fitted, glued, welded, or attached in any number of ways known in the art of assembly now or to be later invented. Furthermore, the snap lock 400 is merely one example of various possible mechanisms to lock the rim 130 around the jacket 125 and the iPhone™.
  • Referring to FIG. 5, in an embodiment, the jacket 125 may further include a hinged cap 500 that may be inserted into the connector at the bottom of the iPhone™ 101 to protect the power/I/O cable connection port 156. The hinged cap 500 may be formed integrally with the jacket 125 of the same flexible material, such as silicone or an equivalent rubber. Alternatively, the hinged cap 500 may be a separate component.
  • Referring to FIG. 6, a jacket 625 is shown similar to jacket 125 in most respects, with the exception of additional coverage over front and back surfaces of the iPhone™ 101. For example, on the front surface of the iPhone™ 101, the jacket 625 provides openings for a display screen, a front camera and microphone (together) but otherwise covers the remaining front surface. The jacket 625 is flexible enough so that the operation button 114 may be actuated, and a marking 614 may be provided to locate the operation button. In addition, the jacket 625 may include a hinged cap 632 to cover and protect the earphone jack of the iPhone™. A rim 630, substantially similar to rim 130, modified to accommodate the hinged cap 632, may encase the jacket 625 and iPhone™.
  • Referring to FIG. 7, a back side of the jacket 625 includes an aperture frame 640 for a camera and flash.
  • FIG. 8 shows an exploded view of the rim 630, slidable mute switch extension 160, jacket 625 and aperture frame 660. The rim 630 may encase jacket 625 in substantially the same manner as jacket 125, with hinges 640.
  • It is to be understood that the specific order or hierarchy of steps in the methods disclosed is an illustration of exemplary processes. Based upon design preferences, it is understood that the specific order or hierarchy of steps in the methods may be rearranged. The accompanying method claims present elements of the various steps in a sample order, and are not meant to be limited to the specific order or hierarchy presented unless specifically recited therein.
  • The claims are not intended to be limited to the various aspects of this disclosure, but are to be accorded the full scope consistent with the language of the claims. All structural and functional equivalents to the elements of the various aspects described throughout this disclosure that are known or later come to be known to those of ordinary skill in the art are expressly incorporated herein by reference and are intended to be encompassed by the claims. For example, while the Moreover, nothing disclosed herein is intended to be dedicated to the public regardless of whether such disclosure is explicitly recited in the claims. No claim element is to be construed under the provisions of 35 U.S.C. §112, sixth paragraph, unless the element is expressly recited using the phrase “means for” or, in the case of a method claim, the element is recited using the phrase “step for.”

Claims (20)

  1. 1. A case for a portable device comprising:
    a flexible material jacket conformably surrounding at least a portion of the periphery of the portable device; and
    a rigid rim conformably surrounding the jacket comprising one or more hinges and a lock to encase the jacket and the portable device surrounded therein,
    wherein total functionality of the portable device is accessible through apertures and contacts in the jacket and the rigid rim, and
    wherein no accessory tools or affixing devices are required to install the portable device in the case.
  2. 2. The case of claim 1, wherein the portable device is at least one of a cell phone, a smart phone, an MP3 player, a portable computer, and a personal digital assistant.
  3. 3. The case of claim 1, wherein the portable device is an Apple™ iPhone™.
  4. 4. The case of claim 1, wherein the jacket comprises at least one of a silicone and a rubberized material.
  5. 5. The case of claim 1, wherein the jacket comprises access holes to connector ports on a rim edge of the portable device.
  6. 6. The case of claim 1, wherein the rigid rim comprises access holes to connector ports on a rim edge of the portable device.
  7. 7. The case of claim 1, wherein the jacket comprises conformal buttons corresponding to buttons on the portable device.
  8. 8. The case of claim 7, wherein the rigid rim comprises access holes to accommodate conformal buttons on the jacket.
  9. 9. The case of claim 1, wherein the rigid rim is configured to transfer mechanical contact shock distributively to the jacket.
  10. 10. The case of claim 9, wherein the jacket is configured to absorb and attenuate the contact shock, thereby protecting the portable device.
  11. 11. The case of claim 1, wherein the rigid rim is at least one of metal, a hard plastic, carbon fiber, and wood.
  12. 12. A method of protecting a portable device, comprising:
    conformally encasing at least a portion of a periphery of the portable device with a flexible material jacket;
    conformally surrounding the flexible material with a rim comprising one or more hinges and a lock to encase the jacket and the portable device surrounded therein, wherein the conformally encasing and conformally surrounding is achieved without accessory tools or affixing devices; and
    retaining total access to all functionality of the portable device through apertures and contacts in the jacket and rim.
  13. 13. The method of claim 12, wherein the portable device is at least one of a cell phone, a smart phone, an MP3 player, a portable computer, and a personal digital assistant.
  14. 14. The method of claim 12, wherein the portable device is an Apple™ iPhone™.
  15. 15. The method of claim 12, wherein the jacket comprises at least one of a silicone and a rubberized material.
  16. 16. The method of claim 12, wherein the jacket comprises access holes to connectors on a rim edge of the portable device.
  17. 17. The method of claim 12, wherein the rim comprises access holes to connector ports on a rim edge of the portable device.
  18. 18. The method of claim 12, wherein jacket comprises conformal buttons corresponding to buttons on the portable device.
  19. 19. The method of claim 12, wherein the rim comprises access holes to accommodate conformal buttons on the jacket.
  20. 20. The method of claim 12, wherein the rim is at least one of a metal, a hard plastic, carbon fiber, and wood.
US13150974 2011-06-01 2011-06-01 Portable device protector case Abandoned US20120305422A1 (en)

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US13150974 US20120305422A1 (en) 2011-06-01 2011-06-01 Portable device protector case
PCT/US2012/040321 WO2012166994A1 (en) 2011-06-01 2012-05-31 Portable device protector case

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