US20150033510A1 - Quick release support system - Google Patents

Quick release support system Download PDF

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Publication number
US20150033510A1
US20150033510A1 US13955125 US201313955125A US2015033510A1 US 20150033510 A1 US20150033510 A1 US 20150033510A1 US 13955125 US13955125 US 13955125 US 201313955125 A US201313955125 A US 201313955125A US 2015033510 A1 US2015033510 A1 US 2015033510A1
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Prior art keywords
support apparatus
plurality
coupling
members
end
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Abandoned
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US13955125
Inventor
Paul A. Nagi
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Pill Golf LLC
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Pill Golf LLC
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A45HAND OR TRAVELLING ARTICLES
    • A45FTRAVELLING OR CAMP EQUIPMENT: SACKS OR PACKS CARRIED ON THE BODY
    • A45F3/00Travelling or camp articles; Sacks or packs carried on the body
    • A45F3/14Carrying-straps; Pack-carrying harnesses
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A45HAND OR TRAVELLING ARTICLES
    • A45FTRAVELLING OR CAMP EQUIPMENT: SACKS OR PACKS CARRIED ON THE BODY
    • A45F3/00Travelling or camp articles; Sacks or packs carried on the body
    • A45F3/14Carrying-straps; Pack-carrying harnesses
    • A45F2003/142Carrying-straps
    • 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.
    • Y10T24/31Plural fasteners having intermediate flaccid connector
    • Y10T24/318Strap connector
    • 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
    • Y10T29/00Metal working
    • Y10T29/49Method of mechanical manufacture
    • Y10T29/49826Assembling or joining

Abstract

Some embodiments provide a support system for using, transporting, or otherwise engaging a structure to be supported. The support system includes a support apparatus that defines a first end and a second end. In some embodiments, the support apparatus includes a plurality of coupling members, positioned such that at least one of the plurality of coupling members can be movably engaged to the support apparatus. The support apparatus may also include a plurality of receiving members, such that at least one of the plurality of receiving members may be disposed adjacent to the first end of the support apparatus. In addition, the plurality of receiving members can be configured and arranged to engage at least one of the plurality of coupling members. Moreover, in some embodiments, the support apparatus can be configured and arranged to be reversibly coupled to the structure to be supported.

Description

    FIELD
  • The present invention generally relates to systems and methods for supporting, carrying, or otherwise transporting and using devices, items or other cargo, and in particular to an adjustable, quick-release, drop-proof apparatus that is capable of facilitating the transport of one or more personal items or other devices.
  • BACKGROUND
  • Many conventional support systems can be can be difficult to use or adjust such that the items being supported may be at risk for being damaged. Some conventional support systems may be configured such that an individual is substantially or completely incapable of adjusting the conventional support system while it is in use. For example, if an individual is wearing or otherwise engaged with or to the conventional support system (e.g., a shoulder strap-based system), the weight of the item being supported (e.g., a bag, sack, case, etc.) will prevent the individual from disengaging portions of the support system to perform adjustments while in use. Moreover, to the extent that the individual attempts to adjust the support system, if the individual does not exercise extreme care, the item being supported may be dropped and damaged. Similarly, if the conventional support system is closely engaged to the individual (e.g., a tightly worn strap), it may be difficult or impossible for the individual to access the items that they are carrying and/or transporting.
  • SUMMARY
  • Some embodiments provide a support system for using, transporting, or otherwise engaging a structure to be supported. The support system includes a support apparatus that defines a first end and a second end. In some embodiments, the support apparatus includes a plurality of coupling members, positioned such that at least one of the plurality of coupling members can be movably engaged to the support apparatus. The support apparatus may also include a plurality of receiving members, such that at least one of the plurality of receiving members may be disposed adjacent to the first end of the support apparatus. In addition, the plurality of receiving members can be configured and arranged to engage at least one of the plurality of coupling members. Moreover, in some embodiments, the support apparatus can be configured and arranged to be reversibly coupled to the structure to be supported.
  • Some embodiments provide a support apparatus that is capable of reversibly engaging a structure to be supported. The support apparatus can define a first region and a second. In some embodiments, the first region includes a first end of the support apparatus and the second region includes a second end of the support apparatus. The support apparatus can also include a plurality of coupling members. For example, at least some of the plurality of coupling members can be disposed (e.g., movably or immovably disposed) within the first region. In particular, in some embodiments, at least one of the plurality of coupling members can be engaged to the first region at a position substantially adjacent to the first end.
  • In some embodiments, the support apparatus may include a plurality of receiving members. For example, a portion of the plurality of receiving members can be positioned in the first region and another portion of the plurality of receiving members can be positioned in the second region. In some aspects, at least one of the plurality of receiving members can disposed substantially adjacent to the first end of the support apparatus. Furthermore, the plurality of receiving members can be configured and arranged to engage at least one of the plurality of coupling members.
  • Some embodiments provide a method of manufacturing a support system for using, transporting, or otherwise engaging a structure to be supported. The method includes providing a support apparatus that defines a first end and a second end and engaging a plurality of coupling members to the support apparatus. For example, at least one of the plurality of coupling members can be movably engaged to the support apparatus. The method can also include coupling a plurality of receiving members to the support apparatus such that at least one of the plurality of receiving members may be disposed substantially adjacent to the first end of the support apparatus. In some embodiments, the plurality of receiving members can be configured and arranged to engage at least one of the plurality of coupling members.
  • Additional objectives, advantages and novel features will be set forth in the description which follows or will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon examination of the drawings and detailed description which follows.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is a top perspective view of a first embodiment of a support system;
  • FIG. 2 is a top perspective view of a support apparatus of the support system of FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 3 is an enlarged perspective view of a coupling member and a receiving member of the support system of FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 4 is an enlarged perspective view of a portion of a first region of the support system of FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a portion of the support apparatus of FIG. 2;
  • FIG. 6 is a top view of a first surface of the support apparatus of FIG. 2;
  • FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a portion of the support apparatus of FIG. 2;
  • FIG. 8 is a top view of a second region of the support apparatus of FIG. 2;
  • FIG. 9 is a top perspective view of a second embodiment of a support system; and
  • FIG. 10 is a top perspective view of a third embodiment of a support system.
  • FIG. 11 is a top perspective view of a fourth embodiment of a support system.
  • Corresponding reference characters indicate corresponding elements among the view of the drawings. The headings used in the figures do not limit the scope of the claims.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • Referring to the drawings, embodiments of a support system are illustrated and generally indicated as 100 in FIGS. 1-8. As described in greater detail herein, the support system 100 can be employed by an individual to transport equipment, cargo, devices, items, or any other desirable good to and from one or more locations. In particular, the support system 100 can be used by the individual to transport one or more items such that the individual can readily adjust the support system 100 and still use and/or access the transported items. Moreover, some embodiments of support system 100 can be adjusted by the individual such that the one or more items being transported using the support system 100 are substantially or completely incapable of being unintentionally disengaged from portions of the support system 100 during use. As a result, the support system 100 can offer individuals an adjustable mechanism for transporting one or more items, while still providing the individual with the capability to access the items without significant risk of unexpected disengagement of the items from the support system 100.
  • As shown in FIG. 1, the support system 100 may include a support apparatus 102 that is coupled to a supported structure 104. In some embodiments, the supported structure 104 can be any device, structure, cargo, good, or other item that an individual using the support system 100 may want to transport. Moreover, in some embodiments, the supported structure 104 may be configured as a structure to which a desired item is coupled for transport and security. By way of example only, the supported structure 104 may be configured as a case for a piece of electronics (e.g., a tablet device, a smartphone, a laptop computer, etc.) such that the support system 100 can be used to transport the piece of electronics within the supported structure 104. In other embodiments, the supported structure 104 may be any other device, apparatus, or protective equipment, such as, but not limited to a sheath for a tool or a holster for a firearm. Regardless of the configuration of the supported structure 104, one or more portions of the support apparatus 102 can be engaged to a portion of the supported structure 104. For example, in some embodiments, the support apparatus 102 can be reversibly coupled to the supported structure 104 such that the supported structure 104 can be substantially or completely disengaged from the support apparatus 102.
  • As illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, the support apparatus 102 can be configured in a substantially strap-like configuration. However, in other embodiments, the support apparatus 102 can take any other configuration that can be used to transport the supported structure 104 and be engaged by the individual employing the support system 100. In some embodiments, the support apparatus 102 can define a first end 106 and a second end 108, with the first end 106 opposing the second end 108. The support apparatus 102 may also include a first coupling member 110 and a second coupling member 112. For example, the first coupling member 110 may be coupled to the first end 106 of the support apparatus 102 and the second coupling member 112 may be coupled to the second end 108 of the support apparatus 102. In addition, the first and second coupling members 110,112 may be permanently coupled to the support apparatus 102 such that the first and the second coupling members 110,112 remain engaged to the support apparatus 102 throughout use by the individual. In other embodiments, the first and/or the second coupling member 110, 112 may be reversibly coupled to the support apparatus 102.
  • As illustrated in FIGS. 2-4, the first and second coupling members 110, 112 can exhibit a substantially similar configuration. In some embodiments, the first and second coupling members 110, 112 can be configured as identical or nearly identical forms of a coupling device. In some embodiments, the first and/or the second coupling members 110, 112 can be configured as biased hook-like or bracket-based devices such that the individual using the support system 100 can actuate or de-actuate a portion of the first or second coupling members 110, 112 to engage and disengage (e.g., open and close) the first or second coupling members 110, 112.
  • In some embodiments, the first and second coupling members 110, 112 may include a first support loop 114 and a second support loop 116 (FIG. 2), respectively. For example, the first and second coupling members 110, 112 may be configured as spring-loaded brackets that are coupled to the first and second ends 106, 108 of the support apparatus 102 via the first support loop 114 and the second support loop 116, respectively. In particular, a portion of the first end 106 and the second end 108 can pass through and engage the first and second support loops 114, 116, respectively, to couple the first and second coupling members 110, 112 to the support apparatus 102. Moreover, the first and second coupling members 110, 112 may be movably engaged to the first and second support loops 114, 116, respectively, such that the first and second coupling members 110, 112 can move (e.g., rotate) about an axis while the first and second support loops 114, 116 remain engaged to the first and second ends 106, 108 of the support apparatus 102. In other embodiments, the first and second coupling members 110, 112 may be directly coupled to the first and second ends 106, 108 of the support apparatus 102 such that the support system 100 functions without the first and second support loops 114, 116.
  • In addition, in other embodiments, the first and second coupling members 110, 112 may take other suitable configurations. For example, the first and second coupling members 110, 112 may be configured as biased or non-biased hooks, clasps, fasteners, catches, latches, or any other device, apparatus, or structure that is capable of engaging another element of the support system 100, as discussed below. In particular, in some embodiments, one or both of the first and second coupling members 110, 112 may be configured as L-shaped hooks, D-shaped hooks, C-shaped hooks, carbineers, or any other device that is capable of engaging the first and second ends 106, 108 to other portions of the support system 100.
  • Referring back to FIGS. 1 and 2, some embodiments of the support system 100 include a third coupling member 118 and a fourth coupling member 120. For example, the third and the fourth coupling members 118, 120 can be movably engaged to the support apparatus 102. As a result, the individual using the support system 100 can move one or both of the third and fourth coupling members 118, 120 along a length of the support apparatus 102, which can enable the user to couple the support apparatus 102 to different supported structures 104 and at least partially provide for adjustability of the support system 100.
  • In some embodiments, one or both of the third and fourth coupling members 118, 120 can be configured to be movably engaged to the support apparatus 102. In particular, the third and fourth coupling members 118, 120 may include a third support loop 122 and a fourth support loop 124, respectively. The third and fourth support loops 122, 124 may be configured to provide the movable engagement between the third and fourth coupling members 118, 120 and the support apparatus 102. For example, the third and fourth support loops 122, 124 can be configured in a manner similar to the first and second support loops 114, 116 such that the support apparatus 102 is disposed through the third and fourth support loops 122, 124. Particularly, the third and fourth support loops 122, 124 can receive a portion of the support apparatus 102 and are further configured to enable the individual using the support system 100 to move (e.g., slide) the third and fourth support loops 122, 124 and, correspondingly, the third and fourth coupling members 118, 120 along the length of the support apparatus 102.
  • In some embodiments, the third and fourth coupling members 118, 120 can be configured such that the first and second coupling members 110, 112 prevent removal of the third and fourth coupling members 118, 120 from the support apparatus 102 and vice versa. As illustrated in FIG. 4, the first coupling member 110 or the second coupling member 112 (not shown) is configured such that the third coupling member 118 or the fourth coupling member 120 (FIGS. 1 and 2) cannot be removed at the first end 106 or the second end 108 (FIGS. 1 and 2) of the support apparatus 102. For example, the size and/or orientation of the first support loop 114 and the third support loop 122 can be configured such that the third coupling member 118 cannot pass around, over, or through the first coupling member 110 to become disengaged from the support apparatus 102 at the first end 106. Similarly, although not shown in FIG. 4, the size and/or orientation of the second support loop 116 and the fourth support loop 124 can be configured such that the fourth coupling member 120 cannot pass around, over, or through the second coupling member 112 to become disengaged from the support apparatus 102 at the second end 108. As a result, the individual using the support system 100 can move the third and fourth coupling members 118, 120 along the length of the support apparatus 102 without concern for the third and fourth coupling members 118, 120 becoming disengaged from the support apparatus 102. Moreover, in a similar manner, the third and fourth coupling members 118, 120 can be configured such that the first and second coupling members 110, 112 cannot pass around, over, or through the third and fourth coupling members 118, 120, respectively, as described in greater detail below.
  • Referring back to FIGS. 1 and 2, in some embodiments, the third and fourth coupling members 118, 120 can be configured in a manner substantially similar to the first and second coupling members 110, 112. In particular, third and fourth coupling members 118, 120 may be configured as biased (e.g., spring-loaded) brackets that are movably engaged to the support apparatus 102. Moreover, the third and fourth coupling members 118, 120 may be movably engaged to the third and fourth support loops 122, 124, respectively, such that third and fourth coupling members 118, 120 can move (e.g., rotate) about an axis while the third and fourth support loops 122, 124 remain movably engaged to the support apparatus 102.
  • In addition, in other embodiments, the third and fourth coupling members 118, 120 may take other suitable configurations. For example, the third and fourth coupling members 118, 120 may be configured as biased or non-biased hooks, clasps, fasteners, catches, latches, or any other device, apparatus, or structure that is capable of engaging another element of the support system 100, as discussed below. In particular, in some embodiments, one or both of the third and fourth coupling members 118, 120 may be configured as L-shaped hooks, D-shaped hooks, C-shaped hooks, carbineers, or any other device that is capable of engaging other portions of the support system 100.
  • Referring now to FIGS. 1, 2, 5, and 6, in some embodiments, the support apparatus 102 defines a first surface 126 that opposes a second surface 128. For example, the first surface 126 horizontally opposes the second surface 128 such that the first surface 126 is an upper surface portion of the support apparatus 102 and the second surface 128 is a lower surface portion of the support apparatus 102. As discussed in greater detail below, the first surface 126 can include additional elements of the support apparatus 102 and the second surface 128 can be configured to engage a portion of the individual using the support system 100 (e.g., the second surface 128 can include a generally planar configuration to fit comfortably against a body of the individual).
  • In some embodiments, the first surface 126 of the support apparatus 102 may include one or more receiving members 130. For example, the first surface 126 defines a plurality of receiving members 130. In some embodiments, the support apparatus 102 may include two receiving members 130; however, in other embodiments, the support apparatus includes more than two receiving members 130. By way of example only, in some embodiments, the support apparatus 102 includes six receiving members 130. In other embodiments, the support apparatus 102 includes any other number of receiving members 130.
  • Moreover, in some embodiments, the plurality of receiving members 130 may be engaged to the support apparatus 102. For example, one or more of the receiving members 130 can be substantially or completely integral with the support apparatus 102 such that these elements are manufactured together as one structure. In other embodiments, one or more of the plurality of receiving members 130 are autonomous structures that are coupled to the support apparatus 102 after manufacture. For example, one or more of the plurality of receiving members 130 can be coupled to the first surface 126 of the support apparatus 102 via any conventional coupling method, including adhesives, sewing, stitching, brazing, welding, the use of fasteners, etc. In addition, the coupling method used can be at least partially correlated with the materials used to fabricate the plurality of receiving members 130 and/or the support apparatus 102. For example, if the plurality of receiving members 130 and/or the support apparatus 102 are both fabricated from an animal hide-based material (e.g., leather), then the plurality of receiving members 130 can be sewn onto the support apparatus 102.
  • As seen in FIGS. 1, 3, and 5, at least a portion of the plurality of receiving members 130 can be configured to engage the first and/or the second coupling members 110, 112. In particular, the plurality of receiving members 130 can be configured to receive a portion of the first and/or second coupling members 110, 112 to provide for adjustability and use of the support system 100. By way of example only, in some embodiments, the plurality of receiving members 130 can be formed in a substantially loop-like configuration such that a portion of the first and/or second coupling members 110, 112 can be received within the plurality of receiving members 130.
  • In other embodiments, the plurality of receiving members 130 can take any other configuration that can engage and remain engaged with the first and/or second coupling members 110, 112. For example, at least some of the plurality of receiving members 130 can be configured as a hook, clasp, or other structure that engages the first and/or second coupling members 110, 112. In addition, in some embodiments, the first and/or second coupling members 110, 112 and at least some of the plurality of receiving members 130 can include a male and female configuration, respectively, which can also enable coupling of these elements. In yet other embodiments, the first and/or second coupling members 110, 112 and at least some of the plurality of receiving members 130 can be configured as hook-and-loop fasteners (e.g., VELCRO®). Moreover, in some embodiments, not all of the plurality of receiving members 130 have the same configuration (e.g., some of the plurality of receiving members 130 have a loop-like configuration and some of the plurality of receiving members 130 have a hook-like configuration).
  • As illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, in an exemplary embodiment, the first surface 126 of the support apparatus 102 includes a first receiving member 132, a second receiving member 134, a third receiving member 136, a fourth receiving member 138, a fifth receiving member 140, and a sixth receiving member 142. For example, the first through sixth receiving members 132, 134, 136, 138, 140, 142 can be ordered from the first receiving member 132 being positioned most adjacent to the first end 106 and can be sequentially positioned along the length of the support apparatus 102 to the sixth receiving member 142 being most adjacent to the second end 108 of the support apparatus 102. In other embodiments, the first through sixth receiving members 132, 134, 136, 138, 140, 142 can be positioned in any order that may be useful to the individual using the support system 100.
  • In some aspects of the support system 100, the first through sixth receiving members 132, 134, 136, 138, 140, 142 can be generally equidistantly positioned along the length of the support apparatus 102 such that the plurality of receiving members 130 are positioned at regular intervals over the length on the first surface 126 of the support apparatus 102. In other embodiments, the first through sixth receiving members 132, 134, 136, 138, 140, 142 can be positioned at irregular intervals such that at least some of the plurality of receiving members 130 are closer together than other receiving members 130.
  • Furthermore, in some embodiments, at least some of the plurality of receiving members 130 can exhibit different orientations. In particular, in order to provide for improved ease of use, at least some of the plurality of receiving members 130 can be oriented such that a portion of the plurality of receiving members 130 that receives the first and/or second coupling members 110, 112 can be generally oriented toward the first and/or second ends 106, 108, respectively. For example, as illustrated by the embodiment of FIG. 6, the first receiving member 132 (not shown), the second receiving member 134 (not shown), the third receiving member 136, and the fourth receiving member 138 can be oriented in a first direction (e.g., with the portion of the first through fourth receiving members 132, 134, 136, 138 that receives the first coupling member 110 being oriented toward the first end 106 of the support apparatus 102). Conversely, the fifth receiving member 140 and the sixth receiving member 142 (not shown) are oriented in a second direction (e.g., with the portion of the fifth and sixth receiving members 140, 142 that receives the second coupling member 112 being oriented toward the second end 108 of the support apparatus 102).
  • Referring back to FIGS. 1 and 2, the support apparatus 102 can include a first region 144 and a second region 146. By way of example, as shown in FIGS. 5 and 7, the first region 144 extends from a position adjacent to the fourth receiving member 138 to a position adjacent to the first end 106, which includes the first and third coupling members 110, 118. Similarly, as illustrated in FIG. 8, in exemplary embodiments, the second region 146 extends from a position generally adjacent to the fifth receiving member 140 to a position adjacent to the second end 108, which includes the second and fourth coupling members 112, 120. As described in greater detail below, the elements of the first and second regions 144, 146 can provide different functionalities during use of the support system 100.
  • Referring back to FIGS. 1 and 5, the supported structure 104 may include a first structure receiving member 148 and a second structure receiving member 150. In some embodiments, the first and/or the second structure receiving members 148, 150 may be reversibly or irreversibly coupled to the supported structure 104 such that the first and/or the second structure receiving members 148, 150 may or may not be removable from the supported structure 104 by an individual. In some embodiments, the supported structure 104 may include only the first structure receiving member 148 or more than two structure receiving members to meet the needs of the individual using the support system 100. Moreover, although the following discussion includes references to both the first and second structure receiving members 148, 150, this description is in no way intended to limit embodiments of the supported structure 104 to only the first and the second structure receiving members 148, 150.
  • As illustrated in FIG. 1, the first and second structure receiving members 148, 150 can be configured and arranged to engage one or more of the first through fourth coupling members 110, 112, 118, 120 to provide for engagement (e.g., reversible engagement) of the support apparatus 102 and the supported structure 104. For example, the first and second structure receiving members 148, 150 may be configured as D-ring-like structures that can engage one or more of the first through fourth coupling members 110, 112, 118, 120. In other embodiments, first and second structure receiving members 148, 150 can exhibit any other configuration that is capable of engaging one or more of the first through fourth coupling members 110, 112, 118, 120. In some embodiments, the first structure receiving member 148 can engage the third coupling member 118 and the second structure receiving member 150 can engage the fourth coupling member 120. As a result of this engagement, the support apparatus 102 can be reversibly coupled to the supported structure 104.
  • In some embodiments, once the individual engages the first structure receiving member 148 to the third coupling member 118 and the second structure receiving member 150 to the fourth coupling member 120, the support system 100 can be configured for use. In other embodiments, the support system 100 can be configured for use prior to engagement of the support apparatus 102 with the supported structure 104. Further, the configuration of the support system 100 for use does not necessarily occur in the following steps, but it may occur in the following steps.
  • In some embodiments, the individual can configure the elements in the second region 146. In particular, the individual can engage the second coupling member 112 to either the fifth or the sixth receiving members 140, 142. For example, if the individual desires the available or wearable length of the support apparatus 102 to be larger size, the individual can couple together the sixth receiving member 142 and the second coupling member 112. On the other hand, if the individual desires the available or wearable length of the support apparatus 102 to be lesser in size, the individual can couple together the fifth receiving member 140 and the second coupling member 112. Moreover, either before or after engaging the second coupling member 112 to the fifth or the sixth receiving members 140, 142, the individual can engage the fourth coupling member 120 to the second structure receiving member 150.
  • By way of example only, after configuring the second region 146 and engaging the first structure receiving member 148 to the third coupling member 118 and the second structure receiving member 150 to the fourth coupling member 120, respectively, the individual can don the support system 100. In some embodiments, the second surface 128 of the support apparatus 102 can be placed against the individual so that a position near an intersection of the first and second regions 144, 146 is substantially adjacent to a shoulder of the individual and the supported structure 104 is substantially adjacent to a portion of the torso of the individual (e.g., the hip or portions of the back, including the mid-back or lower-back regions). In addition, when the individual dons the support system 100, the first region 144 can be generally positioned adjacent to the chest of the individual and the second region 146 can be generally positioned adjacent to the back of the individual. As a result, some embodiments of the support system 100 can function as a shoulder-mounted support system 100.
  • Before or after configuration of the elements in the second region 146 or the individual donning the support system 100, the individual can configure the elements of the first region 146. In an exemplary embodiment, the individual can configure the elements of the first region 144 after donning the support system 100. For example, the individual can engage the first coupling member 110 to one of the first through the fourth receiving members 132, 134, 136, 138 to provide for a comfortable fit of the support apparatus 102. In particular, should the individual wish for the available or wearable length of the support apparatus 102 to be larger in size, the individual can couple together the first or second receiving members 132, 134 and the first coupling member 110. On the other hand, if the individual desires the available or wearable length of the support apparatus 102 to be lesser in size, the individual can couple together the third or fourth receiving members 136, 138 and the first coupling member 110. Moreover, either before or after engaging the first coupling member 110 to one of the first through the fourth receiving members 132, 134, 136, 138, the individual can engage the third coupling member 118 to the first structure receiving member 148.
  • After configuring the elements of the first and second regions 144, 146 and coupling the support apparatus 102 to the supported structure 104 via the third and fourth coupling members 118, 120 and the first and second structure receiving members 148, 150, the individual can transport the supported structure 104. In addition, during use of the support system 100, the individual can make adjustments to the length of the support apparatus 102 to provide for increased comfort, to access the supported structure 104, or for any other reason.
  • For example, the individual can disengage the first coupling member 110 from the receiving member to which it is engaged (i.e., one of the first through the fourth receiving members 132, 134, 136, 138). Upon disengagement, the individual can either engage another receiving member 132, 134, 136, 138 to either tighten or loosen the fit of the support apparatus 102 or the individual can allow the first coupling member 110 to remain unengaged. As mentioned above, the first, second, third, and fourth coupling members 110, 112, 118, 120 can be configured so that these elements cannot pass over, around, or through the other coupling members 110, 112, 118, 120. In other words, the first through fourth coupling members 110, 112, 118, 120 are configured and arranged to prevent disengagement of the support apparatus 102 from the supported structure 104, as well as disengagement of the support system 100 from the individual using the support system 100. As a result, the supported structure 104 will remain coupled to the support apparatus 102 even if the individual intentionally or unintentionally releases the first coupling member 110 because the first coupling member 110 will be prevented from passing around, over, or through the third coupling member 118. Accordingly, short of the individual doffing the support system 100 or the structural integrity of the support apparatus 102 becoming compromised, the supported structure 104 will be prevented from falling and being potentially damaged. Furthermore, the second coupling member 112 can be adjusted in a similar manner also without concern for the support apparatus 102 becoming unintentionally disengaged from the supported structure 104 or the individual.
  • In addition, the supported structure 104 may be accessible during the use of the support system 100. In some embodiments, due to the fact that the support system 100 is supported by the shoulder of the individual, the individual can grasp the supported structure 104 and rotate the support system 100 so that the supported structure 104 is substantially adjacent to the field of view of the individual. When the individual has completed use of the supported structure 104, the supported structure 104 can be released and allowed to fall back to position or the individual can physically reposition the supported structure 104 to a desirable location. Further, in some embodiments, before using, viewing, or accessing the supported structure 104, the individual can disengage the first coupling member 110 to provide for a greater length of the support apparatus 102 to enable relatively easy movement of the supported apparatus 104 and supported structure 102 along the body of the individual. Moreover, as mentioned above, should the individual intentionally or unintentionally drop the first coupling member 110, the support system 100 will remain engaged to the body of the individual because of the inability of the first coupling member 110 to pass over, around, or through the third coupling member 118. Overall, as a result of these features, the support system 100 can provide individuals with the capability to transport the supported structure 104, while simultaneously being able to adjust the support apparatus 102, access the supported structure 104, and not be concerned about potentially dropping the supported structure 104.
  • FIG. 9 depicts a second embodiment of the support system, designated 200. In this embodiment, the support system 200 functions in a substantially similar manner, with the exception of the second region 246 of the support apparatus 202. For example, the support system 200 does not include a fourth coupling member such that the second coupling member 212 engages the second structure receiving member 250. Similar to other embodiments, the first region 244 of the support system 200 includes the first and third coupling members 210, 218 to engage at least one of the plurality of receiving members 230 and the first structure receiving member 248, respectively. As a result, the support system 200 also enables transport of the supported structure 204 in a manner similar to other embodiments.
  • FIG. 10 depicts a third embodiment of the support system, designated 300. In this embodiment, the support apparatus 302 is at least partially permanently engaged to the supported structure 304. For example, the second end 308 is integral with a region of the supported structure 304. In some embodiments, the first end 306 can be integral with the supported structure 304. Moreover, the elements of the first region 344 can function in a substantially similar manner to other embodiments by providing adjustability of the size of the support apparatus 302 while ensuring that the supported structure 304 cannot be dropped.
  • FIG. 11 depicts a fourth embodiment of the support system, designated 400. In this embodiment, the support apparatus 402 is at least partially permanently engaged to the supported structure 404. For example, the first and second regions 444, 446 are configured such that the support system 400 operates without the third and fourth coupling members (not shown). Moreover, the first and second coupling members 410, 412 can be configured such that the first and second coupling members 410, 412 cannot pass over, around, or through, the first and second structure receiving members 448, 450. As a result, the support apparatus 402 can be adjustable using the first and second coupling members 410, 412, as previously described, while remaining substantially or completely permanently engaged to the supported structure 404.
  • It should be understood from the foregoing that, while particular embodiments have been illustrated and described, various modifications can be made thereto without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as will be apparent to those skilled in the art. Such changes and modifications are within the scope and teachings of this invention as defined in the claims appended hereto.

Claims (20)

    What is claimed is:
  1. 1. A support system comprising:
    a support apparatus comprising a first end and a second end;
    a plurality of coupling members being engaged to the support apparatus, wherein at least one of the plurality of coupling members is movably engaged to the support apparatus;
    a plurality of receiving members being engaged to the support apparatus, wherein at least one of the plurality of receiving members is disposed substantially adjacent to the first end of the support apparatus, and further wherein the plurality of receiving members are configured and arranged to engage at least one of the plurality of coupling members; and
    a supported structure that is capable of being engaged to the support apparatus.
  2. 2. The support system of claim 1 and further comprising at least one structure receiving member being coupled to the supported structure.
  3. 3. The support system of claim 2, wherein at least one of the plurality of coupling members is capable of engaging the at least one structure receiving member.
  4. 4. The support system of claim 1, wherein at least one of the plurality of coupling members is coupled to the support apparatus at a position substantially adjacent to the first end and at least another of the plurality of coupling members is coupled to the support apparatus at a position substantially adjacent to the second end.
  5. 5. The support system of claim 1, wherein the support apparatus defines a first region and a second region.
  6. 6. The support system of claim 5, wherein the first region comprises at least two of the plurality of coupling members and at least one of the plurality of receiving members.
  7. 7. The support system of claim 5, wherein the second region comprises at least two of the plurality of coupling members and at least one of the plurality of receiving members.
  8. 8. The support system of claim 1, wherein the support apparatus comprises a first surface and a second surface.
  9. 9. The support system of claim 8, wherein at least some of the plurality of receiving members are disposed on the first surface.
  10. 10. The support system of claim 1, wherein the support apparatus comprises a first coupling member engaged to the first end, a second coupling member engaged to the second end, a third coupling member movably engaged to the support apparatus, and a fourth coupling member movably engaged to the support apparatus.
  11. 11. The support system of claim 10, wherein the first coupling member and the second coupling member are configured and arranged so that the third coupling member and the fourth coupling member are incapable of being removed at the first end and the second end of the support apparatus, respectively.
  12. 12. A support apparatus comprising:
    a first region and a second region, wherein the first region comprises a first end of the support apparatus and the second region comprises a second end of the support apparatus;
    a plurality of coupling members, wherein some of the plurality of coupling members are movably disposed within the first region, and further wherein at least one of the plurality of coupling members is engaged to the first region at a position substantially adjacent to the first end;
    a plurality of receiving members, wherein a portion of the plurality of receiving members are positioned in the first region and another portion of the plurality of receiving members are positioned in the second region, wherein at least one of the plurality of receiving members is disposed substantially adjacent to the first end of the support apparatus, and further wherein the plurality of receiving members are configured and arranged to engage at least one of the plurality of coupling members; and
    wherein the support apparatus is configured and arranged to reversibly engage a supported structure.
  13. 13. The support apparatus of claim 12 and further comprising a first surface and a second surface.
  14. 14. The support apparatus of claim 13, wherein at least a portion of the plurality of receiving members are engaged to the first surface.
  15. 15. The support apparatus of claim 12 and further comprising a first coupling member engaged to the first end, a second coupling member engaged to the second end, a third coupling member movably disposed within the first region, and a fourth coupling member movably disposed within the second region.
  16. 16. The support apparatus of claim 15, wherein the first coupling member and the second coupling member are configured and arranged so that the third coupling member and the fourth coupling member are incapable of being removed at the first end and the second end of the support apparatus, respectively.
  17. 17. The support apparatus of claim 12 and further comprising at least one structure receiving member being coupled to the supported structure.
  18. 18. A method of manufacturing a support system, the method comprising:
    providing a support apparatus that defines a first end and a second end;
    engaging a plurality of coupling members to the support apparatus, wherein at least one of the plurality of coupling members is movably engaged to the support apparatus;
    coupling a plurality of receiving members to the support apparatus, wherein at least one of the plurality of receiving members is disposed substantially adjacent to the first end of the support apparatus, and further wherein the plurality of receiving members are configured and arranged to engage at least one of the plurality of coupling members; and
    providing a supported structure that is capable of being engaged to the support apparatus.
  19. 19. The method of claim 19 and further comprising:
    coupling a first coupling member to the first end;
    coupling a second coupling member to the second end; and
    movably coupling a third coupling member and a fourth coupling member to the support apparatus.
  20. 20. The method of claim 19, wherein the first coupling member and the second coupling member are configured and arranged so that the third coupling member and the fourth coupling member are incapable of being removed at the first end and the second end of the support apparatus, respectively.
US13955125 2013-07-31 2013-07-31 Quick release support system Abandoned US20150033510A1 (en)

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US20160095421A1 (en) * 2014-10-06 2016-04-07 Ty-Flot, Inc. Drop-prevention apparatus for a rolled product
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US20170247915A1 (en) * 2016-02-29 2017-08-31 Megan Reilly Schuur Security Tether For Skis Or Other Objects

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