CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
- FIELD OF THE INVENTION
This application is a Continuation-In-part of the Provisional Application No. 61/765,819, filed on Feb. 18, 2013.
- BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to a mechanism that combines a sweatband or wristband with a towel that allows a person to conveniently remove sweat from the head, neck, face, and other areas of the body, while conducting physical activities, such as running, biking, hiking, lifting, and working.
The present invention is in the technical field of sports accessories. More particularly, the present invention relates to a means to assist in the removal of sweat, while conducting physical activities.
Often when exercising or working indoors or outdoors, a person begins to sweat and endeavors to remove the sweat from their face, forehead or neck regions. Typically, they use a small hand towel (which they carry or place in a pocket), their shirt, or their hand to wipe the sweat.
Unfortunately, carrying a towel or placing a towel nearby becomes inconvenient, particularly if the activity the individual is involved is physical in nature or requires a good deal of movement or changing of position. Also, many view placing the towel on the ground or on a piece of equipment as being unsanitary.
In addition, other devices, such as a standard sweatband or headband, are unable to conform to or be utilized around the head, neck, face, and hand regions; thus, they are limited in their effectiveness and utility. They also have two other problems: first, they lack the capacity to absorb large amounts of sweat as compared to a hand towel; and second, they address the absorption of sweat solely at the forehead and wrist locations. Sweat above or below those specific points will remain on the body until, and if, it moves specifically to those devices. Due to these limitations, many people carry towels or place them in a location close by to wipe excess sweat.
There also exist a wrist towel design that is approximately twice the size of a standard sweatband. As with a standard sweatband, the wrist towel remains stationary on the wrist. This design does not allow conformity to the face, neck or other regions to adequately wipe sweat from those areas. Also, due to the surface area it covers on the arm, the wrist towel, itself, becomes an added source of heat and perspiration.
There are two additional devices worth noting. The first device is the “Towel for Athletic Activities,” as described in Patent Application 2008/0104739. This device is seemingly placed at the bicep area and extends out to provide a means to remove sweat from the face region. This device is limited in the areas it can remove sweat from and also restricts the user's motion and activity while removing the sweat. The second device is the “Universal Sports Towel,” as described in Patent Application 2005/0102727. This device is a full-to-half length body garment that the user places over the head and covers the body in a shawl or poncho fashion. It, too, was designed to absorb sweat while conducting physical activity and avoid the problem of carrying a towel. It, however, is not practical for most activities due to its bulkiness and weight.
- SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
Accordingly, what is needed to address this problem is a towel that is conveniently available to the user, light weight, practical, does not inhibit movement, and has the flexibility to remove sweat from the main areas of concern (forehead, face, neck, and hand) of a user, while conducting physical activity.
The present invention relates to a towel and a mechanism to conveniently carry the towel in order to remove sweat from the head, neck, face, and other areas of the body, while conducting physical activities, such as running, biking, hiking, lifting, and working. This inventive concept allows a user to thoroughly wipe various areas of the body, in a convenient and unobtrusive manner, so not to inhibit or affect the user's activity. In addition, it is believed that the uniqueness of the manner in which the towel deploys and retracts, as well as how it connects to the wristband or sweatband makes this invention new and non-obvious.
The present invention consists of three main elements that are integrated to enable the user to conveniently wipe or remove sweat from various areas, such as the forehead, neck, hand, and face, while conducting physical activities indoors or outdoors.
The three integrated elements are a sweatband or wristband, a securing mechanism, and a towel element.
In the preferred embodiments, a like-towel element is affixed or attached to and extends from the bottom portion of a sweatband located at the wrist region. The towel is in a folded and secured posture, by way of an elastic band, under the wrist.
Once the user wishes to wipe their sweat, they pull forward the elastic band, which is position over the towel and underneath the wrist, with the opposite hand. Once the elastic band is pulled forward, the user pulls or flips the top portion of the folded towel, which is secured by a small strip of a hook and loop (Velcro) strip or similar type of material. The slight pulling motion would release the towel from its folded position and bring it to its full-length position (approximately 6 to 10 inches), laying flat across the palm and extending to or beyond the fingertip region.
The user, then, removes the sweat using the towel located on the palm of their hand. Upon completion, the user quickly retracts the towel back to wrist region via a series of folds accommodated by a stitch/fold line, a hook-and-loop connection point and the repositioning of the elastic band. Both the deploying and retracting of the towel can be conducted easily while running and within a matter of 1 to 3 seconds.
Finally, if the towel is detachable from the sweatband or wrist element, and there is a desire to either wash or replace the towel, the towel can be easily separated by pulling against the fastening system that connected the towel to the sweatband or wrist element.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
Although the initial application envisioned the present invention's use in the field of sports, given the ease of use, the portability, and the issue it resolves, the invention's application can extend into many other activities, both indoor and outdoor, that require the management of sweat and perspiration.
FIG. 1 is the top view of the device in the folded position on the wrist.
FIG. 2 is the underside view of the device in the folded position on the wrist.
FIG. 3 is the underside view of the device with the elastic band pulled forward.
FIG. 4 is the top view of the device with the towel fully extended.
FIG. 5 is the underside view of the device with the towel fully extended.
FIG. 6 is the top view (not showing the hand) of the device with the towel fully extended.
FIG. 7 is the underside view (not showing the hand) with the towel fully extended.
FIG. 8 is the underside view with the towel in the 1st folded position.
- Alternate Embodiments
FIG. 9 is the underside view with the towel returned to the fully folded position with elastic band securing it.
FIG. 10 is the top view of device utilizing hook-and-loop tabs to secure towel in lieu of an elastic band.
FIG. 11 is the top view of the device, fully extended, utilizing hook-and-loop tabs.
FIG. 12 is the top view of the towel in a detachable mode.
FIG. 13 is the bottom view of the sweatband with a hook-and-loop strip to allow attachment to the towel.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
First Embodiment (Preferred)
FIG. 14 is a wristband with a hook-and-loop strip to allow attachment to the towel.
The First Embodiment (Preferred), FIGS. 1 thru 9, shows the wristband extension towel that incorporates a sweatband. This embodiment consisting of three elements:
The first element is a sweatband 20 (FIG. 1), which can be made of terry cloth, microfiber or any other similar and absorbent material. It should be produced in a tubular form that can be slipped over the hand of a user and then onto the wrist, similar to a standard sweatband.
The second element consists of an elastic band 21, as depicted in FIG. 1 thru FIG. 6. The elastic band 21, may or may not have an identification tag 22 incorporated into it, and can be made of various forms of elastic, vinyl, leather or similar type of material. It is attached to the sweatband on the topside of the sweatband in the region of the identification tab 22, per FIG. 4, and wraps over the towel element 30, per FIG. 1 and FIG. 2. FIG. 3 show the elastic band pulled forward off the towel.
The third element is the towel portion 30, which is affixed to the sweatband 20 by of stitching, weaving or an adhesive or attached via Velcro located at the base of the backside (non-wiping surface) of the towel in FIG. 7. FIG. 1 and FIG. 2 illustrate the towel in the fully folded position and FIG. 4 thru FIG. 7 illustrate the towel in the fully extended position. FIG. 4 also depicts a finger holder 31 that helps to secure the towel to the hand, as well as a stitch/fold line 32 that aids in the folding of the towel back to the wrist region. The stitch/fold line, which maybe optional, assists the user in folding the towel in half. FIG. 5 also shows the stitch/fold line 32, the elastic band 21 underneath the towel, and a hook-and-loop element that helps to secure the towel to the sweatband prior to the elastic band 21 being returned to its original position over the towel.
FIG. 6 thru FIG. 9 illustrate the folding procedures from the fully extended towel position (FIG. 6) to the fully retracted position (FIG. 9). FIG. 6 is the non-wiping side of the towel and has a finger holder 31, approximately 1 to 2 inches in length, and a hook-and-loop strip 33, as well as a stitch/fold line 32. FIG. 7 depicts the wiping side of the towel, along with the stitch/fold line 32 and hook-and-loop strip 23.
FIG. 8 illustrates the towel position after the first fold and the lining up of the hook-and-loop strips 33 and 23 that assist in securing the towel back to the sweatband. The strips are approximately 1 inch to 2 inches in length.
- Alternate Embodiments
FIG. 9 demonstrates the fully retracted position of the towel under the wrist, as well as the elastic band being repositioned over the towel to secured it tightly to the wrist.
FIG. 10 illustrates the device with two hook-and-loop securing tabs 25 (a) and 25 (b), or similar type of fastening tabs, that replace the elastic band as prescribed in the Preferred Embodiment. These tabs 25 (a) and 25 (b) secure the towel 30 by connecting to hook-and-loop strips 35 (a) and 35 (b) when the device is in the folded position.
FIG. 11 shows the device in the fully-extended position, as well as the location of strips 35 (a) and 35 (b) on the towel 30.
FIG. 12 represents the towel 30 in a detachable configuration. The device functions the same; however, instead of fastening the towel permanently to the sweatband or wristband by way of stitching or other means, the towel has an added hook-and-loop strip 34 to allow it to connect to either to sweatband 20, with it corresponding hook-and-loop strip 24 (as depicted in FIG. 13), or to a wristband 40, with it corresponding hook-and-loop strip 41 (as depicted in FIG. 14).
- OPERATION OF INVENTION
In more detail, the towel 20 is approximately 4-6 inches wide and 8-12 inches long. It can be fully integrated into the sweatband portion or separately attached thereto. The towel 20 lies across the palm of the hand and extends from the underside of the wrist to the fingertip region as is shown in FIG. 4 and FIG. 5. In the retracted position or folded position, shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the width across the wrist of a user is approximately 1-3 inches. The dimensions of the towel 20, however, can vary, as well as the dimensions and specific placement of the hook-and-loop fasteners. Similar to the sweatband 20, the towel surface, as well as the whole embodiment, can vary in color, shape, texture and fashion. The towel surface also can provide a means for marketing and advertising. The elastic band in the Preferred Embodiment can also have florescent or reflective elements either stitched or printed into the towel 30, the sweatband 20, or the elastic band 21. Further, the towel 30 can be a coolant towel (using foam, crystals or other material), similar to Froggtoggs, Liquicool, and other similar products or material. The identification tag (optional) can be made of plastic, metal, aluminum, or a variety of similar type of material.
In the Preferred Embodiment, the towel 30 is attached or affixed to the sweatband 20 by way of weave, stitch, or similar means or to have the towel fully integrated and part of the sweatband 20, so the two elements function as one. The alternate embodiment is to have the towel and sweatband, or similar element, as two separate components and to be attached by hook-and-loop or other similar mechanism, as show in FIGS. 12 thru 14, by connecting strip 34 on towel 30 (FIG. 12) to either strip 24 or 41 (FIG. 13 or 14, respectively).
Assuming the Preferred Embodiment is employed, the user will secure the sweatband 20 to the wrist in the fully-retracted (folded) position, as shown in FIG. 1 and FIG. 2. After placement, the user will begin their activity. Upon perspiring, the user will pull forward the elastic band 21 located in FIG. 2 to the position indicated in FIG. 3. The user will then pull slightly on the towel 30 in FIG. 3 to release the hook-and-loop strips 23 and 33 (FIG. 8). Upon completion, the towel 30 will open to its fully-extended position, placing the towel 20 across the palm of the hand of the user (FIGS. 4 and 5). The user will then use the towel to wipe the desired areas, using the finger-hold strap 31 (FIG. 4 and FIG. 6) to assist in securing hand to the towel 30. It is important to note that the deployment and retraction of the towel only takes 1 to 3 seconds and can easily be executed on the run or while conducting various activities.
- ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATONS
Upon removing sweat from the desired areas, the user will quickly retract the towel by flipping back the top portion of the towel 20, along the stitch/fold line 32, as illustrated in FIG. 7. Once completed, the user will conduct a similar motion to rejoin connection points 23 and 33 (per FIG. 8). This action will place the towel 20 in the fully-retracted (folded) position underneath the wrist. The final step is to relocate the elastic band 21 to the initial start position over the towel 30 to further secure the towel 30 to the wrist (FIGS. 2 and 9). In the case of the alternate embodiment, whereby the hook-and-loop tabs 25 (a) and 25 (b) replace the elastic band 21, the user will connect tabs 25 (a) and (b) to strips 35 (a) and (b), once the towel is folded under the wrist.
There can be other means of connecting the towel to either the wristband or sweatband, such as by buttons, buckles, clasps, clamps, snaps, tie-downs, adhesive, or other type of fastening mechanism. Also, the manner in which the towel retracts to the wrist position can be accomplished by other methods other than folding, such as rolling. Furthermore, the placement of the hook-and-loop fasteners on the towel does not have to strictly adhere to figures presented. The composition of the towel, as well as the sweatband, can also extend to other materials beyond those previously described, such as cotton, wool, and various synthetics and microfibers. The term sweatband can also mean wristband or other mechanism that can be affixed, attached, or connected to the wrist and allow for the attachment or integration of the towel or related accessories.
It is also envision that other items can be attached to the sweatband 20 or wristband 40, such as an earphone, key, electronic, or phone holders, as well as security/safety lights (for example, Supernova) or other small articles, either by hook-and-loop fasteners or other means, in conjunction with the towel or alone. The sweatband 20 or wristband 40, as well as the towel 30 and elastic band 21, may also include florescent reflective stitching or strips to allow visibility at night, such as 3M Scotchlite. Furthermore, the towel may have various straps or pockets in order to hold hand in place while wiping sweat with the towel or to carry objects such keys or money.
In addition, the towel can serve other purposes other than just the wiping of sweat, while conducting physical activities indoors and outdoors. Due to its location under the wrist, the convenience and accessibility allows the towel to be considered for used in other industries and fields, such as but not limited to cleaning and medical.
While the present invention has been described and defined in detail by reference to the Preferred Embodiments of the invention, such reference does not imply a limitation of the invention, and no such limitation is to be inferred. The invention is capable of considerable modifications, alterations and equivalent in form as may occur to those having ordinary skill and knowledge in the pertinent art. The depicted and described embodiments of the invention are exemplary only, and are not exhaustive of the scope of the invention. Consequently, the invention is intended to be limited only by the spirit and scope of the appended claims, giving full cognizance to equivalents in all respects.