WO2015057851A1 - Mobile device holder - Google Patents

Mobile device holder Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2015057851A1
WO2015057851A1 PCT/US2014/060712 US2014060712W WO2015057851A1 WO 2015057851 A1 WO2015057851 A1 WO 2015057851A1 US 2014060712 W US2014060712 W US 2014060712W WO 2015057851 A1 WO2015057851 A1 WO 2015057851A1
Authority
WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
mobile device
position
device holder
cradle
clamp member
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/US2014/060712
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Thomas Scott Hodgson
Michael Robert CATLIN
Craig D. Flowerday
Tyler James NEWKIRK
Steven Duane LEPLEY
Dennis Jack VANHOUTEN
Original Assignee
Johnson Controls Technology Company
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
Priority to US201361890987P priority Critical
Priority to US61/890,987 priority
Priority to US201461954708P priority
Priority to US61/954,708 priority
Application filed by Johnson Controls Technology Company filed Critical Johnson Controls Technology Company
Publication of WO2015057851A1 publication Critical patent/WO2015057851A1/en

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Classifications

    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • B60R2011/0084Adjustable or movable supports with adjustment by linear movement in their operational position
    • 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
    • B60R2011/0085Adjustable or movable supports with adjustment by rotation in their operational position
    • 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
    • B60R2011/0094Arrangements for holding or mounting articles, not otherwise provided for characterised by means for covering after user, e.g. boxes, shutters or the like

Abstract

A mobile device holder (1 00) for use in a vehicle interior includes a cradle (1 15) upon which a mobile device (102) is supportable in an oblique orientation or an upright orientation, and a clamp member (1 10) engageable with the mobile device to secure the mobile device on the cradle in the oblique orientation or the upright orientation. The mobile device holder can include a support member (120) movable relative to the cradle between a raised position and a lowered position. The mobile device can be maintained in the oblique orientation or the upright orientation by the support member in the raised position prior to engagement with the clamp member. The mobile device holder can also include a biasing member (127) for biasing the support member toward the raised position.

Description

MOBILE DEVICE HOLDER

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims priority to co-pending U.S. Provisional Patent Application

No. 61/890,987 filed on October 15, 2013 and co-pending U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/954,708 filed on March 18, 2014, the entire contents of both of which are incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The present invention relates to holding and storage devices, and more particularly to holding and storage devices for mobile electronics.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] Holding and storage devices for mobile electronics are typically aftermarket accessories which a user may purchase to place in a vehicle. These aftermarket accessories are bulky, may become detached from the vehicle interface, and are typically not very aesthetically pleasing. Some mobile electronics users also use current vehicle features to hold their mobile devices, such as cup holders. These solutions are not desirable for many vehicle and mobile electronics users.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0004] The invention provides, in one aspect, a mobile device holder for use in a vehicle interior. The holder includes a cradle upon which a mobile device is supportable in an oblique orientation or an upright orientation, a clamp member engageable with the mobile device to secure the mobile device on the cradle in the oblique orientation or the upright orientation, and a support member movable relative to the cradle between a raised position and a lowered position. The mobile device is maintained in the oblique orientation or the upright orientation by the support member in the raised position prior to engagement with the clamp member. The mobile device holder can also include a biasing member for biasing the support member toward the raised position. [0005] The invention provides, in another aspect, a mobile device holder for use in a vehicle interior. The holder includes a cradle upon which a mobile device is supportable in an oblique orientation or an upright orientation, a clamp member engageable with the mobile device to secure the mobile device on the cradle in the oblique orientation or the upright orientation, and a support member movable relative to the cradle between a raised position and a lowered position. The mobile device is maintained in the oblique orientation or the upright orientation by the support member in the raised position prior to engagement with the clamp member. The support member can include a roller tip engageable with the mobile device when in the raised position. The roller tip can be engageable by an underside of the clamp member upon removing the mobile device from the cradle and closing the clamp member.

[0006] The invention provides, in yet another aspect, a mobile device holder for use in a vehicle interior. The holder includes a cradle upon which a mobile device is supportable in an oblique orientation or an upright orientation. The holder also includes a clamp member engageable with the mobile device to secure the mobile device in the oblique orientation or the upright orientation. At least one of the cradle and the clamp member is movable relative to the other of the cradle and the clamp member between a deployed position for securing the mobile device between the cradle and the clamp member, and a retracted position.

[0007] In some embodiments, the entire weight of the mobile device is supportable by the cradle.

[0008] In some embodiments, the cradle is both translatable and pivotable between the deployed position and the retracted position. In such an embodiment, the mobile device may further include a housing having a first pair of slots for guiding movement of a first portion of the cradle relative to the housing, and a second pair of slots for guiding movement of a second portion of the cradle relative to the housing.

[0009] In some embodiments, the clamp member is translatable between the deployed position and the retracted position. In such an embodiment, the mobile device holder may further include a scissor linkage assembly for raising and lowering the clamp member between the deployed position and the retracted position, respectively. Further, in such an embodiment, the scissor linkage assembly may be maintained in an open latched position by a latch mechanism.

[0010] In some embodiments, the clamp member includes an arm and a clamp block pivotably coupled to the arm. In such an embodiment, the arm may be maintained in an open latched position by a latch mechanism.

[0011] The invention provides, in a further aspect, a mobile device holder for use in a vehicle interior, including a cradle upon which a mobile device is supportable. The cradle is movable between a deployed position for displaying the mobile device, and a retracted position for storage of the mobile device.

[0012] In some embodiments, the cradle is only pivotable between the deployed position and the retracted position. In other embodiments, the cradle is both pivotable and translatable between the deployed position and the retracted position.

[0013] Other features and aspects of the invention will become apparent by consideration of the following detailed description and accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0014] FIG. 1 is front perspective view of a mobile device holder in accordance with an embodiment of the invention, illustrating a cover member of the mobile device holder in a retracted or closed position.

[0015] FIG. 2 is a front perspective view of the mobile device holder of FIG. 1, illustrating the cover member in an intermediate deployed position.

[0016] FIG. 3 is an exploded view of the mobile device holder of FIG. 1.

[0017] FIG. 4 is a front perspective view of a portion of the mobile device holder of FIG.

1 with portions removed for clarity, illustrating a support mechanism in a deployed position.

[0018] FIG. 5 is a front perspective view similar to FIG. 4, illustrating the support mechanism in a retracted position. [0019] FIG. 6 is a side perspective view of a latch release mechanism used in the mobile device holder of FIG. 1.

[0020] FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of the latch release mechanism of FIG. 6 with portions removed for clarity, illustrating a latch locking the cover in the closed position.

[0021] FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view of the latch release mechanism of FIG. 6 with portions removed for clarity, illustrating the latch being released, thereby allowing the cover to be opened.

[0022] FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view of the latch release mechanism of FIG. 6 with portions removed for clarity, illustrating the latch locking the cover in a fully opened position.

[0023] FIG. 10 is a perspective view of a portion of the mobile device holder of FIG. 1, illustrating an inertial latch mechanism substituted for the latch release mechanism.

[0024] FIG. 11 is a front perspective view of a mobile device holder in accordance with another embodiment of the invention, illustrating a cradle in an intermediate deployed position with a mobile device supported therein.

[0025] FIG. 12 is a front perspective view of the mobile device holder of FIG. 11, illustrating the cradle in a retracted position.

[0026] FIG. 13 is an exploded view of the mobile device holder of FIG. 11.

[0027] FIG. 14 is a front perspective view of a mobile device holder in accordance with yet another embodiment of the invention, illustrating a clamp member in an intermediate deployed position with a mobile device supported therein.

[0028] FIG. 15 is a front perspective view of the mobile device holder of FIG. 14, illustrating the clamp member in a retracted position.

[0029] FIG. 16 is an exploded view of the mobile device holder of FIG. 14. [0030] FIG. 17 is a front perspective view of a mobile device holder in accordance with a further embodiment of the invention, illustrating a clamp member in an intermediate deployed position with a mobile device supported therein.

[0031] FIG. 18 is a front perspective view of the mobile device holder of FIG. 17, illustrating the clamp member in retracted position.

[0032] FIG. 19 is an exploded view of the mobile device holder of FIG. 17.

[0033] FIG. 20 is a perspective view of a mobile device holder in accordance with another embodiment of the invention, incorporated in a console assembly and illustrating a tray of the mobile device holder in a retracted position.

[0034] FIG. 21 is a perspective view of the mobile device holder of FIG. 20, illustrating the tray in a deployed position.

[0035] FIG. 22 is an exploded view of the mobile device holder of FIG. 20.

[0036] FIG. 23 is a perspective view of a portion of the mobile device holder of FIG. 20, illustrating a hinge support and the tray in the retracted position.

[0037] FIG. 24 is a perspective view of a portion of the mobile device holder of FIG. 20, illustrating the hinge support and the tray in the deployed position.

[0038] FIG. 25 is an enlarged, perspective view of a dampener of the mobile device holder of FIG. 20, illustrating the dampener located within a track.

[0039] FIG. 26 is a front perspective view of a mobile device holder in accordance with yet another embodiment of the invention, illustrating a tray or cradle in a retracted position.

[0040] FIG. 26a is a side view of the mobile device holder of FIG. 26.

[0041] FIG. 27 is a front perspective view of the mobile device holder of FIG. 26, illustrating the tray or cradle in the deployed position.

[0042] FIG. 27a is a side view of the mobile device holder of FIG. 27. [0043] FIG. 27b is a side view of an alternative embodiment of the mobile device holder of FIG. 26 in which a linkage assembly is employed for both rotating and translating the cradle between the retracted and deployed positions.

[0044] Before any embodiments of the invention are explained in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and the arrangement of components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the

accompanying drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced or of being carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology used herein is for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0045] FIGS. 1-10 illustrate a mobile device holder 100 according to an embodiment of the invention for alternately storing and holding a mobile device 102 in a position within a vehicle in which the mobile device 102 can be viewed by one or more passengers of the vehicle. As illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3, the mobile device holder 100 includes a housing 105, a clamp or cover member 110, a cradle 115, and a support mechanism 120. The cover member 110 is pivotable about a fixed axis Al (FIG. 6) relative to the housing 105 and the cradle 115 between a retracted or closed position (FIG. 1), an open latched position (FIG. 9), and an intermediate deployed position (FIG. 2). The deployed position is substantially located between the closed position and the open latched position, and defines the position of the cover member 110 when it is exerting a clamping force on the mobile device 102 for securing it within the holder 100. In addition to securing the mobile device 102, the cover member 110 also shades the screen of the mobile 102 device from glare and heat from the sun and blocks a reflection of the screen of the mobile device 102 on the vehicle windshield. The device holder 100 also includes a torsion spring 127 (FIG. 6) for biasing the cover member 1 10 toward the closed position (FIG. 1).

Alternatively, the device holder 100 may include an over-center spring mechanism for biasing the cover member 110 toward both the closed position and the intermediate deployed position. Although the spring 127 is illustrated as a torsion spring 127, other types of springs or spring mechanisms may be used (e.g., a tension spring, a compression spring, etc.). [0046] With reference to FIG. 2, the cover member 110 includes a top surface 130, a bottom surface 135, a rear edge 140, a pair of side edges 145, and a front edge 150. As shown in FIG. 1, the device holder 100 is generally received in an outer shell 160 that is placed into or is formed with an interior trim panel or dashboard of the vehicle. The top surface 130 of the illustrated cover member 110 is angled, or has a curvature and/or shape to align with a dashboard surface. In the illustrated embodiment, the cover member 110 includes an outer covering 152 that forms the top surface 130. The outer covering 152 can be made from a material matching the outer shell 160, such as leather, synthetic leather, or various plastics. Alternatively, or in addition, the outer covering 152 may include the same finish (e.g., wood, metal, plastic, etc.) as surrounding trim panels. The illustrated cover member 110 also includes, on its underside, a bumper 157 (FIG. 3) to facilitate clamping and to avoid scratching the mobile device 102.

[0047] As the cover member 110 moves between the closed position, the open latched position, and the intermediate deployed position, a dampener 155 (FIGS. 3 and 6) mounted to the housing 105 is used to control its motion. The dampener 155 may be configured as a viscous dampener, or any other suitable type of dampener. With reference to FIGS. 3 and 6, the cover member 110 includes an arcuate portion 158 having a toothed rack 159 that is engaged or meshed with a gear 156 of the dampener 155. Because the dampener 155 is mounted to the housing 105, in response to the cover member 110 being opened, the dampener gear 156 is rotated. The rotation of the gear 156 is resisted by viscous elements within the dampener 155, thereby also dampening the rotational movement of the cover member 110 relative to the cradle 115.

[0048] The housing 105 defines a storage area 165, within which the cradle 115 and support mechanism 120 (FIGS. 4 and 5) are positioned. The storage area 165 can be used as a place to store the mobile device 102 when it is not being displayed. The storage area 165 may also include one or more electronic cord adapters 170, as illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3. The adapter 170 may include, but is not limited to, a USB charging port or an audio input jack. The illustrated cradle 115 supports the mobile device 102 and includes a cutout region 175 (FIG. 2), which provides a pass-through for connecting electronic cords with the mobile device 102. The cradle 115 may include one or more inserts 117 (FIG. 3) made from a soft material (e.g., rubber, cloth, etc.) that protect the mobile device 102 from being scratched or otherwise damaged. [0049] With reference to FIGS. 4 and 5, the illustrated support mechanism 120 includes a support member or bail 121 and a pair of support brackets 122 pivotably supporting the bail 121 with respect to the housing 105. The illustrated bail 121 includes a roller 123 on a distal end thereof for engaging a rear surface of the mobile device 102. The roller 123 engages the mobile device 102 in line contact such that only a small portion of the mobile device 102 engages with the roller 123. The bail 121 is pivotable between a raised support position (FIG. 4) and a lowered retracted position (FIG. 5). The support mechanism 120 may also include a torsion spring (not shown) that biases the bail 121 toward the raised support position. In some embodiments, the support mechanism 120 includes a dampener (not shown) to control the speed at which the bail 121 moves between the lowered retracted position and the raised support position.

[0050] The support mechanism 120 of the illustrated embodiments also includes a push- push latch 180 that is engageable with a latch finger 182 (FIG. 4) of the bail 121 to maintain the bail 121 in the lowered retracted position (FIG. 5). The push-push latch 180 operates such that it is locked when the bail 121 is pushed against the latch 180, inserting the latch finger 182 into the latch 180. In other embodiments, the position of the push-push latch 180 and the finger 182 are reversed. Pushing the bail 121 against the latch 180 a second time releases the bail 121. When the bail 121 is released, the torsion spring exerts a torque on the bail 121 to raise it into the raised support position. The roller 123 is engageable by the cover member 110 when the cover member 110 is lowered to the retracted position, thereby automatically lowering the bail 121 at the same time. Similar with respect to supporting the mobile device 102, the roller 123 engages the cover member 110 in line contact. At this time, however, the bail 121 is not locked into its fully retracted position by the latch 180, but rather is permitted to automatically raise back into its support position when the cover member 1 10 is lifted again. Because the roller 123 rotatably engages the cover member 110 in line contact, friction and wear created by opening and closing the cover member 110 with the support mechanism raised is reduced.

[0051] With reference now to FIGS. 3 and 6, the illustrated device holder 100 includes a cover latch mechanism 185 for selectively latching the cover member 110 in the retracted or closed position (FIG. 6) and the open latched position (FIG. 9). The cover latch mechanism 185 includes a cover release button 125, which pivots about an axis A2 to drive linear translation of a link 190 for controlling latching of the cover member 110. With reference to FIGS. 7-9, the cover latch mechanism 185 also includes two locking protrusions 195, 200 that are selectively received within corresponding notches 205, 210 formed in the arcuate portion 158 of the cover member 110.

[0052] In operation of the cover latch mechanism 185, to unlatch the cover member 110 when the cover member 110 is in the retracted or closed position, the cover release button 125 is depressed (FIG. 8), thereby displacing the link 190 toward the left from the frame of reference of FIG. 8 and causing the locking protrusion 195 to be disengaged from the locking notch 205. Specifically an inclined rib 207 on the link 190 is brought into sliding contact with a follower 208 on the locking protrusion 195 to cause it to move (e.g., pivot) out of the locking notch 205, thereby allowing the cover member 110 to be lifted and freely pivoted about the axis Al . Once the cover member 110 reaches the open latched position (FIG. 9), the locking protrusion 200 is received in the locking notch 210 to lock the cover member 110 in the open latched position. To release the cover member 110 from the open latched position, the cover release button 125 may be depressed again to displace the link toward the left from the frame of reference of FIG. 9, causing the locking protrusion 200 to disengage the locking notch 210. Specifically, linear translation of the link 190 causes an inclined surface 202 of the locking protrusion 200 to slide against a side of the locking notch 210, displacing the locking protrusion 200 downward until the locking protrusion 200 is removed from the locking notch 210. In the illustrated embodiment, the locking protrusions 195, 200 may be biased by springs 215, 220 (FIGS. 6 and 7, respectively) toward engagement with the corresponding locking notches 205, 210. One or both of the springs 215, 220 may also provide a means for a user to manually overcome the latching force of the cover latch mechanism 185 by pushing or pulling on the cover member 110 without causing structural damage to the device holder 100.

[0053] In other embodiments, the cover latch mechanism 185 may include only a single locking protrusion (i.e., either protrusion 195 or 200) for engaging both notches 205, 210.

Likewise, in yet other embodiments, the cover latch mechanism 185 may include only a single notch (i.e., either notch 205 or 210) that is engaged by two separate protrusions 195, 200. In other embodiments, the location of the protrusions 195, 200 and the notches 205, 210 can be reversed without changing the manner of operation of the cover latch mechanism 185. Furthermore, in yet other embodiments, more than two protrusions 195, 200 and a corresponding number of notches 205, 210 may be employed.

[0054] In another embodiment, as illustrated in FIG. 10, the device holder 100 may include an inertia cover latch mechanism 225 rather than the button-actuated cover latch mechanism 185. The inertia cover latch mechanism 225 includes a locking finger 230 that selectively engages the locking notches 205, 210 in the arcuate portion 158 of the cover member 110. The inertia cover latch mechanism 225 provides a means for automatically latching the cover member 110 in response to an acceleration event (e.g., speeding up or braking). The locking finger 230 is normally not engaged with the locking notches 205, 210. When a vehicle accelerates rapidly, the latch mechanism 225, including the locking finger 230, will swing to engage with one of the locking notches 205, 210 to latch the cover member 110 in place, depending on the position of the cover member 110 when the acceleration occurs. The latch mechanism 225 prevents the cover member 110 from opening during such an acceleration event. In other embodiments, the inertia cover latch mechanism 225 may be configured to swing into a latching position upon rapid braking of the vehicle.

[0055] In operation of the mobile device holder 100 of FIGS. 1-10, and with particular reference to FIG. 2, when it is desired to display the mobile device 102, a user unlocks the cover latch mechanism 185 if needed, and grasps the front edge 150 of the cover member 110 while the cover member 110 is in the closed or retracted position (FIG. 2), and then lifts it toward the open latched position shown in FIG. 9. In another embodiment, the cover may have an overhanging or protruding feature engageable by the mobile device 102 such that the mobile device 102 itself can be used for lifting the cover member 1 10. Once the cover member 110 is in the open latched position, the user can place the mobile device 102 in the cradle 115. For temporarily supporting the mobile device 102 in the cradle 115, the user may press the bail 121 to release the latch 180 holding the bail 121 in its lowered retracted position. Once released, the bail 121 is raised by its torsion spring into the raised support position shown in FIGS. 2 and 4 to engage the rear of the mobile device 102 with the roller 123 to support the mobile device 102 in an oblique orientation or an upright orientation. [0056] The user then disengages the cover latch mechanism 185, either by pushing the button 125 or by pushing downward on the cover member 110 with a sufficient force to disengage the locking protrusion 200 from the locking notch 210. When the cover latch mechanism 185 is disengaged, the torsion spring exerts a torque on the cover member 110, causing it to lower until it engages the mobile device 102 to securely hold and clamp the mobile device 102 in place, thereby defining the intermediate deployed position of the cover member 110. When the cover member 110 is in the intermediate deployed position, the torsion spring maintains a torque on the cover member 110 that is sufficiently large to maintain a clamping force on the mobile device 102 (i.e., via the cover member 110 and the cradle 115) to rigidly secure the mobile device 102 within the holder 100. To remove the mobile device 102 from the mobile device holder 100, the user slightly lifts the cover member 110 or the mobile device 102 and removes the mobile device 102 from the cradle 115. Once the mobile device 102 is removed, the cover member 110 will continue to lower under the influence of the torsion spring until it reaches the closed or retracted position shown in FIG. 1.

[0057] FIGS. 11-13 illustrate a mobile device holder 300 in accordance with another embodiment of the invention for holding the mobile device 102 in a position within a vehicle in which the mobile device 102 can be viewed by one or more occupants of the vehicle. The mobile device holder 300 includes a cradle 310 and a clamp member 315 between which the mobile device 102 is held or secured (FIG. 11). As shown in FIGS. 11 and 12, the cradle 310 is movable relative to the clamp member 315, which is stationary and which may be defined by one or more features of the vehicle's dashboard or center console. The illustrated cradle 310 includes two protrusions or fingers 311 that engage a bottom of the mobile device 102 during clamping.

[0058] In one embodiment, the clamp member 315 is formed as part of a housing 305 that defines an opening 307. The housing 305 is placed into or is formed with the center console of the vehicle. The cradle 310 is movable relative to the clamp member 315 between a retracted position (FIG. 12) and an intermediate deployed position (FIG. 11) within the opening 307. The housing 305 defines a first pair of arcuate slots 312 and second pair of arcuate slots 313, which guide movement of first and second portions 322, 323 of the cradle 310, respectively (FIG. 13). The movement of the cradle portions 322, 323 along the slots 312, 313 permits the cradle 310 to simultaneously translate and rotate with respect to the housing 305 to position the cradle 310 in either the retracted or deployed position. In other embodiments, the slots 312, 313 can be formed with different shapes for guiding motion of the cradle 310 in other desirable ways.

[0059] With continued reference to FIG. 13, the illustrated mobile device holder 300 also includes one or more constant force springs 317 for biasing the cradle 310 toward the retracted position and a dampener 318 for controlling the motion of the cradle 115 between the retracted position and the deployed position. The illustrated device holder 300 also includes a toothed rack 320 attached to a side of the housing 305 that is in engagement with the dampener 318, such that movement of the front portion 322 of the cradle 310 and the attached dampener 318 along the slot 312 rotates the dampener 318 to dampen motion of the cradle 310. The dampener 318 may include, for example, a rotatable shaft with fins that are moved through a viscous fluid (e.g., oil, etc.). The springs 317 exert a biasing force on the cradle 310 which, in turn, provides a clamping force on the mobile device 102 when placed between the cradle 310 and the clamping member 315.

[0060] The mobile device 102 may be secured in either a landscape orientation or a portrait orientation (FIG. 11). In either case, the mobile device 102 is held in an oblique orientation or an upright orientation with respect to a horizontal plane including a longitudinal axis of the vehicle. An oblique orientation of the mobile device 102 generally provides a suitable viewing angle to passengers within the vehicle when the mobile device 102 is positioned in the lower region of the vehicle's center console. Alternatively, the mobile device 102 may be secured between the cradle 310 and the clamp member 315 in an upright orientation with respect to a horizontal plane including a longitudinal axis of the vehicle, in either a landscape or portrait orientation, depending upon viewer preference. The mobile device 102 may be stowed in the mobile device holder 300 by laying the mobile device 102 flat on the cradle 310 such that it is no longer engageable with the clamp member 315, thereby permitting the cradle 310 to assume the retracted position (FIG. 12), and thereby hiding the mobile device 102 from view. In the illustrated embodiment, the cradle 310 includes a large opening behind the fingers 311 to prevent crushing large objects stowed within the center console.

[0061] In operation of the mobile device holder 300, when it is desired to display the mobile device 102, a user grasps the cradle 310 while it is in the retracted position (FIG. 12) and pulls the cradle 310 down, causing the springs 317 to unroll. Once the cradle 310 is pulled down past the intermediate deployed position, the user then inserts the mobile device 102 into the cradle 115 in a particular orientation (e.g., the portrait orientation shown in FIG. 11). Next, the user removes the downward force acting on the cradle 310, thereby allowing the springs 317 to exert a force on the cradle 310 for raising it into the intermediate deployed position (FIG. 11) and causing the mobile device 102 to engage the clamp member 315. The springs 317 then maintain a force on the cradle 310 sufficiently large to overcome the weight of the mobile device 102 and apply a clamping force on the mobile device 102 to rigidly secure the device 102 within the device holder 300. Alternatively, rather than the vehicle occupant separately grasping the cradle 310, the occupant may place an edge of the mobile device 102 behind the fingers 311 and apply a downward force to the cradle 310 through the mobile device 102. To remove the mobile device 102 from the mobile device holder 300, the user slightly lowers the cradle 310 to disengage the clamp member 315 from the mobile device 102. The user is then able to remove the mobile device 102 from the mobile device holder 300. Once the mobile device 102 is removed, the user releases the cradle 310, and the springs 317 recoil to raise the cradle 115 back into the retracted position (FIG. 12). Rather than contacting the cradle 115 directly to further open it, the user could push down on the mobile device 102 itself which, in turn, further opens or lowers the cradle 310 and disengages the clamp member 315 from the mobile device 102. The user would then just lift the mobile device 102 out of the cradle 310, allowing the springs 317 to raise the cradle 310 back into the retracted position (FIG. 12).

[0062] In FIGS. 14-16, a mobile device holder 400 is illustrated in accordance with another embodiment of the invention for holding the mobile device 102 in a position within a vehicle in which the mobile device 102 can be viewed by one or more occupants of the vehicle. The mobile device holder 400 includes a lower housing 410, a clamp member 415, a linkage assembly 420, a dampener assembly 430, and a cradle 435. The clamp member 415 moves relative to the cradle 435 along a generally linear path as represented by arrow A (FIG. 14) between a retracted position (FIG. 15), an open latched position, and an intermediate deployed position (FIG. 14). The deployed position is substantially located between the retracted position (FIG. 15) and the open latched position, and defines the position of the clamp member 415 when it is exerting a clamping force on the mobile device 102 for securing it within the holder 400. The mobile device 102 may be held in an oblique orientation or an upright orientation with respect to a horizontal plane including a longitudinal axis of the vehicle. The upright orientation of the mobile device 102 generally provides a suitable viewing angle to passengers within the vehicle when the device holder 400 is positioned within a dashboard surface.

[0063] In one embodiment, the device holder 400 includes a housing 405. The housing

405 may be integral with or formed separately from a vehicle dashboard or center console, depending on the particular application. The clamp member 415 includes a top surface 440, a rear surface 445, a pair of side surfaces 450, and a front edge 455. The illustrated clamp member 415 also includes, on its underside, a bumper 417 (FIG. 16) to improve clamping and to avoid scratching the mobile device 102. The illustrated top surface 440 is angled, or has a curvature and/or shape to align with a top surface of the housing 405 (FIG. 15). On the rear surface 445 of the illustrated embodiment, the clamp member 415 includes a slot 460 and a hole 465 (FIG. 16), the significance of which is described in more detail below. In addition to securing the mobile device 102, the clamp member 415 also shades the screen of the mobile device 102 from glare and heat from the sun and blocks a reflection of the screen of the mobile device on the vehicle windshield. The clamp member 415 can be covered by or formed with a material matching the housing 405, such as leather, synthetic leather, or various plastics.

[0064] The lower housing 410 supports the cradle 435, and can include a toothed rack

(not shown), a slot 475, and a hole 480 (FIG. 16). The illustrated cradle 435 includes a cradle insert 437 made from a soft material (e.g., rubber, cloth, etc.) that protects the mobile device 102 from being scratched. A pinion of the dampener assembly 430 is engaged or meshed with the toothed rack on the lower housing 410. As the pinion moves along the toothed rack, the dampener assembly 430 controls the speed at which the linkage assembly 420 extends and collapses, and therefore, the speed at which the clamp member 415 is raised and lowered.

[0065] The illustrated holder 400 includes a latch mechanism 492 for holding the clamp member 415 in the open latched position. The latch mechanism 492 includes a button 490 received in the lower housing 410, as illustrated in FIG. 14, for releasing the latch mechanism 492. In some embodiments, the latch button 490 is a component of the latch mechanism 492, and is engageable with the dampener assembly 430 to secure the clamp member 415 in the open latched position. For example, in the illustrated embodiment, the latch mechanism 492 includes a rib 493 (FIG. 16) that engages a bottom portion of the dampener assembly 430 when the clamp member 415 reaches the open latched position. When the button 490 is depressed, the rib 493 is lowered and moved out of engagement with the dampener assembly 430 such that the torque provided by a spring 482 causes the clamp member 492 to move toward the retracted position.

[0066] With continued reference to FIGS. 14 and 16, the linkage assembly 420 includes both a first link 421 and a second link 426. The links 221, 226 are interconnected by a pin 495 such that the links 421, 426 pivot with respect to each other, thereby defining a scissor linkage assembly. The second link 426 has an upper end 427 pivotably attached to the clamping member 415 through the hole 465, and a lower end 428 that is movable within the slot 475 in the lower housing 410 while the attached dampener assembly 430 is meshed with the toothed rack in the lower housing 410. The first link 221 has an upper end 422 that slides within the slot 460 of the clamp member 415, and a lower end 423 that is pivotably coupled to the lower housing 410 through the hole 480 in the lower housing 410. The illustrated device holder 400 also includes the torsion spring 482 for biasing the clamp member 415 toward the retracted or closed position shown in FIG. 15. The torsion spring 482 may be located anywhere within the device holder 400 so long as it is capable of exerting a torque on at least one of the links 421, 426 for pivoting the links 421, 426 toward the lower housing 410. The links 421, 426 are generally made of a metal material, but may be made of other structurally sufficient materials, such as a rigid plastic material. The links 421, 426 may also be coated with an elastomeric or a soft material to prevent scratching the mobile device 102.

[0067] When the clamp member 415 is raised and lowered, the pivoting and sliding motion of the links 421, 426 impart a substantially linear displacement of the clamp member 415. The dampening assembly 430, which may include a viscous or frictional dampener, controls the speed at which the clamp member 415 is raised and lowered, while the torsion spring 482 imparts a torque to at least one of the links 421, 426 to bias the clamp member 415 toward the retracted position.

[0068] In operation of the mobile device holder 400, when it is desired to display a mobile device 102, the user grasps the front edge 455 of the clamp member 415 when the clamp member 415 is in the retracted position (FIG. 15), and lifts the clamp member 415 vertically until it reaches the open latched position. When the clamp member 415 is in the open latched position, the user places the mobile device 102 into the cradle 435. As the mobile device 102 rests in the cradle 235, the user then pushes the latch button 490 to release the latch mechanism 492 and the clamp member 415. Alternatively, the act of placing the mobile device 102 into the cradle 435 may automatically release the latch mechanism 492. Once the latch mechanism 492 is released, the torsion spring 482 causes the clamp member 415 to lower until it engages the mobile device 102 in the intermediate deployed position. When the clamp member 415 is in the deployed position, the torsion spring 482 maintains a torque on one or more of the links 421, 426 that is sufficiently large to maintain a clamping force on the mobile device 102 (i.e., via the clamp member 415 and the cradle 435) to rigidly secure the mobile device 102 within the holder 400. Alternatively, the torsion spring 482 may be omitted, in which case only the weight of the clamp member 415 can be used for clamping the mobile device 102. To remove the mobile device 102 from the device holder 400, the user then slightly lifts the clamp member 415 or the mobile device 102 directly, and removes the mobile device 102 from the cradle 435. Once the mobile device 102 is removed, the clamp member 415 will continue to lower until it reaches the retracted or closed position (FIG. 15).

[0069] FIGS. 17-19 illustrate a mobile device holder 500 in accordance with another embodiment of the invention for holding the mobile device 102 in a position within a vehicle in which the mobile device 102 can be viewed by one or more occupants of the vehicle. The mobile device holder 500 includes an upper housing 510, a lower housing 512 (FIG. 19), a cradle 505, and a clamp member 515. The clamp member 515 is pivotable relative to the cradle 505 between a retracted position (FIG. 18), an open latched position, and an intermediate deployed position (FIG. 17). The deployed position is substantially located between the retracted position and the open latched position, and defines the position of the clamp member 515 when it is exerting a clamping force on the mobile device 102 for securing it within the device holder 500. The housing 510 is placed into or is formed with the dashboard of the vehicle, such that the device holder 500 is positioned for easy use by an occupant.

[0070] The illustrated clamp member 515 includes an arm 520 and a clamp block 525 pivotably coupled to the arm 520 by a pin 527. As shown in FIG. 19, the illustrated clamp member 515 is pivotably coupled to the base 510 by another pin 530. The holder 500 of the illustrated embodiment also includes a dampener 540 mounted within the lower housing 512 that receives a rotational input from the pin 530 for controlling the speed at which the clamp member 515 is raised and lowered, and a torsion spring 550 for biasing the clamp member 515 toward the retracted position (FIG. 18). The clamp block 525 and the arm 520 may be coated with an elastomeric or a soft material to prevent scratching of the mobile device 102. Alternatively, the arm 520 may be made from a plastic material for the same purpose.

[0071] With reference to FIG. 19, the illustrated arm 520 includes a locking protrusion

522 that is engageable by a latch mechanism 519 to maintain the clamp member 515 in the open latched position. The latch mechanism 519 includes a button 517 received in the lower housing 512 for releasing the latch mechanism 519. In the illustrated embodiment, the button 517 is integrally formed with an arm 521 that is pivotably coupled to the underside of the lower housing 512 by a snap-fit. The arm 521 also includes a lip 523 engageable with a recess 531 adjacent the protrusion 522 to maintain the clamp member 515 in the open latched position. When the button 517 is depressed, the arm 521 (and therefore the lip 523) is pivoted away from the lower housing 512 against the bias of a spring (e.g., slender bar 524). After the lip 523 is removed from the recess 531, the spring 550 exerts a torque on the clamp member 515 causing it to lower from the open latched position. Thereafter, the button 517 may be released without concern for the lip

523 re-entering the recess because the lip 523 will instead engage and slide along an arcuate side of the protrusion 522.

[0072] In operation of the mobile device holder 500, when it is desired to display the mobile device 102, a user lifts the clamp member 515 from its retracted position into the open latched position to permit the mobile device 102 to fit between the clamp block 525 and the cradle 505. In another embodiment, the clamp block 525 may include an overhanging or protruding feature engageable by the mobile device 102 such that the mobile device 102 itself can be used for lifting the clamp member 515 into position. The user then places the mobile device 102 in the cradle 505 and unlatches the clamp member 515 by depressing the button 517, allowing the torsion spring 550 to exert a torque on the clamp member 515 to lower it and clamp the mobile device 102 in the intermediate deployed position of the clamp member 515 (FIG. 17). When the clamp member 515 is in the intermediate deployed position, the torsion spring 550 maintains a torque on the clamp member 515 that is sufficiently large to maintain a clamping force on the mobile device 102 (i.e., via the clamp member 515 and the cradle 505) to rigidly secure the mobile device 102 within the holder 500. To remove the mobile device 102 from the mobile device holder 500, the user slightly lifts the clamp member 515 and removes the mobile device 102 from the cradle 505. Once the mobile device 102 is removed, the clamp member 515 will continue to lower under the influence of the torsion spring 550 until it reaches the retracted position shown in FIG. 18. Alternatively, the latch mechanism 519 may be omitted from the mobile device holder 500, which can require a user to hold the clamp member 515 open while inserting the mobile device 102 into the device holder 500.

[0073] FIGS. 20-25 illustrate a mobile device holder 600 in accordance with another embodiment of the invention. The mobile device holder 600 is located above a bin 605 of the center console of a vehicle, and includes a cradle or tray 610 for supporting the mobile device 102. The tray 610 moves between a retracted position (FIG. 20) in which a mobile device 102 on the tray 610 is inaccessible for view, and a deployed position (FIG. 21) in which the mobile device 102 on the tray 610 is accessible for view. The illustrated tray 610 includes two apertures 615 for receiving respective electronic connection stations 617 (FIGS. 26a, 27a and 27b) having various power or data ports (e.g., a USB port, an audio jack, etc.) to be used with the mobile device 102. Alternatively, the electronic connection stations 617 may be positioned within a storage space 635 of the tray 610, and any number of electronic connection stations 617 may be incorporated with the tray 610.

[0074] With reference to FIGS. 21 and 22, the illustrated tray 610 includes a front lip 625 to prevent the mobile device 102 from sliding off the tray 610 when in the deployed position. A faceplate 640 is coupled to the tray 610 to provide a visually appealing surface to the user. The faceplate 640 may include the same finish (e.g., wood, metal, plastic, etc.) as surrounding trim panels. The tray 610 also includes a support surface 630 that supports the mobile device 102 in either or portrait or landscape orientation. The support surface 630 may include soft lining to prevent scratching or damage to the mobile device 102. The support surface 630 and the front lip 625 at least partially define a storage space 635 for enclosing the mobile device 102 when the tray 610 is in the retracted position. [0075] As illustrated in FIG. 21, the tray 610 is generally received within a housing 650.

The housing 650 can be placed into or formed with the center console of a vehicle. The illustrated housing 650 includes a top cover 655 and a bottom cover 660 (FIG. 22), and also includes a pair of guide plates 665 interconnecting the sides of the top and bottom covers 655, 660, respectively. In the illustrated embodiment, the top cover 655 and the bottom cover 660 each include a plurality of cylindrical receptacles 670 that receive a corresponding plurality of cylindrical guides 675 on the guide plates 665 that facilitate alignment of the top and bottom covers 655, 660 during assembly.

[0076] With continued reference to FIG. 22, the tray 610 includes an upper tray portion

680 and a lower tray portion 685. However, the tray 610 may alternatively be formed as a single component. The illustrated tray 610 is pivotably coupled to a hinge housing or hinge support 690 by a pair of hinges 695 that are clamped between the tray 610 and corresponding brackets 697 attached to the underside of the tray 610. The hinges 695 may provide resistance to rotation of the tray 610, such that the tray 610 may controllably rotate or pivot under the influence of gravity once the tray 610 is extended from the housing 650. For example, the hinges 695 may be of the kind illustrated and described in U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2013/0111706, the entire contents of which is hereby incorporated by reference.

[0077] The illustrated tray 610, and more particularly the upper tray portion 680, also includes a guide member or rail 705 with ends that are received in corresponding slots 710 defined within the guide plates 665. The rail 705 is freely movable within the slots 710, such that the tray 610 is movable with the hinge support 690 between a deployed position (FIG. 24) in which the hinge support 690 causes the tray 610 to extend from the housing 650, and a retracted position (FIG. 23) in which the hinge support 690 allows the tray 610 to be fully concealed within the housing 650. Each of the illustrated slots 710 includes a substantially straight segment 711 and an arcuate segment 712 that is contiguous with the straight segment 711 and is configured such that the end closest to the front lip 625 curves upward. In other words, the arcuate segment 712 curves upward and toward a front of the housing 650. As the hinge support 690 moves from the retracted position toward the deployed position, the tray 610 pivots about the hinges 695 in a manner permitted by the shape of the arcuate slots 710. In other

embodiments, the slots 710 can be formed with different shapes for guiding motion of the tray 610 in other desirable ways. For example, the arcuate segment 712 may instead be formed as a straight segment that is non-parallel to the straight segment 71 1.

[0078] With reference to FIG. 22, linear motion of the illustrated hinge support 690 relative to the housing 650 is controlled by a dampener 715. The dampener 715 may be a viscous dampener, or any other suitable type of dampener. As shown in FIG. 25, the illustrated dampener 715 includes a gear 725 that is engaged or meshed with a toothed rack 735 defined adjacent a slot 730 in the bottom cover 660. The dampener 715 is attached to the hinge support 690, and is movable in unison with the hinge support 690 as it slides back and forth within the housing 650. As the hinge support 690 slides relative to the housing 650, the dampener gear 725 is rotated because it is meshed with the toothed rack 735. Rotation of the gear 725 is resisted by viscous elements within the dampener 715, thereby also damping the sliding movement of the hinge support 690 relative to the housing 650.

[0079] The hinge support 690 of the illustrated embodiment is biased toward the deployed position by the force of a spring (not shown). Preferably, the spring is a constant force spring; however, other types of springs may be used. Opposite ends of the spring can be anchored to a spring retainer 720 on the bottom cover 660 (FIGS. 23 and 25) and the hinge support 690. The hinge support 690 may alternatively be biased toward the retracted position. In alternative embodiments of the device holder 600, an over-center spring mechanism may be used to bias the hinge support 690 toward both retracted and deployed positions depending on the location of the housing 690. In other alternative embodiments, the hinge support 690, and therefore the tray 610, are not biased by a spring or any other element, but are instead manually actuated by a pushing or pulling force exerted by a user.

[0080] With continued reference to the illustrated embodiment, and with particular reference to FIGS. 22-24, the rail 705 on the tray 610 is positioned farther away from the front lip 625 than the location where the hinges 695 are clamped to the tray 610. Stated a different way, a pivot axis A3 about which the tray 610 pivots with respect to the hinge support 690 is closer to the front lip 625 of the tray 610 than an axis A4 defined by the rail 705 (FIG. 23). This configuration, in combination with the shape of the slots 710, causes the front lip 625 of the tray 610 to drop and re -orient the tray 610 from a horizontal orientation to an oblique orientation as the tray 610 and the hinge support 690 move from the retracted position toward the deployed position. Further, as the front lip 625 of the tray 610 drops, the elevation of the rail 705 within the housing 650 increases as the slots 710 curve upward. In an alternative embodiment of the device holder 600, the tray 610 may be configured to rotate freely with respect to the hinge support 690 when in the deployed position rather than its rotation being confined by the shape of the slots 710.

[0081] With reference to FIG. 22, the illustrated mobile device holder 600 also includes a latch mechanism 765 for holding the tray 610 and the hinge support 690 in the retracted position. In some embodiments of the mobile device holder 600, the latch mechanism 765 is a push-push latch 765. The push-push latch 765 operates such that when the hinge support 690 is initially pushed into the push-push latch 765, the latch 765 will engage the hinge support 690 to hold it (and therefore the tray 610) in place. Pushing the tray 610 and the hinge support 690 a second time against the push-push latch 765 will release the hinge support 690, allowing it and the tray 610 to move toward the deployed position due to the force of the recoiling spring. Alternatively, other latch mechanisms may be used to retain the tray 610 and the hinge support 690 in either the deployed or retracted positions. Alternatively, the mobile device holder 600 may include a plurality of detents (not shown) for holding the hinge support 690 and the tray 610 in various positions, such that the latch mechanism 765 and/or spring may be not needed. For example, detents may be engageable by a portion of either the hinge support 690 or the tray 610 as it moves within the slots 710, such that the hinge support 690 and the tray 610 may be held in various positions between the retracted and deployed positions. Further, detents may be used to maintain the tray 610 in predetermined oblique orientations relative to the hinge support 690.

[0082] In operation of the mobile device holder 600, when it is desired to display the mobile device 102, the user presses the face plate 640, thereby releasing the push-push latch 765 and permitting the spring to recoil and pull the hinge support 690 and the tray 610 toward the deployed position (FIGS. 21 and 24). In an embodiment of the holder 600 in which the spring is omitted, the user alternatively pulls on a knob, handle, or the face plate 640 to move the hinge support 690 and the tray 610 into the deployed position. As the hinge support 690 moves toward the deployed position, the tray 610 automatically pivots or drops into an oblique deployed position under the influence of gravity in a manner dictated by the shape of the slots 710. Once the hinge support 690 and the tray 610 are in the deployed position, the user places the mobile device 102 in the tray 610 for viewing or storage. In alternative embodiments of the device holder 600 in which the slots 710 are omitted, the tray 610 may be deployed and initially remain in a horizontal orientation. Internal friction in the hinges 695 may be sufficiently high to hold the tray 610 and the device 102 in the horizontal orientation. The user can then set the tray 610 to a desired oblique orientation by manually manipulating the angular position of the tray 610. The tray 610 may thereafter be held in the oblique orientation by the internal friction in the hinges 695. By allowing the user to manually set the tray 610 in the desired oblique orientation, glare may be reduced for optimal viewing.

[0083] To return the tray 610 to the retracted position, the face plate 640 is pushed until the hinge support 690 latches with the push-push latch 765 in the retracted position. Due to the shape of the slots 170, the tray 610 is automatically pivoted to a substantially horizontal orientation in response to the application of a linear force applied to the face plate 640. In alternative embodiments of the device holder 600 in which the slots 170 are omitted, the user manually lifts the tray 610 until it is substantially horizontal before pushing on the face plate 640. The mobile device 102 may remain in the tray 610 when it is returned to the retracted position for storing the mobile device 102, or the mobile device 102 may be removed from the tray 610 prior to closing.

[0084] In some alternative embodiments of the mobile device holder 600, the tray 610 may fully or partially engage with the storage bin 605 (FIGS. 20 and 21) to at least partially enclose or conceal the storage area of the bin 605 when in the deployed position. In such embodiments, the tray 610 can act as both a cradle for holding the mobile device 102 and as a lid for the storage bin 605. Furthermore, the lid or tray 610 may be latchable or lockable in the deployed position to close the bin 605.

[0085] FIGS. 26-27b illustrate a mobile device holder 800 in accordance with other embodiments of the invention. The mobile device holder 800 is situated within a bin 805 of the center console of a vehicle, and includes a tray or cradle 810 for supporting the mobile device 102. The cradle 810 moves between a retracted position (FIGS. 26 and 26a) in which a mobile device 102 may be placed on the cradle 810 and is inaccessible for view, and a deployed position (FIGS. 27-27b) in which the mobile device 102 on the cradle 810 is accessible for view. With reference to FIG. 27, the illustrated cradle 810 includes an aperture 820 through which an electronic cord is received for use with the mobile device 102.

[0086] The illustrated cradle 810 includes a front lip 825 (FIGS . 27-27b) to prevent the mobile device 102 from sliding off the cradle 810 when in the deployed position. The cradle 810 also includes a soft lining 830 to prevent scratching or damage to the mobile device 102. The cradle 810 further at least partially defines a storage space 835 (FIG. 26a) for enclosing the mobile device 102 when the cradle 810 is in the retracted position.

[0087] The cradle 810 may be pivotable about a fixed axis within the bin 805 when moving between the retracted and deployed positions. Alternatively, the mobile device holder 800 may include a linkage assembly (not shown) that both rotates and translates the cradle 810, as shown in FIG. 27b, to move the cradle 810 (and therefore the mobile device 102) farther out of the bin 805 and closer to the vehicle's passengers for better visibility of the mobile device 102 as well as to maximize the remaining storage volume of the bin 805. For example, the mobile device holder 800 may include a translating pivot axis, such as a pin connection attached to a roller within a track, to facilitate both rotation and translation of the cradle 810 as it moves between the retracted position and the deployed position. Other methods to rotate and translate the cradle 810 may also be used.

[0088] The mobile device holder 800 of FIGS. 26-27b also includes a latch (not shown) for holding the cradle 810 in the retracted position and a button 815 (FIGS. 26 and 27) for releasing the latch. The illustrated mobile device holder 800 further includes a spring (e.g., a torsion spring) that biases the cradle 810 toward the deployed position (FIGS. 27), and a dampener (not shown) that controls the speed of the cradle 810 as it moves between the retracted and deployed positions. Alternatively, an over-center spring could be used to bias the cradle 810 to both the deployed and retracted positions without the need for the button 815.

[0089] In operation of the mobile device holder 800, when it is desired to display the mobile device 102, the user depresses the button 815 to release the latch and permit the spring to lower the cradle 810 to the deployed position (FIG. 27). Once in the deployed position, the user may place the mobile device 102 on the cradle 810 for viewing or storage. If the user wishes to move the cradle 810 back to the retracted position, the user manually lifts the cradle 810 until it latches in the retracted position (FIG. 26). The mobile device 102 may remain on the cradle 810 when it is returned to the retracted position for storing the mobile device 102, or the mobile device 102 may be removed from the cradle 810 prior to closing. Alternatively, the mobile device holder 800 may include a knob or a handle (not shown), rather than using the spring, for manually lowering the cradle 810 toward the deployed position.

[0090] While the mobile device holders 100, 300, 400, 500, 600, and 800 described herein are illustrated in either the dashboard or the center console of a vehicle, the mobile device holders 100, 300, 400, 500, 600, and 800 may also be located in other positions within the vehicle. In addition, some or all of the device holders may be oriented differently than described. The devices may be mounted upside down or sideways out of panels. The function of clamping surfaces and/or the cradles in any of the disclosed embodiments may be reversed or changed.

[0091] Various features and advantages of the invention are set forth in the following claims.

Claims

CLAIMS What is claimed is:
1. A mobile device holder for use in a vehicle interior, the holder comprising:
a cradle upon which a mobile device is supportable in an oblique orientation or an upright orientation;
a clamp member engageable with the mobile device to secure the mobile device on the cradle in the oblique orientation or the upright orientation;
a support member movable relative to the cradle between a raised position and a lowered position, the mobile device being maintained in the oblique orientation or the upright orientation by the support member in the raised position prior to engagement with the clamp member; and a biasing member for biasing the support member toward the raised position.
2. The mobile device holder of claim 1, wherein the cradle includes a cutout through which an electronic cord may pass for connection with the mobile device.
3. The mobile device holder of claim 1, wherein the clamp member is movable with respect to the cradle between a deployed position, in which the mobile device is secured on the cradle, and a retracted position.
4. The mobile device holder of claim 3, wherein the clamp member is pivotable about a fixed axis.
5. The mobile device holder of claim 3, further comprising a dampener to control movement of the clamp member between the deployed and retracted positions.
6. The mobile device holder of claim 3, wherein the biasing member is a first biasing member, and wherein the mobile device holder further comprises a second biasing member biasing the clamp member toward the retracted position.
7. The mobile device holder of claim 6, further comprising a latch mechanism for holding the clamp member in an open latched position, wherein the deployed position is between the open latched position and the retracted position.
8. The mobile device holder of claim 7, wherein the latch mechanism includes
a protrusion that is movable between a first position in which the clamp member is maintained in the open latched position, and a second position in which the clamp member is movable from the open latched position to the deployed position, and
an actuator coupled to the protrusion for moving the protrusion between the first position and the second position.
9. The mobile device holder of claim 8, wherein the protrusion is movable from the first position to the second position in response to the actuator being depressed.
10. The mobile device holder of claim 9, wherein the latch mechanism further comprises a link coupling the actuator and the protrusion, and wherein the link is linearly displaced in response to movement of the actuator.
11. The mobile device holder of claim 9, wherein the latch mechanism further comprises a third biasing member biasing the protrusion toward the first position, and wherein the protrusion is movable against the bias of the third biasing member when moving from the first position to the second position.
12. The mobile device holder of claim 9, wherein the protrusion is a first protrusion, and wherein the latch mechanism further comprises a second protrusion for maintaining the cover member in the retracted position.
13. The mobile device holder of claim 12, wherein the second protrusion is disengaged from the cover member when the first protrusion is moved to the second position.
14. The mobile device holder of claim 7, wherein the latch mechanism includes an inertia latch.
15. The mobile device holder of claim 1, wherein the support member includes a roller tip engageable with the mobile device when in the raised position, and wherein the roller tip is engageable by an underside of the clamp member upon removing the mobile device from the cradle and closing the clamp member.
16. The mobile device holder of claim 1, further comprising a latch mechanism for maintaining the support member in the lowered position.
17. A mobile device holder for use in a vehicle interior, the holder comprising:
a cradle upon which a mobile device is supportable in an oblique orientation or an upright orientation;
a clamp member engageable with the mobile device to secure the mobile device on the cradle in the oblique orientation or the upright orientation; and
a support member movable relative to the cradle between a raised position and a lowered position, the mobile device being maintained in the oblique orientation or the upright orientation by the support member in the raised position prior to engagement with the clamp member,
wherein the support member includes a roller tip engageable with the mobile device when in the raised position, and wherein the roller tip is engageable by an underside of the clamp member upon removing the mobile device from the cradle and closing the clamp member.
18. The mobile device holder of claim 17, further comprising a biasing member for biasing the support member toward the raised position.
19. The mobile device holder of claim 18, wherein the clamp member is movable with respect to the cradle between a deployed position, in which the mobile device is secured on the cradle, and a retracted position.
20. The mobile device holder of claim 19, wherein the clamp member is pivotable about a fixed axis.
21. The mobile device holder of claim 19, further comprising a dampener to control movement of the clamp member between the deployed and retracted positions.
22. The mobile device holder of claim 19, wherein the biasing member is a first biasing member, and wherein the mobile device holder further comprises a second biasing member biasing the clamp member toward the retracted position.
23. The mobile device holder of claim 22, further comprising a latch mechanism for holding the clamp member in an open latched position, wherein the deployed position is between the open latched position and the retracted position.
24. The mobile device holder of claim 23, wherein the latch mechanism includes
a protrusion that is movable between a first position in which the clamp member is maintained in the open latched position, and a second position in which the clamp member is movable from the open latched position to the deployed position, and
an actuator coupled to the protrusion for moving the protrusion between the first position and the second position.
25. The mobile device holder of claim 24, wherein the protrusion is movable from the first position to the second position in response to the actuator being depressed.
26. The mobile device holder of claim 25, wherein the latch mechanism further comprises a link coupling the actuator and the protrusion, and wherein the link is linearly displaced in response to movement of the actuator.
27. The mobile device holder of claim 25, wherein the latch mechanism further comprises a third biasing member biasing the protrusion toward the first position, and wherein the protrusion is movable against the bias of the third biasing member when moving from the first position to the second position.
28. The mobile device holder of claim 25, wherein the protrusion is a first protrusion, and wherein the latch mechanism further comprises a second protrusion for maintaining the cover member in the retracted position.
29. The mobile device holder of claim 28, wherein the second protrusion is disengaged from the cover member when the first protrusion is moved to the second position.
30. The mobile device holder of claim 23, wherein the latch mechanism includes an inertia latch.
31. The mobile device holder of claim 17, further comprising a latch mechanism for maintaining the support member in the lowered position.
32. The mobile device holder of claim 17, wherein the cradle includes a cutout through which an electronic cord may pass for connection with the mobile device.
33. A mobile device holder for use in a vehicle interior, the holder comprising:
a cradle upon which a mobile device is supportable in an oblique orientation or an upright orientation; and
a clamp member engageable with the mobile device to secure the mobile device in the oblique orientation or the upright orientation
wherein at least one of the cradle and the clamp member is movable relative to the other of the cradle and the clamp member between a deployed position for securing the mobile device between the cradle and the clamp member, and a retracted position.
34. The mobile device holder of claim 33, wherein the entire weight of the mobile device is supportable by the cradle.
35. The mobile device holder of claim 33, wherein the cradle is both translatable and pivotable between the deployed position and the retracted position.
36. The mobile device holder of claim 33, further comprising a housing having a first pair of slots for guiding movement of a first portion of the cradle relative to the housing, and a second pair of slots for guiding movement of a second portion of the cradle relative to the housing.
37. The mobile device holder of claim 33, wherein the clamp member is linearly translatable between the deployed position and the retracted position.
38. The mobile device holder of claim 33, further comprising a scissor linkage assembly for raising and lowering the clamp member between the deployed position and the retracted position, respectively.
39. The mobile device holder of claim 38, further comprising a latch mechanism for maintaining the scissor linkage assembly in an open latched position.
40. The mobile device holder of claim 33, wherein the clamp member includes an arm and a clamp block pivotably coupled to the arm.
41. The mobile device holder of claim 40, further comprising a latch mechanism for maintaining the arm in an open latched position.
PCT/US2014/060712 2013-10-15 2014-10-15 Mobile device holder WO2015057851A1 (en)

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