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Title:
DYNAMIC DISPLAY WINDSHIELD WIPER DEVICE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2012/027621
Kind Code:
A2
Abstract:
An embodiment includes a dynamic display device, coupled to a windshield wiper, that dynamically displays (a) one surface of a panel while the windshield wiper arm is stationary and (b) then, when the wiper arm moves, flips and displays an additional surface of the panel and another panel. The panel surfaces may include messages (written, pictorial, bumper stickers, images, displays, cartoons, advertisements, safety warnings, etc.) that consequently change when the panels flip during windshield wiper movement.

Inventors:
BYNUM, James D. (5645 Oak Blvd, Austin, Texas, 78735, US)
Application Number:
US2011/049245
Publication Date:
March 01, 2012
Filing Date:
August 25, 2011
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
BYNUM, James D. (5645 Oak Blvd, Austin, Texas, 78735, US)
International Classes:
B60Q9/00; B60R13/00; B60S1/02; G09F19/02; G09F21/04
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
RICHARDS, II, E.E. "Jack" (Trop, Pruner & Hu P.C.,1616 S. Voss Rd., Ste. 75, Houston Texas, 77057-2631, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
What is claimed is 1 . An apparatus comprising:

a first panel having a front side opposing a backside;

a second panel having a front side opposing a backside;

a pivot member coupling the first panel to the second panel; and

a connector to couple the second panel to a vehicular windshield wiper;

wherein (a) when the wiper is stationary and positioned along a first side of a windshield the backside of the first panel overlaps and faces the front side of the second panel, (b) when the wiper is stationary and positioned along a second side of the windshield the backside of the first panel is rotated about the pivot member, does not overlap the front side of the second panel, and faces away from the windshield. 2. The apparatus of claim 1 , wherein (a) the first panel includes first and second subpanels, and (b) when the wiper transitions from the first side to the second side the first subpanel rotates away from the second panel independently of the second subpanel. 3. The apparatus of claim 1 comprising:

a resilient member coupling a third panel to the second panel;

wherein (a) when the wiper transitions from the first side to the second side the third panel extends, via the resilient member, away from the second panel and (b) when the wiper has fully transitioned from the first side to the second side the third panel retreats, via the resilient member, back towards the second panel. 4. The apparatus of claim 1 , wherein when the wiper fully transitions back to the first side from the second side the backside of the first panel continues to face away from the windshield.

5. The apparatus of claim 1 comprising:

a rod coupled to the first panel;

wherein, based on the rod pivoting about its main long axis, when the wiper fully transitions back to the first side from the second side the backside of the first panel continues to face away from the windshield. 6. The apparatus of claim 1 comprising:

a rod coupled to the first panel; and

a projection coupled to the rod and received in a channel having first and second troughs;

wherein, based on the projection moving from the first trough to the second trough, when the wiper fully transitions back to the first side from the second side the backside of the first panel continues to face away from the windshield. 7. The apparatus of claim 1 comprising:

a weight slidably coupled to the first panel via a rod;

wherein the backside of the first panel is rotated about the pivot member based on the weight sliding along the rod while the wiper moves from the first side to the second side. 8. The apparatus of claim 1 , wherein when the wiper moves from the first side to the second side the wiper traverses an arc greater than 165 degrees. 9. An apparatus comprising:

a first panel coupled to a second panel;

a connector to couple the second panel to a vehicular windshield wiper;

wherein when the wiper sweeps, during a first sweep, across the windshield from a start point to an end point the first panel traverses away from the second panel.

10. The apparatus of claim 9, wherein when the wiper, during a second sweep, is finished sweeping back across the windshield from the end point to the start point the first panel remains traversed away from the second panel. 1 1 . The apparatus of claim 10, wherein, during a third sweep, when the wiper again sweeps across the windshield from the start point to the end point the first panel traverses towards the second panel. 12. The apparatus of claim 1 1 :

wherein, during a fourth sweep, when the wiper is again finished sweeping back across the windshield from the end point to the start point the first panel remains traversed towards the second panel;

wherein the first, second, third, and fourth sweeps have no intervening sweeps between them. 13. The apparatus of claim 10 comprising a projection to be received in a channel that is coupled to one of the first and second panels; wherein when the wiper, during the second sweep, is finished sweeping back across the windshield from the end point to the start point the first panel remains traversed away from the second panel based on the projection advancing within the channel. 14. The apparatus of claim 10 comprising:

a projection to be received in a channel, having first and second resting positions, that is coupled to one of the first and second panels;

wherein when the wiper, during the second sweep, is finished sweeping back across the windshield from the end point to the start point the first panel remains traversed away from the second panel based on the projection advancing from the first resting position to the second resting position.

15. The apparatus of claim 9 comprising:

a weight slidably coupled to the first panel via a rod;

wherein when the wiper sweeps, during the first sweep, across the windshield from the start point to the end point the first panel traverses away from the second panel based on the weight sliding along the rod. 16. A method comprising:

providing an apparatus comprising a first panel having a front side opposing a backside; a second panel having a front side opposing a backside; and a pivot member coupling the first panel to the second panel;

coupling the apparatus to a vehicular windshield wiper;

sweeping the wiper from a first location of a windshield to a second location of the windshield while simultaneously moving the first panel away from the second panel;

wherein (a) when the wiper is in the first location the backside of the first panel faces the windsheild, and (b) when the wiper is in the second location the backside of the first panel faces away from the windshield. 17. The method of claim 16 including sweeping the wiper from the second location to the first location, wherein when the wiper fully transitions back to the first location the backside of the first panel continues to face away from the windshield. 18. The method of claim 16:

wherein the apparatus includes a rod coupled to the first panel;

the method further comprising sweeping the wiper from the second location to the first location;

wherein, based on the rod pivoting about its main long axis, when the wiper fully transitions back to the first location from the second location the backside of the first panel continues to face away from the windshield.

19. The method of claim 16:

wherein the apparatus includes a rod coupled to the first panel and a projection coupled to the rod and received in a channel having first and second troughs;

the method further comprising sweeping the wiper from the second location to the first location;

wherein, based on the projection moving from the first trough to the second trough, when the wiper fully transitions back to the first location from the second location the backside of the first panel continues to face away from the windshield. 20. The method of claim 16 wherein the apparatus includes a weight slidably coupled to the apparatus via a rod; the method further comprising simultaneously moving the first panel away from the second panel and sliding the weight along the rod. 21 . The method of claim 16 wherein moving the first panel away from the second panel includes rotating the first panel away from the second panel.

Description:
DYNAMIC DISPLAY WINDSHIELD WIPER DEVICE

Background

[0001 ] Vehicle operators use "bumper stickers", window decals, and banners to display messages to others, such as other vehicle drivers, pedestrians, and the like. Such messages may pertain to safety, humor, politics, or generally provide information to the reader. However, these devices face limitations. Banners or flags are noisy, intrusive, and may adversely affect aerodynamics for the vehicle. Decals and bumper stickers may require adhesive to adhere to a car surface (e.g., bumper, window, painted auto panel). Also, bumper stickers hold a single message that must fit within the confines of the sticker's outer surface. To add more messages, a user must add bumper stickers. Furthermore, a bumper sticker message is limited in that there is little to no anticipation or further elaboration. Once a reader reads the message, the "delivery" is complete and there is no follow-up message (e.g., punch line).

Brief Description Of The Drawings

[0002] Features and advantages of embodiments of the present invention will become apparent from the appended claims, the following detailed description of one or more example embodiments, and the corresponding figures.

Figure 1 includes a device in a stationary/closed position in an

embodiment.

Figure 2 includes a device in an open position in an embodiment.

Figures 3 and 4 show side views in stationary/closed and open positions in an embodiment.

Figure 5 includes the rear edge while stationary/closed in an embodiment.

Figure 6 includes the front edge while stationary/closed in an embodiment.

Figure 7 includes a bottom as seen when an embodiment of the device is unattached to a vehicle. Figure 8 includes an exploded view of an embodiment of the invention.

Figure 9 includes an axonometric view of an embodiment in a stationary/closed configuration.

Figure 10 includes an axonometric view of an embodiment in an open configuration.

Figure 1 1 includes a stationary/closed position displaying an outer display surface.

Figure 12 includes a side view of the same.

Figure 13 includes an open position displaying inner display surfaces.

Figure 14 includes a side view of the same.

Figure 15 includes an embodiment of an action sequence from a closed/stationary position through a full sweep (e.g., crossing the windshield from one side to another side) of the wiper arm and a return sweep.

Figures 16 a, b, c include various perspectives of a stationary/closed configuration in an embodiment.

Figures 17 a, b, c include various perspectives of an open configuration in an embodiment.

Figures 18 a, b, c, d include various perspectives of a stationary/closed configuration in an embodiment.

Figures 18 e, f include various perspectives of an open configuration in an embodiment.

Figures 18 g, h include a catch rod in various rotated configurations in an embodiment.

Figures 19 a, b, c include various perspectives of a swivel embodiment. Detailed Description

[0003] In the following description, numerous specific details are set forth.

However, it is understood that embodiments of the invention may be practiced without these specific details. Well-known structures and techniques have not been shown in detail to avoid obscuring an understanding of this description. References to "one embodiment", "an embodiment", "example embodiment", "various

embodiments" and the like indicate the embodiment(s) so described may include particular features, structures, or characteristics, but not every embodiment necessarily includes the particular features, structures, or characteristics. Further, some embodiments may have some, all, or none of the features described for other embodiments. Also, as used herein "first", "second", "third" describe a common object and indicate that different instances of like objects are being referred to. Such adjectives are not intended to imply the objects so described must be in a given sequence, either temporally, spatially, in ranking, or in any other manner. Also, the terms "coupled" and "connected," along with their derivatives, may be used. In particular embodiments, "connected" may be used to indicate that two or more elements are in direct physical or electrical contact with each other and "coupled" may mean that two or more elements co-operate or interact with each other, but they may or may not be in direct physical or electrical contact.

[0004] An embodiment includes a dynamic display device, coupled to a windshield wiper, that dynamically displays (a) one surface of a panel while the windshield wiper arm is stationary and (b) then, when the wiper arm moves, flips and displays an additional surface of the panel and, possibly, displays another panel (or panels). The panel surfaces may include messages (e.g., written, pictorial, bumper stickers, images, displays, cartoons, advertisements, safety warnings, etc.) that consequently change when the panels flip during windshield wiper movement.

[0005] Figures 1 -15 include various embodiments of the invention. For example, bottom piece 10 (which includes Surface B) attaches to windshield wiper arm 35 (e.g., a rear windshield wiper arm) with connectors (e.g., zip ties, wire, string, cable, cord, elastic band, rope, screws, binding, harness, shackle, strap, and the like) and, in one embodiment, does not require adhesive that may damage a vehicle's finish. Figures 1 and 2 illustrate an embodiment that includes three message surfaces: surface A (5), surface B (10), and surface C (15). Figure 15 illustrates how the device initially displays Surface A (5) in the stationary/closed configuration (Figure 15a), and then opens or flips to reveal Surfaces B (10) and C (15) in the open configuration (Figure 15d), and then returns to the stationary/closed configuration (Figure 15g). Surfaces B and C allow for further elaboration of the message initially shown on Surface A. The opening or flipping may be due to, for example, gravity and/or inertia.

[0006] There are many embodiments of this "further elaboration of the message." For example, Surface A (5) may include "Drive Safely", Surface B (10) may include "When Raining", and Surface C (15) may include an image of rain drops. As another example, Surface A (5) may include "Drink More", Surface B (10) may include "Acme Brand Milk", and Surface C (15) may include an image of a cow. As a further example, Surface A (5) may include "Go Tigers", Surface B (10) may include "Beat the Giants", and Surface C (15) may include an image of a football. As yet another example, Surface A (5) may include "When in doubt", Surface B (10) may include "Tell the truth", and Surface C (15) may include an image of the author.

[0007] Various embodiments may include different shapes and styles for the display surfaces. A panel itself may have a rectangular, square, circular, oval, polygonal perimeter and the like. In an embodiment Surface A (5) may include an image of a fish pointing to the right, Surface B (10) may include an image of the same fish pointing to the left, and Surface C (15) may include an image of a larger fish pointing to the left and chasing the smaller fish. To heighten the message, the device could be used in conjunction with vinyl stickers placed on the rear windshield. For example, vinyl stickers of ripples on water may be included on the left and right sides of the rear windshield so that the fish on Surfaces A (5) , B (10), and C (15) appear to be diving into water as the wiper moves back and forth across the windshield wiper.

[0008] In an embodiment, the device could have different opening and closing actions. For example, in Figure 8 the device may use a detent (not shown) in conjunction with the pivot member (e.g., hinge) 61 that couples the top piece to the bottom piece. The detent may mechanically resist the rotation of the top and/or bottom piece until a certain threshold is met. For example, coupled to the hinge may be a wheel, axle, or spindle including ridges. The ridges can be used to intentionally divide rotation of, for example, the top piece into discrete increments. Thus, when forces (e.g., gravitational and/or inertial forces) exceed a threshold force the top piece may rotate about the hinge. Detents may also prevent insufficient force (e.g., force from a cross breeze or wind) from rotating the top piece. The detent system may work in an equivalent fashion when the wiper moves back across the

windshield.

[0009] Figure 8 includes an embodiment whereby the top piece is severed into two pieces (i.e., top piece 15' and top piece 15") at the dashed "cut line." Assuming the device is mounted to the wiper such that top piece 15" is mounted closer to the wiper pivot (which pivots the entire wiper across the windshield) than top piece 15', top piece 15' may "flip" sooner or later than top piece 15". In other words, top piece 15' may experience greater forces, due to greater speed and acceleration

experienced further away from the wiper pivot, than top piece 15" considering top piece 15' has a longer radius or distance from the wiper pivot. These greater forces may cause top piece 15' to flip sooner or later than top piece 15".

[0010] For example, as explained herein a detent system or mechanism may be used. Top piece 15' and top piece 15" may respectively have different detents. If each detent has the same threshold force needed to allow a member to pivot, then top piece 15' may pivot sooner or later than top piece 15" due to the unequal forces each piece experiences. Whether top piece 15' pivots sooner or later depends on how the device rotates about the pivot and how the device attaches to the pivot. For example, different weights may be coupled to top pieces 15' and 15" to change the forces each experiences. Also, different detents with different threshold forces may be used for top pieces 15' and 15". In addition, as seen in Figure 15, momentum for top piece 15' to stay closed may be greater than that of top piece 15". This may cause top piece 15' to flip later than top piece 15".

[001 1 ] Please note that Figure 8 (without dashed "cut line") includes a different embodiment than Figure 8 (with dashed "cut line"). [0012] In an embodiment, changing the speed of the wiper may affect display device operation. For example, at a high wiper rate flipping may occur later than with a low wiper rate (or vice versa). Also, with an embodiment such as the embodiment discussed above regarding top pieces 15' and 15", the higher wiper rate may force top piece 15' to flip later in the wiper rotation than top piece 15" (or vice versa), due to differing amounts of momentum and/or inertia.

[0013] Figure 10 includes an alternative embodiment whereby spoiler or "fairing" 30 attaches to a portion of the top piece to alter the "hold down" force in one wiper direction and "flip" force in the opposite wiper direction. If the top piece is divided into top piece 15' and top piece 15", and only top piece 15" is coupled to a spoiler, this may also be used to vary the flip location of top piece 15' in relation to top piece 15".

[0014] Please note that Figure 10 (without dashed "cut line") includes a different embodiment than Figure 10 (with dashed "cut line").

[0015] Figure 13 includes an embodiment of the invention that utilizes radial force (i.e., centrifugal force or elements thereof that help project member 40 radially out from a pivoting member that is moving in an arc). For example, extension "Surface D" (40) may couple to spring 45. As the wiper advances across the windshield, radial force increases and projects Surface D (40) radially from Surface B (10). When the wiper completes its transit across the windshield and comes to a rest, even if the rest is only momentary, the spring recoils in light of the non-existent or lessened radial force and Surface D (40) hides fully or partially behind Surface B (10). Surface D (40) may have any message or image in a manner similar to Surfaces A (5), B (10), and/or C (15).

[0016] Please note that Figure 13 (without dashed spring and extension) includes a different embodiment than Figure 10 (with dashed spring and extension).

[0017] The top and bottom pieces may be made from plastic, but other materials may be used as well. Also, the display surfaces could have different compositions such as, for example, dry erase-type surfaces so that messages may be easily changed. Also, embodiments are not limited to back windshield wipers but may also couple to front windshield wipers, headlight wipers, and the like. Such display devices may be smaller than rear wiper coupled devices to limit visual obstructions for the vehicle driver. Also, the display device is not limited to wiper systems that pivot about a wiper pivot located at the bottom of the windshield. For example, some rear windshield wipers pivot about a wiper pivot located at the top of the rear windshield. Further still, vehicles are not limited to cars or trucks but may also include boats, motorcycles, and the like.

[0018] Thus, in an embodiment a display device attaches via plastic cable ties to the armature of a rear window wiper on a passenger car or truck. The device does not obstruct the wiping blade functionality. The device remains in a closed state until the wiper is activated and remains in the closed state as the wiper swings out. Then, the device flips to the open state as the wiper returns to the starting/off position.

[0019] In an embodiment, a first panel (e.g., top piece of Figure 8) has a frontside opposing a backside, a second panel (e.g., bottom piece of Figure 8) having a frontside opposing a backside; a pivot member (e.g., hinge) coupling the first panel to the second panel; and a connector (e.g., zip tie) to couple the second panel to a vehicular windshield wiper. When the windshield wiper is stationary and positioned along a side (e.g., left side) of a windshield the backside 15 of the first panel overlaps and faces the frontside 10 of the second panel. Thus, as seen in Figure 15, Surface A 5 of the first panel is showing away from the windshield and Surface B 15 of the first panel is hidden. However, when the windshield wiper is positioned along the other of the left and ride sides of the windshield (e.g., right side) the backside of the first panel is rotated and flips about the pivot member. Thus, Surface B 10 now does not overlap the frontside of the second panel (i.e., Surface C (15)), and faces away from the windshield. Now Surface A 5 of the first panel is hidden and faces towards the windshield.

[0020] Also, as seen in Figure 15a, a device is provided including a first panel (e.g., top piece), a second panel (e.g., bottom piece), a pivot member coupling the first panel to the second panel; and a connector coupling the second panel to a vehicular windshield wiper. The user has positioned the windshield wiper along the left side of the windshield so that the backside of the first panel overlaps with the second panel and the front side (5) of the first panel (e.g., Surface A) displays a first message away from the windshield. In Figure 15d the user has positioned the windshield wiper along the ride side of the windshield so that the backside of the first panel (e.g., Surface B (10)) is rotated about the pivot member, does not overlap the frontside of the second panel, faces away from the windshield, and displays a second message away from the windshield while the front side (5) of the first panel no longer displays a first message away from the windshield. Figures 15b and c illustrate the transition and flipping of the top piece about the bottom piece. Figures 15 e, f, g show the process reversing itself.

[0021 ] Figures 16 a-c and 17 a-c include an embodiment that uses deflector 60 to help adjust when the "top piece" flips about the "bottom piece." The labels "top piece" and "bottom piece" refer to the positioning of panels as shown in Figure 8. The top portion of the deflector, beginning at deflector angle 55, projects away from the panels (see Figures 16 a and b). In Figure 16c the deflector has deflector arms that fit into retention holes. By inserting deflector arms into hole 1601 (and its mirror hole), little of the deflector 60 projects above the bottom piece. Thus, the top piece more quickly meets the top of the deflector. In so doing, the panel is more prone to flip closed and less prone to be stuck in an opened or flipped position.

[0022] In contrast, by inserting deflector arms into hole 1602 (and its mirror hole), more of the deflector 60 projects above the bottom piece. Thus, the top piece meets the top of the deflector in a more delayed fashion (as compared to the above example). In so doing, the panel is given less incentive to flip closed (as compared to placing the deflector arm in hole 1601 and its mirror hole) but still less prone to be stuck in an opened or flipped position (as compared to when using no deflector). Figures 17 a - c show different perspectives of the device of Figures 16 a - c, but with top piece in a flipped or open position. The use of the deflector may help a user adjust flip positions for the top piece as may be necessary to mount the device to windshield wipers that vary in how they orient to the vehicle and the wiping surface (e.g., windshield).

[0023] Figures 18 a, b, c, d include various perspectives of a stationary/closed configuration in an embodiment. Figures 18 e, f include various perspectives of an open configuration in an embodiment. Figures 18 g, h include a catch rod in various rotated configurations in an embodiment. Specifically, when mounted to a

windshield wiper face 105 is visible. When in a flipped open configuration faces 1 10 and 1 15 are visible to a viewer looking towards the vehicle. Deflector 108 helps control the swing or rotation of the top plate (with surfaces 105 and 1 15). As with other embodiments, deflector 108 may be adjustable with various degrees of freedom (e.g., moveable among different positions in a vertical direction, moveable among different positions in a horizontal direction, movable among different positions as rotated about the long axis and/or horizontal axis of the top plate). Weight 106 helps ensure the top surface flips appropriately. Weight 106 slides along bar 107. In a closed the position (Figure 18a) weight 106 is low and in an open position (Figure 18e) weight 106 is high. Thus, weight 106 and deflector 108 cooperate to facilitate proper opening and closing of the top panel (with surfaces 105 and 1 15). In the open position, surface 105 may face inwards towards the vehicle interior while panels 1 10, 1 15 face outward away from the vehicle and towards a viewer.

[0024] In an embodiment catch rod 1 1 1 is used (with or without weight 106 depending on the embodiment). As best seen in Figures 18 g and h, catch rod 1 1 1 may be used to prolong exposure of device in the open position. For example, catch rod 1 1 1 allows the device to go from a closed position, rotate 180 degrees, and transition to the open position. The device may then "return sweep" back 180 degrees in the open position. However, upon return to the starting position, the device is still in the open position. Then, when the wiper again sweeps 180 degrees (already in the open position) the device then transfers to the closed position. The device again performs a "return sweep" of 180 degrees, but this time the return sweep is performed in the closed position. Consequently, in the starting position (e.g., when the wiper is on the left side of the windshield) the device spends half of the time in the closed position (showing panel 105) and half the time or iterations in the open position (showing panels 1 10 and 1 15).

[0025] Mechanism 1 1 1 helps enable these prolonged and alternating views by routing projection or guidance member 1 14 within channel 135, which is located between upper member 1 12 and lower member 1 13. Rod 1 16 rotates about axis 1 17 (the long axis of rod 1 16) based on the forces experienced by the device as it is swung through its travel arc across the windshield, thereby being turned upside down in the process. In an embodiment, channel 135 has troughs with varying heights such as height 1 18 and height 1 19. Rod 1 16 slides vertically along axis 1 17, so member 1 14 slides from position 121 and into position 122 (note how exposed rod portion 126 in Figure 18g is larger than exposed rod portion 127 in Figure 18h). Position 122 includes a deflection surface that drives member 1 14 to the left

(clockwise) towards position 123 and eventually to position 124. Thus, when member 1 14 is at position 121 the device may be closed and when member 1 14 is at position 124, the device may be open. Figure 18e shows member 1 14 transitioning to position 124 where it will hold the panels open until another wiper sweep inverts pole 1 16 and member 1 14 transitions clockwise away from position 124.

[0026] While specific implementations are described above, other embodiments may vary and call for an open position when member 1 14 is at location 121 . Other embodiments may also implement different mechanisms that allow the device to maintain an open position for longer periods of time. For example, Figure 18g shows an example where the device is open every other complete sweep cycle (where a complete sweep cycle is shown in Figures 15 a - g). However, if one desires the device to be open two of every three complete cycles channel 135 could be modified so for every one trough at height 1 19, such a trough is followed by two troughs at height 1 18. So rod 1 16 would rotate to a position at height 1 19 for complete cycle (Position 1 ), then a position at height 1 18 for a complete cycle (Position 2), and then another position at height 1 18 (Position 3).

[0027] An embodiment may include a push latch or touch latch that upon an initial force (e.g., Figures 15 a-d) the panels are latched into an open configuration. These latched position is maintained until a similar force is again applied (e.g., Figure g) wherein the latch is release, thereby allowing the device to return to a closed configuration when the device returns to the original position (e.g., Figure 15a).

[0028] An embodiment includes a kit that includes the device with multiple panels, weight 106, rod 107 and a device having channel 135. However, additional channel devices could be part of the kit (or in addition to the kit). The different assortment of channel devices may allow the user to pick from embodiment that allow the panel to be open for 1 , 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 complete sweep cycles.

[0029] Other kits may include a series of messages. For example, if a user's favorite athletics team plays in a conference along with nine other teams, a kit may include a panel for each team in the conference. A user with the kit could affix his favorite team to panel 5, attach a panel that says "beat" to surface 10, and insert a panel with the favorite team's opponent of the week on panel 15. The panels could slide into grooves respectively located on panels 5, 10, and 15.

[0030] Embodiments are not restricted to wipers that are located at the bottom of the windshield as shown in Figure 15. For example, embodiments are also suitable for wipers that are located atop a windshield. Various assortments of devices (e.g., deflector 60, weight 106, pivot assembly 1 1 1 ) still allow a device to open and close even if the sweep is inverted from that shown in Figure 15.

[0031 ] In certain scenarios, embodiments described herein may be mounted "upside down" with satisfactory results. Also, panels affixed to surfaces 5, 10, 15 may be affixed "upside down" if need be. Thus, devices are appropriate for wipers that rest on the left of a windshield, on the right of a windshield, or somewhere in between.

[0032] Furthermore, some embodiments (e.g., Figure 15) work with sweep arcs greater than 165 degrees, such as arcs of 180 degrees. However, such full arcs are not required for all embodiments. For example, other embodiments may work with arcs of 50, 70, 90, 1 10, 130, 150 degrees and the like. As an example, a wiper could sweep starting at 45 degrees from the horizontal and sweep to 135 degrees (a "V" shape area) from that same reference point. With still another example, the start position may be at the vertical. However, the actual working sweep starts at about 20 degrees from the horizontal and goes to 160 degrees from the same reference point. In embodiments using weight 106, for example, the weight will close the top panel as the wiper returns to vertical. Mechanism 1 1 1 works in such a scenario as well. [0033] Also, for instances with windshields that are non-vertical (e.g., severely- sloped towards the horizontal) a shim, wedge, or slanted mounted bracket may be used to orient the device in a nearly vertical position (even if the wiper itself is more flatly oriented).

[0034] In some embodiments, the location of the deflection member 160 may be adjusted to ensure proper function. In other embodiments, the value of the weight 106 (e.g., a heavier weight) and/or position of the weight and rod 107 may be adjusted to ensure proper flipping. In fact, kits may be provided that include various weights that a user may exchange to generate proper flipping for the particular arc and/or incline of his or her windshield wiper.

[0035] Figures 19 a, b, c include various perspectives of a swivel embodiment. Front panel 205 is a suitable display a message of the user's choosing. Back side 210 affixes to a wiper element using, for example, connector 21 1 . Connector 21 1 may include a pivot. Furthermore, ball bearings 215, 216, 217 may be located at the bottom of the device. Thus, as a wiper moves through its sweep arc the weighted ball bearings act to keep the bottom of the device closest to the ground (due to gravitation pull) despite the changing orientation of the wiper with respect to the ground. Depending on the speed of the wiper (e.g., wiper blade speed) and resistance of pivot 21 1 , the device may still have some "play" so there is some jiggling/rotating/oscillation despite the weights' "pull" on the device to the "upright" position.

[0036] Thus, various embodiments are described above.

[0037] One embodiment includes a first panel having a front side opposing a backside and a second panel having a front side opposing a backside. When the wiper is positioned along a first side of a windshield (e.g., the left half of a

windshield) the backside of the first panel overlaps and faces the front side of the second panel. When the wiper is stationary and positioned along a second side of the windshield (e.g., the top half of the windshield, the right half of the windshield, the bottom half of the windshield, and the like) the backside of the first panel is rotated about the pivot member, does not overlap the front side of the second panel, and faces away from the windshield. An embodiment may include a weight slidably coupled to the first panel via a rod. Moving the first panel away from the second panel may be based on the weight sliding along the rod while the wiper moves from the first side to the second side.

[0038] An embodiment includes a first panel that includes first and second subpanels. When the wiper transitions from the first side to the second side of the windshield the first subpanel rotates away from the second panel independently of the second subpanel. The second subpanel may remain still or unflipped, may flip on only intermittent sweeps, may flip every time the first subpanel flips but may initiate its flip slightly before or after the first subpanel flips.

[0039] An embodiment may include a resilient member coupling a third panel to the second panel. When the wiper transitions from the first side to the second side the third panel extends, via the resilient member (e.g., spring), away from the second panel (e.g., from being hidden between the second panel and windshield wiper to peeking out from behind the second panel and being exposed to viewers outside the vehicle). When the wiper has fully transitioned from the first side to the second side the third panel retreats, via the resilient member, back towards the second panel. For example, this allows for a "peek-a-boo" embodiment.

[0040] Embodiments may include a pin wheel attached to a panel or member (e.g., member 40) that rotates in wind.

[0041 ] Embodiments may provide that when the wiper fully transitions back to the first side from the second side the backside of the first panel continues to face away from the windshield. This feature may be based (e.g., fully or in part) on a rod pivoting about its main long axis. The feature may also be based on a projection moving from a first trough in a channel to a second trough in a channel.

[0042] Embodiments may include the wiper moving from the first side to the second side the wiper and, in doing so, traversing an arc greater than 165 degrees. However, smaller arcs of, for example, 90 degrees suffice in various embodiments. Also, the midpoint of the sweep arc need not be centered on the windshield but may be offset from the center. [0043] Embodiments may include a first panel coupled to a second panel. When the wiper sweeps, during a first sweep, across the windshield from a start point to an end point the first panel traverses away from the second panel. Thus, the first panel may flip away from the second panel, project out from the second panel, extend out from the second panel, pivot about the second panel, and generally transition so that a viewer outside the vehicle gets a different image/message based on the wiper moving about the windshield.

[0044] While the present invention has been described with respect to a limited number of embodiments, those skilled in the art will appreciate numerous

modifications and variations therefrom. It is intended that the appended claims cover all such modifications and variations as fall within the true spirit and scope of this present invention.