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Title:
HAIR CARE APPLIANCE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/042158
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Disclosed is a hand held appliance comprising a handle and a user interface comprising at least one user operated button wherein the handle has an elliptical cross section having a major axis and a minor axis wherein the user interface is provided on a first vertex of the major axis and the handle additionally comprises a further user operated button and the further user operated button is provided on a second vertex of the major axis. The appliance may further comprise an attachment for connection to the handle wherein the further user operated button operates a mechanism for removing the attachment from the handle. The user interface may comprise three user operated buttons which may be arranged in a triangular configuration, each of the three user operated buttons may be disposed at a vertex of the triangle.

Inventors:
THOMPSON, Daniel (Dyson Technology Limited, Tetbury Hill, Malmesbury wiltshire SN16 0RP, SN16 0RP, GB)
COULTON, Robert (Dyson Technology Limited, Tetbury Hill, Malmesbury Wiltshire SN16 0RP, SN16 0RP, GB)
Application Number:
GB2017/052433
Publication Date:
March 08, 2018
Filing Date:
August 17, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
DYSON TECHNOLOGY LIMITED (Tetbury Hill, Malmesbury Wiltshire SN16 0RP, SN16 0RP, GB)
International Classes:
A45D1/00; A45D2/00; A45D6/00; A45D20/12
Domestic Patent References:
WO2016097682A12016-06-23
Foreign References:
JP2009028436A2009-02-12
US20080178900A12008-07-31
US20020043003A12002-04-18
US5338917A1994-08-16
US20100005630A12010-01-14
US20120111357A12012-05-10
US6354305B12002-03-12
US8302324B12012-11-06
CN201263353Y2009-07-01
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FOWLER, Maria et al. (Intellectual Property Department, Dyson Technology Limited Tetbury Hill, Malmesbury Wiltshire SN16 0RP, SN16 0RP, GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A haircare appliance comprising a handle and a user interface comprising at least one user operated button wherein the handle has an elliptical cross section having a major axis and a minor axis wherein the user interface is provided on a first vertex of the major axis and the handle additionally comprises a further user operated button and the further user operated button is provided on a second vertex of the major axis. 2. An appliance according to claim 1, further comprising an attachment for connection to the handle wherein the further user operated button operates a mechanism for removing the attachment from the handle.

3. An appliance according to claim 1 or claim 2, wherein the user interface comprises three user operated buttons.

4. An appliance according to claim 3, wherein the three user operated buttons are arranged in a triangular configuration. 5. An appliance according to claim 4, wherein each of the three user operated buttons are disposed at a vertex of the triangle.

6. An appliance according to any of claims 3 to 5, wherein a second of the three user operated buttons comprises and on/off switch.

7. An appliance according to claim 5 or claim 6, wherein a second button is disposed at an apex of the triangle.

8. An appliance according to claim 7, wherein the second button is on a vertex of the user interface distal to the further user operated button.

9. An appliance according to any of claim 6 to 8, wherein a first and third of the three user operated buttons are radially spaced around the handle.

10. An appliance according to claim 9, wherein the first and third buttons form a base of the triangle.

11. An appliance according to any preceding claim, wherein the handle had a first end and a second end. 12. An appliance according to claim 11, further comprising an attachment for connection to the handle wherein the attachment attaches to the handle at the first end.

13. An appliance according to claim 12, wherein the further user operated button is adjacent the first end.

14. An appliance according to claim 12 or claim 13, wherein the user interface is longitudinally spaced from the first end of the handle.

15. An appliance according to claim 14, wherein the second button is distal to the first end of the handle.

16. An appliance according to claim 1, wherein the hair care appliance is a hot styling appliance.

Description:
HAIR CARE APPLIANCE

This invention relates to a handheld appliance and in particular to a hair care appliance such as a hot styling device.

In a conventional hot styling appliance, air is drawn into an inlet by a fan unit and directed towards the hair by an outlet. Often, one appliance is provided with different attachments, each having a different outlet configuration and thus a different function, for example drying, curling or volumising. Depending on the style desired, the air may or may not be heated. The attachment may include bristles onto which hair is wrapped and held for styling.

The appliance will have at least one user operated button which may be a push button or a sliding button. There is also generally a means for exchanging one attachment for another and whilst this can be achieved by twisting the attachment with respect to the head often, a there is a lock or catch to prevent inadvertent removal of the attachment during use. This lock or catch is frequently disengaged by a further user activated button allowing the user to remove an attachment when desired.

The invention provides a handheld appliance comprising a handle and a user interface comprising at least one user operated button. Preferably, the handle has an elliptical cross section having a major axis and a minor axis. In a preferred embodiment, the user interface is provided on a first vertex of the major axis Preferably, the handle additionally comprises a further user operated button and the further user operated button is provided on a second vertex of the major axis.

The major axis of the handle can be too large for some users to hold comfortably if the handle diameter were circular and the size of the major axis. The use of an elliptical handle gives the benefit of having the extra space provide by the major axis whilst still having a handle that is comfortable to hold. There is a balance between the ergonomics and the space for internal components.

In a preferred embodiment, the appliance further comprises an attachment for connection to the handle wherein the further user operated button operates a mechanism for removing the attachment from the handle.

Preferably, the user interface comprises three user operated buttons. In a preferred embodiment, the three user operated buttons are arranged in a triangular configuration. Thus, the user interface is triangular in configuration.

Preferably, each of the three user operated buttons are disposed at a vertex of the triangle. In a preferred embodiment, a second of the three user operated buttons comprises an on/off switch. Preferably, a first and third of the three user operated buttons control temperature and flow through the appliance respectively.

Preferably, a second button is disposed at an apex of the triangle. This distinguishes the on/off function and enables a user to identify this button easily. Preferably, the on/off button is a different size and or shape to the second and third buttons to further facilitate this.

In a preferred embodiment, the second button is on a vertex of the user interface distal to the further user operated button. When the further user operated button controls an attachment mechanism for the attachment, it is positioned adjacent the end of the handle to which the attachment is attached. Due to the elliptical shape of the handle it is natural for a user to orient the major axis into the web between the thumb and index finger. In this orientation, the index finger has considerably more reach than the thumb and can be used to access the further user operated button and the thumb is used to access the three user operated buttons. Preferably, the handle had a first end and a second end. In a preferred embodiment, the attachment attaches to the handle at the first end. Preferably, the further user operated button is adjacent the first end.

In a preferred embodiment, the user interface is longitudinally spaced from the first end of the handle. Preferably, the second button is distal to the first end of the handle.

Preferably, a second and third of the three user operated buttons are radially spaced around the handl e .

In a preferred embodiment, the first and third buttons form a base of the triangle.

Preferably, the appliance is a hair care appliance.

In a preferred embodiment, the hair care appliance is a hot styling appliance.

The invention will now be described by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings, of which:

Figures 1 shows an appliance on which a user interface according to the invention can be utilised;

Figures 2a and 2b show side views of a user interface with and without buttons respectively;

Figure 3 shows the radially inner surface of actuators according to the invention;

Figure 4 shows a cross section through part of an actuator according to the invention; Figure 5 shows a cross section through an alternative actuator according to the invention;

Figure 6 shows an isometric view of an actuator according to the invention;

Figure 7a shows a side view of a user interface with all buttons in the first position; Figure 7b shows a side view of a user interface with all buttons in the second position; Figure 7c shows a side view of a user interface with all buttons in the third position; Figure 8 shows a cross section through an appliance according to the invention; and Figure 9 shows a cross section through one of the buttons of the appliance.

Referring to Figure 1, an example of a hand held appliance 10 is shown. The appliance has a handle 210 and an attachment 20 for styling hair. In order to enable a user to create different styles and to give the appliance multi functionality, the attachment 20 is removable and can be replaced with an alternative attachment. In addition, the attachment 20 can be removed to allow easier storage of the appliance when not in use. The handle 210 includes a number of different user operated buttons 30, 138 enabling the user to select between a number of different heat and flow settings. The appliance includes a fan unit and heater (both not shown), in use the fan unit draws fluid in through a fluid inlet 212, optionally heats the fluid which is then emitted by the fluid outlet 22 in the attachment 20.

This appliance 10 has two different button arrangements for controlling the appliance. In this embodiment, both arrangements have three different settings but one

arrangement controls a single switch whereas the other controls two switches. A first button arrangement 30 is more suitable for controlling a parameter of the appliance such as heat or flow and this button type controls a single switch. The second button arrangement 130 is suitable for controlling two different aspects such as turning the appliance on and providing a cold shot function. Alternatively, the two different aspects could be temperature or flow with a cold shot function but these options are more restrictive as the cold shot could only be used with the highest or lowest of these functions and that may not always be appropriate.

Referring now to Figures 2a to 7c in particular, the first button arrangement 30 will be described. The first button arrangement 30 has a single switch 32 with a lever 36 movable between first 36a, second 36b and third 36c positions. An actuator 40 extends between a button 38 and the switch 32, the actuator 40 has a protrusion 42 for engaging with the button 38, the protrusion 42 is attached to an arm 44 which extends to the switch 32. The protrusion 42 is housed within a housing 46. The housing 46 has an aperture 48 through which the protrusion 42 extends. The housing 46 includes three detents 50 each one defining a position of the button 38, protrusion 42, arm 44 and lever 36. A ball 52 is adapted to move between the three detents 50 and a spring 54 biases the ball 52 into one of the three detents 50 until a further movement of the button 38 occurs. The spring 54 is at least partially housed within a recess 42a provided internal of the protrusion 42 thus as the button 38 is moved the ball 52 also moves between detents 50. At or near the distal end 44a of the arm 44 from the housing, a recess 56 is provided. The recess 56 is generally V-shaped and is adapted to house and retain the lever 36. In a first position 36a , the lever engages with an internal surface 58 of the recess 56. A second position 36b of the lever corresponds to a neutral position of the lever 36, where it sits within the recess 56 without being pushed or pulled; this is the middle button position. In a third position 36c, the lever engages with a second surface 60 of the recess 56. In the first and third positions, the lever 36 is retained in the position by the force applied by the spring 54 which biases ball 52 into a detent 50.

The button arrangement 30 additionally includes a button plate 62 which sits between the button 38 and the protrusion 42. The handle 210 has an outer wall 214 and in order for the button 38 to move or slide between each position, an aperture 216 is formed in the outer wall 214 which accommodates the sliding between three positions thus the aperture 216 is larger than the button 38. The button plate 62 is located inside the outer wall 214 and is sized to completely cover the aperture 216 regardless of the position of the button 38. The button plate 62 prevents direct ingress of debris into the handle 210.

The second button arrangement 130 will now be described; in this embodiment, components illustrated and already described in relation to the first button arrangement 30 have like reference numerals. The second button arrangement 130 has a first switch 132 and a second switch 150. In this example, the first switch 132 provides the off to on function and the second switch 150 provides a cold shot. When the second button 138 is in the off position as shown in Figure 7a neither the first switch 132 nor the second switch 150 are activated. When the second button 138 is moved one position, as shown in Figures 2a and 7b, a push button 134 provided on a surface of the first switch 132 is engaged and the appliance turns on.

A second actuator 140 extends between the second button 138 and the first switch 132. The second actuator 140 has a protrusion 42 for engaging with the second button 138. The protrusion 42 is housed within a second housing 146 . The second housing 146 has an aperture 48 through which the protrusion 42 extends. The second housing 146 includes two detents 50 each one defining a position of the second button 138 and a second arm 144. A ball 52 is adapted to move between the two detents 50 and a spring 54 is provided to bias the ball 52 into one of the two detents 50 until a further movement of the second button 138 occurs. The spring 54 is at least partially housed within a recess 42a provided internal of the protrusion 42 thus as the second button 138 is moved the ball 52 also moves between detents 50.

The second actuator 140 has a surface 158 for engaging with the push button 134, as the second button 138 is moved from the off position to the on position by a user, the second arm 144 moves and the surface 158 engages with the push button 134 and depresses the push button 134. The second button 138 can be moved to a third position but this third position is not defined by a detent, instead it is only effected when the user applies a pressure to the second button 138 when the second button 138 is in the second position. The distal end 140b of the actuator 140 from the first switch 132 is shaped to receive a spring 152. When a user pushes the second button 138 and protrusion 42 from the second position to the third position, the ball 52 moves out of the middle detent 50b and against the action of the spring 152. The second arm 144 has a second surface 160 formed near the arm end 144a distal from the second housing 146 and this second surface 160 engages with the second switch 150 when the second button 138 is pushed against the spring 152. The second switch 150 has a second lever 154 which is pushed from a neutral or free position when engaged by the second surface 160 and whilst the second lever 154 is out of this neutral position, the heater (not shown) is deactivated and a cold shot provided. The first switch 132 and the second switch 150 are longitudinally spaced and the push button 134 of the first switch 132 remains engaged when the second button 138 and protrusion 42 are moved to the third position.

The second arm 144 has a first side 156 and this first side 156 includes the surface 158 which engages with the push button 134. The second arm has a second side 162 and the second side includes the second surface 160. This is advantageous as when both switches are engaged, there is force applied to both sides of the second arm 144.

In this embodiment, the first button arrangement 30,30a is used twice, once for temperature settings and once for flow settings. Conveniently, the pair of first button arrangements 30, 30a are separated by the second button arrangement 130. This means the user has a small area on the outer wall 214 where all the controls for the product are situated. In order to assist the user, the second button 138 is larger than the first buttons 38 and is displaced along the outer wall 214 to form a triangular UI (user interface) 180 (Figure 2a). Over time the user will be able to identify the second button 138 by touch and change the setting without needing to see the UI. In the example shown (see Figure 8), all the switches are mounted into a substrate 70, for example a PCB (printed circuit board). Such substrates are usually flat, but so that the substrate 70 does not take up a significant proportion of the internal space in of the handle 210 in one embodiment the substrate is formed in two pieces 70a, 70b with a flexible portion 72 connecting the two parts. This enables the substrate 70 to be bent slightly into a V-shape which more closely follows the shape of the outer wall 214 of the handle 210. As the fluid flow path extends through the inside of the handle 210, bending the substrate 70 causes less restriction to fluid flowing inside the handle 210. The second arm 144 is positioned approximately centrally on the substrate, over the flexible portion 72 and engages the push button 134 on one side which corresponds to one piece 70a of the substrate 70. The second arm 144 engages the second switch 150 on the other side which corresponds to the other piece 70b of the substrate. Whilst the second arm 144 extends away from the second housing 146 in a first direction X-X which is parallel to a longitudinal axis A- A of the handle 210 it also extends in a second direction Y-Y substantially perpendicular to the first direction. This produces an reshaped profile near the distal end 144a of the second arm 144 from the second housing 46. The second direction Y-Y extends from the outer wall 214 towards the substrate 70. The L-shaped profile enables a single arm 144 to engage with both the first switch 132 and the second switch 150 across the bend of the substrate 70.

Referring now to Figure 9, in this embodiment, in addition to the UI having the user operated buttons 38, 138 a further button 100 is provided. This further button 100 operates an attachment mechanism (not shown) for retaining and releasing the attachment 20 with respect to the handle 210.

The outer wall 214 of the handle 210 is elliptical in cross-section. The handle 210 has a major axis B-B and a minor axis C-C. The major axis is the one having the larger radius and diameter. Having an elliptical handle 210 provides a number of benefits: it orients the handle 210 in a user's hand; and it provides increased space internal to the handle 210 compared to the circular equivalent of the minor axis. It is natural for a user to orient the major axis into the web between the thumb and index finger. The user operated buttons 38,138 and 100 are provided proximate the major axis enabling easy access by the thumb or index finger. In one embodiment, the further button 100 is diametrically opposite the second button 138. This has a number of advantages, it assists in orienting the user as to the orientation of the appliance in the user's hand, it balances the product and it is visually appealing.

The user interface 180 comprises a first button arrangement 30, 30a and a second button arrangement 130 and is provided at a first vertex 182 of the major axis B-B.

Specifically, in the embodiment shown, the second button arrangement 130 is provided on the first vertex 182 with each of the first button arrangements 30, 30a being radially offset one to each side of the first vertex 182 in order to form the triangular user interface 180. The second of the three user operated buttons comprises an on/off switch. Conveniently, the pair of first button arrangements are referred to as the first and third buttons and these control temperature and flow through the appliance respectively. Advantageously, the first and third buttons are longitudinally displaced from the second button and form a base of the triangular user interface. The second button 138 is positioned at the apex of the triangle.

The further user operated button 100 is provided on the second vertex 184 of the major axis B-B. The further user operated button 100 is therefore diametrically opposite the second button arrangement 130. The increased space internal to the handle 210 is achieved without the overall impression of the diameter of the handle 210 being significantly increased. The use of the ellipse masks the size of the major axis. Also, having a handle with a circular cross section the size of the major axis would be too large for many people to hold

comfortably. The user interface 180 is triangular and has one user operated button at each vertex of the triangle. As there are two of the first button arrangement 30, 30a, in one

embodiment the triangular user interface 180 is in the form of an isosceles triangle and the two first button arrangements are provided at a respective corner of the base of the triangle.

In one embodiment, the further user operated button 100 is longitudinally displaced from the user interface 180. One reason for this is that this further user operated button 100 operates an attachment mechanism by which attachments 20 are attached to and released from the handle 210 of the appliance 10 thus this mechanism is simplified if the further user operated button 100 is adjacent or proximate a first end 210a of the handle 210 to which the attachments 20 are attached. A second benefit of this arrangement is that the internal mechanisms which function to facilitate the operation of the further user operated button 100 and the user interface 180 can be separated within the handle 210 thus, any internal reduction in the cross sectional area due to these internal mechanisms is longitudinally separate within the handle 210. A third reason is that this configuration naturally assists a user in positioning the appliance in a hand having the triangular user interface 180 with the first, second and third buttons all accessible by a thumb and the further user operated button 100 diametrically opposite and closer to the first end 210a of the handle 210. In this embodiment, the second button 138 is on a vertex of the user interface 180 distal to the further user operated button 100 and the first end 210a of the handle 210.

In the example described, the first button arrangement 130 has three settings; this is not essential so there can be more settings or fewer settings. In addition, the first and second switches are provided in opposite sides of the arm again this is not essential and depending on space restraints, the two switches may be provided on the same side of the arm. The two first button arrangements 30, 30a are slightly different in the embodiment shown; there are slight differences in the configuration of each recess 60, 60a. These differences are merely due to space considerations on the substrate 70. So, the two recesses 60, 60a may alternatively be the same.

In the Figures, and in particular in Figures 7a to 7c, the buttons are shown in the same position at the same time; this was merely for ease of explaining the invention and each combination of each of the three button positions can be used with the others. For example, each temperature setting can be used with each of the flow settings when the machine is on and the cold shot can be used with any flow setting. The invention has been described in detail with respect to a hot styling device however, it is applicable to any appliance that draws in a fluid and directs the outflow of that fluid from the appliance.

The appliance can be used with or without a heater; the action of the outflow of fluid at high velocity has a drying effect.

The fluid that flows through the appliance is generally air, but may be a different combination of gases or gas and can include additives to improve performance of the appliance or the impact the appliance has on an object the output is directed at for example, hair and the styling of that hair.

The invention is not limited to the detailed description given above. Variations will be apparent to the person skilled in the art.




 
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