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Title:
OVERARCHING MEMBRANE GARMENT
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/033797
Kind Code:
A2
Abstract:
Personal-size instantly-facile light-weight Overarching Membrane Garment apparatus, configured without umbrella-typical eye-and-face injuring protrusions, the apparatus includes quasi-equatorial membrane structure capable of resting on a person's shoulders, when an attached-thereto arching tensile-supported membrane structure is over the person's head and torso. For use, apparatus unfold from metastable-flat storage configuration to extended tensile-arched configuration, and user passes his/her head through quasi-equatorial membrane's opening; thereby covering user by overarching membrane structure. Material for overarching membrane may be for rain-shelter, sun-shade, UV-filter, and/or according to heat reflection, absorption, and insulation characteristics. For improved pedestrian safety, apparatus trim is preferably retro-reflective, or fluorescent colored; thus providing proximate motor-vehicle drivers with contrast enhanced visibility of apparatus wearing children, pedestrians, road workers, traffic officers, and bicycle riders. Other apparatus sizes and uses also disclosed.

Inventors:
SCHEFF, Chaim, Meyer (Rehov Betsalel 16, Pob 28051, 9 Jerusalem, 912800, IL)
CHEN, Li-yen (4th Fl. No.3, Alley 17 Lane 300,Jen-ai Rd. Sec., Taipei ., 10693, TW)
Application Number:
IB2017/001184
Publication Date:
February 22, 2018
Filing Date:
August 14, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
SCHEFF, Chaim, Meyer (Rehov Betsalel 16, Pob 28051, 9 Jerusalem, 912800, IL)
CHEN, Li-yen (4th Fl. No.3, Alley 17 Lane 300,Jen-ai Rd. Sec., Taipei ., 10693, TW)
International Classes:
A45B23/00; A42B1/18
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Claims:
CLAIMS :

1. Overarching Membrane Garment, a facile umbrella-parasol emulating apparatus, including: (A) a tensile hoop which is capable of having (a) a metastable folded flat state, (b) an open arching state, (c) a rapid pop-open transition from the metastable flat state to the arching state, and (d) an easy-to-fold transition from the arching state to the metastable flat state; (B) a first membrane (a) which is substantially shaped like a surface defined by the hoop in the arching state, (b) which is substantially evenly holding many locations along the hoop, (c) which is capable of accepting respective predetermined tension between most pairs of these locations when the hoop (i) is in each of the states and (ii) during each of the transitions, and (d) which in the arching state is of sufficient size to cover a standing person's head and shoulders; and (C) a second membrane (a) which is substantially connected to the hoop, (b) which is capable of restraining the hoop to about the arching state, and (c) which is characterized by having an opening that is centrally located such that, while the arching first membrane is covering the person's head and shoulders, (i) the second membrane rests of the person's shoulders and (ii) the second membrane's opening allows the person's head to easily pass there-through.

2. The Overarching Membrane Garment of claim 1 , wherein the second membrane is substantially connected to the hoop via the first membrane.

3. The Overarching Membrane Garment of claim 1 , wherein the hoop's arching state is substantially about half way between the metastable folded flat state and a stable no-fold flat state of the hoop.

4. The Overarching Membrane Garment of claim 1, wherein the tensile hoop is a buckle-folding over-curvature loop.

5. The Overarching Membrane Garment of claim 1, wherein the tensile hoop is a twist-folding loop.

6. The Overarching Membrane Garment of claim 5, wherein the loop is half-twisted into a figure "8" shape; and further including a constrictor holding the loop at the half-twist of the figure "8".

7. The Overarching Membrane Garment of claim 1, wherein the tensile hoop is a pair of tensile hoops that are held together in a figure "8" shape by a constrictor.

8. The Overarching Membrane Garment of claim 1, wherein the second membrane includes two tube-like sleeve sections.

9. The Overarching Membrane Garment of claim 1, further including at least one suspender-like strap which is respectively substantially attached to the hoop.

10. Overarching Membrane Garment including: (A) an arching tensile member supporting first membrane structure that is capable of covering a person's head and standing torso; and characterized by having attached to the first structure, (B) a quasi-equatorial second structure that is capable of resting on the person's shoulders while first structure is covering the person's head and standing torso.

1 l. The Overarching Membrane Garment of claim 10, wherein the tensile member of the first structure is easily foldable from arching to a flat configuration, and is easily pop-open from the flat configuration to the arching.

12. The Overarching Membrane Garment of claim 10, wherein the tensile member of the first structure is a buckle-folding over-curvature loop.

13. The Overarching Membrane Garment of claim 10, wherein the tensile member of the first structure is a twist-folding loop.

14. The Overarching Membrane Garment of claim 10, wherein second structure includes two tube-like sleeve sections.

15. Overarching Membrane Garment including: (A) an arch-capable tensile member supporting first membrane structure; and characterized by having attached to the first structure, (B) a quasi-equatorial second structure that restricts the first structure to an arch shape.

16. The Overarching Membrane Garment of claim 15, wherein the tensile member of the first structure is easily foldable from the arch shape to a flat configuration, and is easily pop-open from the flat configuration to the arch shape.

17. The Overarching Membrane Garment of claim 15, wherein the tensile member of the first structure is a buckle-folding over-curvature loop.

18. The Overarching Membrane Garment of claim 15, wherein the tensile member of the first structure is a twist-folding loop.

19. The Overarching Membrane Garment of claim 15, wherein the second structure is easily foldable.

20. The Overarching Membrane Garment of claim 15, wherein the second structure (a) easily releases the restricted first structure from the arch shape, and (b) easily restricts a released first structure to an arch shape.

Description:
TITLE : Overarching Membrane Garment

TECHNICAL FIELD : This invention relates to a simple mechanical shielding device; that functions like Umbrellas, Wide Brim Hats, Parasols, and other supported-membrane structures.

BACKGROUND ART :

As a portable device used for protection against rain or sometimes sun, an umbrella is a circular cloth canopy on a folding frame supported by a central rod. It is lightweight, easy to deploy, and protects a large volume (underneath) when in use, while generally remaining structurally robust; yet it folds and stores into a small storage volume. Unfortunately, the modern hand-held umbrella is complex to make, awkward to carry, easy to lose, breakable, uncomfortable to hold, potentially unsafe, and sometimes socially challenging. Improvements are needed for these problematic issues; especially while at least keeping equivalent protection against rain or sun.

Stabilized umbrella structures, such as for beach or picnic-table, are typically larger than standard "golf umbrellas" (largest hand-held umbrella size; which is 60.0 inch (152.4 cm) diameter - rim-to-rim when opened to full canopy). A largest ergonomic mobile (hand-held) umbrella size (rim-to-rim) could be from about 56.7 inches (144.0 cm) to about 72.0 inches (182.9 cm); not just for user's body balance, but also as a practical length for closed umbrella shaft, plus handle. Therefore, NOTE: "about 60.0 inches (152.4 cm)" hereinafter means "from about 56.7 inches (144.0 cm) to about 72.0 inches (182.9 cm)".

The terms "hoop", "loop", and "ring" are used substantially synonymously hereinafter; just as they often describe similar or common elements in relevant prior art. Exemplary tensile hoops include (A) a buckle-folding over-curvature loop, which most often is a continuous typically flat-profile band loop [see "Overcurvature describes the buckling and folding of rings from curved origami to foldable tents" Nature Communications 3, Article number: 1290 (2012)]; and (B) a twist-folding loop, which is a continuous typically round-profile band loop. Twist-folding loops are less common today; often replaced by lower costing over-curvature loops.

Two familiar tensile-hoop consumer articles are a vehicle window pop-open sunshade (which is a tensile hoop with a continuously attached membrane); and a pop-open tent (which has at least one tensile hoop that opens to an arch shape, respectively attached membrane(s) to form all or part of an overarching roof-wall membrane structure, and (very often) another attached membrane forming "a ground-covering floor-like tent-member"). These tensile hoop articles accomplish exemplary states and respective transitions: (a) a metastable folded flat state, (b) an open (if restricted or if held) arching state, (c) a rapid pop-open transition from the metastable (disk shaped article) flat state to the arching state - or to an unrestricted (large diameter loop) flat state, and (d) an easy-to-fold transition from the arching state (or the unrestricted flat state) to the metastable folded flat state.

DEFINITIONS :

OMG: Acronym for "Overarching Membrane Garment" and respective present invention embodiments; also substantially a synonym for "uSAn" and for "Aperella"™ [a ("personal size" OMG) Apparatus Emulating an umbRELLA] of the priority references. uSAn: Chinese composite word for a rain-umbrella device. "uSAn" was used in the priority reference as a generic name for respective embodiments (providing functional sheltering aspects like an umbrella). Those "personal size" uSAn embodiments (like the "personal size" present OMG invention embodiments) are typically wom-in-use; while most umbrellas and parasols are handheld in use.

arch, arching, and overarching: relate to a curved shape that is more like a masonry arched hallway (or a quonset hut roof-wall) than an umbrella-type hemisphere dome.

QE: Acronym for "Quasi-Equatorial" substantially relates to a geometric plane that divides a total arch supported membrane surface area into (A) a continuous (in use - above shoulder level) first surface area of about 35% to about 65% of the total, and (B) a second (in use - below shoulder level) surface area that may be one or more continuous areas (such as one or two respective wing-like extensions of the first surface area). [However, (note) a "QE membrane" (for in-use resting on shoulders) typically significantly intersects the "QE plane" (which is in-use at shoulder level), and the "QE membrane" typically also includes sections which do not intersect the "QE plane".]

DISCLOSURE OF INVENTION :

Configured without umbrella-typical eye/face endangering protrusions, "personal-size" instantly-facile light-weight OMG apparatus embodiments respectively include an arch-capable tensile supported membrane and an attached QE membrane. The QE membrane structure is capable of restricting the tensile supported membrane to an arch shape; and when resting on a person's shoulders, the attached-thereto arching tensile-supported membrane structure is over the person's head and is extending further outward (to also be over portions of the person's vertical torso).

For use, a preferred OMG apparatus embodiment unfolds from a metastable-flat storage configuration to an extended tensile-arched configuration, and user passes his/her head through QE membrane's opening; thereby covering user by overarching membrane structure. In this context, the arched membrane's one or two respective below QE wing-like extensions cover, shield, and/or protect parts of the torso and/or the user's body-proximate arms. Orienting arched membrane, by rotation of QE membrane's opening about the user's neck, shields opposite side of head (and upper body) from respective wind and rain.

Nevertheless, according to some OMG variation embodiments, the QE membrane is two tube-like sleeve sections which are respectively connected to opposite sides of the tensile-supported structure. If the two sleeve sections are not otherwise directly connected to each-other (such as by belt or strap), then arching of the tensile-supported structure occurs when the user brings sleeve sections closer together. User's respective wrists, forearms, and/or biceps pass through the tube-like sleeve sections. Exemplary tube-like sleeve sections may be long/narrow like backpack straps, broad/constrained like sphygmomanometer cuffs, long like shirtsleeves, or medium like sleeve protectors (wrist to elbow tubes). Hereinafter, unless otherwise specified, "diameter" means "major axis" rim-to-rim distance for an open "canopy" (an arching hoop supported "first membrane" or "first tensile membrane" of OMG embodiments); and exemplary open "canopy" may respectively be substantially elliptical, circular, oval, cardioid, a significant area portion thereof, etc. The preferred exemplary instant OMG embodiments are substantially used as mobile umbrella substitutes; having a diameter size (during use) of - from about 22 inch (56 cm) for a little kid - to about 60 inch (152 cm) for a big adult, and/or for multiple persons simultaneously - such as parent carrying child. In addition, various larger than personal sized and smaller than personal sized OMG embodiments will also be described; which have uses that are not particularly associated with umbrellas, nor with parasols.

Now, the present invention generally relates to embodiments of an OMG, which is a facile pseudo-umbrella-parasol function-emulating apparatus. An exemplary OMG embodiment has a tensile hoop, a first membrane, and a second membrane; where (a) the first membrane is of sufficient size to cover a standing person's head and vertical torso, and (b) the second membrane has an opening of sufficient size to allow the person's head to easily pass there-through. As attached together (as described herein), these OMG embodiments are preferably allowing the second membrane to sit on the person's shoulders; and therewith allow an even distribution (a) of the weight of the tensile hoop and/or (b) of wind induced often-asymmetric stress on the tensile hoop supported first membrane.

More specifically, the preferred embodiment of the present invention relates to an OMG apparatus, which includes: (A) a tensile hoop which is capable of having (a) a metastable folded flat state, (b) an open arching state, (c) a rapid pop-open transition from the metastable flat state to the arching state, and (d) an easy-to-fold transition from the arching state to the metastable flat state; (B) a first membrane (a) which is substantially shaped like a surface defined by the hoop in the arching state, (b) which is substantially evenly holding many locations along the hoop, and (c) which is capable of accepting respective predetermined tension between most pairs of these (holding) locations when the hoop (i) is in each of the states and (ii) during each of the transitions; (C) a second membrane (a) which is substantially (directly or via the first membrane; permanently or detachably) connected to the hoop at about four locations on the hoop (or to respective first membrane locations there-between), (b) which is capable of restraining (restricting) the hoop to about the arching state (substantially to the degree that the arching state requires restraint thereabout - when in use), and (c) which has an opening that is centrally located substantially between the about four locations (and the second membrane is preferably capable of accepting respective predetermined tension at the connections to the hoop and also between the connected-to-the-hoop locations - when the hoop (i) is in each of the states and (ii) during each of the transitions); and (D) in the hoop's arching state, (a) the first membrane is of sufficient size to cover a person's head and shoulders, and (b) the second membrane's opening is of sufficient size to allow the person's head to easily pass therethrough (preferably - thereby allowing the second membrane to rest evenly on the person's shoulders).

Firstly, regarding the preferred embodiment, the OMG tensile hoop may be a buckle-folding over-curvature loop, a twist-folding loop, or a substantially equivalent functional construction (such as the various exemplary constructions described hereinafter.)

Secondly, regarding the preferred embodiment, the "holding" between the hoop and the first membrane is accomplished by attaching the hoop and first membrane together; such as by ultrasonic welding, epoxy bonding, or the like. Alternately, the "holding" between the hoop and the first membrane is accomplished by sewing a hem (or basting) around the perimeter of the first membrane; so that the hoop is within the hem (or basting). Other ways to accomplish the "holding" between the hoop and the first membrane are to staple the membrane to the hoop; or to staple the first membrane to itself, at each location where part of the first membrane perimeter has been warped around the hoop; or the like.

Thirdly, regarding the preferred embodiment, the OMG second membrane is substantially (directly, or via the first membrane) connected to the hoop at about four (typically mutually distant) locations on the hoop (as described shortly hereafter). The "QE plane" divides the arched hoop into an upper region, that has a volume sufficient to enclose two opposite sides of the person's head (that is the crown of the head, and either the two ear sides, or the face and occipital sides), while preferably leaving some space between the top of the head and the first membrane; and a lower region (below a substantially central portion of the second membrane), that forms a shell above and generally about one-or-two sides of the person's vertical upper torso. According to some OMG embodiments, this "lower" shell covers the person's shoulders and forearms (while if-rotated the upper shell may also cover the upper back, and upper chest). According to other OMG embodiments (such as may be desirable for a person riding a bicycle), this lower shell is asymmetric; and a larger side covers the person's shoulders, upper back and lower back; while a smaller side covers the person's forehead and/or face.

Furthermore, it is preferable that the second membrane is substantially capable of restraining the hoop to about the arching state. As mentioned (above), the second membrane has an opening that is centrally located substantially between the about four locations. For some exemplary OMG embodiment, these "locations on the hoop" are substantially symmetrically distributed with respect to the opening in a radial manner; so that (in use) there is one location in front of each shoulder and one location behind each shoulder. For other exemplary OMG embodiments, (in use) there is a location substantially in front of each shoulder and a location (or two) substantially behind the spine or nape; or mirror opposite, there is a location substantially behind of each shoulder and a location (or two) substantially in front of the chin or nose.

In all cases, it is a preferred purpose of the second membrane to allow the (arched-state) OMG apparatus of the present invention to easily balance on the person, in a hands-free manner; at least during windless moments. Simply stated, in the hoop's arching state, (a) the first membrane should be of sufficient size to cover a standing person's head and upper body, and (b) the second membrane's opening should be of sufficient size to allow the person's head to easily pass therethrough (preferably - thereby allowing the second membrane to rest/balance/conform hands-free on the person's shoulders). Nevertheless, since an object of the OMG is to allow more convenient negotiation of windy conditions than are experienced by an umbrella user or a parasol user, various optional belts and/or straps are available for OMG embodiments; wherein these belts and/or straps may be elastic or may include an elastic portion.

According to an exemplary OMG embodiment, at least one (end of a) suspender-like strap is respectively substantially attached to the hoop; and, as measured when the person's head is passed through the opening, the strap is long enough (a) to attach to the person's clothing (e.g. collar-band or waist-band), or (b) to pass (back-pack harness-like) under the person's armpit (axilla) and to attach (the other end of the strap) to the second membrane (or to already be attached thereto). Alternately, the opening of the second membrane may include at least one suspender-like strap (one end of which is attached thereat), or the like. By another variation embodiment, the opening of the second membrane may be further enlarged (such as with a collar button or a zipper or by having an elastic collar circumscribing the opening); even to allow the second membrane opening to rest around the person's shoulders. According to yet another variation embodiment, the second membrane opening is large enough to allow the person's shoulders to pass through, and includes a plurality of straps and/or clips to secure part of the second membrane opening to the person's waist belt; thus (for this embodiment) the second membrane may be a plurality of straps which are configured to perform as a lower than shoulder level QE plane. By a further variation embodiment, the second membrane may be easily split into two portions, and likewise easily reattached back together to form a single portion. Likewise, by still a further embodiment, the entire second membrane may be easily detached from the hoop with first membrane structure, allowing the unrestricted first membrane structure to open to a flat (un-arched shape) configuration; and may be easily reattached to restrict flat un-arched shape hoop with first membrane structure back into the arched shape.

Now, preferably the tensile hoop is an over-curvature ring (which is typically a metal ribbon of substantially flat profile) that is connected end-to-end (as is currently commonly used in pop-open sun-shades for car windows), alternatively, the tensile hoop is a twist-folding ring (which is typically a spring-metal or memory-metal wire, or a fiberglass cord, or a sturdy nylon filament, or a cable made from strands thereof). Furthermore, preferably the tensile hoop with first membrane connection is by the hoop running through a peripheral (circumscribing) seam of the membrane (such as are typically found on skirts or robes that have been nominally shortened by sewing); alternatively, the membrane may be appropriately glued and/or sufficiently ultrasound- welded to the hoop. In some OMG embodiments, sagging of the first membrane may occur in an area substantially spanning at about the apex of the arched state hoop (region of canopy sagging indicated in Figure 3 by dotted lines "320"); and there are various ways to reduce this sagging. For example, slightly reducing the first membrane material between the arched state hoop apex locations will firstly increase tension of the hoop at the apex, and secondly will distribute that increased tension along the first membrane therebetween; thereby reducing the sagging. Equivalently, user may be provided with snap button pairs at predetermined locations; allowing user to reduce sagging between the pairs. According to an exemplary OMG embodiment, reinforcement is accomplished using fibers of higher resilience (bending recovery for filaments) than that of the first membrane material; which are sewn (at the apex) into the first membrane material thereat. With the higher resilience fibers, sewn using a zigzag stitch, between opposite locations of the hoop (corresponding to a minor axis of the first membrane ellipse shape), a mutual-pushing across the apex (two dimensional spring force) will contribute to reducing the sag; without overly impeding easy folding of the OMG. According to another exemplary OMG embodiment, a secondary hoop (such as a twist folding loop having equal or lower resilience than the OMG tensile hoop) may be included (such as by gluing or by sewing) into the first membrane; and the major axis of the secondary hoop (being held to elliptical or being circular) aligns with the minor axis of the minor axis of the OMG tensile hoop.

In use, the planar state OMG (flat storage disk) is allowed to pop-open (and/or to unfold, and untwist and/or unbuckle) to extended/arched/restricted configuration, and a user passes his/her head through the second membrane's opening; thereby covering the user's head by the above-equatorial first membrane portion and covering the user's body by the below-equatorial first membrane portion. Preferably, the above-equatorial enclosed volume is sufficient so as not to rest the first membrane hat-like directly on the user's head (but forms an arched canopy there-above); thereby even allowing the OMG user to wear a hat or to keep their hair style in a respectively desired condition. For some variation embodiments, portions of the second membrane may extend to or beyond the coverage provided by the arching first membrane, thereby allowing portions of the second membrane to provide front torso and/or back torso coverage (protection); accordingly, such protective portions may be made from materials like those of the first membrane.

Alternately described, the present invention generally also relates to ordinary OMG embodiments, each of which is a typically-personal instantly-facile light-weight apparatus. Basically, such a personal size OMG embodiment includes (A) a pop-open foldable tensile hoop capable of having a substantially-planar folded state and a substantially-unfolded arching state; (B) connected with a predetermined tension to the hoop's perimeter, a first tensile membrane; (C) connected (directly, or via first membrane locations) at about four substantially diametrically opposed segments (or locations) on the hoop's perimeter, wherein three of these locations define a substantially equatorial plane (NOT "a floor-like tent-member") of the tensile hoop when said hoop is in the arching state, a second tensile membrane which has a substantially central opening therethrough and said opening is firstly large enough to allow a person's head to easily pass therethrough and secondly is small enough and central enough to allow a balance of second membrane surface on (or closely about) the person's shoulders; and (C) the substantially arching state occurs when the unfolded tensile hoop is restricted from opening to a full planar orientation according to a restriction selected from the (case) list: (i) the first membrane has at least one edge-to-opposite-edge length which is smaller than the hoop's "full-diameter" during planar orientation, (ii) at least one second tensile membrane distance between any two of the about four locations is smaller than the equivalent "full-diameter", and (iii) a combination of these restrictions. Preferably the diametrically opposed locations are symmetrically arranged; however various fashionable and/or functional substantially asymmetric variations are also viable.

Thus, in general, OMG personal-size instantly-facile light-weight apparatus embodiments are configured without umbrella-typical eye-and-face injuring protrusions. These OMG apparatus embodiments respectively include a QE membrane structure capable of resting on (or about) a person's shoulders when an attached-thereto arching tensile-supported membrane structure is over the standing person's head and torso. For use, preferred OMG apparatus embodiments unfold from a metastable-flat storage configuration to an extended tensile-arched configuration, and the user passes his/her head (or head-and-shoulders) through the QE membrane's opening; thereby covering his/her head and upper body by the overarching membrane structure. Material for overarching membrane may be for rain-shelter, sun-shade, UV-filter, and/or according to heat reflection, absorption, and insulation characteristics. Furthermore, for improved pedestrian safety, OMG apparatus trim is preferably light reflecting or florescent colored; thus providing proximate motor-vehicle drivers with contrast enhanced visibility of apparatus wearing children, pedestrians, road workers, traffic officers, and bicycle riders.

In the context of larger than personal size embodiments (larger than "about 60.0 inches (152.4 cm)" rim-to-rim), there is a pseudo-personal size OMG embodiment that is useful for sports and/or for personal entertainment, wherein an oversized OMG first membrane provides aerodynamic lift; such as might be appreciated by persons skiing, water skiing, skating, snowboarding, skateboarding, or the like. The preferred pseudo-personal size OMG embodiment employs an inflatable first membrane, such as may be found in para-foils, para-gliders, and the like; and may further include an additional membrane section which is connected to a longitudinal side of the arched hoop (on one side) and is attachable to the ankles of the user (on the other side). Of course, when used as (or when including) an aerodynamic lifting surface, OMG second membrane should be secured to the user (such as by vest or harness); rather than simply being balanced thereon.

Furthermore, without substantially changing the topology nor the engineering of an OMG, various smaller than personal size embodiments are to be appreciated by the respective person of the art - such as for the second membrane holding ear-bud micro-speaker substantially outside of the ear while the (furthest from arch crest) tensile member (hoop) "wing" portions expand comfortable within the external ear canal - thereby allowing the user to both hear the sounds from the micro-speaker and to hear ambient sounds - and thereby simultaneously allowing the ear canal to naturally vent ordinary body-generated humidity. Equivalently, in that this OMG hoop is of size and tension to securely fit within an outer portion of a human ear canal, the (A) ordinary membrane of the tensile hoop and the (B) structure holding the hoop in metastable orientation may be a single membrane; furthermore holding the micro-speaker thereat.

INDUSTRIAL APPLICABILITY: When worn as an umbrella/parasol function-substitute garment, the user of a properly manufactured personal-size OMG should rarely fall prey to exasperating "umbrella-typical structural failure" experiences again; which answers the most significant longstanding need for inventive progress in this art. Furthermore, while providing equivalent coverage protection from rain/sun, compared to the problems of a modern umbrella (or parasol), most OMG embodiments are objectively expected to be significantly simpler to make, easier to carry (less weight and flat), harder to lose (often fitting into a briefcase, shopping-bag, or school-bag - when folded flat), less breakable, substantially more ergonomic to employ, potentially eye-and-face safer (even for children), and intuitively more socially polite.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS :

In order to understand the invention and to see how it may be carried out in practice, embodiments including the preferred embodiment will now be described, by way of non-limiting example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings. Furthermore, a more complete understanding of the present invention and the advantages thereof may be acquired by referring to the following description in consideration of the accompanying drawings wherein: Figure 1 inclusively illustrates schematic views of a single buckle-folding loop in transition moments from a metastable folded flat state, to an open arching state, and continuing on to a unfolded flat state; Figure 2 inclusively illustrates schematic views of a single twist-folding loop in transition moments from a metastable folded flat state, to an open arch-capable state, and continuing on to a unfolded flat state (also arch capable); Figure 3 illustrates a schematic view of a buckle-folding hoop OMG with a QE plane second membrane; Figure 4 illustrates schematic and respective exploded views of a twist-folding hoop OMG in a figure "8" configuration; Figure 5 illustrates a schematic view of a pair of buckle-folding OMG hoops in a figure "8" configuration with a QE plane second membrane; and Figure 6 illustrates a schematic view of a pair of twist-folding OMG hoops in a figure "8" configuration with an asymmetric oriented second membrane.

MODES FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION :

There are numerous exemplary geometries for the tensile hoop of OMG embodiments; the choice of which will in turn determine the preferred shape of the first membrane. For the sake of good order, it should be noted that a twist-folding hoop is often substantially functionally equivalent to an over-curvature hoop and to other similar tensegrity-type components; even though those (components) may be amenable to alternate procedures for folding, from an extended-diameter "arching" state to a reduced-diameter "folded" metastable flat state.

Figure 1 inclusively illustrates schematic views of a single buckle-folding loop in transition moments from a metastable folded flat state (105), sequentially through various popping-open states (110, 115), to an open (metastable) arching state (120), and continuing on through a further (metastable arching) opening state (125) to an unfolded flat state (130). Regarding Figure 1, firstly, it is important to note that unfolded flat state (130) has a circumference (and diameter) which are substantially three times that of the storage circumference (and the respective storage diameter) of the metastable folded flat state (105). Secondly, it is important to notice that, for open arching state hoop (120), a preferred second membrane would be substantially elliptical with a circumference (perimeter) equal to that of the unfolded flat state (130). Furthermore, the preferred arching state (120) is substantially about half way between the metastable folded flat state (105) and a stable no-fold flat state (130) of the hoop.

Figure 2 inclusively illustrates schematic views of a single twist-folding loop in transition moments from a metastable folded flat state (205), to a single half-twist figure "8" configuration (210), to an open arching-capable state (215) albeit the arch of this hoop is not shown here (in that it requires the QE second membrane to hold it in an arching state), and continuing on (sequentially) to a unfolded flat state (220) which is also capable of a less-preferred arching configuration in conjunction with the QE second membrane. Regarding Figure 2, firstly, it important to note that unfolded flat state (220) has a circumference (and diameter) which are substantially two times that of the storage circumference (and the respective storage diameter) of the metastable folded flat state (205). Secondly, it should be noted that high quality hoops are further capable of being twisted folded again from the metastable folded flat state (205) to a more compact flat state that would exhibit half of the circumference (and respective diameter) of the metastable folded flat state (205) - albeit storing with about twice the respective thickness. Thirdly, it is important to note that, for arching state (215), first membrane (having perimeter substantially equal to perimeter of the unfolded flat state hoop) may be round, elliptical, oblong, egg shaped, or the like; and this restricting first membrane area (in conjunction with the restraining dimensions of the second membrane) hold the OMG in a predetermined arched configuration. Thus, the arching state (215) is substantially about half way between the metastable folded flat state (205) and a stable no-fold flat state (220) of the hoop.

Figure 3 illustrates a schematic view of an OMG having a buckle-folding (over-curvature loop) tensile hoop (305) in an arched state with a QE plane second membrane (310) having an opening (315) for the user's head. The first membrane of the hoop is not shown here; however "Front" (no membrane - open side) and "Back" (no membrane - open side) are indicated; so one can easily understand that the first membrane would be covering the head, and the left and right sides of the torso - leaving free line of sight (in the Front direction), and exposure to wind on the nape of the user's neck (in the Back direction). One way to increase the field of vision in the front direction is to alter the shape of the QE plane second membrane from the square shape (shown) to a (preferably isosceles) trapezoid shape (not shown) that would cause a somewhat wider Front and a somewhat narrower Back - which, in turn, may call for similar asymmetric accommodation to the shape of the respective membranes.

Turning to other OMG embodiments, another twist-folding arching state can be better understood in conjunction with Figure 4; where schematic and respective exploded views of a twist-folding hoop OMG in a figure "8" configuration are shown (each substantially equivalent to 210 of Figure 2). This OMG (which somewhat resembles a familiar twist-folding tent) is firstly held to only open to a half twist of the hoop (405, 410) by respective front and back triangular upper-apex proximate fabric "membranes" (420), and is distinctively OMG characterized by having a central QE planar second membrane (415) (which could likewise be a plurality of straps or a harness or equivalent type) member (with an opening for the user's head or head-and-shoulders). In this context, it is also noted that an opening for the user's head (or head-and-shoulders) may be round, oval, ellipse, oblong, square, rectangle, polygon, or otherwise; as may be embodied to allow (preferably easy) passage of the head (or head-and-shoulders) there-through. Of course it is not necessary for the height of this OMG to be about the same height as the user (as would be the case in a modified full-person-height personal tent example); since it is adequate for the user's head to remain covered within the above QE portion of the first membrane, and for much of the user's upper body to remain covered by the below attached second-membrane portion of the first membrane.

For equivalent illustrative purposes, an exploded OMG embodiment is shown wherein the half twisted (figure "8" shape) hoop (406, 411) with attached first membrane (not shown - and intended to be substantially figure "8" shaped rather than being a half twisted ellipse) has an attached QE second membrane with substantial head-size opening (416), and the half twist is held in place by a apex region constrictor (421) comprising two membrane triangles that are respectively attached at the apex and to opposite edges of each side of the half twisted hoop. According to another exemplary variation of this OMG, the apex region constrictor may include significant further portions of the first membrane; thereby even allowing Front side and Back side portions to come about quarter-way down to about the eye level (which is almost to about half the distance between the apex and the QE plane - as measured along the hoop). It is also important to note that this OMG (Figure 4) may be first folded together and then twist folded together, thereby arriving at a storage configuration that has one quarter the perimeter of the entire figure "8" hoop. According to another OMG embodiment, folding together the two quasi-circles of the figure "8" hoop is sufficient for flat storage. Furthermore, in order to facilitate an easy pop-open from flat storage, preferred versions of this embodiment include a spring-loaded (or equivalent tensile) portion in the constrictor and/or a spring-loaded (or equivalent tensile) portion in the QE membrane. In addition, likewise here, the second membrane may be a (preferably isosceles) trapezoid shape; for expanded field of peripheral vision of the user, etc.

Now, Figure 5 illustrates a schematic view of a pair of buckle-folding OMG hoops (505, 510) in a figure "8" configuration with an equatorial plane second membrane ( 15) having a central opening (520) for the user's head to pass through; and further held together in an arching state (figure "8" shape) by a tensile constrictor (525). It is important to note that this OMG (transitioning to storage) may be firstly rotated about the apex, so that hoop (505) and hoop (510) align, and then the pair of hoops can be folded together (as if they were a single buckle-folding hoop); thereby resulting in a storage configuration having 1/6 the circumference of the combined hoops (circumference of hoop 505 "plus" circumference of hoop 510). However, preferably, the respective hoops (505, 510) are each buckle-folded toward the constrictor; and then held together in metastable flat-storage configuration by at least one continuous belt - which is preferably attached to one of the respective hoops, or to the constrictor.

Finally, turning to Figure 6, an arched configuration pair of twist-folding OMG hoops (605, 610) is shown in a figure "8" configuration, with an asymmetric oriented second membrane (615) having an opening for user's head (620); and the two hoops (605, 610) are held together at a pseudo-half-twist apex by a connector (625). It is important to note that preferably the larger hoop (610) has a simple integer multiple circumference of the smaller hoop (605) - here the ratio being 2: 1 - so that this OMG can be stored either with circumference of hoop (605), or single twisted-and-folded thereafter to result in a flat storage configuration, with a circumference that is half of hoop (605). Preferably, the membrane of the smaller hoop is transparent or tinted (such as in the upper half to filter sunlight as sunglasses do, and/or even having an optical polarizing filter); allowing easy user field of vision; such as would be appropriate when this exemplary OMG is worn by a bicycle rider.

Turning to other variation embodiments, preferably for an ordinary personal-size ("mobile umbrella substitute") OMG, the central opening includes a simple collar or circumscribing padding (or quilting), albeit one that is minimal enough to easily twist-fold with the membranes. Preferably, the circumference of the central opening includes tension reinforcing fibers to the membrane thereabout - so as to prevent the membrane about-the-opening from easily tearing, when there is any more-than-hoop-tension in said second membrane (such as when the head is awkwardly passed through). Attachments and or connections (such as: between a membrane and a hoop, or between a strap/belt and hoop or membrane) should be appropriately robust, and may be integral, sewn, basted, bonded, riveted, glued, ultrasonic welded, combinations thereof, or the like. Where structurally equivalent, attachments to the hoop may be through the hoop, wrapped around the hoop, or the like.

In use, a person would take out a metastable-folded flat-state personal OMG, snap it open from the smaller metastable circumference to the full circumference - as restricted by the membrane(s), and pass the person's head up through the opening (in the second membrane). At this point, the (standing) person's head is covered by the apex (central canopy portion) of the first membrane (the first membrane also extends beyond the QE plane to cover portions of the person's below-neck torso), and the person's chest and or shoulders are also partially covered by the second membrane; thereby providing "personal shelter" from rain, for an exemplary embodiment where the first membrane is waterproof or water resistant. For simplicity of understanding, for protection from rain, first membrane of an OMG may be selected from any of the same fabrics or films that are used for umbrellas; such as polyester, nylon, acrylic, clear plastic, silk, or the like. The first membrane may be woven or extruded materials, which may be coated and/or including reinforcement tensile (or elastic) fibers.

Accordingly, as a mobile shelter from rain, the (above second membrane portion of the) first membrane functions like a tent over the head of the person "wearing" it; and the first membrane may become dome-like if/when the person's head presses onto the middle-portion lower-surface (arch-apex) of the first membrane canopy. In typical cases, rain will run off the first membrane; without the person needing to hold any supportive object (unlike the umbrella, where the person has to hold a supporting central rod). Nevertheless, like the umbrella, the user may occasionally have to hold the hoop while traversing strong and gusting winds. Alternately, like the umbrella, the user may selectively rotate the OMG, to direct one of the below QE portions of the first membrane toward oncoming wind; even if that then leaves the OMG at an oblique angle with respect to the user's frontward line-of-site. Furthermore, as a mobile shelter from rain, the second membrane (QE) may become (elongated) dome-like when the person's shoulders presses onto the middle-portions (lower-surface) of the second membrane; on either side of the opening through which the person's head has past.

According to further embodiments of an OMG, the hoop is made of a spring-like material selected from the list: metal, plastic, glass-fiber, carbon-fiber, spring-steel, composite, and the like. While there are many ways to fabricate and configure materials into a twist-folding or a buckling-folding loop, for the sake of best practices safety, preferred OMG embodiments use a hoop that is topologically arranged (formed into a continuous ring) to substantially equalize the probability of breakage among all portions (segments) of the hoop.

One of the objectives of best practices safety here is to mitigate accidental instances where the hoop breaks and where such breakage may cause cut or puncture wound to the person using the OMG or to some proximate person; both of which are typical of the accidents occurring from a sharp exposed tip of open umbrella rib, and less frequently from the distal end of the umbrella's central supporting rod. This is an OMG design preference of best practices safety because, every apparatus eventually breaks, and therefore it would seem preferable for an OMG membrane or strap to break before the OMG hoop breaks; this appearing to be the better ergonomic choice for apparatus obsolescence. Accordingly, the preferred personal size OMG embodiments strive to configure the hoop to be the respectively most durable component.

Moving on, for improved pedestrian safety, at night and during rain (or fog), hoop seam/perimeter (and/or at least one second membrane edge-or-portion) includes trim (or basting) which is preferably bright florescent colored, light reflective (retro-reflective), or the like; providing enhanced visibility to drivers of spontaneously ambient vehicles. Of course, for the beauty and fashion conscious user, either or both membranes may be transparent (or tinted or opaque or embossed or "watermarked" or the like), or include like transparent-type sections, or include bright florescent colored or light reflective portions. Furthermore, according to other variation embodiments, an OMG apparatus has at least one conveniently located pedestrian-safety related visual component attached thereto (or integral thereto). This component may be a passive light reflector (such as for reflecting light from street, vehicular, and/or automobile lamps), an active illumination element (such as a flash light, a glow lamp, a flashing LED, or the like), a passive vehicle-radar reflector (probably advisable in the approaching age of autonomous driving vehicles), and/or an active location-update (GPS) broadcast element (which provides virtual visualization guidance to shared mapping systems - such as may likewise be used by proximate autonomous vehicles).

These components are primarily to improve visibility of the OMG in-use; because some uses are during inclement weather (when drivers are less likely to notice every traversing pedestrian) and other uses are taking the attention of the user from his/her path (making it potentially likely that he/she is distracted from negotiating ordinary pedestrian interactions). A common "other use" in today's world is that OMG allows the user to mobile-device text while walking, because the OMG user and user-device are dry under the OMG first membrane, and because the OMG is often used in hands-free mode (allowing a user to hold the mobile-device, and to text therewith).

Regarding overarching membrane materials, exemplary first membrane material is selected to provide environmental protection (such as from rain or sun) to a person wearing an OMG; and the material may be umbrella fabric, plastic film, silk fabric, cotton fabric, flax fabric, nylon fabric, or the like - which allow robust folding between folded/planar and arching hoop states. For additional structural support, the first membrane material (and likewise the second membrane material) may include reinforcement fibers and/or elastic fibers. Similarly, the first membrane may be of any of various substantially lightweight materials; such as those that are well known for use as the membranes of umbrellas or tents (for example: woven materials like fabrics, extruded materials like films, die cut materials like mesh netting, or the like), or of sun-shades, and the like. It should be noted that the material of the first membrane should reasonably comply with the easy-to-fold transition and with the pop-open transition of the tensile hoop; albeit this compliance may be substantially ignored for non-folding OMG embodiments. Independently, preferably there are predetermined sections of the first membrane material that allow a person wearing an OMG to peripherally view any proximate moving vehicles; such as by including predetermined slits, or mesh portions, or windows of transparent film.

As a rain-shelter, the first membrane is preferably predominantly waterproof or water-resistant (or otherwise substantially having an in-use sky-facing hydrophobic surface); and as a sun-shade (parasol), the upper (above-equatorial section) first membrane is preferably externally (heat) reflective and the lower (below-equatorial section) first membrane is preferably white (heat - low absorbing). Alternately, for cold environments, both membrane portions are externally (heat absorbing) black and/or internally (heat) reflective; to return body heat back onto the user's body. Those versed in the art will instantly appreciate that anodized aluminum "space blankets", similar infrared reflective foils, metalized films or fabrics (such as of "PET" polyethylene terephthalate, "PP" polypropylene, nylon, polyethylene, "EVA" ethylene-vinyl acetate, or the like), meshes, dichroic filtering membrane(s) - such as respectively ER & UV filtering, and intra-membrane dispersions - which are twist-folding and/or buckle-folding capable for use as membranes - are appropriate for respective OMG embodiments.

Now, according to yet different variation embodiments of an OMG apparatus, at least one of the membranes has at least one layer selected for having a predetermined desirable weather-related functional property; such as water proof, water resistant, water repellent, light colored, white, having a heat reflecting surface, thermal insulating, loosely woven, net-like, heat absorbing dark colored, black, or the like. More specifically, there are four preferred seasonal stylized-weather combinations, respectively named for Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter; even though it is well known and completely appreciated that real world local-weather on the globe rarely abides by these stylized-weather portrayals.

The preferred "Spring" (stylized Rain Season) OMG embodiment has the first membrane that is waterproof or water resistant (or having a hydrophobic outward sky-facing surface). The preferred "Summer" (stylized Hot Season) OMG embodiment has the first membrane with at least one sky-facing sun-reflecting material portion (such as of gold-amber or silver colored space blanket material, or a substantially simultaneously near-or-partial infrared filtering and/or near-or-partial ultraviolet filtering and/or respective IR-and-UV filtering anachronic-membrane, or like membrane composite) and preferably has the second membrane of net-like breathable material, that does not induce accumulation of body heat or of extra perspiration thereat. The preferred "Autumn" (stylized Transitional Season) OMG embodiment has the first membrane and the second membrane of respectively dual-layer highly-perforated (or loosely woven) net-like materials; which create an external Moire pattern appearance for each of the membranes, and which provide partial shelter from sun and from wind. The preferred "Winter" (stylized Cold Season) OMG embodiment has the first membrane with an atmosphere-facing black or dark color (to absorb heat from sun light) side, and a head-facing heat-reflecting material (such as gold-amber or silver colored space blanket material) side; and/or has the second membrane with a body-facing heat-reflecting material (such as gold-amber or silver colored space blanket material) side.

Each of these four stylized season OMG embodiments may further include a net-like or aerating body-facing layer (and/or head facing layer) to provide improved thermal insulation and/or improved humidity dispersal; as is appropriate for first membrane portions which may be transparent and would thus not fog from user's breath, and as is appropriate for second membrane portions which may otherwise accumulate user's body-heat generated moisture. It should also be appreciated that there are various combinations of these four stylized season OMG embodiments which may be better suited for local conditions; such as for places with cold rainy weather, or for places with hot rainy weather, and so forth. Likewise, substantially conformal fitted appurtenance membranes, layers, liners, coverings, and structures may be provided, which enhance any of these "seasonal" properties; making such exemplary enhanced OMG embodiments multifunctional with respect to weather conditions.

Like the (above mentioned) "apex region constrictor," exemplary enhancement structures may include lateral-to-major-axis external flaps for covering respective user's hand portions (which extend beyond the hoop), and/or lateral-to-minor-axis external flaps (optionally attached to the hoop) flap(s); such as a face side flap extending from arch apex down to about the user's eye level, and/or an occipital side flap extending from the arch apex down to even the user's waist (like a cape). Furthermore, a membrane may be a dual layer structure, such as having a waterproof heat reflective (space blanket) side and a dark colored heat absorbing side; as could then be useful as a reversible membrane, for reflecting the hot sun of day (away from a user) while preserving the body heat (of the user) by night. An exemplary OMG intended for multi-season use, by virtue of including a reversible first membrane (space blanket), may allow the user to detach and to re-attach second membrane to the hoop, or the like.

Another personal-size OMG embodiment simply consists of (A) an arching tensile member supported first membrane structure that is capable of covering a person's head and standing torso; and attached thereto, (B) a QE second structure (preferably a second membrane, net, fabric, or combination of straps, and/or having at least one tensile or elastic portion) that is capable of resting on the person's shoulders (or thereabouts) - and thereby capable of supporting the person covering tensile member structure. Here too, the QE structure substantially divides the arching tensile member's first membrane coverage-of-the-person between an upper region including the person's head, and a lower region including the person's shoulders and/or some portion of the person's upper body; much as a standard umbrella in use will be arranged to likewise provide canopy-membrane coverage for the person's head, shoulders, and upper torso (including biceps, close-to-body forearms, and umbrella-shaft-holding hand).

While the preferred OMG embodiment tensile member includes a hoop (twist-folding or buckle-folding), many substantially tensegrity supported "textile" (membrane, fabric, film, etc.) structures are capable of providing adequate functional equivalence. The preferred tensegrity supported structure OMG embodiment employs tensile hoops and/or integral tensile fibers, rather than traditional bars or struts, to accomplish longstanding need for improved eye/face safety. Furthermore, some variations of these embodiments may have the arching member which is easily foldable from arching to a flat configuration and which is easily pop-open from the flat configuration to the arching; while other variations may have the arching member which is easily folded and unfolded in an accordion-like or origami-like fashion; and still other variations include at least one spring-like portion in the arching member - to help facilitate a pop-open capability.

Nevertheless, these OMG tensegrity embodiments and still other OMG variation embodiments may not have either easily foldable configuration, or easily pop-open configuration, or both (such as a bow-chain tensegrity loop, a tensegrity-ring, or even a "pre-tensegrity" space-frame structure); furthermore, these "other variations" may be useful articles of apparel for easy distribution - particularly either as a disposable (preferably biodegradable) article, or as a durable (potentially more robust) article. According to one interesting exemplary embodiment, not only is the OMG disposable, but it is intended as a use-once article; such as including treated paper membranes (with appropriate surface sizing - which may even be instantly user laserjet imprintable). Furthermore, particularly regarding variations and additions to these OMG embodiment "other variations", mutatis mutandis; the person of the art will easily appreciate that aspects and variations heretofore described (and likewise other aspects derived from the priority application, and from the prior applications incorporated in their entirety therein by reference) are likewise appropriate here.

Finally, the present invention has herein been described with a certain degree of particularity, however those versed in the art will readily appreciate that various modifications and alterations may be carried out without departing from either the spirit or scope, as hereinafter claimed.