Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
PHYSICAL TRAINING DEVICE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/203513
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A physical training device for emulating oxygen condition at different altitudes during a physical activity is presented, the device being configured to be carried by a user and comprising a chamber through which the user breathes in and out, the chamber comprises a patterned airway configured to control parameters of air breathed in and out by the user.

Inventors:
PLA PAYA, Alberto (Avenida Pau Casals 5, 2o 1a, Barcelona, 08021, ES)
KNEBEL VIERLING, Sara Alejandra (Carrer Tramuntana 14, atic 2, Sant Just Desvern, 08960, ES)
CARRASCO ALOMA, Josep Oriol (Calle Diecinueve 10 3o, Castelldefels, 08860, ES)
Application Number:
IL2017/050537
Publication Date:
November 30, 2017
Filing Date:
May 15, 2017
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
LABESPORT EUROPE S.L. (Avenida Pau Casals 5, 2-1a, Barcelona, 08021, ES)
STADLER, Svetlana (Address P.O.B. 13239, 62 Tel-Aviv, 6113102, IL)
International Classes:
A41D13/11; A61M16/00; A61M16/06; A61M16/08; A62B18/02; A62B18/10
Foreign References:
CN105457180A2016-04-06
US20160129286A12016-05-12
US5848589A1998-12-15
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FRANCIS, Najib (Reinhold Cohn and Partners, P.O.B. 13239, 62 Tel-Aviv, 6113102, IL)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS:

1. A training device configured to be carried by a user for emulating oxygen condition at different altitudes during a physical activity, the device comprising a chamber through which the user breathes in and out, said chamber comprises a patterned airway configured to control parameters of air breathed in and out by the user.

2. The device of claim 1, wherein said chamber has a prism-like shape having proximal and distal bases comprising, respectively, first and second air windows, each of said first and second air windows being configured to allow flow of air therethrough in both directions, said patterned airway comprising said first and second air windows and extending from said proximal base to said distal base.

3. The device of claim 2, wherein said first and second air windows of the proximal and distal bases have the same or different geometries.

4. The device of claim 2, wherein at least one of the first and second air windows has a pattern comprising spaced-apart air-permeable regions through which air flows.

5. The device of claim 4, wherein said air-permeable regions comprise at least one perforation.

6. The device of claim 4, wherein said first and second air windows have different patterns. 7. The device of claim 6, wherein the pattern in said first air window of the proximal base is configured to be more restrictive to flow of air than the pattern in said second air window of the distal base.

8. The device of claim 4, wherein the pattern is characterized by at least one of the following: a number of said air-permeable regions, geometry of said air-permeable regions and spaces between said air-permeable regions.

9. The device of claim 2, wherein at least one of said proximal and distal bases is replaceable, thereby enabling replacement of at least the first or second air windows resulting in a different patterned airway and controlling the parameters of air breathed in and out by the user.

10. The device of claim 2, wherein said chamber of prism-like shape is a cylinder and said proximal and distal bases are circular or ovoid.

11. The device of claim 2, wherein a total surface area of each of said first and second air windows ranges from 78.5 mm2 to 430 mm2.

12. The device of claim 1, being configured to emulate the oxygen condition at different altitudes between 500m and 4000m above an altitude at which the user stands. 13. The device of claim 1, comprising a mask by which the device is worn by the user.

14. The device of claim 13, wherein said mask comprises an opening for accommodating said chamber, such that said chamber is aligned with the mouth or nose of the user.

15. The device of claim 14, wherein said mask has an edge that follows the contours of a user's face and provides hermitic sealing around the user's mouth and nose when in use.

16. The device of claim 1, wherein said chamber is configured to receive therein a filter configured to purify the air breathed in by the user.

17. A kit for use by an individual for emulating oxygen condition at different altitudes, comprising: a mask to be worn by a user, comprising an edge that follows contour of the user's face for providing a hermitic edge seal for the user's mouth and nose, the mask comprises an opening aligned with the user's mouth and nose;

a prism-like chamber configured to be inserted hermitically inside said opening, said chamber comprising a patterned airway configured to control parameters of air breathed in and out by the user, said patterned airway comprises first and second patterned air windows formed in, respectively, proximal and distal bases of said chamber, at least one of said proximal and distal bases being replaceable; and

a plurality of replacement bases each comprising a different patterned air window for controlling the parameters of air and emulating said oxygen condition at different altitudes.

Description:
PHYSICAL TRAINING DEVICE

TECHNOLOGICAL FIELD

The present invention is in the field of sports and relates to a device to be used by athletes during physical activity and training sessions.

BACKGROUND

Training at a higher altitude is a well-known and habitual practice used to improve the physical performance of athletes. This refers to the fact that as the altitude increases, the atmospheric pressure decreases and the number of gas molecules in the air, including the oxygen molecules required for producing energy in the body, decreases. Red blood cells are the cells that transport oxygen to the muscles. To compensate for the oxygen deficit (hypoxia) at the higher altitude, the body increases the hematocrit, i.e. the percentage occupied by the red blood cells of the total volume of the blood. Consequently, by training at a higher altitude, the number of red blood cells increases. As the altitude decreases back, the greater hematocrit level in the blood oxygenates the muscles more effectively, providing the muscles with greater amount of energy, so that their performance increases and the appearance of fatigue is delayed.

Obviously, training at a higher altitude requires travelling to places located at a higher altitude, including the risk involved and time invested. Moreover, as the effects of training at the higher altitude are lost over time, after going down to the lower altitude, there is a need for periodic travel to and back from the higher altitudes.

US Patent 5,848,589 discloses a training mask for replicating the decrease in oxygen density and the increased breathing effort at higher altitudes. The mask has a nasal portion for covering the user's nose and a lower portion for covering the user's mouth. A peripheral edge conformable with the face forms a chamber with the user's mouth and nose contained therein. A valve-controlled air channel presents a first exterior aperture in communication with the outside ambient air and a second interior aperture positioned adjacent the user's mouth. A fibrous filter, or a plurality of such filters, are releasably engageable within the air channel. Upon inhalation the oxygen density of the ambient air, as drawn through the air channel and through the fibrous filter(s), is decreased. This decrease replicates the decrease in oxygen found in the ambient air at higher altitudes which requires the user to increase the breathing effort so as to deliver a sufficient amount of oxygen to the bloodstream. Upon exhalation the exhaled air is discharged through valve controlled exhaust ports.

RU2193899 discloses a device for enhanced effectiveness of treatment and preventing cellular hypoxia. The device has a cylindrical casing one end of which is produced as facial mask covering airflow zone where the air moves through nose and mouth, the other end having opening for in- and exhaling. Lateral wall of the casing has a row of parallel holes arranged in perpendicular to cylinder general axis and spaced 1- 1.5 cm far from each other. Carbon dioxide and oxygen concentration is controlled in the inhaled gas mixture by closing these holes with plate or simply with patient fingers.

US Patent 8,590,533 discloses a respiratory inhalation resistance exercise device with a separate air inlet and air outlet. A mask, which provides a substantially airtight perimeter seal during inhaling and lung expansion, is provided which covers at least the user's nose and mouth. Multiple air inlet inserts are provided for interchangeable use in the air inlet, allowing different rates and resistance to airflow, as provided. The device is held in place, hands free, by straps around the user's head. The device may also cover the entire face of a user, with lenses in eye openings for sight. The device may be utilized continually in vigorous exercise, without use of a mouthpiece, without significant protruding parts, without movable valves or parts, and held in place without limitation on the user's activity.

US Patent 9,067,086 discloses a wearable training mask providing varied inhalation resistance settings and including a depth defining and air impermeable body having an exterior surface and an interior surface exhibiting a perimeter extending seal such that the body is adapted to overlay a wearer's mouth and nose. A plurality of air admittance valve subassemblies are provided and incorporated into locations along the body. Each of the valve subassemblies exhibits multiple resistance settings for affecting a degree of air flow into the mask in response to inhalation by the wearer. Straps extending from said body have inter-engaging ends affixing about the wearers head. GENERAL DESCRIPTION

There is a need in the art to provide a physical training device that accurately simulates, when used by a user, defined environmental conditions relating to altitude from sea level, such as the air parameters and in particular the oxygen condition (abundance, concentration, percentage). This is particularly useful for athletes seeking improving their physical performance and increasing endurance.

The present invention provides a training device for effectively emulating air condition, e.g. number of oxygen molecules, at a predetermined, defined, altitude from sea level and it can be used while the user is staying in rest or during physical activity or a training session. The device of the present invention is highly adjustable and may be calibrated easily to emulate the conditions at various predetermined altitudes, and it is accurate in duplicating air parameters at a desired altitude, while having a relatively simple build. It is simple to use, portable, hands-free (configured to be worn by the user, e.g. being configured as a face mask), comfortable and cost effective.

In particular, the device lets the user experience the same breathing parameters of exact altitude from sea level which he is interested in, without excessive breathing effort and without the need to practice a special breathing regime. The user breathes normally through the device, as he would breathe without the device as the device is configured to allow free flow of air therethrough. The main difference when using the device is that in each breathing cycle (inhaling and exhaling), the amounts of oxygen inhaled, consumed and exhaled are smaller than what they would be without using the device (at the specific altitude).

One of the many advantages of the device of the present invention is that it uses a common channel for the passage of air going inside and outside of the user's lungs, thus providing a breathing mechanism as close as possible to the normal situation (without a device), with the only difference being the amounts of oxygen as described above.

According to the universal gas laws, it is appreciated that gas fills the whole volume it occupies. It is also appreciated that for the same volume of gas, there is a direct relationship between the gas pressure and the number of gas molecules. The device of the present invention emulates gas conditions/parameters in a given altitude, by providing control over the pressure of gas breathed, and possibly also over the volume of gas breathed, to thereby control the amount/number of gas molecules, specifically oxygen, consumed by the user being at another altitude. The lower consumption of oxygen promotes physiological effects which eventually improve generation of energy in the body, as was described above.

In order to emulate different predetermined altitudes, by controlling the parameters of the air breathed, the device of the present invention comprises a chamber through which the user breathes in and out. The chamber comprises a patterned airway configured to control parameters of air breathed in and out by the user. When the device is worn by the user, the chamber/patterned airway is aligned with the user's mouth or nose (or both), such that the user can breathe only through the chamber and the air breathed passes only through the patterned airway. The air flows unobstructed from outside the device through the patterned airway and reaches the user's respiratory system and vice versa. The parameters of air which are controlled by the device comprise, without being limited to, the air volume, the air pressure and the air molecule composition/number.

Typically, the chamber is configured in a prism-like shape with two aligned bases, e.g. parallel, and one or more side walls connecting the bases. Inside, the chamber has a cavity through which the air passes between the bases, in both directions, during inhaling and exhaling. One of the bases is proximal to the user's mouth/nose and therefore may be referred to as the inner base. The second base is distal, i.e. at the far side from the user's mouth/nose, and accordingly may be referred to as the outer base.

The patterned airway is formed by the two bases, the side wall(s) and the cavity. The proximal and distal bases define and control the pressure of air in the chamber, i.e. the pressure of air breathed, and consequently the number of oxygen molecules in each breathing cycle. The cavity affects the volume of air that will be breathed in and out.

To this end, the proximal and distal bases comprise first and second air windows respectively, to allow a bi-directional air flow therethrough. The air windows may be formed by perforation(s) or air-permeable region(s) in the proximal and distal bases, and are aligned with respect to each other between the bases. Each of the air windows may include a pattern of perforations/air-permeable regions to control the air passage therethrough. The resistance to air flow of the aligned first and second patterned air windows limits the number of air molecules available for the user during breathing, therefore emulating a higher altitude characterized by a lower air pressure. The device is capable of emulating different altitudes, by controlling the pressure of air inside the cavity and as a result the number of air molecules. The pressure inside the cavity is controlled by the differential pressure between the proximal and distal bases, and the differential pressure is governed by the pattern formed in the air windows and by the alignment between the first and second patterned air windows. The alignment between the patterned air windows is influenced inter alia, by the number, shape, size and arrangement of the perforations/air-permeable regions included in the patterned air windows.

Preferably, the device is configured with at least one base(s) of the chamber being replaceable, such that only the base(s) needs to be replaced in order to achieve a different airway pattern resulting in different pressure of air breathed, the latter being similar to the air pressure at the different higher altitude.

Thus, according to a first broad aspect of the invention, there is provided a device configured to be carried by a user for emulating oxygen condition at different altitudes, the device comprises a chamber through which the user breathes in and out, the chamber comprises a patterned airway configured to control parameters of air breathed in and out by the user.

In some embodiments the chamber has a prism-like shape having proximal and distal bases comprising, respectively, first and second air windows, each of the first and second air windows being configured to allow flow of air therethrough in both directions, the patterned airway comprising the first and second air windows and extending from the proximal base to the distal base. The first and second air windows of the proximal and distal bases may have the same or different geometries. The geometry is defined by the at least one of the shape (e.g., triangular, rectangular, circular...), or surface area (through which air flows).

In some embodiments, at least one of the first and second air windows has a pattern comprising spaced-apart air-permeable regions through which air flows. The air- permeable regions may comprise at least one perforation. The first and second air windows may have different patterns. The pattern in the first air window of the proximal base may be configured to be more restrictive to flow of air than the pattern in the second air window of the distal base. The pattern may be characterized by at least one of the following: a number of the air-permeable regions, geometry of the air- permeable regions and spaces between the air-permeable regions.

In some embodiments, at least one of the proximal and distal bases is replaceable, thereby enabling replacement of at least the first or second air windows resulting in a different patterned airway and controlling the parameters of air breathed in and out by the user.

In some embodiments, the chamber of prism-like shape is a cylinder and the proximal and distal bases are circular or ovoid.

In some embodiments, the total surface area of each of the first and second air windows ranges from 78.5 mm2 to 430 mm2.

In some embodiments, the device is configured to emulate the oxygen condition at different altitudes between 500m and 4000m above an altitude at which the user stands.

In some embodiments, the device is configured to be worn by the user by using a mask which has an opening for accommodating the chamber, such that the chamber is aligned with the mouth or nose of the user. Typically, the mask has an edge that follows the contours of a user's face and provides hermitic sealing around the user's mouth and nose when in use.

In some embodiments, the chamber is configured to receive therein a filter configured to purify the air breathed in by the user.

According to a second broad aspect of the invention, there is provided a kit for use by an individual for emulating oxygen condition at different altitudes. The kit comprises a mask, a prism-like chamber and a plurality of replacement bases for the chamber. The mask is worn by a user, and comprises an edge that follows contour of the user's face for providing a hermitic edge seal for the user's mouth and nose. The mask comprises an opening aligned with the user's mouth and nose. The prism-like chamber is configured to be inserted hermitically inside said opening, said chamber comprising a patterned airway configured to control flow of air breathed in and out by the user, said patterned airway comprises first and second patterned air windows formed in, respectively, proximal and distal bases of said chamber, at least one of said proximal and distal bases is replaceable. The plurality of replacement bases each comprises a different patterned air window for controlling the flow/pressure of air inside the chamber and emulating the oxygen condition at different altitudes. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In order to better understand the subject matter that is disclosed herein and to exemplify how it may be carried out in practice, embodiments will now be described, by way of non-limiting example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

Figs. 1A-1D illustrate schematically one embodiment of a device in accordance with the present invention; and

Figs. 2A-2C illustrate schematically examples of the air window formed in a base of the chamber of a device of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

Reference is made to Figs. 1A-1D showing a non-limiting embodiment of a device 100, for using to emulate air conditions (specifically oxygen) at different altitudes, in accordance with the present invention. Fig. 1A illustrates one example of the complete device 100 configured to be carried by a user (not shown), and comprises a chamber 110 through which the user breathes in and out, such that the chamber 110 is in fluid communication with the user's mouth and/or nose. The chamber 110, shown assembled in Fig. IB and in exploded views in Figs. 1C and ID, comprises a patterned airway 118 configured to regulate airflow and control parameters of air flowing inside a cavity 112 of the chamber 110. The chamber 110 has a first proximal (inner) base 130 and a second distal (outer) base 140, and a side wall (face) 120 connecting between the two bases. As will be further described below, the patterned airway 118 includes first and second patterned air windows 132 and 142 through which air passes in both directions. The bidirectional first and second patterned air windows are formed in the proximal and distal bases 130 and 140 respectively.

As shown, the device 100 is worn by the user via a mask 20 which at least covers both the mouth and the nose of the user, in order to assure that the user breathes only through the chamber 110. The chamber 110 may be received inside a compatible opening 24 formed in the mask 20, such that the chamber 110 is aligned by either the mouth or nose of the user or both of them. The chamber 110 and the opening 24 may be configured for removable attachment such that the chamber 110 or the mask 20 can be substituted with another chamber or mask. The attachment may be via a suitable attachment mechanism that ensures sealing and prevents air passage between the opening and the side wall of the chamber, e.g. threads formed in both of the chamber 110 and the mask 20, a clip or a male-female attachment mechanism, all are known in the art (not shown in figures). Alternatively, as shown in the figures, the distal base 142 may have a surrounding side wing(s) 144 configured to be larger than the opening 24 in the mask and by this it provides better attachment to the mask 20 and prevents passage of air except through the patterned airway 118. The mask 20 includes an edge 22 surrounding the whole mask perimeter that seals and provides a hermitical separation between at least the mouth and nose of the user and the free air outside. The mask 20 may be made from any flexible, biocompatible material known in the art, as long as it is air-proof, such as a polymer, elastomer, plastic or other soft material that allows the adjustment to the user's face. The mask can be secured to the user's face by using a band 26 or any other suitable known means.

As appreciated, the user is hands free when wearing the device 100. He can exercise freely and breathe normally through the device as he would without the device on. Breathing through the device does not alter the breathing process, it does not force the user to adopt new behavior, e.g. to make his breathing faster or more forceful. Therefore, the usage of the device is friendly and comfortable. Besides, the device of the invention is advantageous in that the emulation of a specific altitude is independent and is not affected by the user. For a given chamber with given parameters, as will be described below, the altitude emulation is absolute and does not require any interference from the user.

As illustrated in the enlarged non-limiting embodiment of the chamber 110 in Figs. IB-ID, the chamber 110 may be made from any suitable rigid or semi-rigid material such as plastic, metal, rubber, silicone or textile, and has a prism-like geometrical shape, generally having the proximal base 130 and the distal base 140 and their edges connected by the side wall(s) (side face(s)) 120, with the cavity 112 enclosed between the bases and the side wall along a longitudinal axis LA. In the non- limiting example shown in the figure, the chamber has a cylindrical-like shape. The prism shape of the chamber 110 may be right, oblique or truncated depending on the relative alignment of the bases and the side wall, as will be detailed further below. The side wall 120 may be formed as part of the proximal or distal bases. In the non-limiting example shown in Fig. 1C, it is formed integrally/ attached permanently to the distal base 140. Alternatively, as shown in Fig. ID, it may be an independent open sided prism-like part (e.g. a cylinder with open bases), such that the proximal and distal bases are attached to its both open sides. Alternatively, it may be integrally formed in the mask 20 inside the opening 24, such that the proximal and distal are attached to both sides of the mask 20 to form the chamber 110.

Also shown in the figures, is an attachment mechanism 122, formed in the side wall 120, to allow insertion and fixing of the chamber 110 inside a mask, thus facilitating its carrying by the user. As mentioned, the attachment mechanism 122 provides a sealed separation between the user's mouth/nose and the surrounding atmosphere, such that the air can enter and exit the user's respiratory system only through the patterned airway of the chamber 110. The attachment mechanism 122 may be configured, as mentioned earlier, as a thread, clip, or other mechanism known in the art.

The two bases 130 and 140 may be identical or different in their geometry or size (area). They may be triangular, rectangular or have any polygonal shape. Preferably, the bases 130 and 140 are circular or ovoid as this would minimize friction and loss of energy in the flowing air along the airway 118 inside the cavity 112. Also, the bases 130 and 140 might have the same cross-sectional area (size) or be different. In the latter case, the chamber 110 is oblique or truncated. Typically, the bases have equal sizes for simplicity of manufacturing, though it should be understood that the invention is not limited to such configuration.

The chamber 110 provides the patterned airway 118 along which the air from the atmosphere moves towards the mouth/nose of the user, i.e. from the distal base 140 to the proximal base 130 during inhaling, and in the opposite direction, during exhaling. The patterned airway 118 includes/is influenced by: the sizes of the proximal and distal bases 130 and 140; the alignment between the bases and between the bases and the side wall 120; the air windows 132 and 142 formed in the proximal and distal bases 130 and 140 respectively; and the size/volume of the cavity 112. All of the mentioned factors independently apply specific configurations that affect the air flow inside the chamber 110, causing an alteration in the laminarity/turbulence of the air flow which affects the overall air parameters inside/flowing through the chamber. The alignment between the bases 130 and 140 affects the patterned airway 118. In some embodiments, the two bases are parallel and the prism shape is right. In some other embodiments, the two bases are parallel and the prism shape is oblique (the so called frustum shape). In yet other embodiments, the bases are inclined with respect to each and the prism is truncated. Additionally, in the case the sizes of the bases are different, e.g. one of the bases is smaller than the other, the patterned airway is affected as well, because the prism will not be right even if the bases are parallel.

Each of the air windows 132 and 142 may include a pattern of air-permeable regions (such as perforations), defined by number, size, geometry and spaces between the air-permeable regions, as will be further detailed below.

The patterned air windows 132 and 142 limit the flow of air inside the cavity 112 and provide a difference in air pressure between the atmosphere and the cavity 112, such that the air pressure inside the cavity 112 is less than the atmospheric pressure and as a result the air inside the cavity includes less number of oxygen molecules and consequently emulates the atmosphere at a higher altitude. Possibly, one of the patterned air windows is more restrictive to air flow than the other, thus magnifying the differential air pressure. The patterned air window in each base may be formed by a single perforation (air-permeable region) or a plurality of spaced-apart perforations. In the former case, the single perforations in both sides are usually different in their total size (surface area), or are inclined with respect to each other, in order to provide the differential air pressure. In some embodiments, one of the patterned air windows includes one perforation while the other window includes a plurality of perforations. The plurality of perforations, either formed in one window or both, may be identical or different in their geometry (shapes or sizes (areas)). Moreover, the perforations in the patterned air windows 132 and 142 may be misaligned with respect to each other, e.g. some perforations at one window are blocked at the other window and vice versa. This misalignment also promotes for the patterning of the air way inside the cavity 112 and thus manipulating and varying the parameters of air breathed by the user. Accordingly, the patterned air windows may be aligned, partially aligned, misaligned or partially misaligned in order to provide the desired profile of air parameters, particularly the flow, pressure and composition of the air flowing into and out from the respiratory system of the user. It should be understood that the above specific configurations of the chamber bases and the air windows formed therein are not inclusive and do not limit the invention.

The volume of the cavity 112 that contains the patterned airway also has a significant role in the control over the parameters of the air breathed by the user. This 5 volume is affected by the bases overall diameters (in a circle shape)/areas, and by the magnitude of the longitudinal axis LA. The bigger the volume, for the same given patterned windows, the less the air pressure and the higher the emulated altitude. The longer the longitudinal axis, for the same bases' areas, the bigger the volume and the harder for the user to move the air column inside the chamber 110. It can thus be 10 appreciated, that the chamber may be designed in several ways, by changing the different design parameters as described above, while obtaining the same altitude emulation effect.

Reference is made to Figs. 2A-2C illustrating non-limiting examples of different configurations of the pattern 132 (shown in Figs. IB- ID) formed in the proximal base

15 130. As previously said, both of the proximal and distal bases of the breathing chamber include the first and second air windows respectively, and the latter may have patterns configured to control the flow and parameters of the air flowing through the proximal and distal bases of the chamber. Preferably, the different configurations of the pattern 132 (or 142) are formed in a plurality of replaceable bases, so that they can be used with

20 one chamber and/or one mask. As mentioned above, at least one of the proximal and the distal bases can be configured to be replaceable. Typically, the device can be configured with only one replaceable base. In this example, the proximal base 130 is shown as the replaceable base with three, non-limiting, pattern examples. As also mentioned above, the base of the chamber may have any external geometrical shape (defined by its

25 perimeter) such as triangular, rectangular or circular. Practically, the base has a circular shape because this makes it easier to place on the chamber or remove therefrom. A first pattern 132A formed in the base 130A is shown in Fig. 2A. The pattern 132A is a simple one air window/ air-permeable region 132A having area Ai formed therein. The region 132A can be formed in the center of the base but not necessarily. Like the base,

30 the air-permeable region 132A can have any geometrical shape or size (e.g., triangular, triangular, circular...). Preferably, the air-permeable region does not contain corners or sharp edges, so circular or oval shapes are often used. Replacement of the base enables the emulation of the air parameters at a specific altitude, relative to the altitude at which the user is found, because it changes the patterned airway in the chamber. At least three parameters of the air-preamble region can be configured to control the patterned airway. The first is the total surface area Ai of the pattern 132A (e.g. one air-permeable region, the larger the area the lower the altitude (a converse relationship). The second is the total number of the regions (also a converse relationship), and the third is the distance between the plurality of regions. Basically, making the area of a single region n times bigger, is similar to forming n different regions having together the same area, as the important factor is the total area of the window(s) / air-permeable region(s).

Fig. 2B exemplifies a base 130B having an air window 132B having an area A2. If A2 is bigger than Ai (as illustrated), then the base 132B emulates air conditions at an altitude lower than the altitude emulated by the base 132A, and vice versa.

Fig. 2C exemplifies a base 130C having a pattern which is formed by a plurality of spaced-apart perforations/air windows/air-permeable regions 132C-132F having areas A3-A6 respectively (4 regions are shown, being a non-limiting example). The areas A3-A6 can be equal or different between them and can be spaced equally or not equally from each other. Preferably, the areas A3-A6 (and probably the spaces between the regions) are equal because first, this is easier to manufacture and, second, this enables easy and exact control on the emulated altitude, such that the addition of each air permeable region in the pattern lowers the altitude by a fixed number of meters. The inventors have found that reducing the area of the air-permeable region(s), causes that, while breathing at the same effort, a significant variation in oxygen consumption which emulates the lower oxygen concentration in a higher altitude. Therefore, by reducing the total area of air permeable region(s) which results in lower flow of air, a higher altitude is emulated; in the opposite way by increasing the total area of air permeable region(s) resulting in higher flow of air, the equivalent altitude decreases.

As said, the device of the present invention is capable of accurately emulating defined and fixed air composition, especially oxygen, at known altitudes by providing the corresponding air parameters (pressure and volume) in the patterned airway, i.e. inside and across the chamber. The regulation of the air pressure is achieved by providing the suitable patterned airway, i.e. by providing the right alignment between the proximal and distal bases, the right patterned air windows inside the bases and the right volume of the cavity. To this end, the invention enables providing several chambers that correspond to several altitudes. The several chambers may be different from each other in the volume of cavity for example, by varying the magnitude of the longitudinal axis or the area of the bases. Alternatively, the several chambers may be different from each other in differential pressure across the chamber, by changing one of the patterned air windows. Replacement of one of the patterned air windows provides for varying the parameters of the patterned airway, while keeping the volume constant, and emulating one specific altitude with each replacement patterned air window. Replacing the patterned air window is typically more practical and cost effective than replacing the whole chamber because it requires replacing one of the bases, either the proximal or the distal base, while the other base is fixed. The replacement bases include air windows having different patterns that, with the fixed air window in the fixed base, control the breathed air parameters and emulate the desired altitudes. Preferably, the replaceable base is the proximal base, because it is secured on the inside of the device such that it does not accidentally fall or get damaged during usage.