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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
A PROTECTOR
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/011534
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A protector comprising a flexible tubular band (1), the band (1) being such that it can be worn on the arm (20) of a person. The band (1) may be made from a waterproof and elastic material. The band (1) may be worn on the arm (20), without any folds, so that it covers the item to be protected, with the item being held between the band (1) and the wearer's skin. Alternatively, the band (1) may be folded so that the item (2) is held within the band 1, wherein the band (1) comprises a first and second sections (4, 5), wherein the first section (4) can be folded so that it covers at least a portion of the second section (5), and forms a pocket in between the first (4) and second (5) sections in which an item (2) can be held, and the second section (5) can be then folded so that it covers at least a portion of the first section (5), and thus sealing the band (1).

More Like This:
JP2006299488BAND FOR BODY
Inventors:
THOMAS, Richard (31 Lynwood Road, RedhillSurrey, RH1 1JR, GB)
Application Number:
GB2017/000105
Publication Date:
January 18, 2018
Filing Date:
July 07, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
THOMAS, Richard (31 Lynwood Road, RedhillSurrey, RH1 1JR, GB)
International Classes:
A41D13/08; A44C5/00; A45C11/10; A45C11/12; G04B37/00
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FRY, David John (Agile IP LLP, Airport HousePurley Way, Croydon, Surrey CR0 0XZ, GB)
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Claims:
A protector comprising a flexible tubular band, the band being such that it can be worn on the arm of a person.

A protector according to claim 1 , wherein the band is made from a waterproof material.

A protector according to claim 1 or claim 2, wherein the band is made from an elastic material.

A protector according to any preceding claim, wherein the band comprises first and second sections, and the width of the band is such that, when the band is worn on the arm of a person, the first section can be folded so that it covers at least a portion of the second section, and forms a pocket in between the first and second sections in which an item can be held.

A protector according to claim 4, wherein the first section comprises means for releasably sealing the first section to the second section once it has been folded so that it covers at least a portion of the second section.

A protector according to any of claim 4 or claim 5, wherein the width of the band is such that the second section can be folded so that it covers at least a portion of the first section once the first section has been folded so that it covers at least a portion of the second section.

A protector according to claim 6, wherein the second section comprises means for releasably sealing the second section to the first section once the second section has been folded so that it covers at least a portion of the first section.

8. A protector according to any of claims 4 to 7, wherein the band is made from a self-sealing material.

9. A protector according to any of claims 4 to 8, wherein the protector is for protecting a watch, and the band includes a panel in the centre of the band, which is such that, when the protector is in use, it does not prevent the function of any sensors in the back of the watch.

10. A protector according to claim 9, wherein said panel is of reduced thickness.

11. A protector according to any of claims 4 to 10, wherein the protector is for protecting a watch, and the band includes panel(s) in the first section and/or the second section of the band, which are such that, when the protector is in use, they do not prevent the function of any touch screen on the face of the watch.

12. A protector according to claim 11 , wherein said panel(s) are of reduced thickness.

13. A protector according to any of claims 4 to 12, wherein the protector is for protecting a watch, and the band includes panel(s) in the first section and/or the second section of the band, which are such that, when the watch protector is in use, they allow the face of the watch to be seen.

14. A protector according to any preceding claim, wherein the width of the band is at least 6cm, preferably at least 8cm, more preferably at least 10cm, most preferably at least 12cm.

A method of protecting an item to be worn by a person using a protector formed by a flexible tubular band, the method comprising the steps of: pushing the band over the hand of the person and arranging the band so that it is worn adjacent to the skin and extends from the hand, along the lower portion of the arm;

locating the item, on top of the band, with sections of the band projecting on either side of the item;

folding a first section of the band back over the item so that the first section covers at least part the item, and contacts the second section;

folding the second section of the band back over the first section, so that the second section covers at least part of the first section.

A method of protecting an item according to claim 15, wherein the item is wrist wearable, and the item is fastened around the wrist of the person on top of the band.

Description:
A PROTECTOR

Field of the Invention

The invention relates to a protector for watches, health monitors or jewelry that are worn on the wearer's wrist. The protector is in the shape of a band, and offers protection against water damage and/or accidental impact and scratching, e.g. during sporting or work related activities.

Background to the Invention There are many small items which are susceptible to damage and/or theft, particularly when the owner has no means to carry or conceal them due to having limited clothing, for example on a beach or by a pool. Such items include for example without limitation, watches, wearable health or physical activity monitors, jewelry, money and keys.

It is an object of the invention to provide a protector for protecting small items from damage and/or theft.

Summary of the Invention Accordingly, the invention provides a protector comprising a flexible tubular band, the band being such that it can be worn on the arm of a person.

The band may be made from a waterproof material. The band may be made from an elastic material.

The band may be worn on the arm, without any folds, so that it covers the item to be protected, with the item being held between the band and the wearer's skin. Alternatively, the band may be folded so that the item is held within the band. Thus, the band may comprise first and second sections, and the width of the band may be such that, when the band is worn on the arm of a person, the first section can be folded so that it covers at least a portion of the second section, and forms a pocket in between the first and second sections in which an item can be held.

The first section may comprise means for releasably sealing the first section to the second section once it has been folded so that it covers at least a portion of the second section.

The width of the band may be such that the second section can be folded so that it covers at least a portion of the first section once the first section has been folded so that it covers at least a portion of the second section. The item will then be entirely encapsulated by the band.

The second section may comprise means for releasably sealing the second section to the first section once the second section has been folded so that it covers at least a portion of the first section. The band may be made from a self-sealing material. The self-sealing material should be such that the material will stick to itself when pressed together, and release when pulled apart.

A smartwatch is an electronic device that is designed to be worn on the wrist, and is able to perform many of the functions of a smartphone or a tablet computer. Smartwatches often include functionality which depends on sensors positioned on the back of the watch. These sensors monitor, for example, temperature and heart rate.

Where the protector is for protecting a watch, the band may include a panel in the centre of the band, which is such that, when the protector is in use, it does not prevent the function of any sensors in the back of the watch. Said panel may be of reduced thickness. Smartwatches often include a touch screen on the face of the watch.

Where the protector is for protecting a watch, the band may include panel(s) in the first section and/or the second section of the band, which are such that, when the protector is in use, they do not prevent the function of any touch screen on the face of the watch. Said panel(s) may be of reduced thickness.

Where the protector is for protecting a watch, the band may include panel(s) in the first section and/or the second section of the band, which are such that, when the protector is in use, they allow the face of the watch to be seen.

The width of the band may be at least 6cm, preferably at least 8cm, more preferably at least 10cm, most preferably at least 12cm.

Brief Description of the Drawings

The invention will now be illustrated with reference to the following drawings, of which:

Figure 1 shows a side view of a first embodiment of a protector according to the invention;

Figures 2a to 2c show a side view of the protector of Figure 1 , in the process of being used to protect a watch; Figures 2b and 2c also show zoomed in areas of the protector showing sealing folds of the protector.

Figure 3a shows a side cross-sectional view of the protector of Figure 1 , being used to protect a watch;

Figure 3b shows a cross-sectional representation of an arm, a watch and the protector of Figure 1 , being used to protect the watch; and Figure 4 shows a side view of a second embodiment of a protector according to the invention, being used to protect a watch.

Detailed Description of Preferred Embodiments Figures 1 to 3 show a first embodiment of a protector according to the invention. This protector consists of a flexible tubular band 1 , which is made from a waterproof, elastic material. The diameter and elasticity of the band 1 are such that it may be pushed over the hand of a person wearing a watch 2, and worn on the lower portion of the arm 20.

The elastic material may be silicon, rubber, latex, neoprene and the like. In addition, the material may be of high resistance to tear, puncture and/or scuff damage.

The protector may provide protection against water as well as dust and sand. The flexible tubular band may be in shape a substantially regular cylinder, or alternatively a tubular shape with a wide diameter in the center and narrower at the ends.

In one embodiment, the inner side of the tubular band 1 that is in contact with the wearer's skin may comprise protrusions, such as dimples or ridges that reduce the contact surface area of the band 1 to the wearer's skin, and thus allow it to aerate and reduce sweating and chafing. Alternatively, the band 1 may comprise an additional layer of a second material between the band 1 and the wearer's skin. The diameter will depend on whether the protector is designed to be used by a man, woman or child.

For the purposes of illustration, this first embodiment of a protector according to the invention has been described as being used to protect a watch. However, this protector may also be used to protect other items such as wearable health or physical activity monitors, money or keys. In one embodiment of the invention, the protector is made of shock absorbing material to alternatively or additionally offer protection against accidental impact and scratching, e.g. during sporting or work related activities. The protector may protect the watch as well as others around the user e.g. in a sporting activity.

The protector may further be made of low thermal transmittance materials to reduce the wearer's discomfort of wearing metallic watches or jewelries during very hot or cold days.

In a further embodiment, the protector is made of customisable and colorful materials, or with design patterns for fashion purposes.

Figure 1 shows the band 1 in an open position.

Figures 2a to 2c show the protector, in the process of being used to protect a watch. In the interests of clarity, the arm 20 has been shown as tubular.

Figure 2c shows the protector in a closed and sealed position.

A method of applying the protector will now be described.

The first step to be taken when using the protector to protect a watch is to insert the hand of the arm 20 on which the watch is to be worn into the central cavity 3 of the band 1 which forms the protector, push the band 1 over the hand and arrange the band 1 so that it is worn adjacent to the skin and extends from the hand, along the lower portion of the arm 20. A watch 2 is then fastened around the wrist of the arm 20, on top of the band 1 , with first 4 and second 5 sections of the band 1 projecting on either side of the watch 2. Figure 2a shows the protector after this first step has been taken. The second step is shown in Figure 2b and consists of folding the first section 4 of the band 1 back over the watch 2, so that the first section 4 entirely covers the watch 2, and contacts the second section 5. The direction of the fold is shown by curved arrows F in Figure 2a.

The third step is shown in Figure 2c and consists of folding the second section 5 of the band 1 back over the first section 4, so that the second section 5 entirely covers the first section 4, and contacts the wearer's skin 7. The direction of the fold is shown by curved arrows E in Figure 2b.

The watch 2 is now entirely encapsulated by the band 1. As the band 1 is made from a waterproof material, the watch 2 will be protected from water. The thickness and elasticity of the band 1 are such that they will allow any push buttons on the watch 2 to be operated through the band 1.

Reversing the steps above moves the band 1 from the closed position to the open positon.

The first section 4 includes means for releasably sealing the first section 4 to the second section 5 once it has been folded so that it contacts the second section 5. The second section 5 includes means for releasably sealing the second section 5 to the first section 4 once it has been folded so that it covers the first section 4.

Any suitable means may be used for the sealing means. For example, the band may be made from a self-sealing material, which is such that the material will stick to itself when pressed together, and release when pulled apart. The realeasable sealing means will further assist in protecting the watch 2 from water.

From the above, it can be seen that the width A of the band 1 should be such that the band 1 can be folded so that the first section 4 entirely covers the watch 2, and the second section 5 entirely covers the first section 4. It will be clear that the band width A that it is necessary to ensure this will depend on the width of the watch 2 and the elasticity of the material from which the band 1 is made. In this specific embodiment, the width A is 16cm, prior to stretching.

Smartwatches often include functionality which depends on sensors positioned on the back of the watch. These sensors monitor, for example, temperature and heart rate. The band 1 may include a panel (not shown) in the centre of the band 1 , which, is such that it can be positioned directly beneath the back of the watch 2 when the watch protector is in use. This panel is designed so that it does not prevent the function of any sensors in the back of the watch 2. For example, the panel may be of reduced thickness compared to the rest of the band 1 , or it may be made of a special material, which does not prevent the function of any sensors. Alternatively, a tubular central section 12 of the band 1 may be of reduced thickness compared to the rest of the band , or it may be made of a special material so that it does not prevent the function of any sensors in the back of the watch 2.

Smartwatches often include a touch screen in the face 6 of the watch 2. The band 1 may include panel(s) (not shown) in the first section and/or the second section of the band, which are such that they can be positioned directly above the face 6 of the watch 2 when the watch protector is in use. These panel(s) are designed so that they do not prevent the function of any touch screen on the face 6 of the watch 2. For example, the panel(s) may be of reduced thickness compared to the rest of the band 1 , or they may be made of a special material, which does not prevent the function of any touch screen. The panel(s) may be transparent so that they allow the face 6 of the watch 2 to be seen when the protector is in use.

Alternatively, a tubular first reduced section 14 of the first section 4 may be of reduced thickness compared to the rest of the band 1 , or it may be of a special transparent material so that the face 6 is clearly visible and optionally further of a special material so that it does not prevent the function of any touch screen on the face 6 of the watch 2. Similarly the second section 5 may comprise a second reduced section 15, which may be of reduced thickness compared to the rest of the band 1 , or it may be of a special transparent material so that the face 6 is clearly visible and optionally further of a special material so that it does not prevent the function of any touch screen on the face 6 of the watch 2, even when both first 4 and second 5 sections are folded over the face 6.

In one embodiment, the central reduced section 12 and the first reduced section 14 are reduced in thickness on the outer side of the band 1 , i.e., the side in contact with the watch 2. Whereas, the second reduced section 15 is reduced in thickness on the inner side of the band 1 , i.e. the side in contact with the skin of the wearer. The boundaries of the first reduced section 14 are defined by first 16 and second 17 protrusions. The boundaries of the central reduced section 12 are defined by second 17 and third 18 protrusions. A fourth protrusion 19 on the inner side of the band 1 defines the boundary of the second reduced section 15.

The central reduced section 12 provides a base housing for the watch 2, helping it lodge and remain in the centre of the band 1. Moreover, when the first section 4 is folded over the watch 2, the first reduced section 14 provides a cover housing for the watch 2. Thus, the central reduced section 12 and the first reduced section 14 encase the watch 2 in a void 13 created between the central reduced section 12 and the first reduced section 14. A watch 2 encased in the void 13 reduces its resilience against the first section 4 thus facilitating a better seal for a releasable first seal 21 between first 16 and third 18 protrusions and of protrusion 17 folding onto itself.

The folding first section 4 over the watch 2 reveals the inner side of the first section 4, which inner side is has an even large surface. When the second section 5, which also has an even large surface is folded over the folded first section 4, a second releasable seal 22 created between the two surfaces seals the band 1 impermeably. The fourth protrusion 19 offers increased resilience, which keep the second releasable seal 22 closed, and the lip created from the second reduced section 15 latches to the fold of second protrusion 17 further assisting in the structural integrity and impermeability of the sealed band 1.

Thicker areas or sections of the material of band 1 provide increased resilience and as such a tighter grip, which provides a better seal. The band 1 may be of high "tack" (stickiness) material to assist in the sealing. Alternatively, the band 1 may be of material that activates or increases its stickiness onto itself when it is stretched.

In one embodiment, the central reduced section 12 may be of substantially rigid material, which holds a tubular shape and the first 14 and second 15 reduced section may be of elastic material. In one embodiment, the protector is made to protect e.g. a watch when is not worn by the user but for example for packaging after manufacturing.

In a further embodiment, only a section of the band 1 is open and unreliable to accept e.g. a watch head without straps and the rest of the band 1 may have been fused in the closed position. As such the band 1 is also the watch 2 strap.

Where the protector is to be used to protect such items, the first step is the same as that described above, apart from, instead of fastening a watch 2 around the arm 20, the item which is to be protected is placed in the centre of the band 1. The second step is the same as that described above, apart from, instead of folding the first section 4 so that it entirely covers the watch 2, the first section 4 is folded so that it entirely covers the item, so forming a pocket in between the first section 4 and the second section 5. The third step is the same as that described above, that is, the second section 5 is folded so that it entirely covers the first section 4. At the end of this third step, the item will be entirely encapsulated by the band 1. As above, the item will be protected from water as the band 1 is made from a waterproof material. However, the item will also be protected from theft as it will now be carried on the human person.

Figure 4 shows a second embodiment of a protector according to the invention, in the process of being used to protect a watch. In the interests of clarity, the arm 20 has been shown as tubular. This protector is similar to the first embodiment shown in Figures 1 to 3. It also consists of a flexible tubular band 8, which is made from a waterproof, elastic material, and has a diameter and elasticity which are such that the band may be pushed over the hand of a person wearing a watch 2, and worn on the lower portion of the arm 20. However, whereas the protector of Figures 1 to 3 is designed such that the band 1 can be worn beneath the watch 2, with a first section 4 being folded so that it covers the watch 2, and a second section 5 being folded so that it covers the first section 4, the protector shown in Figure 4 is designed such that the band 8 can be worn over the watch 2 , without any sections being folded back over the watch 2. Thus, the watch 2 is held between the band 8 and the wearer's skin. Accordingly, although this second embodiment also includes third 10 and fourth11 sections which project on either side of the watch 2, these third 10 and fourth 11 sections are not folded back over the watch 2, but instead remain adjacent to the wearer's skin when the protector is in use. This means that these third 10 and fourth 11 sections can be narrower than the first 4 and second 5 sections of the first embodiment. The third 10 and fourth 11 sections are of elastic and waterproof material so as to provide a watertight seal to the wearer's skin without causing the wearer discomfort or being restrictive. It will be clear that the band width B that it is necessary to ensure this will depend on the width of the watch and the elasticity of the material from which the band 1 is made. In this specific embodiment, the width is 70 cm, prior to stretching.

Alternatively, the third 10 and fourth 11 sections may each have protrusions on their inner side, which protrusions create a watertight seal with the wearer's skin. In a further embodiment, the band 1 may comprise both the features of the first and second embodiment. As such the band 1 may be used below or above the watch depending on the activity of the wearer.

The protectors described above may include a light (not shown) for use as a safety light. The protectors described above may alternatively or additionally include a GPS receiver and transmitter, which may ping the wearer's location, e.g. during trekking or sailing, or in sports racing competitions.

The above embodiments have been described to illustrate the invention, and are not intended to be limiting in any way. The skilled person will be readily able to devise alternative embodiments without departing from the scope of the claims.