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Title:
SLIM PROFILE HAPTIC TRANDUCERS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/158583
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A haptic transducer comprising a magnetic plate, a plurality of coils each separately couplable to a signal generator such that axis of each coil is perpendicular to the plate and all coils are on a common side of the plate, and signals may be sent from said signal generator to each coil individually.

Inventors:
EFRATI, Mor (Box 52, Givat Yishayahu, 99825, IL)
Application Number:
IL2017/050135
Publication Date:
September 21, 2017
Filing Date:
February 05, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
WOOJER LTD (48 Shimon HaTzaddik, 00 Elad, 4080000, IL)
International Classes:
H02K33/12; H02K1/34; H04R1/00; H04R11/00
Domestic Patent References:
WO2006028165A12006-03-16
Foreign References:
US20130193779A12013-08-01
EP3002958A12016-04-06
US6217508B12001-04-17
US20140321681A12014-10-30
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FACTOR, Michael (IP Factor, Amal 11, Posh HaAyin, 48092, IL)
Download PDF:
Claims:
C LAIMS

1. A haptic transducer comprising a magnetic plate, a plurality of coils each separately couplable to a signal generator such that axis of each coil is perpendicular to the plate and all coils are on a common side of the plate, and signals may be sent from said signal generator to each coil individually.

2. The haptic transducer of claim 1 comprising three or four coils arranged in a layer i n a non-l i near arrangement.

3. The haptic transducer of claim 1 wherein said coils are pancake coils.

4. The haptic transducer of claim 1 wherein said coils are helical coils.

5. T he hapti c transducer of cl ai m 1 wherei n the magneti c pi ate i s a permanent magnetic disc.

6. The haptic transducer of claim 1 wherein, one surface is north seeking and the opposite surface south seeking.

7. The haptic transducer of claim 1 wherein one end is north seeking and the opposite end is south seeking.

8. The haptic transducer of claim 1 wherein the coils are adhered directly to the magnetic plate.

9. The haptic transducer of claim 1 wherein the coils are adhered to one side of a housing and the magnetic plate is adhered to an opposite side of the housing.

10. The haptic transducer of claim 9 wherein the housing comprises a material selected from the group comprising aluminum, copper, wood, cardboard, plastic, fiber reinforced polymer and spring steel.

11. The haptic transducer of claim 1 wherein the coils are attached to one side of a housing and the magnetic plate is suspended within the housing by wires.

12. The haptic transducer of claim 11 wherein the housing comprises a material selected from the group comprising aluminum, copper, wood, cardboard, plastic, fiber reinforced polymer and spring steel.

Description:
SLIM PROFIL E HA PTIC TRA NSD UCE RS

BAC KGROU ND

The Faraday Effect shows how an electric current in a perpendicular magnetic field experiences a thrust in a third tangential direction. This is known as the Faraday Motor Effect. Similarly, movement of a wire within a magnetic field induces a current flow in what is known as the dynamo affect. Where the electrical conduit or wire is coiled, the effects are multiplied as each segment of the coil that is perpendicular to the magnetic field causes or experiences the thrust.

There are a number of transducers that comprise arrangements of coils and magnets that uti I ize this effect. Some create vi brati ons i n response to current fluctuations in the coil and others convert physical movement into electronic signals. Essentially the same arrangement can be used for either purpose.

All physical bodies have natural frequencies of vibration and at these frequencies, harmonic motion is created and wide amplitude vibrations are generated. Dependent on the design of the component magnets, coils and housing, transducers may be designed to vibrate at vibrate significantly at specific desired frequencies or frequency ranges of applied electronic signals, or to generate significant electronic signals by vibrations of desired frequencies or frequency ranges.

Where asymmetrical low frequency signals are applied to a coil of such a transducer, a directional tug may be induced in the magnet and felt by someone contacting the magnet and the surrounding casing. This phenomenon is known as forced feedback.

In 1994, A ura Systems launched the Interactor V est a wearable force- feedback device that monitors an audio signal and uses electromagnetic actuator technology to convert bass sound waves into vibrations that can represent such actions as a punch or ki ck. T he Interactor vest pi ugs i nto the audi o output of a stereo, T V , or V C R and the user is provided with controls that allow for adjusting of the intensity of vibration and filtering out of high frequency sounds. The Interactor V est is worn over the upper torso and the audio signal is reproduced through a speaker embedded in the vest. After selling 400,000 of its Interactor V est, A ura began shipping the Interactor Cushion, a device which operates like the V est but instead of being worn, it's placed against a seat back and the user must lean against it.

US 8,995,692 to Mor Efrati describes a number of transducers comprising various arrangements of coils and magnets that provide bass frequency and infra- sound vibrations that can be worn on the body and enhance the sensations of the wearer. A bass vibrator can be worn together with earphones and will provide a more real i sti c musi c experi ence to the wearer than one weari ng earphones al one, si nee earphones do not effectively reproduce the low frequency notes.

V ery I ow frequency vi brati ons or i nf ra-sound may not be audi bly detected by someone, but they cause a feeling of trepidation that may be associated with fear of the unknown, spookiness, and the like. It has been theorized that it is the non-audible low frequency vibrations in a lion's roar that creates panic.

SU M MA RY OF T H E INV E NTION

T he present i nventi on i s di rected to provi di ng a transducer that can be used for either generating electronic signals in response to physical movement or generating physical movement in response to electronic signals supplied thereto. The transducer is characterized by having a slim profile, making it particularly suitable for a wide variety of uses such as inclusion in smart phones.

A first embodi merit i s di rected to a hapti c transducer compri si ng a magneti c plate, a plurality of coils each separately couplable to a signal generator such that axis of each coil is perpendicular to the plate and all coils are on a common side of the plate, and signals may be sent from said signal generator to each coil individually.

Typically, the haptic transducer comprises three or four coils arranged in a I ayer i n a non- 1 i near arrangement.

In some embodiments, the coils are pancake coils.

In other embodiments, the coils are helical coils.

Typically, the magnetic plate is a permanent magnetic disc.

In some embodiments, one surface of the disc is North seeking and the opposite surface is South seeki ng.

In some embodiments, one end is North seeking and the opposite end is South seeking.

In some embodiments, the coils are adhered directly to the magnetic plate. In some embodiments, the coils are adhered to one side of a housing and the magnetic plate is adhered to an opposite side of the housing.

In some embodiments, the coils are attached to one side of a housing and the magnetic plate is suspended within the housing by wires. Optionally, the housing comprises a material selected from the group comprising aluminum, copper, wood, cardboard, plastic, fiber reinforced polymer and spring steel.

BRIE F DE SCRIPTION OF FIGU RES

For a better understanding of the invention and to show how it may be carried into effect, reference will now be made, purely by way of example, to the accompanying drawings.

With specific reference now to the drawings in detail, it is stressed that the particulars shown are by way of example and for purposes of illustrative discussion of the preferred embodiments of the present invention only, and are presented in the cause of providing what is believed to be the most useful and readily understood description of the principles and conceptual aspects of the invention. In this regard, no attempt is made to show structural details of the invention in more detail than is necessary for a fundamental understanding of the invention; the description taken with the drawings making apparent to those skilled in the art how the several forms of the invention may be embodied in practice. In the accompanying drawings:

Fig. 1 is a schematic i 11 ustrati onal view of a transducer in accordance with a f i rst embodi ment of the i nventi on from bel ow;

Fig. 2 is a schematic ill ustrati onal perspective side view of a transducer in accordance with a f i rst embodi ment of the i nventi on;

Fig. 3 is a schematic i 11 ustrati onal view of a transducer in accordance with a second embodiment of the invention from below;

Fig. 4 is a schematic ill ustrati onal side view of a transducer in accordance with a second embodiment of the invention.

DE SCRIPTION OF E M BODIM E NTS

The present invention is directed to providing a transducer that can be used for either generating electronic signals in response to physical movement or generating physical movement in response to electronic signals supplied thereto. The transducer is characterized by having a slim profile, making it particularly suitable for a wide variety of uses such as inclusion in smart phones.

With reference to Figs. 1 and 2, there is shown schematic views of a transducer in accordance with a first embodiment of the invention from below and from the side. T he transducer 10 consists of a plate of ferromagnetic material 12 and a plurality of helical coils 14a, 14b, 14c separately couplable to a signal generator 16 such that the axis of each coil X (XX ) is perpendicular to the plate 12 and signals may be sent to each coil 14a, 14b, 14c individually. Although three coils are shown, a different number, such as four coils, for example, may be provided.

The plurality of coils are arranged in a single layer, but in a non-linear arrangement such that supplying separate asymmetrical signals to each coil can cause the plate of ferromagnetic material to be tugged in any desired direction.

As shown in Figures 1 and 2, the coils 14a, 14b, 14c may be conventional coils and the magnetic plate may be a permanent magnetic disc 12 such that the top surface thereof 13 is North Seeking and the bottom surface 11 is South Seeking.

Alternatively, the top surface thereof 13 is South Seeking and the bottom surface 11 thereof is North Seeking.

The coils 14a, 14b, 15c are adhered to one side of a surface 16 which may be part of a housing 18 covering the magnetic plate 12, where and the magnetic plate 12 is adhered to the opposite side of the coils. The housing may be an open framework or a closed box and may serve like a sounding board, vibrating with the magnet.

The housing may comprise a non-ferromagnetic frame such as aluminum or copper, for example. Alternatively, the non-magnetic plate may comprise a dielectric material such as wood, cardboard, plastic or a fiber reinforced polymer. It may also be ferromagnetic, comprising a spring steel, for example.

With reference to Figs. 3 and 4, there is shown schematic views of a transducer 20 in accordance with a second embodiment of the invention from below and from the side. In this transducer 20, there are four pancake coils 24a, 24b, 24c, 24d.

The magnetic plate 22 may still be disc shaped, but may be magnetized in different ways. For example, a first end 21 of the magnetic plate 22 is North seeking and a second end 23 is South seeking. However, the magnetic plate need not be bar shaped and may still be disc-shaped.

Unlike helical coils 14, pancake coils 24 are flat coils. Pancake coils enable very low profile transducers to be made, such as suitable for inclusion within the casing of smartphones, tablet computers, laptop computers, WII boards and thin electronic games, for example. However, helical coils can, in some instances be used for such applications. To some extent, the number of coils is arbitrary. The first embodiment has three helical coils and the second has four pancake coils, but transducers of the invention may have different numbers, such as three pancake coils, four helical coils, or two hel i cal and two pancake coi I s, for exampl e.

In one embodiment the coils are adhered directly to the magnetic plate.

In other embodiments, the coils are attached to one side of the housing and the magnetic plate is suspended within the housing by wires.

In some embodiments, the coils and the magnetic plate are both attached to opposite si des of a frame. T hey may be attached to the i nsi des of a housi ng, for example.

Two embodiments of the present invention have been illustrated and several more have been described. It will be understood that two or three pancake of helical coils can be provided and the magnetic plate may be magnetized in either direction, and may be flipped. Thus various modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Accordingly, other embodiments are within the scope of the following claims.

Thus persons skilled in the art will appreciate that the present invention is not limited to what has been particularly shown and described hereinabove. Rather the scope of the present invention is defined by the appended claims and includes both combinations and sub combinations of the various features described hereinabove as well as variations and modifications thereof, which would occur to persons skilled in the art upon reading the foregoing description.

In the claims, the word ' comprise , , and variations thereof such as ' comprises , , ' comprising , and the like indicate that the components listed are included, but not generally to the exclusion of other components.