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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
SUPPORT FOR OBJECTS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/041765
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention relates to a support for holding an object with one or more fingers of a hand, in particular an electronic device, the support comprising a thin and containing elastic layer and anchoring means to apply said elastic layer to the object, wherein the elastic layer comprises a plurality of anchoring points arranged in relation to each other so that the layer is stretched and determines a plurality of entrance areas for allowing the insertion of one or more fingers of a hand between the object and the elastic layer according to different orientations of the object.

Inventors:
D'ADDA DI FAGAGNA, Fabrizio (Via San Vittore 45, Milano, 20123, IT)
Application Number:
EP2017/071516
Publication Date:
March 08, 2018
Filing Date:
August 28, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
D'ADDA DI FAGAGNA, Fabrizio (Via San Vittore 45, Milano, 20123, IT)
International Classes:
A45F5/00
Domestic Patent References:
WO2012148137A22012-11-01
Foreign References:
US20160094264A12016-03-31
US20160233909A12016-08-11
US20120104059A12012-05-03
US20160088924A12016-03-31
US20120299318A12012-11-29
US20140152034A12014-06-05
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CAPASSO, Olga et al. (De Simone and Partners S.p.A, Via Vincenzo Bellini 20, Rome, 00198, IT)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A Support (10) for holding an object (12) with one or more fingers of a hand or with a whole hand, the support comprising:

- a thin and containing elastic layer (20) and

- anchoring means (30, 32) for applying said elastic layer (20) to the object (12),

wherein the elastic layer (20) comprises a plurality of anchoring points (22) arranged in relation to each other so that the layer (20) is stretched and determines a plurality of entrance areas (24) for allowing the insertion of one or more fingers of a hand between the object (12) and the elastic layer (20) according to different orientations of the object (12).

2. The support (10) according to claim 1, wherein the object (12) is an electronic device, such as a smartphone, a tablet, an e-Reader or a laptop.

3. The support (10) according to any one of the previous claims, wherein the anchoring means (30, 32) apply the elastic layer (20) to the object (12) permanently or reversibly.

4. The support (10) according to any one of the previous claims, wherein the elastic layer (20) is made up of a textile fibre with a linear density comprised between 20 and 80 denier, in particular 40 denier.

5. The support (10) according to any one of the previous claims, wherein the anchoring means comprise transparent adhesive means (30) and the elastic layer (20) is applied directly and in a stretched manner to a surface (14) of the object (12) by said adhesive means (30).

6. The support according to any one of the claims comprised between 1 and 4, wherein the anchoring means (30, 32) comprise a cover element (32) of the surface (14) of the object (12) that can be fixed to a surface (14) of the object and a transparent adhesive strip (32), so that the elastic layer (20) is applied tightly to the cover element (32) by means of said adhesive strip (30).

7. The support (10) according to any one of the previous claims, wherein the elastic layer (20) has a substantially rectangular shape with four sides and four anchoring points (22) distributed at the vertices of said quadrangular shape, so that one or more fingers of a hand, or a whole hand, can be inserted from all four sides between the object (12) and the elastic layer (20).

8. The support (10) according to claim 7, wherein the elastic layer (20) comprises raised edges (23) at the end of the sides, level with the entrance areas (24) to assist the entrance of the fingers of the hand between the object (12) and the elastic layer (20).

9. The support (10) according to any one of the previous claims, wherein the elastic layer (20) extends over the whole of a surface (14) of the object (12).

10. The support (10) according to any one of the previous claims, wherein the elastic layer (20) is made of a brightly coloured and/or fluorescent material and/or contains a logo, pictures or words.

Description:
SUPPORT FOR OBJECTS

DESCRIPTION

The present invention relates to a support for holding an object with one or more fingers of a hand, in particular an electronic device, such as, for example a smartphone, a tablet, an e-Reader or a laptop.

The sector of mobile electronic devices is constantly growing. Mobile phones, smartphones, tablets, laptops, e-Readers, etc., have become instruments of daily use, both for professional activities and simply for users' enjoyment. In the case of smartphones, these devices are always at hand to read and send various kinds of messages, to obtain information via the Internet, to connect to users' favourite social networks and much more. In other words, nowadays, a considerable amount of time is spent handling these devices. For this reason, the latest generation of smartphones has been designed to be more comfortable and pleasant to the touch, for example smooth, with rounded edges and particularly easy to use, also with just one hand.

However, the constant use of a smartphone can tire a user's hand with the risk that the device, which is designed with increasingly smoother and rounded shapes and is therefore potentially slippery, might fall and be damaged.

For this reason, various supports for mobile phones and tablets have been developed, basically consisting of strips of various materials applied to the rear surface of a mobile phone or tablet and used for inserting the fingers or wrist of a hand and holding the electronic device with relative ease.

Supports of this type, however, are often quite awkward and do not allow the fingers to be inserted according to different orientations, or only by using large and complicated rotation systems. Moreover, because of their size, these supports give the electronic device a rather unattractive look and weigh it down, for example making it impossible to fit inside a trouser pocket. For this reason, supports of this type are only used when necessary or users prefer not to use them at all to avoid altering the look and overall weight of the device.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a support for holding objects, such as, for example, electronic devices, which makes it possible to overcome the aforesaid inconveniences and which is cheap to make. In particular, it is an object of the present invention to provide a support that is efficient, not too bulky and which allows the fingers of a hand, or a whole hand, to be inserted according to different orientations. Moreover, it is an object of the present invention to provide a support that can always be used without altering the weight and the look of the electronic device. These objects are achieved by means of a support for holding an object with one or more fingers of a hand, or a whole hand, according to the independent claims. Functional aspects of the invention are described in the dependent claims.

The support comprises a thin and containing elastic layer and anchoring means to apply said elastic layer to the object. In particular, the elastic layer comprises a plurality of anchoring points arranged in relation to each other, so that the layer is stretched and determines a plurality of entrance areas to allow one or more fingers of a hand to be inserted between the object and the elastic layer according to different orientations of the object.

Advantageously, the object is an electronic device, such as a smartphone, a tablet, an e-Reader or a laptop. In the case of an electronic device, the elastic layer is applied so that it is opposite the surface of the screen of the device. In this way, by inserting just a few fingers of one hand between the device and the elastic layer, the user can easily hold the device with one hand and directly display the screen.

In order to be able to handle the device with just one hand, the user can insert just a few fingers, for example four, three, two or even just one single finger between the layer and the object, leaving at least the thumb free to be able to use the touch screen of the device. Of course, there is nothing to stop the user from inserting all of the fingers of one hand or the whole hand to gain a better grip and use the screen with the other hand.

The elastic layer of the support according to the present invention comprises a plurality of anchoring points. This means that a plurality of entrance areas is determined for inserting the fingers of one hand, in other words, an entrance area is defined between two anchoring points. It is worth noting that said anchoring points can be distributed directly on one of the surfaces of the object, since they are directly in contact with said surface or indirectly by means of an interposed element. Depending on how the anchoring points are distributed, the fingers of the hand can be inserted to hold the object or device so that the object can be seen in a vertical configuration (for example if the entrance areas are determined along the larger side of a rectangular object or device), or so that the object can be seen in a horizontal configuration (for example if the entrance areas are determined along the underside of a rectangular object or device). In principle, the support according to the present invention can be configured so that the fingers of the hand can be inserted between the elastic layer and the object or device according to any orientation of the object or device. The present invention gives a greater sense of security in terms of gripping the object. This is because the fingers and hand are bound by the elastic layer and consequently the fingers and hand are in contact with the object in two directions: the palm of the hand is in direct contact for gripping the object and the back is in contact with the elastic layer compressing it towards the object. It is worth noting that the support according to the present invention is flexible as it respects the arrangement of the anchoring points. In fact, these can be arranged to adapt to different objects or types and sizes of electronic devices. For example, if the electronic device has functional elements on the surface where the elastic layer is attached (such as a camera lens, microphone, loudspeaker), the anchoring points can be arranged to prevent the elastic layer from covering these functional elements.

Moreover, the elastic layer is stretched between the anchoring points. In other words, besides being thin, this layer fits the surface of the object or device to which it is attached perfectly. This represents an enormous advantage in terms of size. In fact, the support according to the present invention has a negligible impact on the total volume of the object or device. Consequently, it can remain attached to the surface of the device permanently. Moreover, the permanent presence of the support does not affect the appearance. Indeed, the elastic layer can be personalised by writing, logos or colours, which can even personalise and improve the look of the electronic device, also for purposes of advertising. Moreover, the elastic layer can be made with transparent material that is almost invisible and doesn't alter the appearance of the object.

Additionally, it is worth noting that the support according to the present invention is extremely cheap to make. In fact, it is basically made up of a thin layer made of any elastic material suitable for containing a hand, or the fingers or a hand, between the layer and the object and anchoring means suitable for attaching the layer to the object. Moreover, it is worth pointing out that unlike covers for phones or tablets, which normally differ depending on the model of the electronic device, the support according to the present invention can be applied directly to any device regardless of the make, the model and consequently the size.

In one embodiment of the present invention, the anchoring means attach the elastic layer to the object or device permanently, thus increasing the safety of the anchoring. This means that the user does not need to worry about one of the anchoring points becoming detached during use or simply over time. Alternatively, the anchoring means can be configured so that the layer can be detached from the object or device, when necessary, while guaranteeing adequate safety in terms of anchoring.

Advantageously, the elastic layer is made up of a textile fibre with a linear density comprised between 20 and 80 denier, in particular 40 denier. In this way, it is possible to guarantee optimum elasticity, as well as a firm grip with a considerably reduced elastic layer. Moreover, such material is pleasant to the touch and gives users a nice feel when the fingers are inserted between the layer and the object or device. In order to prevent the user's hand from sweating, the layer can be transpiring, for example perforated. Alternatively, the elastic layer can be made of rubber or any other material, or combination of materials, which is suitable for the purpose of the present invention.

The elastic layer is preferably made in one single piece. However, it is possible to make the layer with several components stably joined together. These components can be inseparable or separable by special connecting means.

In one embodiment of the invention, the anchoring points are distributed along a perimeter edge of the surface of the object or electronic device. In this way, a free space is created in the central part of the surface of the device where the fingers of the hand can easily be inserted. Moreover, the stretched configuration of the elastic layer is increased by the anchoring to the edges of the perimeter. According to one embodiment, the anchoring means comprise transparent adhesive means and the elastic layer is fixed directly to a surface of the object or device with said adhesive means. In other words, the elastic layer can be fixed with said adhesive means directly to the rear surface of a smartphone, which can be fixed or removable depending on the model and type of device.

In an alternative embodiment, the anchoring means comprise a cover element of a surface of the object or device that can be fixed to said surface and a transparent adhesive strip, so that the elastic layer is tightly secured to the cover element with said adhesive strip. In other words, the elastic layer can be fixed with adhesive means to the surface of a protective cover of the device, such as, for example, a cover, a case, a pouch, a support or similar. In this way, the elastic layer, according to the present invention, would not be directly fixed to the surface of the device, but it would be part of an element that can be removed from said surface, such as, for example a cover or a case. Advantageously, if the cover element has the shape of a case that folds over on itself like a book, the elastic layer can be applied to the surface of the case, which does not contain the device, so that when the device is in use, the layer is positioned opposite the screen of the device as the surface onto which it is applied folds backwards; whereas, when the device is not in use and the case is closed, the elastic layer comes directly into contact with the screen, acting as a further protective element for the screen, given the soft nature of the material of the elastic layer. It is worth noting that in this case, as the elastic layer is inserted inside the case, it becomes invisible when the device is not in use.

In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the elastic layer has a substantially quadrangular shape with four sides and four anchoring points distributed at the vertices of said quadrangular shape, so that one or more fingers of a hand, or a whole hand, can be inserted from all four sides between the object or device and the elastic layer. In particular, the elastic layer can have the shape of an elongated "X" with rounded intersection points. This makes it easy to insert the fingers both along the larger side and the smaller side of the surface of the device. Of course, alternative shapes are possible and can be adapted for the purpose of the present invention, such as, for example, linear, triangular layers, describing any polygon, or circular and semicircular.

To facilitate the insertion of the fingers of the hand between the surface of the device and the elastic layer, the elastic layer can comprise raised edges at the end of the sides, level with the entrance areas.

Moreover, to offer a firmer grip, the elastic layer can extend over the whole surface of the object or device, in other words the whole of the rear surface. Of course, as stated previously, it will be necessary to take care not to cover any functional elements. Alternatively, the elastic layer can extend over only part of the surface of the object or device, preferably in the middle, to guarantee a certain stability. However, other configurations are also possible wherein the layer extends over one or more different parts of the surface of the object or device.

In an advantageous embodiment, the elastic layer can be made of brightly coloured and/or fluorescent material to facilitate the identification of the object or electronic device to which it is attached in dimly lit places, such as, for example, inside a bag.

It is interesting to point out that the support according to the present invention can be used advantageously to take selfies with cell phones or tablets. In fact, by inserting even just one finger between the elastic layer and the device, it is possible to hold the device and take a "selfie" by clicking on the screen of the device.

It is worth noting that the size of the support according to the present invention can be adapted depending on the size of the object or device to be used.

In principle, the support can also be used for devices that are larger (or smaller) than the standard size of current smartphones. For example, it is also possible to use a support of the kind for large tablets or laptops. In this way, the support can serve the dual purpose of supporting the device, as well as being able to carry it easily, serving as a handle. More specifically, the user can easily slip his/her whole arm between the layer of the support and the device until he/she is holding the opposite edge of it so that the elastic layer attaches to the wrist or forearm guaranteeing an even firmer grip.

Although the support according to the present invention is principally used for supporting electronic devices, it can, however, also be used for supporting other objects other than electronic devices, such as, for example, a cup, a can, a bottle, a walking stick, etc.. The support according to the present invention is easy to apply to an electronic device. Considering the configuration in which the elastic layer is attached directly to the surface of an electronic device, such as the rear surface of a smartphone, the support can be applied by choosing initially where to distribute the anchoring points on the surface of the cell phone. The place for positioning the anchoring points must be chosen to avoid covering any functional elements of the cell phone on the rear surface (lenses, microphones, loudspeakers, etc.). After choosing where to apply the anchoring points, the elastic layer is fixed to the surface by anchoring means, for example adhesive means. The adhesive strip can already be on the elastic layer, level with the anchoring points, or it can be added by the user. At this point, the support is applied to the smartphone and the user is ready to handle his/her telephone safely, without becoming tired. Alternatively, it is possible to use other types of reversible anchoring means besides the adhesive means, such as, for example a clip system, with Velcro, or similar.

These and other aspects of the present invention will become clearer in the light of the following description of preferred embodiments described below.

Representation

Fig. 1 shows a schematic diagram of the support according to one embodiment of the present invention with a view from above;

Representation

Fig. 2 shows a schematic diagram of the support according to one embodiment of the present invention with a perspective view;

Representation

Fig. 3 shows a schematic diagram of the support according to another embodiment of the invention with a perspective view;

Representation

Fig. 4 shows a schematic diagram of the support applied to a cell phone according to the present invention; and Representation

Fig. 5 shows a schematic diagram of the support applied to a laptop according to the present invention.

Figures 1 and 2 show the support 10 used for holding an electronic device 12 with one or more fingers of a hand and, more specifically, a smartphone according to a view from above and according to a lateral perspective view. The support consists of an elastic layer 20 and anchoring means 30, which are used to fix the elastic layer 20 directly to the surface 14 of the device 12. In the particular case in figure 1, the anchoring means are composed of an adhesive strip 30 that is applied directly on the surface 14. The elastic layer has a substantially quadrangular shape with four sides and four anchoring points 22 distributed at the vertices of the quadrangular shape. More specifically, the layer 20 is stretched by the four anchoring points 22 determining four entrance areas 24. In this way, one or more of the fingers of a hand (not shown in the figure) can be inserted from all four sides between the surface 14 of the device 12 and the elastic layer 20, in other words through each of the four entrance areas 24 to support the device 12 according to different possible orientations. To facilitate the insertion of the fingers of the hand between the surface 14 of the object 12 and the elastic layer 20, the elastic layer 20 comprises raised edges 23 at the end of the sides, level with the entrance areas 24. The figures only show two raised edges 23 level with the two larger sides of the entrance areas 24. However, it is possible to have raised edges 23 level with each entrance area 24 (in this case four). The figures also show that the elastic layer 20 is fixed to the surface 14, in other words the anchoring points 22 have been arranged so that the working of any functional elements on the surface 14, such as, for example, the camera flash lens 16, is not obstructed.

Figure 3 shows the support 10' according to an alternative embodiment. In this case, the anchoring means comprise a cover element 32, such as, for example, a cell phone cover case and adhesive means 30. The cover element 32 is applied to the surface 14 of the device 12 (not visible in the figure). For this reason, the elastic layer 20 is fixed level with the anchoring points 22 with the adhesive means 30 to a surface 33 of the cover element 32.

Finally, figures 4 and 5 show the application of the support according to the present invention.

More specifically, figure 4 shows the application to a cell phone. In this case, the user inserts his/her hand between the device 12 and the elastic layer 20 through an entrance area 24. Since the layer 20 is stretched thanks to the arrangement of the anchoring points 22 on the surface of the device 12, a good grip is created between the layer 20 and the user's hand, which can safely handle the device 12, without the risk of it slipping and falling. Figure 4 shows how the user has inserted four fingers through the entrance area 24i and how they come out of the opposite area 24 2 . However, the support according to the present invention is configured to allow extreme flexibility for inserting the fingers. For example, to gain a better grip, or in certain conditions when using the device 12, the user could insert four fingers through the area 24i, as in figure 4, but, alternatively, he/she could let two fingers (for example, the ring finger and the little finger) out of the opposite area 24 2 and the other two fingers (the index finger and the middle finger) out of the area 24 3 .

Figure 5 shows the support applied to a portable computer or laptop. In this case, the user inserts his/her whole hand through the entrance area 24 until the layer 20 is secured at the height of the wrist. In this way, by taking the opposite side of the device 12, as you normally do when carrying a laptop, the user can rely on the support guaranteed by the grip of the elastic layer 20 to his/her arm or wrist and carry the laptop safely.

An expert in the field can make numerous further modifications and variations to the support described above aimed at satisfying additional contingent needs, all of which are comprised within the protective scope of the invention described in this application defined by the accompanying claims.