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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
TOOL FOR BABY
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/025073
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A baby's tool (1 ) comprising a gripping handle (2) and a containment portion (3) for holding a quantity of food, is characterized in that it also comprises an electronic device (4) configured for audio playing. The electronic device (4) comprises a memory unit (5) for storing at least one audio track, a control unit (6) operatively connected to the memory unit (5), a speaker (7) connected to the control unit (6) in order to allow audio playing, and at least a first activation element (8) connected to the control unit (6) and able to be operated manually to activate audio playing in controlled mode.

Inventors:
DI PAOLO, Sabrina (Via Bellinzona 16, Bologna, 40135, IT)
ABBUONANDI, Jessica (Via Bellinzona 16, Bologna, 40135, IT)
Application Number:
IB2016/057250
Publication Date:
February 08, 2018
Filing Date:
December 01, 2016
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
DI PAOLO, Sabrina (Via Bellinzona 16, Bologna, 40135, IT)
ABBUONANDI, Jessica (Via Bellinzona 16, Bologna, 40135, IT)
International Classes:
A47G21/02; A46B5/00; A46B15/00
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CONTI, Marco (Via di Corticella 87, Bologna, 40128, IT)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1 . A baby's tool (1 ), comprising:

- a gripping handle (2) which can be gripped in the hand and having a compartment defined therein;

- an active portion (3) designed to come into contact with the baby's mouth and coupled to the gripping handle;

- an electronic device (4) housed in the compartment of the gripping handle configured for audio playing, wherein the electronic device (4) comprises a memory unit (5) for storing at least one audio track, a control unit (6) connected to the memory unit (5), a speaker (7) connected to the control unit (6) in order to allow audio playing, and at least a first activation element (8) connected to the control unit (6) and able to be operated manually to activate audio playing in controlled mode.

2. The tool (1 ) according to claim 1 , wherein the memory unit (5) is preloaded with at least one audio track selected from among: tunes, fairy tales, human voices, animal calls, sound effects.

3. The tool (1 ) according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the electronic device (4) further comprises a microphone (9) connected to the control unit (6) and wherein the control unit (6) is equipped with an analog-to-digital converter (10) for converting a sound detected by the microphone (9) into an audio track which can be stored in the memory unit (5), the electronic device (4) further comprising at least a second activation element (1 1 ) which can be operated manually to activate an audio recording in controlled mode through the microphone (9).

4. The tool (1 ) according to one or more of the preceding claims, wherein at least a first activation element (8) comprises at least one pushbutton located on the gripping handle (2).

5. The tool (1 ) according to claim 4, wherein the memory unit (5) contains a plurality of audio tracks divided by type and wherein the device comprises at least a plurality of activation elements having respective pushbuttons, each pushbutton being associated with a corresponding type of track.

6. The tool (1 ) according to one or more of the preceding claims, wherein the gripping handle (2) is elongate along a longitudinal axis between a first and a second end, wherein the active portion (3) is connected to the first end of the gripping handle (2).

7. The tool (1 ) according to one or more of the preceding claims, wherein the active portion (3) is detachably coupled to the gripping handle.

8. The tool (1 ) according to claim 7, wherein the gripping handle (2) is elongate along a longitudinal axis between a first and a second end and has, at the first end, a coupling zone designed to receive a detachable coupling portion of the active portion (3).

9. The tool (1 ) according to claim 8, wherein the coupling zone of the gripping handle (2) is delimited by an impermeable, washable wall.

10. The tool (1 ) according to one or more of the preceding claims, comprising a battery (1 2) for powering the electronic device (4), the battery (12) being housed in the gripping handle (2).

1 1 . The tool (1 ) according to one or more of the preceding claims, comprising a soft, impermeable shell (13), wherein the electronic device (4) is built into the shell (13).

12. The tool (1 ) according to one or more of the preceding claims, wherein the electronic device (4) further comprises a screen (14) connected to the control unit (6) to display image data.

13. The tool (1 ) according to claim 12, wherein the screen (14) is configured to provide at least a visual indication relating to the charge level of the battery (12) and/or the audio track being played and/or information as to whether the system is operating in recording/play mode.

14. The tool (1 ) according to claim 12 or 13, comprising a soft, impermeable shell (13) having at least one transparent portion, wherein the electronic device (4) is built into the shell (13) and the screen is positioned under the transparent portion of the shell.

15. The tool (1 ) according to one or more of the preceding claims, wherein the active portion is in the form of a spoon or a fork, which means the tool constitutes an eating utensil.

16. The tool (1 ) according to one or more of claims 1 to 15, wherein the active portion is a toothbrush.

17. An appliance for the care and entertainment of a baby, comprising:

- a baby's tool (1 ) according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the active portion (3) is removably connected to the gripping handle (2);

- a set of active portions (3) of different types designed to be interchangeably coupled to the gripping handle (2) of the tool (1 ).

18. The appliance according to claim 17, wherein the active portions (3) are selected from the following list: spoon, fork, knife, toothbrush.

19. The appliance according to claim 17 or 18, comprising a recharging station having:

- a housing designed to receive at least one portion of the gripping handle;

- an electric charger configured to transfer electrical energy to a power battery (12) of the electronic device (4) of the tool (1 ) coupled to the housing.

20. A method for caring for a baby comprising the following steps:

- coupling an active portion (3), which is designed to come into contact with the baby's mouth, to a gripping handle (2);

- activating an electronic device (4) contained in the gripping handle in order to start audio playing.

21 . The method according to claim 20, comprising a step of recording an audio track through a microphone contained in the gripping handle (2) and storing the audio track in the electronic device (4) to allow it to be played at a later stage.

22. The method according to claim 20 or 21 , comprising a step of recharging a battery of the electronic device (4) by coupling the gripping handle (2) to a recharging station.

Description:
DESCRIPTION

TOOL FOR BABY

Technical field

This invention relates to a baby's tool.

More specifically, this description relates to a tool intended to be used by an adult to care for a baby.

Background art

Children of a very young age are unable to tend to themselves. For this reason, it is up to parents or whoever is caring for a baby to tend to the baby's needs, for example by feeding it using a suitable utensil or brushing its teeth.

As is known, very young children are easily distracted and very curious. For this reason, it is difficult to hold their attention at meal times even if all objects around them have been removed to avoid distracting them.

Mum or dad or whoever is caring for the baby may seek to win the baby's attention by making funny sounds in the hope of arousing interest but usually with little success.

Also, babies trust voices which are familiar to them and often do not pay attention to anyone other than their parents, such as babysitters, for example.

Disclosure of the invention

This invention therefore has for an aim to provide a tool (device, utensil) which overcomes the above mentioned drawbacks of the prior art.

This aim is achieved by the tool (or device, or utensil) according to this description and as characterized in the appended claims.

The tool comprises a gripping handle and an active portion.

The gripping handle defines a handpiece or handgrip. The gripping handle can be gripped in the hand (even by an adult). The gripping handle has a compartment defined in it.

The tool comprises an electronic device configured for audio playing. The electronic device is contained in the compartment of the gripping handle; thus, the electronic device is built into the gripping handle.

The electronic device includes a memory unit (or memory) to store at least one audio track (for example in the form of a digital document).

The electronic device includes a control unit; in one embodiment, the control unit is a processor. The control unit is connected to the memory. The electronic device includes a speaker. The control unit is connected to the speaker in order to allow audio playing.

In one embodiment, the electronic device includes at least one (first) activation element. The at least one (first) activation element is connected to the control unit. The at least one (first) activation element can be operated to activate audio playing (in controlled mode). In one embodiment, the at least one (first) activation element can be operated manually. In one embodiment, the at least one (first) activation element comprises one or more pushbuttons or selector switches accessible on the outside surface of the gripping handle (for example, they might protrude from the outside surface of the gripping handle).

The active portion is coupled (fixed) to the gripping handle.

The active portion is designed to come into contact with the baby's mouth. In one embodiment, the active portion is in the form of an eating utensil (for example, a spoon or a fork); thus, when the active portion is coupled to the gripping handle, the tool constitutes an eating utensil.

In another embodiment, the active portion is the head of a toothbrush; thus, when the active portion is coupled to the gripping handle, the tool constitutes a toothbrush.

In another embodiment, the active portion might be a comforter or a soft object designed to be chewed by the baby to soothe teething discomfort. In a possible embodiment, the active portion might be disposable.

In a possible embodiment, the active portion might be a swab for cleaning the baby's ears or a nozzle for blowing a product into the baby's nose. The active portion might even be a hairbrush.

In one embodiment, the memory contains (digital) audio data. For example, the memory unit contains (or is preloaded with) one or more audio tracks selected from among: tunes, fairy tales, human voices, animal calls, sound effects.

In one embodiment, the electronic device comprises an interface for transferring data to the memory; that way, (new) audio tracks can be loaded into the memory from outside the tool.

In one embodiment, the tool (the electronic device) comprises a microphone. The microphone is configured to receive sounds from outside the tool and to convert them into an electrical signal (analog and/or digital). The microphone is connected to the control unit.

In one embodiment, the electronic device (in another embodiment, the control unit) comprises an analog-to-digital converter configured to convert the sounds detected by the microphone into a digital audio track which can be stored in the memory unit.

In one embodiment, the tool (the electronic device) comprises at least a second activation element which can be operated (for example manually) to activate an audio recording in controlled mode through the microphone. In one embodiment, the active portion is detachably coupled to the gripping handle; in other words, the active portion can be repeatedly attached and detached to and from the gripping handle.

In one embodiment, the gripping handle is (an element which is) elongate along a longitudinal axis. The gripping handle has a first end and a second end, opposite to the first end relative to the longitudinal axis. The active portion is connected to the first end of the gripping handle.

In one embodiment, the gripping handle has (at the first end of it) a coupling zone designed to receive a detachable coupling portion of the active portion.

In one embodiment, the coupling portion is a socket defining a shape coupling (for example, a pressure fit) with the coupling portion of the active portion (which, for example, is tapered).

In one embodiment, the coupling portion comprises a bayonet coupling or other disengageable connection system.

In an example embodiment, the coupling zone (of the gripping handle) is delimited by an impermeable wall (in particular, impermeable to water and to other liquids such as oil); preferably, the wall is washable.

In one embodiment, the tool also comprises an electrical power battery. Preferably, the battery is contained in the compartment of the gripping handle.

In one embodiment, the tool comprises a protective shell defining an outer casing for at least part of the outer surface of the gripping handle. Preferably, the (protective) shell is soft; preferably, the (protective) shell is impermeable. For example, the (protective) shell is made of rubber or silicone. Thus, the electronic device is built into (contained in) the shell. Preferably, the shell is detachable (interchangeable with other shells) and washable; this protects the tool, during use, against infiltration by dirt, liquids or dust, making the tool particularly hygienic and hypoallergenic, and also protects it against mechanical shocks.

In one embodiment, the tool (the electronic device of the tool) comprises a screen configured to display image data. The screen may, for example, be an LCD, LED or other type of screen. In one embodiment, the screen is connected to the control unit; in one embodiment, the screen is connected to the memory unit. In one embodiment, the control unit is programmed to display one or more of the following information items on the screen: a visual indication of the battery charge level; data representing or indicating the audio track being played or the tracks available in the memory; information as to whether operation is in recording or play mode. In a (simplified) embodiment, the screen might consist of one or more lights - coloured lights, for example - which can adopt different colours or light combinations. In one embodiment, the protective shell has at least one transparent portion placed on top of the screen.

Preferably, each of the active parts provided (especially those which are not disposable) are made of a heat-resistant, dishwasher safe material. Each of the active parts (especially those which are not disposable) is provided with a cover or a cap or a small case (made of a plastic material such as silicone, for example).

In one embodiment, the (electronic device of the) gripping handle is provided with a port (jack connector or other audio port) for connection to earphones or loudspeakers (for playing the sound).

In one embodiment, the (electronic device of the) gripping handle includes a thermometer configured to measure the temperature of the active part coupled thereto.

This description also provides an appliance for the care and entertainment of a baby.

The appliance includes a tool according to one or more of the features included in this description.

More specifically, the tool comprises an active portion which is removably attached to the gripping handle.

Further, the appliance comprises a plurality of active portions forming a set (or group) of active portions; these active portions are preferably of different types. Each of the active portions can be coupled to the gripping handle interchangeably with the others.

That way, the appliance allows the user (adult, parent) to make a plurality of different kinds of tools (for example, eating utensils, toothbrushes) using the same musical gripping handle.

In one embodiment, the appliance comprises a recharging station for electrically recharging the tool battery.

In one embodiment, the recharging station has a housing designed to receive at least one portion of the gripping handle.

The recharging station also has an electric charger configured to transfer electrical energy to a power battery of the electronic device of the tool coupled to the housing.

The recharging station is connectable to the mains electricity supply (using a suitable power cable).

In one embodiment, the electrical charger is configured to transfer electrical energy to the power battery wirelessly (for example through an electromagnetic inductor). Alternatively, the electrical charger is provided with a terminal configured to come into contact with a corresponding recharging terminal of the tool.

In one embodiment, the appliance includes a box-shaped case or container designed to contain and protect the handle and one or more active parts and possibly the recharging station, too.

This description also provides a method for caring for a baby.

The method comprises a step of coupling (fixing) an active portion, which is designed to come into contact with the baby's mouth, to a gripping handle; the active portion and the gripping handle, when joined to each other, form a tool for caring for the baby.

The method also comprises a step of activating an electronic device contained in the gripping handle in order to start audio playing.

In one embodiment, the method includes a step of recording an audio track through a microphone contained in the gripping handle (to allow it to be played at a later stage).

In one embodiment, the method includes a step of transferring audio data to a memory of the tool through an interface (for example, through a wireless connection such as bluetooth or the Internet). In one embodiment, the tool is provided with at least one USB port (or other data exchange port); in such case, the tool interface includes the USB port. In one embodiment, the method comprises a step of recharging a battery of the electronic device by coupling the gripping handle to a recharging station.

In one embodiment, the handle contains a recharging element configured to interact with the electrical charger of the recharging station in order to receive electrical energy and transfer it to the battery.

In one embodiment, the recharging element is located at the first end of the gripping handle; in another embodiment, the recharging element is located at the second end of the gripping handle.

The method also comprises a step of disconnecting the active portion from the gripping handle in order to clean the active portion or to replace it with another active portion of a different kind.

Further features of the invention and its advantages are more apparent in the non-limiting description below, with reference to a preferred but nonexclusive embodiment of a baby's eating utensil.

Brief description of the drawings

The description is set out below with reference to the accompanying drawings which are provided solely for purposes of illustration without restricting the scope of the invention and in which:

- Figure 1 shows a baby being fed using an eating utensil according to this description;

- Figure 2 shows a first embodiment of a tool according to this description;

- Figure 3 schematically illustrates an electronic device of the tool of Figure 2;

- Figure 4 illustrates a second embodiment of the tool of Figure 2;

- Figure 5 schematically illustrates an electronic device with reference to the tool of Figure 4;

- Figure 6 shows the tool according to this description, in a perspective view;

- Figures 7 and 8 illustrate possible variant embodiments of the active portion of the tool of Figure 6;

- Figure 9 shows a tool according to this description, together with a recharging station, to form an appliance according to this description. Detailed description of preferred embodiments of the invention

With reference to the accompanying drawings, the numeral 1 denotes in its entirety a baby's eating utensil which, for simplicity, will hereinafter be denoted by the reference numeral 1 . The components which all the different embodiments have in common are denoted by the same reference numerals.

Figure 1 shows a baby being fed using an eating utensil which forms an object of this invention.

Figure 2 shows a first (basic) embodiment of the eating utensil 1 to which the electronic device of Figure 3 corresponds.

The eating utensil 1 comprises a gripping handle 2, which can be gripped in a user's hand, and a containment portion 3 fixed to the gripping handle 2 and designed to hold a quantity of food.

In the embodiment illustrated, the eating utensil 1 is in the form of a spoon; it might, however, be in the form of a different type of eating utensil (for example, a fork).

The eating utensil 1 also comprises an electronic device 4 built into the handle 2 and having one or more functions intended to capture the attention of the baby being fed.

More specifically, the electronic device 4 is configured for audio playing. More in detail, the electronic device 4 comprises a memory 5, preferably a read-only memory, for storing at least one audio track selected from the following categories: tunes, fairy tales, human voices, animal calls, sound effects (such as, for example, the sound of a car horn or of a trumpet). These audio tracks are factory set and preloaded in the eating utensil 1 .

The electronic device 4 also comprises a speaker 7 for emitting the sound. The speaker 7 and the memory 5 are both connected to the control unit 6 which is interfaced with them in regulated mode, thus emitting the sounds in a manner which can be selected by the user. More in detail, the electronic device 4 also comprises an activation element 8 connected to the control unit 6 and able to be operated manually by the user to activate audio playing in controlled mode. In the embodiment shown in Figure 2, the activation element 8 is a pushbutton located on the handle 2.

Pressing the pushbutton 8 allows playing a single audio track or a plurality of tracks. For example, the built-in memory 5 might contain a single audio track, in which case pressing the pushbutton 8 activates that audio track, or a plurality of separate tracks, in which case pressing the pushbutton 8 repeatedly allows selecting an audio track by switching from one track to the next consecutively.

The eating utensil 1 also comprises a battery 12 for powering the electronic device 4 and preferably also housed in the handle 2. The electronic device 4 built into the handle 2 is also housed in a soft, impermeable shell 13.

Figure 4 shows a second (advanced) embodiment of the eating utensil 1 to which the electronic device of Figure 5 corresponds.

In the second embodiment, too, the eating utensil 1 comprises a gripping handle 2, which can be gripped in a user's hand, and a containment portion 3 fixed to the gripping handle 2 and designed to hold a quantity of food.

In the embodiment illustrated, the eating utensil 1 is in the form of a spoon; it might, however, be in the form of a different type of eating utensil (for example, a fork).

In this case, too, the eating utensil 1 comprises an electronic device 4 built into the handle 2 and having one or more functions intended to capture the attention of the baby being fed.

The electronic device 4 comprises a read-write memory 5 configured to store at least one audio track selected from the following categories: tunes, fairy tales, human voices, animal calls, sound effects (such as, for example, the sound of a car horn or of a trumpet).

These tracks may be preloaded in the factory, or loaded by a user or partly preloaded, leaving enough memory space to load other tracks.

The electronic device 4 also comprises a speaker 7 for emitting the sound. The speaker 7 and the memory 5 are both connected to the control unit 6 which is interfaced with them in regulated mode, thus emitting the sounds in a manner which can be selected by the user.

More in detail, the electronic device 4 also comprises a plurality of first activation elements 8 associated with the control unit 6 and able to be operated manually by the user to play different audio tracks in controlled mode, for example by selecting a different type of audio track in each case.

In the embodiment shown in Figure 4, the first activation elements 8 are three pushbuttons located on the gripping handle 2 and able to be operated separately by the user.

According to one particular aspect, each pushbutton 8 may be associated with one or more tracks of the same type. For example, one pushbutton may be associated with a plurality of animal calls and pressing the pushbutton repeatedly allows selecting and playing a sequence of different animal calls, and another pushbutton may be associated with a succession of familiar voices, for example mother's voice or father's voice, and pressing the pushbutton repeatedly allows selecting and playing one voice or the other, whichever the user wants.

The electronic device 4 further comprises a microphone 9 connected to the control unit 6, the latter being equipped with an analog-to-digital converter 10 for converting a sound detected by the microphone 9 into a digital audio track which can be stored in the memory unit 5. The control unit 6 is also connected to at least one second activation element 1 1 which can be operated manually to activate an audio recording in controlled mode through the microphone 9.

As shown in Figure 4, the second activation element 1 1 is a recording pushbutton, located on the handle 2.

Pressing the recording pushbutton 1 1 allows recording one or more audio tracks in the memory 5. In a possible embodiment, the memory area in which the sound is to be recorded (for example, the familiar voices area or the animal calls area) can be selected by pressing the recording pushbutton 1 1 repeatedly until reaching the suitable recording configuration.

In this case, recording may be activated by pressing the recording pushbutton 1 1 at least for a predetermined length of time (for example, 3 seconds).

Similarly, a memory area can be erased by pressing and holding the respective first pushbutton 8 down for at least a predetermined length of time (for example, 3 seconds).

In this case, too, the eating utensil 1 comprises a battery 12 for powering the electronic device 4 and housed in the handle 2. The electronic device 4 built into the handle 2 is also housed in a soft, impermeable shell 13. The electronic device 4 of one or both of the embodiments described may also comprise an LCD screen 14 connected to the control unit 6 and configured to provide at least a visual indication relating to the operating state of the electronic device 4 - for example the charge level of the battery 12 and/or the audio track being played - and/or information as to whether the system is operating in recording/play mode.

In one embodiment, the eating utensil 1 includes a connector which is electrically connected to the battery 12 to allow connection to an electrical power source by means of a power cable.

In one embodiment, the eating utensil 1 includes an audio port for earphones so that the sounds generated by the utensil can be heard through earphone speakers.

In one embodiment, the eating utensil 1 includes a manually operated selector switch connected to the control unit 6 to adjust the volume of the sounds generated by the utensil 1 .

The eating utensil 1 described above allows controlled reproduction of voices, animal calls, sound effects and sounds in general during the baby's feed time, thus capturing the baby's attention and making it more inclined to eat. Moreover, the different features of the embodiments described above allow considerable flexibility of use. More specifically, the eating utensils can be plain or more complex in design and can make any of a wide range of sounds.

The active portion 3 is designed to come into contact with the baby's mouth or with other parts of the baby's body (for example, nose, ears, hair, eyes).

In one embodiment, the active portion 3 is in the form of an eating utensil (for example, a spoon or a fork); thus, when the active portion is coupled to the gripping handle, the tool constitutes an eating utensil.

Alternatively or in addition, the active portion 3 might be the head of a toothbrush, a comb, an ear swab, a nose spray nozzle, comforter or a soft object designed to be chewed by the baby to soothe teething discomfort. In one or more of these cases, the active portion 3 may be disposable. In one embodiment, the active portion 3 is detachably coupled to the gripping handle 2; preferably, it is detachably coupled by means of a quick disconnect system.

In one embodiment, the gripping handle 2 is (an element which is) elongate along a longitudinal axis 15.

The gripping handle 2 has a first end 2A and a second end 2B, opposite to the first end 2A relative to the longitudinal axis 15. The active portion 3 is connected to the first end 2A of the gripping handle 2.

In one embodiment, the first end 2A is the top end of an elongate neck 16 (extending along the longitudinal axis 15), defined by the gripping handle 2 and protruding oppositely to the second end 2B.

In one embodiment, the gripping handle 2 has (at its first end 2A) a coupling zone 17.

In one embodiment, the active portion 3 also exhibits an elongate extension 18 having at its free end a coupling portion 19.

The coupling zone 17 (of the gripping handle 2) is designed to receive the detachable coupling portion 19 (of the active portion 3). In one embodiment, the coupling zone 17 is a socket defining a shape coupling (for example, a pressure fit) with the coupling portion 19 (which, for example, is tapered); the male and female parts of this shape coupling are reversed in their role.

In one embodiment, the coupling portion comprises a bayonet coupling or other disengageable connection system.

Preferably, the coupling zone 17 is impermeable (and washable); more generally speaking, the neck 16 of the gripping handle 2 is impermeable (and washable).

In one embodiment, the shell 13 comprises a protective shell defining an outer casing for at least part of the outer surface of the gripping handle. In one embodiment, the protective shell 13 has at least one transparent portion placed on top of the screen 14.

Thus, the gripping handle 2 is a (multimedia) musical handle provided with a universal detachable coupling to be connected to an active portion selected from a plurality of active portions 3 of different kinds, all compatible with the detachable coupling system (which, in that sense, is defined here as "universal").

In light of this, this description also provides an appliance 20 for the care and entertainment of a baby.

The appliance 20 comprises the tool 1 according to one or more of the features included in this description.

Further, the appliance comprises a plurality of active portions 3 forming a set (or group or kit) of interchangeable active portions.

In one embodiment, the appliance also comprises a recharging station 21 for electrically powering the tool 1 .

In one embodiment, the recharging station 21 has a housing 22. The housing 22 is designed to receive at least one portion of the gripping handle 2. This causes electrical energy to flow through the at least one portion of the gripping handle 2.

The recharging station is connectable to the mains electricity supply (using a suitable power cable 23).