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Title:
WATCHBAND AND METHOD FOR ENHANCING THE UTILITY INHERENT IN THE APPLICATION OF SMARTWATCHES
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2020/188369
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A system and method for enhancing the utility inherent in the application of smartwatches, in functional combination with conventional watches, in a single watchband.

Inventors:
ZIEGENBEIN KEITH J (US)
Application Number:
IB2020/051022
Publication Date:
September 24, 2020
Filing Date:
February 10, 2020
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
GIRARDET FRANCOIS (CH)
ZIEGENBEIN KEITH J (US)
International Classes:
A44C5/00; A44C5/14; A44C5/24; G04B37/16
Domestic Patent References:
WO2019025147A12019-02-07
WO2016081913A12016-05-26
Foreign References:
US9723899B22017-08-08
US20070279852A12007-12-06
US9833048B22017-12-05
US9723899B22017-08-08
US9551978B22017-01-24
US9152129B22015-10-06
US7618269B22009-11-17
US4786981A1988-11-22
US3924304A1975-12-09
US3293846A1966-12-27
US2954622A1960-10-04
US1485915A1924-03-04
US20160143404A12016-05-26
US20160066660A12016-03-10
US20130223195A12013-08-29
US20130206801A12013-08-15
US20090173760A12009-07-09
US20070279852A12007-12-06
USD788105S2017-05-30
CN201410363735A2014-07-29
CN201621101338U2016-09-30
CN201610407204A2016-06-12
US9480938B22016-11-01
EP15189974A2015-10-15
US20160340576A12016-11-24
US20160057916A1
US20150085717A12015-03-26
CN201821342738U2018-08-20
CN201620753049U2016-07-14
JPS6397255U1988-06-23
US20150094893A12015-04-02
US20150189975A12015-07-09
US20150249819A12015-09-03
US20150048764A12015-02-19
CN201821334273U
JPS6397255A
CH1981A1890-06-30
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
P&TS SA (AG, LTD.) (CH)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

1. A watchband comprising a system of elements for securing at least two watches, directly or indirectly, to a user's wrist, at least one of said at least two watches being a smartwatch, said smartwatch being secured directly or indirectly to said watchband in a way which allows quick and easy affixing and removal thereof without the use of tools.

2. A watchband as in claim 1, in which said smartwatch is removably mounted by insertion into a cavity present in a selection from the group consisting of: in said watchband; in a retainer therefore affixed to said watchband; in a buckle affixed to said watchband; in both said watchband and a buckle affixed thereto.

3. A watchband as in claim 2, which further comprises a blank that is insertable into said cavity when a smartwatch is not present therein. 4. A watchband as in claim 3, wherein said blank comprises a volume therein for containing objects.

5. A watchband as in claim 1, in which said smartwatch is mounted to said watchband by a system of elements comprising a cavity forming buckle. 6. A watchband as in claim 5, in which the cavity forming buckle comprises a system of three elements, one end of the first element and one end of a third element being rotatably affixed to first and second ends of a watchband, and second ends of said first and third elements being rotatably affixed to first and second ends of said second element. 7. A watchband as in claim 1, in which one of said at least one watch is not a smartwatch which is permanently, or removably secured to said watchband.

8. A watchband as in claim 1, in which the smartwatch is secured to the watchband by placement into a cavity which is positioned so that said at least two watches are substantially parallel to one another.

9. A watchband as in claim 1, in which the smartwatch is secured to the watchband by placement into a cavity which is positioned so that said at least two watches are substantially perpendicular to one another. 10. A watchband as in claim 1, in which the smartwatch includes a marking on it which can be observed Visually and/or via touch, to aid a user in positioning it "upright" in the securing element, where "upright" means that it is oriented so the user can observe it directly and easily.

11. A method of enhancing the application of smartwatches while preserving the use of conventional watches comprising the steps of: a) providing first and second systems, each said system comprising: a watchband comprising a system of elements for securing at least two watches to a user's wrist, directly or indirectly, at least one of said at least two watches being a smartwatch, said smartwatch being mounted to said watchband in a way which allows quick and easy affixing and removal thereof; b) affixing said smartwatch to the first of said systems; and c) removing said smartwatch from said first of said systems and affixing it to the second system. 12. A method as in claim 11, which further comprises, between steps b) and c), a user wearing said first system on his or her wrist for at least a minute.

13. A method as in claim 11, in which the smartwatch is secured to the watchband by placement into a cavity therein.

14. A method as in claim 11, in which the smartwatch is secured to the watchband by placement into a cavity in a buckle affixed to said watchband.

15. A method as in claim 12, in which said cavity in said buckle is comprised of a system of three elements, one end of the first element and one end of a third element being rotatably affixed to first and second ends of a watchband, and second ends of said first and third elements being rotatably affixed to first and second ends of said second element.

16. A method as in claim 12, which further comprises securing a blank in said cavity when a smartwatch is not present therein.

17. A method as in claim 14, in which said blank comprises a volume therein for containing objects.

18. A method as in claim 11, in which the smartwatch is secured watchband by placement into a cavity which is that said at least two watches are substantially parallel to one another.

19. A method as in claim 11, in which the smartwatch is secured to the watchband by placement into a cavity which is that said at least two watches are substantially to one another.

20. A method as in claim 11, in which the smartwatch includes a marking on it which can be observed visually and/or via touch, in

positioning it "upright" in the securing element, where "upright" means that it is oriented so the user can observe it directly and easily. 21. A combination of a watchband according to any one of the preceding claims and a smartwatch, wherein the wristband presents a cavity, the smartwatch has a face with a display, and sides arranged to interoperate with corresponding sides of the cavity such that the

smartwatch can be affixed in the cavity of the wristband, the face of the smartwatch being visible from the outside, and the smartwatch is retained in the cavity by the sides.

22. The combination of claim 21, wherein the smartwatch is designed such that it can be affixed in the cavity from the inside only, or wherein the smartwatch is designed such that it can be affixed into the cavity from the outside only.

23. The combination of any of claims 21 and 22, wherein the smartwatch has essentially rectangular shape, and the face is curved.

24. The combination of any one of claims 21 to 23, wherein the cavity is arranged in a clasp or in a buckle of the watchband.

25. The combination of any one of claims 21 to 24, wherein the smartwatch has visual or tactile clues to simplify its correct orientation in view of inserting it into the cavity.

26. The combination of any one of claims 21 to 25, further combined with a blank having sides compatible with the sides of the cavity, the blank being insertable into the cavity to close the cavity instead of the smartwatch.

Description:
WATCHBAND AND METHOD FOR ENHANCING THE UTILITY INHERENT IN THE APPLICATION OF SMARTWATCHES

Field of the invention

[0001] The present invention relates to watchbands and watches, and to a system and method for enhancing the utility inherent in the application of smartwatches in functional combination with conventional (e. g.

mechanical) watches secured by a watchband.

Background

[0002] It has been common practice for people to wear watches for at least a century, and more recently that practice has included the wearing of smartwatches, which are wearable devices in the form of a wristwatch for use in accessing the Internet, or connect themselves to an internet-enabled device, such as a smartphone, to provide additional functions besides simply keeping time. Many people still prefer their conventional watches because of their styling and quality etc., but some of those same people also desire the benefits offered by smartwatches. [0003] In response, various watch manufacturers have offered a watch system that enables a watchband that simultaneously secures two watches to a user's wrist, one being a conventional type, and one being a

smartwatch. The available systems are often bulky and not particularly aesthetic, however. A major problem with the presently available dual watch systems, however, is that the manufacturer thereof dictates the combination of watches, which are both firmly secured to the watchband.

[0004] Other known watch systems have provisions for affixing accessories of various nature, such as pillboxes, to the bracelet or to the buckle. [0005] The background discussed above includes, among others, the disclosures of the following patents and applications: US9833048,

US9723899, US9551978, US9152129, US7618269, US4786981, US3924304, US3293846, US2954622, US1485915, US2016143404, US20160066660, US20130223195, US20130206801, US20090173760, US20070279852,

USD788105, CN201410363735, CN201621101338, CN201610407204,

U820150948093, EP20150189974, US2O160340576, U820160579916,

U820150850717, CN20182134273, CN201620753049, JP19880097255,

U820150948093, US20150189975, U820150249819, U3201540048764, CN2018213342738, CN201620753049, JP19880097255, CH1981.

[0006] It is generally gleaned from a study of the numerous known references that many embodiments of the general idea of incorporating two watches in a single watchband are known. Even in view thereof, there remains a need for a single watchband system that allows users to wear both a conventional watch, and smartwatch of their choice, both secured by a single watchband in a compact functional fashion. In particular there remains a need for a method of deploying such a system that is friendly to practice.

Brief summary of the invention [0007] According to the invention, these aims are achieved by means of the object of the appended claims.

Brief Description of the Drawings

[0008] The invention will be better understood with the aid of the description of an embodiment given by way of example and illustrated by the figures, in which:

Figurel demonstrates a prior art single watchband that secures both a conventional watch and a smartwatch. Figure 2A shows a non-limiting side view of an embodiment of a watchband according to the present invention with a smartwatch present in a cavity therein, parallel to a conventional watch.

Figure 2A' shows a non-limiting side view of an embodiment of a watchband according to the present invention with a smartwatch present in a cavity therein perpendicular to a conventional watch.

Figure 2B shows a non-limiting bottom view of an embodiment of a watchband according to the present invention with a smartwatch present in a cavity therein.

Figure 2C shows a non-limiting bottom view of an alternative embodiment of a watchband according to the present invention with a blank present in a cavity therein.

Fig 2D shows a non-limiting bottom view of an alternative embodiment of a watchband according to the present invention with a smartwatch secured by clasps.

Figure 2E shows a side view of a watchband buckle in an open position.

Figure 2F shows a side view of a watchband buckle in a closed position.

Figure 3A shows an embodiment of the inventive watchband with a smartwatch inserted from the inside of a buckle.

Figure 3B shows an embodiment of the inventive watchband with a smartwatch inserted from the outside of a buckle.

Figure 3C shows an embodiment of the inventive watchband with a blank inserted instead of a smartwatch. Figure 3D shows an embodiment of the inventive watchband with the buckle open, including indication of a smartwatch being entered from both from the outside and inside of a buckle.

Figure 3E shows, partially, a buckle for the embodiment of the inventive watchband illustrated in figures 3A-3D.

Figure 3F shows a smartwatch constructed for front insertion into the inventive watchband.

Figure 3G shows a blank constructed for front insertion into the inventive watchband.

Figure 3H shows a cut-away view of one side of a latching mechanism.

Figure 3I shows a smartwatch constructed for back insertion into the inventive watchband.

Figure 3J shows a blank constructed for back insertion into the inventive watchband.

Detailed Description of possible embodiments of the Invention

[0009] Figure 1 shows a prior art combination of a conventional watch CW and a smartwatch SW secured to one another by a single watchband WB, which enables a user to wear both on his or her wrist. While providing utility, it is noted that the aesthetic aspect of the shown system could be enhanced.

[0010] "Single" watchband indicates, in the present disclosure, a watchband for wearing at the wrist and arranged to interoperate with a plurality of distinct conventional watches and/or smart watches. The single watchband could comprise two separate webs, or chains of links united by a buckle or a clasp, or a continuous loop of elastic material, or any other suitable structure capable of being worn at the wrist and to which can be affixed watches and smart watches.

[0011] Figure 2A shows a non-limiting side view of an embodiment of a present invention watchband WB with a smartwatch SW present in a cavity CA therein. Note also the indication of a possible cavity CA' on a side of the watchband WB. In one embodiment of the invention a smartwatch is present in said cavity CA' in addition to, or instead of being present in cavity CA. (This is further shown in figure 2A'). Further, where one cavity CA or CA' is present, the other can, but need not, be present. Note, CA' as shown in figure 2A is appropriate for wearing on a right arm wrist. For a left wrist the cavity CA would preferably be on the right side of figure 2A. Note that, depending on the location of the cavities CA and CA', the smartwatch SW is secured to the single watchband WB by placement into a cavity which is positioned so that said at least two watches are substantially parallel CA to one another, or substantially perpendicular CA' to one another. Positions in between parallel and perpendicular are also within the scope of the present invention but are not preferred. Figure 2A' is included to show a non-limiting side view of an embodiment of a present invention watchband with a smartwatch SW present in a cavity CA' therein, which cavity CA 1 is substantially perpendicular to a conventional watch CW. (Note figure 2A' shows the situation for both right and left arms).

[0012] Note also that figure 2A shows a cavity CA that communicates only with the outside of the watchband. A bottom closes the inner side of the cavity CA (the side normally in contact with the wrist when the watch is worn). This is not an essential feature of the invention, however, and the cavity CA could in fact be open and communicate with the inside and with the outside.

[0013] Figure 2B shows a non-limiting view of an embodiment of a present invention watchband WB with a smartwatch SW present in a cavity CA (or alternatively CA') therein. Note also the indication of a frame F which can optionally be present around the perimeter of the cavity shown as CA, (or CA'). When present, frame F serves to secure the band against degradation in the size and shape of said cavity.

[0014] Figure 2C shows a non-limiting view of an alternative

embodiment of a present invention watchband WB with a blank BL present in a cavity CA (or CA') therein. When a smartwatch SW is not present in a cavity CA, CA' a blank BL can be present for aesthetic and other reasons, such as providing a cavity for containing pills or the like.

[0015] Figure 2D shows a non-limiting bottom view of an alternative, non-preferred, embodiment of a present invention watchband WB, with a smartwatch SW secured by clasps CLA which secure to the outside of a watchband WB. This variant does not require a cavity in the watchband WB for securing the smartwatch SW thereto. Without a cavity, the smartwatch SW in this variant protrudes from the watchman. Should a cavity be present, the smartwatch could be totally or partially embedded inside, and retained by the clasps.

[0016] To introduce the preferred embodiment of the present invention, figure 2E is provided to demonstrate a side view of a watchband clasp or buckle B in an opening position. Figure 2F demonstrates a side view of a watchband clasp or buckle B in a closed position. Note that the buckle B system comprises three elements E1, E2 f and E3, one end of the first element E1 and one end of the third element E3 being rotatably affixed to first and second ends of a watchband WB, and second ends of said first El and third E3 elements being rotatably affixed to first and second ends of said second element E2.

[0017] It should be appreciated that the form of execution of the watchband buckle B admits many variants and is not limiting, including butterfly clasps, tongue buckles, and so on.

[0018] One of the elements of the buckle B - E3 in the illustrated example - has an aperture or cavity that is designed for affixing a

smartwatch therein. [0019] Figs. 2A -2F are to be interpreted as disclosing the present invention with a broad brush. Figs. 3A-3J show preferred embodiments of the present invention which utilize watchband buckles B, although Figs. 2A 2C are preferred regarding placement of cavities CA and/or CAT

[0020] Figure 3A shows a present invention with a smartwatch SW inserted from the inside II of a buckle B. The cavity in the buckle and the smartwatch SW are designed such that the watch can be inserted from the inside towards the outside of the watchband - the inside being the wrist side when the watch is worn - and removed by pushing it from inwards. This variant of the invention may present an implicit safety, in that the smartwatch cannot be separated from the watchband without opening the buckle and wearing off the watchband.

[0021] Figure 3B shows a present invention with a smartwatch SW

inserted from the outside Ol of a buckle B. The cavity in the buckle and the smartwatch SW are designed such that the watch can be inserted from the outside towards the inside of the watchband and removed by pushing it outwards. This variant may be simpler and more intuitive and allows affixing the smartwatch without opening the buckle or removing the watch.

[0022] Figure 3C shows a present invention with a blank BL inserted instead of a smartwatch, for use when a smartwatch SW is not present.

[0023] Figure 3D shows a present invention showing how the buckle BL opens to allow insertion and removal of a smartwatch SW or blank BL. Note that element E1, E2 f and E3 as shown in Figs. 2E and 2F are shown for coordination between figures.

[0024] Figure 3B shows a partial present invention buckle B with a smart watch insert retainer press button latches CL for insert securing a

smartwatch SW. [0025] Figure 3F shows a smartwatch constructed for outside insertion.

In particular, note slight overhang 49 around display top to prevent push- through, and also groove 45 around center area for general simplified means to retain insert as designers wish. Figure 3F also shows a detectable DA aspect of a smartwatch SW which can assist with insertion into a watchband WB cavity when in dim lighting, for instance. The detectable DA aspect can be simply a visible marking or can be a physical attribute embedded in the smartwatch.

[0026] Figure 3G shows a blank BL constructed for outside insertion when smart watch insert is not desired to be used.

[0027] Figure 3H shows a cut-away view of an exemplary latching mechanism B to hold the smartwatch in place, as represented also in figure 3E, of which figure 3H is a cross-section. The latching mechanism includes one or more protrusions 35 protruding towards the inside of the opening that are arranged to interact with a matching feature of the smartwatch, thereby retaining it in the aperture. In the illustrated example, the protrusions 35 are designed to engage into the side groove 45 of the smartwatch, indicated in figure 3F. A button 30, operable form the external side of the buckle B causes, when pressed, the retraction of the protrusions 35, and the liberation of the smartwatch SW from the wristwatch. The structure and the working of the latching mechanism could deviate considerably from this example in other embodiments of the invention, however.

[0028] Figure 3I shows a smartwatch SW or blank BL for inside insertion II, showing groove around center area for general retention thereof. Note the retaining overhang 48 to prevent push-out is on bottom of this insert.

[0029] Figure 3J shows a blank BL constructed for back inside insertion when smart watch insert is not desired to be used.

[0030] It should be appreciated that the drawings are demonstrative only, and not limiting. As indicated by Figs. 2A-2F, any approach to removably securing a smartwatch SW to a single watchband, (to which is also affixed a conventional watch CW), is to be considered within the scope of the present invention. Preferred mechanisms for affixing a smartwatch SW allow quick and easy affixing and removal, and therefore easy transfer between different systems of single watchband WB and conventional watch ON systems. It is also within the scope of the present invention to make both the smartwatch and conventional watch easily removable from a watchband. Where two or more conventional watches comprise substantially the same means for affixation to a watchband, this might provide utility.

[0031] The terminology "conventional" has been used herein to identify non-smart watches. Conventional watches may thus include mechanical and electronic watches having analogue or digital displays, and also hybrid devices that have both an analogue and a digital display. [0032] Having hereby disclosed the subject matter of the present invention, it should be obvious that many modifications, substitutions and variations of the present invention are possible in view of the teachings. It is therefore to be understood that the invention may be practiced other than as specifically described and should be limited only in its breadth and scope only by the claims.