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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
DEVICE FOR MANAGING CORDS AND CABLES
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/009132
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Disclosed is a device (1) for managing cables. The device comprises an elongated elastic casing (10) having a closed end (20) and an open end (30) and a receiving device (40), disposed at the closed end (20) of the casing. The receiving device comprises a semi-circular passage with a first opening and a second opening, wherein the passage is adapted to receive a cable.

Inventors:
KULLSTAM NICLAS (SE)
Application Number:
PCT/SE2017/050748
Publication Date:
January 11, 2018
Filing Date:
July 04, 2017
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
NK LINK AB (SE)
International Classes:
B65H75/36; H02G3/04; H02G11/00; H02G11/02; H04M1/15; H04R1/10
Foreign References:
US20140124239A12014-05-08
US20110056721A12011-03-10
US20060185873A12006-08-24
US20110162883A12011-07-07
US5118907A1992-06-02
JP2014087038A2014-05-12
JP2014082727A2014-05-08
US20030207611A12003-11-06
Other References:
"Retractable Audio Cable", MACALLY, 2015, XP055451424, Retrieved from the Internet
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BERGENSTRÃ…HLE & PARTNERS STOCKHOLM AB (Box118 93 Stockholm, SE)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1 . A device (1 ) for managing cables, comprising: an elongated elastic casing (10) having a closed end (20) and an open end (30); a receiving device (40), disposed at the closed end (20) of the casing, comprising a semi-circular passage with a first opening and a second opening, wherein the passage is adapted to receive a cable; and a locking mechanism (30) disposed at the open end of the elastic casing, adapted to hold a cable in place.

2. The device according to claim 1 , wherein the receiving device comprises a wheel.

3. The device according to claiml or 2, wherein the receiving device is openable and wherein the locking mechanism comprises a wedge shaped portion adapted to engage with the receiving device in order to open the receiving device.

4. The device according to any one of the previous claims, wherein the casing is elastic in a longitudinal direction and substantially non-elastic in a direction transversal to the longitudinal direction.

5. A system for managing cables, comprising: a device according to any one of claims 1 to 5 comprising a receiving device and a casing; a cord; and a fitting tool, adapted to insert the cord into the device.

6. The system according to claim 5, wherein the fitting tool is an elongated device comprising two notches at an end thereof, the notches being adapted to receive the cord.

7. The system according to any one of claims 5 or 6, wherein the locking mechanism is adapted to engage with the receiving device.

8. The system according to any one of claims 5 to 7, wherein the dimensions of the locking mechanism is smaller than the dimensions of the receiving device.

Description:
DEVICE FOR MANAGING CORDS AND CABLES

Technical field

[0001 ] The present invention relates to a device for managing cords and cables, such as headphones.

Background art

[0002] Most people today use headphones, and other types of cords and cables such as chargers, on various occasions, especially in connection with usage of smartphones and other mobile devices.

[0003] Generally speaking, the length of most cords and cables cannot be adjusted, which results in that the cords is often either too short or too long for optimal user comfort.

[0004] Another problem is that the cords lack a storage function, and that they often get tangled up.

[0005] Since most people already have existing headphones and similar devices comprising cords that cannot be adjusted, it would be beneficial with a solution to the existing problems that does not require a user to buy new such devices.

Summary of invention

[0006] An object of the present invention is to solve at least some of the problems outlined above. It is possible to achieve these objects and others by using devices and systems as defined in the attached independent claims.

[0007] According to a first aspect, there is provided a device for managing cables. The device comprises an elongated elastic casing having a closed end and an open end. The device further comprises a receiving device, disposed at the closed end of the casing. The receiving device comprises a semi-circular passage with a first opening and a second opening, wherein the passage is adapted to receive a cable. The device may further comprise a locking mechanism, disposed at the open end of the elastic casing, adapted to hold a cable in place. By having such a locking mechanism, the device is better at keeping the length of cords and cables relatively fixed.

[0008] By having such a device, cords and cables may be managed, stored and adjusted in a better way. The elastic casing makes it so the device does not take up a lot of space, and the receiving device enables easy adjustment of the length of cords and cables.

[0009] According to optional embodiments, the receiving device comprises a wheel. By having a wheel, the length of a cord inserted into the device may be adjusted more easily, and it also becomes possible to wind the cord in an easier way, in embodiments wherein the cord may be wound around the wheel.

[0010] According to optional embodiments, the receiving device is openable and the locking mechanism is adapted to engage with the receiving device, such that the locking mechanism may be used to open and close the receiving device.

According to optional embodiments, the locking mechanism may be further adapted for guiding a cable into the receiving device.

[001 1 ] According to optional embodiments, the casing is elastic in a longitudinal direction and substantially non-elastic in a direction transversal to the longitudinal direction.

[0012] According to a second aspect, there is provided a system for managing cables. The system comprises a device according to any one of claims 1 to 5, a cord and a fitting tool, adapted to insert the cord into the device. By having a fitting device, a cord may be inserted into the device more easily.

[0013] The aspects and embodiments described above are freely combinable with each other. There are optional embodiments of the second aspect that correspond to the optional embodiments of the first aspect.

Brief description of drawings

[0014] The solution will now be described more in detail, by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which: [0015] Fig. 1 A shows a device according to the present disclosure, comprising a casing and a receiving device.

[0016] Fig. 1 B shows a device according to the present disclosure comprising a casing and a receiving device, and a cord.

[0017] Fig. 2A shows a casing according to the present disclosure in a contracted state.

[0018] Fig. 2B shows a casing according to the present disclosure in a stretched state.

[0019] Fig. 3A shows a top view of a receiving device according to the present disclosure, in an open position.

[0020] Fig. 3B shows a top view of a receiving device according to the present disclosure, together with a cord accommodated in the receiving device, in a closed position.

[0021 ] Figs. 4A-4C show a usage of a device and a cord.

[0022] Figs. 5A-5C show a usage of a device and a cord.

[0023] Fig. 6 shows a fitting tool according to the present disclosure.

[0024] Figs. 7A and 7B show a first type of locking mechanism according to the present disclosure.

[0025] Figs. 8A and 8B show second and third types, respectively, of a locking mechanism according to the present disclosure.

[0026] Fig. 9A shows a fourth type of a locking mechanism.

[0027] Fig. 9B shows a stopping element for a locking mechanism.

[0028] Fig. 10 shows an interaction between a fitting tool, a locking mechanism and a receiving device according to the present disclosure. [0029] Figs. 1 1 A through 1 1 E show an interaction between a locking

mechanism and a receiving device according to the present disclosure.

Description of embodiments

[0030] In the following, a detailed description of the different embodiments of the solution is disclosed with reference to the accompanying drawings. All examples herein should be seen as part of the general description and are therefore possible to combine in any way in general terms.

[0031 ] Briefly described, the solution relates to a device and systems for managing cords, such as cords for headphones. A device and a system is provided for managing cords, which may be used to adjust the length of the cord and store the cord. Furthermore, by using such a device or system, tangling of cords may be decreased or avoided altogether.

[0032] Throughout the description, the terms cord and cable are used

interchangeably, and both are intended to encompass the most commonly used cords and cables in everyday life, especially those that are prone to get tangled up. Headphone cords and charging cables are two of the most common examples of what is intended by the terms cord and cable throughout this disclosure, but the terms may also include other types of cables and cords such as skipping ropes and shoelaces. The device may be adapted differently depending on which types of cables and cords it is intended for, and as will be understood a device used for headphones will be smaller than a device used for a skipping rope.

[0033] Fig. 1 A shows a device 1 according to the present disclosure in a retracted position. The device comprises a casing 10 with a closed end 20 and an open end 30. In the closed end 20, there is disposed a receiving device 40, which is adapted to receive a cord. The receiving device is intended to be used such that a cord is inserted into one opening and exits out from the other, effectively folding the cord. In some embodiments, the receiving device comprises an open position and a closed position, wherein the open position is intended for placing a cord therein, and the closed position is intended for regular use of the device. [0034] Fig. 1 B shows the device together with a headphone cord 50, where the cord 50 has been folded and received in the receiving device 40 as described above.

[0035] Fig. 2A shows a casing 10 of a device according to the present disclosure, in a contracted state. The casing 10 is elastic, such that it may be stretched relative to its original state, and such that in a stretched state, the casing 10 strives to go back to an un-stretched, original state. By the casing being elastic, a better and more compact storage of cords may be achieved, that also requires little or no interaction from a user.

[0036] Fig 2B shows a casing 10 of a device according to the present

disclosure, in an extended state. As can be seen in Figs. 2A and 2B, the elastic casing 10 is possible to stretch several times its length in a contracted state. For a device intended to be used for headphones, the casing is approximately 3-5 centimeters long in contracted state, and can be stretched up to approximately 50- 60 cm. Suitable materials for the casing 10 include elastane fiber and other materials with similar properties.

[0037] In some embodiments, the casing 10 is adapted to be very elastic in a longitudinal direction, but substantially non-elastic in a direction transversal to the longitudinal direction. When accommodating a cord into the casing 10, it may be advantageous for it to be slightly elastic in the direction transversal to the longitudinal direction. In some embodiments, the casing is adapted to be elastic in one direction and non-elastic in the other direction.

[0038] Fig. 3A shows a receiving device 100 according to the present disclosure in an open state, intended to be disposed at the closed end of the casing for receiving a cord. The receiving device 100 comprises a top part 1 10, a bottom part 120 and a middle part 130, around which a cord is intended to be folded.

[0039] Fig 3B shows the receiving device 100 in a closed state, with a cord 150 received in it. The closed device comprises a semi-circular passage with two openings 140, 145, with the middle part 130 in the middle of the passage. The middle part 130 is preferably circular, although it may have other shapes, and in some embodiment it comprises a wheel.

[0040] The receiving device 100 preferably comprises at least an open state and a closed state, but in some embodiments the receiving device 100 may not have an open and a closed state. In such an embodiment, cords may be inserted into the receiving device by inserting one end of the cords into one of the openings 140, 145 and then moving it through the semi-circular passage so that said one end exits from the other opening 140, 145.

[0041 ] As can be seen from the figures, a cord 150 is intended to be folded around the middle part 130 of the receiving device, which effectively halves the length of the cord. As will be understood, users will likely want to adjust the length of their cords when using a device according to the present disclosure, and this may be done by pulling on either end of the cords 150. The cord will then pass through the semi-circular passage, and by having a wheel 130 as the middle part 130, such operation is facilitated and a cord being received in the device may be adjusted more easily. It is also possible to achieve an easier adjustment of cords in other ways, such as by lubricating the semi-circular passage.

[0042] In some embodiments, the device may comprise a locking mechanism, disposed at the free end of the casing. Such a locking mechanism has at least two states, an open state in which a cord may pass freely through the locking mechanism and a closed state in which a cord may not pass though the locking mechanism. This further improves user experience since it gives a user more control over his or her cords, e.g. such that a user may adjust the device and cords in order to find an optimal length for everyday use, and then use the locking mechanism to keep that length of the cord.

[0043] An exemplary usage of a device according to the present disclosure will now be described.

[0044] Fig 4A shows a device 200 according to the present disclosure and a cord 210 intended to be inserted into the device. By doing this, the length of the cords can easily and readily be adjusted, and the device 200 may also be used to store and/or carry the cords 210.

[0045] Looking now at Fig. 4B, the cords are inserted into the casing through the open end, and are placed in the receiving device 220 at the closed end of the casing, such that both ends of the cord exits from the open end of the casing. The receiving device 220 is preferably in an open state when the cords are inserted therein, as shown in Fig. 4B.

[0046] After the cords have been inserted into the receiving device 220, the receiving device 220 is closed. Fig. 4C shows the device 200 with the receiving device 220 in a closed state. This is the primarily intended state for everyday usage, when a user has inserted cords into the device 200. When this has been done, the user may adjust the length of the cords 210 by pulling in either one of the ends.

[0047] As seen in Figs. 4B and 4C, the locking mechanism 230 is also shown, disposed at the free end of the casing. As described, this may be used to lock the cords into a position in which their length cannot be adjusted.

[0048] As will be understood, the device as shown in Fig. 4C may be stretched in order to accommodate a larger part of the cord, and/or in order to decrease the size of the device, which may be useful for e.g. storing and/or transporting purposes. Such an operation would be performed by e.g. pulling the free end of the casing until it covers the cords, and when released, the device would retract into a retracted position due to the elastic properties of the casing. This will now be further described with reference to Figs. 5A-5C.

[0049] Fig. 5A shows a state in which the elastic casing has been stretched to accommodate substantially all of a cord, except for the parts that a user could wish to interact with.

[0050] Fig. 5B shows the device in a contracted state, which may be achieved e.g. simply by releasing the elastic casing when it is in the extended position shown in Fig. 5A. As evident from the figure, this will entail that the cord is also contracted, as shown in Fig. 5B.

[0051 ] Fig. 5C shows an example of how a device according to the present disclosure may be used, with the cord being adjusted due to a part of it being accommodated into the casing. When wanting to adjust the length of a cord being received in a device according to the present disclosure, a user may e.g. pull in one of the ends of the cord. The cord will then slide and/or rotate in the semicircular passage of the receiving device. In embodiments wherein the receiving device comprises a wheel, the cord may rotate around the wheel in order to be adjusted. In some embodiments, the receiving device may be adapted to act as a winding, such that the cord may be wound around it, such as when the receiving device comprises a wheel.

[0052] Looking now at Fig. 6, a fitting tool 300 is shown, which may be used in connection with the device according to the present disclosure. This tool preferably has an elongated shape with two ends, one end intended to be held by a user and one end which complements the shape of the semi-circular passage of the receiving device, such that the tool may be used to put a cord into the receiving device. As seen in Fig. 6, this may be achieved by the tool having two notches at one end thereof, such as notches 310 or notches 320. In most embodiments, the fitting tool has notches on only one side thereof, but in some embodiments, the tool may have notches on both sides. The notches may be either horizontal 320 or vertical 310, depending on the implementation.

[0053] Looking now at Figs. 7A and 7B, a first type of locking mechanism 400 suitable for the present disclosure is shown. This locking mechanism may be in the form of a clip, disposed at the free end of the device, and is adapted to hold a cable in place when in a locked state. The locking device comprises a first half- circle 410 adjoined to another half-circle 420, wherein the radius of one half-circle 420 is smaller than the radius of the other half-circle 410.

[0054] The locking mechanism 400 may be locked by folding it onto itself, as shown by the arrows in Figs. 7A and 7B. Preferably, this is done when a cord is fitted through the circular opening formed by half-circles 410 and 420, which will have the effect of locking the cord in place, such that it does not move if either end is pulled at.

[0055] Figs. 8A and 8B show a second type 800 and third type 810 of a locking mechanism according to the present disclosure.

[0056] The locking mechanism 800 shown in Fig. 8A comprises a body 810, having a first end 820 and a second end 830, with a passage 840. The locking mechanism is preferably made of a flexible material and is preferably integrally formed. By the material being flexible, a user may exert pressure on both ends 820, 830 of the mechanism in order to increase the height of the passage 840, which facilitates insertion of a cord. When releasing the pressure, the locking mechanism 800 will revert back to a state with a decreased height of the passage 840 relative to when pressure is being exerted on both ends.

[0057] The locking mechanism 850 shown in Fig. 8B comprises a circular body 860 having a wedge shaped portion 870 and a circular passage 880. The dimensions of the mechanism 850 may be such that cords may be inserted easily, but still held in place when they have been inserted. The wedge shaped portion 870 may be used to interact with the receiving device, which will be explained more in detailer later.

[0058] Fig. 9A shows another type of locking mechanism 700, comprising a body 710 defining a passage 730, and having a recess 720 for the fitting of a cord. In some embodiments, the recess 720 is dimensioned in accordance with the most commonly used cords, such as a 3,5 mm connector. Many cords comprises a thicker portion right next to the connector portion, and in some embodiments the recess is adapted for these dimensions. By having a locking mechanism as shown in Fig. 9A, the length of a cord may be adjusted while holding the connector in place, due to the connector being held in place in the recess 720. As will be understood, the dimensions of the locking mechanism may be varied depending on the type of cord intended to be fitted into it. The same goes for other parts of the device according to the present disclosure. [0059] In some embodiments, the locking mechanism may further comprise features for holding a cord in place. An example is shown in Fig. 9B. As shown in Fig. 9B, the locking mechanism may comprise an element for adjusting the width and/or height of the circular passage. By decreasing the width and/or height, a cord may be held in place in a tighter manner, and by increasing the width and/or height, insertion and removal of a cord is facilitated.

[0060] Such an element for adjusting the width and/or height may comprise d a spring element 770, wherein the spring element 720, in an engaged position, presses against a cord inserted in to the passage, and in a disengaged position does not press against an inserted cord. The locking mechanism for attachment of the spring element 770 typically comprises a body 760 encompassing a passage 780.

[0061 ] As will be understood, an element for adjusting the width/and or height of the locking mechanism, as described above, may be used for many different types of locking mechanisms, for example it may be used on the types shown in Figs. 8B and 9A.

[0062] In some embodiments, the locking mechanism may comprise an elastic band, which may be used to hold a cord in place after it has been inserted. In embodiments comprising an elastic band disposed at the open end of the casing, the elastic band is preferably disposed circumferentially along the open end, and can be tightened in order to hold a cable in place or loosened in order to let a cable pass through.

[0063] Fig. 10 shows a fitting tool 900, a receiving device 910 and a locking mechanism 920. A casing is not shown in the figure, due to it being intended to show the internal workings of the device, which would be obscured by the casing. The fitting tool 900 may be inserted through the passage of the locking mechanism 920, and the fitting tool 900 may be used to guide the fitting toll 900 into the receiving device 910. This kind of operation may be used to fit a cord into a device according to the present disclosure in an easy manner. [0064] Looking now at Figs. 1 1 A-1 1 E, an interaction between the locking mechanism 1010 and the receiving device 1000 will now be described. The locking mechanism 1010 may comprise a wedge shaped portion 1020, which can be used to open the receiving device 1020. As will be understood, this operation may also be performed with the device comprising a casing, although the casing is not shown in the figure. Opening the receiving device is primarily done to facilitate insertion and/or extraction of cords into the receiving device.

[0065] Fig. 1 1 A shows how the locking mechanism 1010, may be pushed against the receiving device 1000, such that the wedge shaped portion engages with the receiving device. As shown in Fig. 1 1 B, the locking mechanism 1010 may then be rotated, which entails that the wedge shaped portion 1020 will engage with the receiving device 1000 and open the receiving device 1000. Fig. 1 1 C shows another perspective of the engagement between the locking mechanism 1010 and the receiving device 1020. In some embodiments, the dimensions of the locking mechanism 1010 are smaller than the dimension of the receiving device 1000, in order to facilitate such an operation as described above.

[0066] After the locking mechanism 1010 has been used to open the receiving device 1000, it may be returned to a position, shown in 1 1 D, in which a cord 1030 may be guided into the receiving device 1000. The insertion of a cord 1030 into the receiving device through the locking mechanism 1010 is shown in Fig. 10E.

[0067] Although the description above contains a plurality of specificities, these should not be construed as limiting the scope of the concept described herein but as merely providing illustrations of some exemplifying embodiments of the described concept. It will be appreciated that the scope of the presently described concept fully encompasses other embodiments which may become obvious to those skilled in the_art, and that the scope of the presently described concept is accordingly not to be limited. Reference to an element in the singular is not intended to mean "one and only one" unless explicitly so stated, but rather "one or more". Moreover, it is not necessary for a device or system to address each and every problem sought to be solved by the presently described concept, for it to be encompassed hereby.