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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
A VIEWING MOUNT
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2020/035649
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A viewing mount for viewing a screen of a portable electronic device, the viewing mount comprising: a base; a support means on the surface of said base for supporting at least a portion of one side of the portable electronic device such that, in use, the screen of the portable electronic device is in a viewable orientation; and, a strap within the base for releasably securing said base to an article.

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Inventors:
MAILE ADRIAN (GB)
RUCKMAN ANTON (AU)
OCHAROENCHAI DHANAKOM (TH)
HADLEY JAMES ROBERT (GB)
Application Number:
PCT/GB2019/000115
Publication Date:
February 20, 2020
Filing Date:
August 13, 2019
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
MULTIMEDIAMATE LTD (GB)
International Classes:
A45F5/00; F16M11/04
Domestic Patent References:
WO2015173444A12015-11-19
Foreign References:
US20120111881A12012-05-10
US20150108188A12015-04-23
DE202011003838U12011-08-09
US20140158563A12014-06-12
GB2457440A2009-08-19
EP1491986A22004-12-29
US6439530B12002-08-27
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
VENTURE PROOF LIMITED (GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS:

1. A viewing mount for viewing a screen of a portable electronic device, the

viewing mount comprising:

a base;

a support means on a surface of said base for supporting at least a portion of one side of the portable electronic device such that, in use, the screen of the portable electronic device is in a viewable orientation; and, a strap within the base for releasably securing said base to an article.

2. A viewing mount according to claim 1, wherein the support means comprises a recess configured substantially within the surface of the base.

3. A viewing mount according to claim 1 , wherein the support means comprises a channel formed by a pair of substantially parallel upstanding walls projecting from the surface of the base.

4. A viewing mount according to claim 3, wherein the upstanding walls are at an angle that is greater than 90 degrees to the surface of the base, such that, in use, the screen is tilted away from a user.

5. A viewing mount according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the support means is configured such that, in use, the viewable orientation is between 90 degrees and 150 degrees to the surface of the base. 6. A viewing mount according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the support means and the base comprise one piece.

7. A viewing mount according to claim 6, wherein the support means and the base are formed from a resilient material.

8. A viewing mount according to claim 7, wherein the resilient material is silicone.

9. A viewing mount according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the viewing mount incorporates a plate for reinforcing the base.

10. A viewing mount according to claim 9, wherein the plate comprises steel.

11. A viewing mount according to claims 9 or 10, wherein the plate incorporates at least one slot, configured to support the strap.

12. A viewing mount according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the strap comprises, at least in part, an elastic material.

13. A viewing mount according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the strap comprises two pieces for releasably securing around the article with releasable fastening means.

14. A viewing mount according to claim 13, wherein the releasable fastening means comprises a hook and loop fastener.

15. A viewing mount according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the strap comprises a length of between 20 centimeters to 100 centimeters.

16. A viewing mount according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the strap is configured to be secured about the article, wherein the article comprises a pillow.

Description:
A Viewing Mount

This invention pertains generally to the field of electronic device viewing mounts, and in particular, personal electronic device viewing mounts for handheld devices such as tablet computers, e-readers and smartphones.

Personal electronic devices, such as tablets, e-readers and smartphones, are portable personal computers, typically with a mobile operating system and LCD touchscreen display. Their portability allows them to be used for a wide variety of activities in many different environments. These different environments might include different rooms within the home, such as when sat on the sofa in the sitting room, or when lying in bed in the bedroom. In these different environments, a user requires to be able to view the screen in a comfortable position, whilst having access to all controls and buttons on the device itself. They might also desire to be able to view the screen handsfree, to allow them to sit more comfortably, or undertake other tasks at the same time.

However, these personal electronic devices are often of a design to comprise a sleek and smooth planar surface, without any means to support the device in an upstanding position. They are therefore placed flat on a surface or person’s lap.

Alternatively, a stand or cover might be provided to help to support the personal electronic device in a more upright position, or at such an angle to make viewing more comfortable. However, in certain environments these stands require some balance in order to be of any use. When there isn’t a hard viewing surface available, such as a table or desk, the user has to make do with balancing the device to attempt to achieve a comfortable viewing position. Typically, a personal electronic device is used on a person’s lap, such as when travelling. This might be in waiting areas, on public transport, or in cafes and other similar establishments. They may also use the device on their lap when sat on their sofa in their living room, or when using the device in bed, for an example to view a movie. Current stand arrangements do not provide an optimised viewing orientation and setup for such environments.

Personal electronic devices can also become hot whilst in use, and require ventilation to ensure that they do not become too hot. By placing a device flat onto a surface, or a person’s lap, air flow around the back of the device is prevented. A stand can help to prevent the device from overheating, by providing all round air flow in many cases, but the design of a number of stands do not lend themselves for use in some of these environments.

The prior art shows a number of devices which attempt to address these needs in various ways.

GB 2,457,440 (Eagle) discloses a base for a mount with a bean bag arrangement, designed to primarily support a mobile telephone or Global Positioning System (GPS) on the dashboard of a vehicle. The device is thought to provide a steady base to support these items, and to hold them in position when the vehicle is travelling along uneven road surfaces or at speed. The device does not provide means to support the device at a suitable orientation for being able to view the screen, nor does it provide means to be releasably secured to a surface, and therefore during some situations, the device may move and slide about. EP 1,491,986 (Greenidge et al) discloses a mounting apparatus for electronic devices, that incorporates means to conform to a surface contour of a support surface. The apparatus achieves this through a base with deformable gel that includes weights. The electronic device is hinged to the base. This apparatus is again for use in a motor vehicle, to support the satellite navigation device or smartphone, and does not provide a suitable solution for when a larger personal electronic device such as a tablet or e-reader, is being used on a person’s lap, or other soft surface.

US 6,439,530 (Shoenfish et al) discloses a mounting apparatus for an electronic device, that provides means to removably mount an electronic device onto a surface, and particularly where the surface comprises a contour. A receiving member is coupled to the device, and the base is provided with a malleable portion that confirms to the contour of the surface. Whilst this mounting apparatus goes some way towards providing a mounting means or stand for use in some different environments, it does not provide means to ensure optimum viewing angle of the screen in such environments. It also provides a somewhat bulky piece of equipment that a user would need to have readily available for when viewing in these environments.

Whilst some of the prior art appears to address the issue of supporting a personal electronic device on uneven surfaces or in a number of different environments, they are not concerned with ensuring optimum viewing angle and setup for such environments. They are not designed for use on a person’s lap, more for when placing the device on the dashboard of a vehicle. The prior art is concerned with providing a fixed mount for use on uneven surfaces, and solves this through quite bulky apparatus, that would not be convenient to be carried about. The prior art attempts to address the issue of hands free usage when being used on the dashboard of a motor vehicle, but does not provide an effective solution for use on a person’s lap. The prior art is mostly designed to support mobile telephones and navigation devices, which are typically of a smaller size, and are not therefore suitable for supporting tablet computers, e-readers and those larger screened personal electronic devices, in an optimum viewing position.

Preferred embodiments of the present invention aim to provide a viewing mount that provides support for a personal electronic device, and in particular a tablet computer or e-reader device, such that the screen of the device is supported in a suitable position for ease of viewing, to provide a support for the device on the lap of a user, or for use in a soft environment such as a sofa or bed space, and to provide this support without the need for a cumbersome apparatus that must be carried on a person in order to be used, and to provide a hands-free, mounted view of the screen that also allows sufficient device ventilation.

According to one aspect of the present invention, there is provided a viewing mount for viewing a screen of a portable electronic device, the viewing mount comprising: a base; a support means on the surface of said base for supporting at least a portion of one side of the portable electronic device such that, in use, the screen of the portable electronic device is in a viewable orientation; and, a strap within the base for releasably seeming said base to an article.

The support means may comprise a recess substantially within the surface of the base.

Preferably, the support means comprises a channel formed by a pair of substantially parallel upstanding walls projecting from the surface of the base. The upstanding walls may be configured to be substantially perpendicular to the surface of the base. Preferably, the support means is configured such that, in use, the viewable orientation is between 90 degrees and 150 degrees to the surface of the base.

The support means and the base may comprise one piece. Preferably, the support means and the base may be formed from a resilient material.

The resilient material may be silicone.

The base may incorporate a plate for reinforcing the structure of said base.

The plate may comprise steel.

The plate may incorporate at least one slot, configured to support the strap.

The strap may comprises, at least in part, an elastic material.

Preferably, the strap may comprise two pieces for releasably securing around the article with releasable fastening means.

Preferably, the releasable fastening means may comprise a hook and loop fastener.

The strap may comprise a length of between 20 centimeters to 100 centimeters.

Preferably, the strap may be configured to be secured about the article, wherein the article comprises a pillow. For a better understanding of the invention and to show how embodiments of the same may be carried into effect, reference will now be made, by way of example, to the accompanying diagrammatic drawings, in which:

Figure 1 shows one embodiment of viewing mount in isometric view, showing a personal electronic device mounted in portrait viewing position in a channel within a surface of a base; Figure 2 shows the viewing mount embodiment of Figure 1 in isometric view, showing the strap secured about an article, wherein the article comprises a pillow;

Figure 3 shows the viewing mount of Figure 1 in side view, showing one embodiment of viewing angle achieved by a pair of substantially parallel upstanding walls of the channel;

Figure 4 shows the viewing mount of Figure 1 in front view, showing one embodiment of upstanding wall with cutout for a control means; Figure 5 shows the viewing mount of Figure 1 in rear view; and,

Figure 6 shows the viewing mount of Figure 1 in exploded view, showing one embodiment of plate to provide reinforcement to the base. In the figures like references denote like or corresponding parts.

As shown in Figure 1 , a viewing mount 1 on which to mount a personal electronic device 2, comprises a base 3, and a support means 4 within the base 3, or configured on the uppermost surface of the base 3, to provide support for the personal electronic device 2, in a viewing position. The viewing position shown is substantially upright, and therefore perpendicular to the base 3, or in this example, at an obtuse angle of around 120 degrees to the base 3.

The support means 4 is configured to support one side 6 of the personal electronic device 2, in either a landscape or portrait configuration, shown here in the portrait configuration. The viewing mount 1 supports the personal electronic device 2 so that the screen 7 is in the optimum viewing position for a user. As shown in Figures 1 and 2, the viewing mount 1 is provided with a strap 8 for securing about an article 9. The article 9 may comprise a soft article such as a cushion or pillow, or may also comprise an armrest, chair, table, or other item about which the strap 8 can be secured, and where the user requires to be able to view the screen 7 of the personal electronic device 2.

The personal electronic device 2 may be a tablet computer or e-reader. It may also be a smartphone or other handheld, substantially planar electronic device that a user wishes to mount in a handsfree position, whilst still being able to view the screen 7.

The support means 4 may comprise a channel 10. The channel 10 may be formed within the surface 5 of the base 3, or may be partially within the surface 5 of the base 3.

In the embodiment shown, the channel 10 is configured on the surface 5 of the base 3, and is formed by a pair of parallel upstanding walls 11. The upstanding walls 11 are spaced apart a distance just greater than the depth of the personal electronic device 2 for which it is to be used. The upstanding walls 11 may be at a 90 degree angle to the surface 5 of the base 3, or they may be at an angle to the base 3, such as a specific viewing angle 12. The upstanding walls 11 dictate the angle of inclination of the personal electronic device 2 and therefore the screen 7 of the device when in use.

In one embodiment, the base 3 and the support means 4 may be formed from one piece, or moulded from one material. This material may be resilient and possess some flexibility, an example being silicone. A resilient material allows the base 3 and the support means 4 to conform to the personal electronic device 2, and to provide grip to hold the personal electronic device 2 within the support means 4. The base 3 may also have some flexibility to conform to any contouring within the surface of the article 9 to which the personal electronic device 2 is mounted. The strap 8 is either formed as a part of the base 3, or is a separate component, releasably or permanently secured to the base 3, or to the support means 4, through adhesives, or other fastening means. The base 3 may incorporate one or more slots to accommodate the strap 8, not shown.

Figure 2 shows the viewing mount 1 when mounted to a soft article 9 such as a pillow. This pillow may be provided with the viewing mount 1 and therefore be specific to the intended use, and dimensioned so as to conveniently fit with the strap 8.

Alternatively, the viewing mount 1 may be mounted to another article 9 that the user has available within a certain environment in which they wish to mount their personal electronic device 2 for viewing purposes.

Figure 3 shows a side view of the viewing mount 1 when supporting the personal electronic device 2, showing the viewing angle 12 between the angle of inclination of the screen 7 of the personal electronic device 2, and the surface 5 of the base 3. The pair of upstanding walls 11 support the personal electronic device 2 at this optimum viewing position. The strap 8 shown in the figures comprises a flexible elongate strap, with at least two ends, whereby the ends are secured to one another about an article 9 when in use. These ends of the strap 8 are releasably secured through a fastening means 15, such as hook and loop fastening means, poppers, clips or another alternative fastener that allows one end of the strap to be releasably secured to the other. Alternatively, the strap 8 may comprise a one piece elongate length of elastic material, that can be stretched over the article 9, and held in position through elastic means, not shown.

Figure 4 shows a front view of the viewing mount 1 with personal electronic device 2 mounted within the channel 10 and therefore between upstanding walls 11. The upstanding walls 11 in corporate a cutout 16 to ensure that any controls 17 for the personal electronic device 2 are not covered by the upstanding walls 11, and can therefore still be used by the user.

Figure 5 shows the rear upstanding wall 11, supporting the personal electronic device 2 at the predetermined viewing angle. The strap 8 is located centrally to the viewing mount 1, to assist with stability of the viewing mount 1 when supporting the personal electronic device 2 when mounted to the article 9.

Figure 6 shows an exploded view of one embodiment of viewing mount 1 where the base 3 is reinforced with a plate 13. The plate 13 provides strength to the base 3, particularly where the base 3 is made from a resilient material. For an example, where the base 3 is made from silicone, the base 3 can be stretched and secured over the plate 13 to help to provide support for the viewing mount 1. The plate 13 may be permanently affixed to the base 3. The plate 13 may also comprise at least one slot 14 to support the strap 8. The plate 13 shown comprises a pair of slots 14 to support the strap 8 in two places. The viewing mount 1 may provide additional or alternative support for the personal electronic device 2, through releasable adhesive means, magnetic means or other releasable fastening means or gripping means. The channel 10 may be lined with such gripping means, or be provided with at least one magnet that corresponds with a magnet within the personal electronic device 2, not shown.

The support means 4 may comprise a catch, jaws or clamp configured to support the personal electronic device 2 on the surface 5 of the base 3, not shown. These alternative embodiments of support means 4 would be configured to support the personal electronic device 2 at the optimum viewing angle 12.

The user, when using the viewing mount 1, would first secure the strap 8 about or around a chosen article 9. Typically, the user might be wishing to use their personal electronic device 2 on their lap, and therefore desire a cushioned support between lap and personal electronic device 2. The user would therefore select a suitable cushion or pillow available to them, or alternative article 9 about which the strap 8 can be secured. They would proceed to secure the strap 8 about the article 9 so that the viewing mount 1 is secured to the surface. They can then place the viewing mount 1 on their lap or next to them on a chair, sofa or bed, and place their personal electronic device 2 within the support means 4. With the viewing mount 1, secured to an article 9 such as a pillow or cushion, the user can place the viewing mount 1 on their lap, then sit back and view the screen 7 of the personal electronic device 2 in comfort, and if desired, without the need to hold or support any element with their hands, and therefore‘hands free’.

The viewing mount 1 is configured so as not to cover too much of the personal electronic device 2, and to leave the screen 7 uncovered, whilst also leaving the rear of the personal electronic device 2 as clear as possible to allow for ventilation of the personal electronic device 2, so that it does not become too hot and over heat.

The support means 4 may incorporate means to adjust the angle of inclination of the personal electronic device 2 when in use, such as a dial that alters the angle of the upstanding walls 11 to the surface 5 of the base 3, not shown. This means of adjusting the angle would allow the user to alter the viewing angle 12 when they need to do so,




 
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