Patent application title: OCCUPANT-INTERACTIVE ACCESSORY SYSTEM FOR AUTOMOTIVE VEHICLE INTERIOR
Kaushlendra Singh (Westland, MI, US)
Jeffrey P. Webb (Canton, MI, US)
Mike J. Whitens (Novi, MI, US)
Raymond Dong (Dearborn, MI, US)
IPC8 Class: AB60R704FI
Class name: Bodies auxiliary article compartments accessible from within passenger compartment
Publication date: 2010-12-09
Patent application number: 20100308616
An occupant-interactive accessory system for an automotive vehicle
interior includes a number of different utilities for use by an occupant
of the passenger compartment of the vehicle. The combination of a wedging
mounting structure attached to each utility and wedging interfaces
incorporated within interior structures of the vehicle allow the
utilities to be mounted or dismounted manually, without the use of tools.
1. An occupant-interactive accessory device for an automotive vehicle,
comprising:a utility for use by an occupant of a passenger compartment of
a vehicle; anda dovetail mounting structure attached to said utility for
manually and removably mounting said utility to a mating dovetail
mounting structure incorporated within an interior structure of a
2. An occupant-interactive accessory device according to claim 1, wherein said interior structure of a vehicle comprises a storage console.
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
This application is Divisional Application which is based upon U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/035,471, filed Feb. 22, 2008, which is a Continuation in Part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/467,716, filed Aug. 28, 2006, now U.S. Pat. No. 7,513,553.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
This disclosure relates to a system permitting manual installation and un-installation of a variety of utility accessories within the interior of an automobile.
2. Related Art
Since the dawn of the automotive age, designers of car interiors have devoted a goodly amount of time and attention to the development of interior accessories. As motorists have steadily increased the amount of time spent in their vehicles they have also increased their demands for more adaptive and customizable interior appointments. This has spawned an entire industry dedicated to very expensive customization of vehicles. Unfortunately, one-off custom work is prohibitively expensive for most consumers. And, consumers are not attracted to ill-conceived or poorly executed aftermarket interior modification systems.
It would be desirable to provide an interior accessory system which is easily customizable by motorists at a reasonable cost and without the need for tools, while utilizing a platform built into the vehicle, and while offering a plethora of different utilities having a sophisticated appearance.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
According to an aspect of the present invention, an occupant-interactive accessory system for an automotive vehicle interior includes a utility for use by an occupant of a vehicle's passenger compartment. A wedging mounting structure is attached to the utility and allows the utility to be removably mounted to a wedging interface incorporated within an interior structure of a vehicle. The wedging mounting structure is manually attachable to the wedging interface.
According to another aspect of the present invention, the previously described wedging mounting structure comprises a first portion of a dovetailed joint, and the wedging interface comprises a second portion of a dovetailed joint.
According to another aspect of the present invention, the present occupant-interactive accessory system may be employed with a number of different utilities including, without limitation, a holder for a personal electronic device such as a cell phone, an iPod®, a PDA, or an MP3® player. The present system is also useful with utilities such as a writing surface, a portable DVD player, a laptop computer, a food serving tray, a cup holder, a holder for an electronic current converter, or a document file holder, and yet other types of devices.
According to another aspect of the present invention, an occupant-interactive accessory device for an automotive vehicle includes a utility for use by an occupant of a passenger compartment of the vehicle, and a dovetailed mounting structure attached to the utility for manually and removably mounting the utility to a mating dovetailed mounting structure incorporated within an interior structure of the vehicle. The dovetailed mounting structure incorporated within the interior of the vehicle functions as a wedging receptacle integrated within a surface of a trim component of the vehicle such that the occupant-interactive accessory device may be removably mounted and dismounted from the trim structure.
It is an advantage of an interactive accessory system according to the present invention that a vehicle's interior utilities may be customized affordably, and without the necessity of tools to mount, or dismount the interior utilities.
It is another advantage of a system according to the present invention that maximum flexibility in vehicle interior appointments may be achieved while, at the same time, minimizing the complexity of the base componentry to which the various utilities are mounted.
It is yet another advantage of a system according to the present invention that additional flexible storage and improved functional space utilization are provided within the immediate reach of vehicle occupants.
Other advantages, as well as features of the present invention, will become apparent to the reader of this specification.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an automotive console having a dovetailed wedging interface according to an aspect of the present invention.
FIGS. 2A and 2B are perspective views of a vehicle interior showing a cell phone or personal electronic device holder attached to the console of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 shows a writing surface attached to the console of FIGS. 1 and 2 according to an aspect of the present invention.
FIG. 4 illustrates a depending hook, as for a purse or handbag, attached to the console illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2.
FIG. 5 illustrates a holder for a portable DVD player or laptop computer attached to the console as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2.
FIG. 6 shows a laptop computer, 46, attached to the holder of FIG. 5.
FIG. 7 illustrates a food tray with a sliding cover according to an aspect of the present invention, with the tray attached to the console of FIGS. 1 and 2.
FIG. 8 illustrates a cup holder attached to the console of FIGS. 1 and 2.
FIG. 9 illustrates an electronic device, such as a current converter, attached to the console of FIGS. 1 and 2.
FIG. 10 illustrates a document file holder attached to the console of FIGS. 1 and 2.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
As shown in FIG. 1, console 10 has a wedging interface or receptacle, 14, formed on a side wall thereof. Console 10 may have additional wedging interfaces 14 formed on the opposite side wall, which is not shown, as well as the back wall of console 10, which is also not visible in FIG. 1. FIG. 2A shows the console of FIG. 1 as applied to a vehicle having passenger seats 18. FIGS. 2A and 2B also show a first type of occupant-interactive accessory device, configured as a personal electronic device holder, 22, having a wedging mounting structure, 26, incorporated as an integral part of utility 22. The personal electronic device (not shown) may be a cellular phone, text pager, or other similar device. Wedging mounting structure 26 slides and locks into place in wedging interface 14. When utility 22 has been inserted into wedging interface 14, guide plate 30 helps to maintain the stability of utility 22. Each of the various utilities described herein has a wedging mounting structure 26 incorporated therein.
Those skilled in the art will appreciate in view of this disclosure that wedging interfaces or receptacles 14 could be applied to a variety of vehicle interior structures in addition to the illustrated console. For example, door and quarter trim panels and instrument panels are good candidates for application of the present invention. Those skilled in the art will further appreciate that the wedging interface may be configured not only as a dovetail, but as other alternatives equally susceptible to use without the need for tools. In any event, wedging mounting structure 26 may be disengaged from wedging receptacle 14 by merely lifting upwardly against the forces of gravity and friction between the adjoining, wedged-together components.
FIG. 3. illustrates a writing surface, 34, which has been inserted into wedging interface 14.
FIG. 4 illustrates a depending hook, 38, which is useful for a handbag or purse, and which has been inserted into wedging interface 14.
FIGS. 5 and 6 illustrate the use of holder, 42, for a portable DVD player or laptop computer, with computer or DVD player 46 being shown installed in FIG. 6. Once again, holder 42 has been inserted into a wedging interface 14.
FIG. 7 illustrates a food serving tray, 50, having a slidable cover, 54.
FIG. 8 illustrates a drink or cup holder, 58, inserted into wedging interface 14.
FIG. 9 illustrates an electronic current converter holder, 60, inserted into wedging interface 14 and holding an electronic device, 62.
FIG. 10 illustrates a document file holder, 66, once again inserted into wedging interface 14.
The foregoing invention has been described in accordance with the relevant legal standards, thus the description is exemplary rather than limiting in nature. Variations and modifications to the disclosed embodiment may become apparent to those skilled in the art and fall within the scope of the invention. Accordingly the scope of legal protection afforded this invention can only be determined by studying the following claims.
Patent applications by Jeffrey P. Webb, Canton, MI US
Patent applications by Kaushlendra Singh, Westland, MI US
Patent applications by Mike J. Whitens, Novi, MI US
Patent applications by Raymond Dong, Dearborn, MI US
Patent applications in class Accessible from within passenger compartment
Patent applications in all subclasses Accessible from within passenger compartment