Patent application title: HARNESS WITH ATTACHABLE UMBRELLA
Lydia Cottrell (San Antonio, TX, US)
IPC8 Class: AA45B1102FI
Class name: Carried by animate bearer canopy support attaching means looped around neck or crossing shoulder
Publication date: 2011-03-17
Patent application number: 20110062197
An umbrella comprising a canopy with ribs for support thereof and a
handle, the handle including a flexible cable.
1. An umbrella comprising:a canopy with ribs for support thereof; anda
handle, the handle including a flexible cable.
This application claims the benefit of and incorporates herein by
reference U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/242,550, filed
Sep. 15, 2009, and PCT Patent Application No. PCT/US10/48761, filed Sep.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to an umbrella and mounting harness device for "hands free" operation. Specifically, the invention consists of an umbrella that is removably attached to a harness that is worn by a user such that the umbrella provides protection for the user without being held in the users hands.
Conventional umbrellas come in a variety of styles and their use is well known. Because there are a variety of positions that the user may move to, and the direction of the wind, rain, or sun changes, conventional umbrellas that are held rigidly in place often fail to provide the protection they are designed to provide. Additionally, conventional designs for umbrellas that are strapped to a user tend to be extremely unwieldy, difficult to put on and remove rapidly. When these problems are combined, conventional strap on umbrellas become ineffective for their purpose.
There is a need for a design of an umbrellas that is held securely on the user's body without requiring the user to hold the umbrella, and that allows the wearer to adjust the orientation of the umbrella as the user moves or the direction of the elements changes. Additionally, the design should make the umbrella easily attachable and removable for the user's convenience.
To this end, the present invention in its various embodiments has been presented. The present design incorporates a harness that is worn by the user that may be easily put on or taken off. The harness extends across one shoulder of the user and incorporates a quick release attachment piece to which an umbrella assembly may be coupled and decoupled. Finally, the handle of the umbrella attachment incorporates a length of semi-flexible rolled metal cable that, once manually set, holds the umbrella rigidly in place until its position is manually reset. However, the flexible rolled metal cable may be bent by the user in various orientations such that the user can orient the umbrella to maximize protection from the elements.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The present invention incorporates a harness and an umbrella assembly. The harness comprises a shoulder piece that is worn by the user across the top of either shoulder. Other sections of the harness extend downwardly from the shoulder piece on the front and back of the user. These vertical support sections pivotally attach to a belt portion of the harness that adjustably and removably affixes the harness to the user's body. It is understood that the shoulder piece, vertical supports and a large portion of the belt may be manufactured or fabricated from semi rigid or bendable material. It is also desirable that the material be light-weight. The remaining sections of the belt may be made from flexible belting material, the length of which may be adjusted to each user's individual girth. Swivels at either end of the rigid portions of the belt may allow more convenient length adjustments by the user. Additionally, the inner surfaces of the harness may be lined with padding to improve the comfort for the user. If the harness is made in whole or in part of a metallic substance, rather than plastic, it could be overlaid with a nonconductive, insulating material.
At the center of the shoulder piece, design to be worn directly over the center point of the shoulder of the user, the harness may incorporate a connection mechanism such that the umbrella apparatus may be quickly attached to and detached from the harness. This may take the form of many known designs of quick coupling devices. Preferably, the umbrella attachment, once attached to the harness is held rigidly in place.
The umbrella attachment typically incorporates a standard umbrella to which a length flexible cable is added to the handle. The base of the handle includes the counterpart of the quick change coupling device found on the shoulder piece of the harness. It is preferred that the flexi handle incorporated into the handle of the umbrella be flexible by the user, but once in position, rigidly holds the umbrella in place.
A hands-free umbrella device comprising an umbrella having a coupler; a harness for engaging the torso of a user, the harness having a shoulder member for engaging the shoulder of the user, the shoulder member having a coupler to removably engage the coupler of the umbrella, wherein the shoulder member is bendable; wherein the umbrella includes a rolled steel member allowing multiple positions for the umbrella canopy; wherein the coupler of the umbrella and the coupler of the shoulder member are slideably releasably telescopically engaged; wherein the coupler on the shoulder member is centrally located between the removed ends thereof; wherein the coupler on the shoulder member is centrally located between the removed ends thereof; wherein the shoulder member is bendable; wherein the umbrella includes a rolled steel member allowing multiple positions for the umbrella canopy; wherein the coupler of the umbrella and the coupler of the shoulder member are slideably releasably telescopically engaged; and wherein the coupler on the shoulder member is centrally located between the removed ends thereof; wherein the harness includes a torso encircling member and a front vertical support member, a back vertical support member, the vertical support members engaging the removed end of the shoulder member at one end and the torso encircling member at a second end; wherein the vertical support members hingedly engage the shoulder member; wherein the harness includes length adjustable cross-chest strap and a length adjustable cross-back strap; wherein at least part of the torso encircling member is bendable; wherein the torso encircling member is adjustable in length; wherein the harness includes a torso encircling member and a front vertical support member, a back vertical support member, the vertical support members engaging the removed end of the shoulder member at one end and the torso encircling member at a second end; wherein the vertical support members hingedly engage the shoulder member; wherein the harness includes length adjustable cross-chest strap and a length adjustable cross-back strap; wherein at least part of the torso encircling member is bendable; and wherein the torso encircling member is adjustable in length.
A hands-free umbrella device comprising an umbrella having a coupler; a harness for engaging the torso of a user, the harness having a shoulder member for engaging the shoulder of the user, the shoulder member having a coupler to removably engage the coupler of the umbrella; wherein the coupler on the shoulder member is centrally located between the removed ends thereof; wherein the shoulder member is bendable; wherein the umbrella includes a rolled steel member allowing multiple positions for the umbrella canopy; wherein the coupler of the umbrella and the coupler of the shoulder member are slideably releasably telescopically engaged; and wherein the coupler on the shoulder member is centrally located between the removed ends thereof; and wherein the harness includes a torso encircling member and a front vertical support member, a back vertical support member, the vertical support members engaging the removed end of the shoulder member at one end and the torso encircling member at a second end; wherein the vertical support members hingedly engage the shoulder member; wherein the harness includes length adjustable cross-chest strap and a length adjustable cross-back strap; wherein at least part of the torso encircling member is bendable; and wherein the torso encircling member is adjustable in length.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 shows a perspective front side view of the harness apparatus configured to be worn on a user's left shoulder.
FIGS. 1A and 1B show front elevational views of the harness apparatus worn on the left and right shoulders, respectively.
FIG. 2 shows a perspective view of the umbrella apparatus with a flexible cable, rolled metal, and a coupler.
FIG. 3 is a left side elevation view of the present invention, the device is mounted on a user's left shoulder.
FIGS. 4, 4A, 4B, and 4C are partial side views of the lower end of the umbrella handle showing a number of quick release mechanisms whereby the umbrella engages the harness of the present invention.
FIG. 5 is a front elevational view of a person wearing the hands-free umbrella device on a user's left shoulder.
FIGS. 6, 6A, and 6B show additional embodiments of Applicant's hands-free umbrella device.
FIG. 7 illustrates an alternate embodiment of the present device.
FIG. 8 is an alternate embodiment of a hinge means in the handle of the umbrella, for use in place of flexible cable.
FIG. 9 is an umbrella without a coupler for use without the harness. It is a conventional umbrella except for the flexible cable in the handle.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
Referring to the Figures, it may be seen that the hands free umbrella device 1 of the present invention includes a harness and umbrella apparatus. FIGS. 1, 1A, and 1B illustrate that the harness 2 includes a shoulder member 10 attached at a first end to a front vertical support 14 and at a second end to a rear vertical support 16. The front vertical support 14 and the rear vertical support 16 extend downwardly and connect to a front horizontal support 24 and a rear horizontal support 26, respectively. At a first end of the front vertical support 14 is a front first pivot 34A, while at a first end of the rear horizontal support 26 is a rear first pivot 34B. Pivots 34A/34B may be rivets, fasteners or any other suitable device. The front 20A and rear 20B first loops are connected via first adjustment belt or strap 18. The first adjustment strap 18 is adjusted for length (to fit a user) by any attachment and adjustment means 22, for example, a first buckle or Velcro® hook and pile members. Adjustable straps 56A (cross-chest) and 56B (cross-body) are typically pivotally attached at one end near the top ends of elements 14/16, respectively, and clip or otherwise removably engage into removed ends of 24/26 as indicated. Clips 57A/57B may include buckles for adjustably entraining the removed ends of straps 56A/56B so the straps fit the user. Padding 61 may be used.
A front second loop 28A is attached to the second end of the front horizontal support 24, while a rear second belt loop 28B is attached to the second end of the rear horizontal support 26. The front 28A and rear 28B second loops are connected via a second adjustment strap 30 which is adjusted by any attachment and adjustment means 32, such as a second buckle or Velcro®. It is contemplated that the adjustment straps 18 and 30 may be made from a standard belting material such as nylon webbing or the like. They may typically comprise two pieces 30A/30 and 18A/18B, as seen in FIG. 6, with Velcro® attachment and adjustment means 22 and 32, respectively.
The shoulder member 10, the front vertical support 14, the rear vertical support 16, the front horizontal support 24, and the rear horizontal support 26 or any one or more of the foregoing elements may be manufactured or fabricated from semi rigid, bendable or moldable, light-weight material, plastic or non-electrical conducting material. One such material is about 13/8×1/8'' ABS sheet stock cut to length for extra small, small, medium, large, and extra large people (users). One or more of the same elements may be lined with padding or insulating materials (not shown) to increase the comfort and safety to the user. FIG. 1 also shows the harness 2 with harness coupler 12 on the bendable, semi-rigid shoulder member 10. The harness coupler 12 is typically placed in the middle of shoulder member 10 to optimize weight distribution and stability of the umbrella 4. Finally, as an alternative, hinges, pivots or rivets or the like 34A/34B may be placed at the connection of the vertical supports 14 and 16 with the horizontal supports 24 and 26. The hinges 35C/35D or the like allow an increased degree of adjustability, and increased ease of storage due the harness being made foldable. Also hinges 35A/35B may connect the shoulder member to member 14/16. Use of hinges 35A/35B, 35C/35D and pivots at 34A/34B allow harness 2 to fold substantially flat and fold up for storage.
FIG. 2 illustrates the umbrella 4. The umbrella 4 is comprised of a conventional umbrella apparatus which is typically comprised of a shaft 49 to which multiple canopy supports 40 are slidably attached. The canopy supports 40 are automatically slidable along the handle 36 by means of an internal spring mechanism 48 as known. The spring mechanism is operated by means of an opening mechanism 50 as known. The canopy supports 40 are connected to multiple ribs 46 as they are moved in an upward fashion and cause the ribs 46 to spread, opening the cloth covering or other suitable material 38. The removed end of the handle 36 is connected to a support positioner which in one embodiment may be flexible cable 42 which is bendable by the user but once the flexible cable 42 is moved to a chosen position, the support positioner 42 remains rigidly in that position until moved again. These flexible cables are known in the field of microphone or roller metal supports. One such flexible cable 42 (rolled metal) is Model MSA9030-06B from Onstage. At the end of the support positioner opposite the handle 36 is an umbrella coupler 44. The umbrella coupler 44 is designed to rigidly attach to the harness coupler 12 (FIG. 1) to form a coupler means 12/44.
FIG. 3 illustrates a side view of the harness 2 (FIG. 1) and umbrella 4 (FIG. 2) coupled, shown worn by a user on his left side and oriented in a forwards direction by the user. FIG. 3 further shows how the shoulder member 10 lays across the top of the user's shoulder with the front 14 and rear 16 vertical supports extending the down the front and back of the user respectively. The first adjustment strap 18 has been engaged and tightened by any known means such that the harness 2 fits snugly against the user's body. Straps 18/30 allow the harness 2 to be adjusted for various size users. FIG. 3 further shows the umbrella 4 (FIG. 2) having been attached to the harness 2 (FIG. 1 by means of the harness coupler 12 and umbrella coupler 44. The flexible cable 42 extends upwardly from the user's shoulder, attaching to an end of the handle 36 opposite the cloth covering 38 and rib 46, of the umbrella 4.
FIGS. 4, 4A, and 4B illustrate that umbrella coupler 12/44 may receive a detent mechanism 52 having a pushbutton 54 that engages a similar dimensioned opening in harness umbrella coupler 12, or any other suitable quick release mechanism. FIG. 4 shows holes 55 in coupler 44 to receive pushbutton 54 of coupler 12. FIGS. 4A and 4B show spring loaded detent 52, at the removed end of the umbrella, wherein pushbutton 54 has a bay 54A and land 54B. Harness coupler 12 has a slot 44A, opening 44B, base 44C, and post 44D. Slot 44A in post 44D is dimensioned to receive bay 54A when pushbutton 54 is just slightly depressed. When the detent mechanism is seated fully in coupler 12, button is released and land 54B will seat into opening 44B, and prevent longitudinal movement of the umbrella 4 (FIG. 2).
FIG. 4A also illustrates that coupler 44 may have a base 44C that is rigid, flat against the flat, top of shoulder member 12.
FIG. 4C illustrates another pushbutton variety of coupling elements 12/44. Here yoke 58 is dimensioned to be received in holes 59A/59B in coupler 12. These will engage holes 60A/60B when coupler 44 slides over coupler 12.
FIGS. 1 and 5 illustrate optional flexible cross-torso straps 56A/56B, which straps run from or near the upper area of front vertical support and rear vertical support and are typically hinged thereto and attach to or near the removed area or section of front and rear belt horizontal supports 24/26.
FIG. 6 illustrates an alternate embodiment of cross-chest and cross-back straps 56a/56b, respectively, may rotatably engage coupler 44 with, for example, grommets 59 therethrough, sized to encircle post 44D.
FIG. 6 also shows padding 61, such as foam or the like, may be used on the underside of shoulder member 10 for comfort. Two-piece straps 30A/30B, as well as 18A/18B, may adjustably engage one another at their removed ends as illustrated. Finally, FIG. 6 also shows additional hinges 35C/35D that allow some pivoting to help the shoulder strap conform to the torso, especially for rounded shoulders.
FIG. 6A shows straps 56A/56B may pivotally attach to shoulder member 10. 32A, 32B, 32C, and 32D are male/female clip fasteners.
FIG. 6B shows strap 56A may attach to front vertical support 14 and strap 56B may attach to rear vertical support 16.
FIG. 7 illustrates an alternate embodiment wherein elements 14/16/10/12 are integral into a formed, one-piece, semi-rigid member. This one-piece member is seen still to have a shoulder member portion and the two vertical supports (without hinges). In this embodiment, omitted elements beyond those illustrated are substantially the same as previous embodiments.
In a final embodiment, the entire harness could be straps rather, but preferably some members are bendable. It is especially helpful to have the shoulder member bendable, and the coupler with a base. In a preferred embodiment, elements 12/14/16/24/26 are plastic or polyethylene, metallic, non-metallic or any other suitable lightweight rigid, but bendable, and may be about 13/8'' wide and 1/8'' thick. Supports 14/16 may extend between about 6'' to 16''.
Shoulder member may be about 41/4-51/2'' long. The word "semi-flexible" means the member has a defined shape and is bendable under pressure--then will reform its shape when the pressure is released. It is like a plastic ruler which is bent somewhat and then can bend back. Straps are cloth and have no "bendability" are totally flexible. For left/right shoulder change of the harness 4, user will typically just pivot elements 24/26.
While one embodiment of the device includes the umbrella 4 (FIG. 2) and the harness 2 (FIG. 1), another embodiment includes the umbrella 4 alone, with the novel flexible cable 42 and without the coupler. Note in all embodiments, flexible cable 42 may be anywhere along shaft 49 of the umbrella 4 (see FIG. 2).
In a final embodiment, FIG. 8, a pivot means 43 with fastener 43A other than flexible cable 42 may be used, such pivot means along only a single arc, as is known in, for example, patio or beach umbrellas. This embodiment does not move through multiple arcs, such as flexible cable 42.
FIG. 9 shows an umbrella with a flexible cable 42 and removed end 36A for grasping. This embodiment is a conventional umbrella without coupler 44 and is for standalone use, that is, without the harness. Finally, harness 2 may include a coupler on the shoulder member that may be adapted to receive a number of different devices, such as a stock of a rifle. That is to say, one embodiment of Applicant's device includes only a harness as substantially described herein, capable of engaging in any manner, any device for shoulder mounting.
Although the invention has been described with reference to specific embodiments, this description is not meant to be construed in a limited sense. Various modifications of the disclosed embodiments, as well as alternative embodiments of the inventions will become apparent to persons skilled in the art upon the reference to the description of the invention. It is, therefore, contemplated that the appended claims will cover such modifications that fall within the scope of the invention.