Patent application title: Glove With Compartment
Jan Delroy Johnson (Snellville, GA, US)
Casandra M. Brewton-Johnson (Snellville, GA, US)
IPC8 Class: AA41D1900FI
Class name: Hand or arm coverings gloves attachments
Publication date: 2011-03-31
Patent application number: 20110072552
A glove includes a compartment that is configured to receive items. The
glove can be substantially tight fitting and the compartment can be
substantially the size of the back of the hand. The compartment, which
may be expandable, holds items securely against the back of the hand
without compromising the flexibility or movement of the hand. To that
end, a portion of the compartment may be free from a back panel of the
glove. The compartment can also be part of a flap that is configured to
tighten the glove around the hand. The compartment includes a closure
that is positioned adjacent to a fixed or selectively separable anchored
edge that connects the flap to the back panel of the glove. The closure
can be operated to access the interior of the compartment without
undesirably separating the flap from the back panel.
1. A glove for covering at least a portion of wearer's hand, comprising:a
back panel for at least partially extending across the back of the hand
between the inside edge of the hand and the outside edge of the hand;a
flap that can be adjustably secured in face contacting relation to the
back panel, the flap having an anchored edge that is connected to the
back panel and that is substantially parallel to the inside edge of the
hand; anda compartment associated with the flap, the compartment having
an interior for storing articles, the interior of the compartment being
accessible via an opening that is adjacent the anchored edge.
2. The glove of claim 1, wherein the opening is adjacent but slightly offset from the anchored edge.
3. The glove of claim 1, further comprising means for detachably connecting the flap to the back panel along the anchored edge.
4. The glove of claim 1, wherein the compartment comprises a base wall and a top panel that are connected to one another by a gusset.
5. The glove of claim 1, wherein the flap is configured to tighten the glove around the hand.
6. The glove of claim 1, wherein the compartment is configured to have a size that is substantially that of the back of the hand.
7. The glove of claim 1, wherein the flap is adjustably secured in face contacting relation to the back panel using a fastener selected from the group consisting of touch fasteners and mechanical fasteners.
8. The glove of claim 7, wherein the flap is adjustably secured in face contacting relation to the back panel using a touch fastener selected from the group consisting of reusable adhesive, magnets, directional adhesive, and hook-and-loop fasteners.
9. The glove of claim 1, further comprising a closure for selectively limiting access to the interior of the compartment; andwherein the compartment further comprises:a pair of side edges and an end edge; anda base panel and a top panel interconnected by the closure along the end edge and at least part of the pair of side edges.
10. The glove of claim 2, wherein the closure is formed at least partially along the anchored edge.
11. The glove of claim 2, wherein the closure can be operated to separate the base panel from the top panel along the end edge and the at least part of the pair of side edges, without detaching the adjustable connection between the flap and the back panel.
12. The glove of claim 2, wherein a portion of the base panel remains free from the back panel when the flap is adjustably secured in face contacting relation to the back panel.
13. The glove of claim 1, further comprising means for attaching the glove to another object when the glove is not being worn.
14. A glove for covering at least a portion of a wearer's hand, comprising:a back panel; anda compartment being configured to have a size that is substantially that of the back of the hand, the compartment comprising:a base panel, an attached portion of which is connected to the back panel, and a free portion of which is not connected to the back panel.
15. The glove of claim 14, wherein the free portion is adjacent a knuckle area of the glove.
16. The glove of claim 14, the compartment defining an opening and further comprising a closure that extends from the wrist area of the glove to the knuckle area of the glove.
17. The glove of claim 14, the compartment defining an opening and further comprising a closure that extends at least partially between the inside edge of the hand and the outside edge of the hand.
18. The glove of claim 17, the closure being adjacent to the knuckle area of the glove.
19. The glove of claim 17, the closure being adjacent to the wrist area of the glove.
This invention relates generally to gloves and, more specifically, to gloves that include a compartment for storing personal items.
Items such as keys, bankcards, credit cards, identification cards, cash and driver's licenses are typically kept in a wallet, purse, or pocket. During exercise or other vigorous activity, such items may not be easily or comfortably kept on a person. For example, exercise apparel may not have pockets, storing items in pockets during such activities may be bothersome, and there is a risk the items may fall out of a person's pockets during exercise. Thus, a person commonly has a need for a place to keep such items during exercise.
Gloves are used in many activities for purposes of performance or protection. Such activities include weight lifting, operating a wheel chair, skiing, bicycling, tennis, running, and golf. These activities are facilitated by gloves that are substantially tight fitting and that do not constrain the movement of the hand.
Gloves with pockets for storing items are known. However, such gloves are not suitable for vigorous activities such as those mentioned above. The gloves are not tight fitting, have pockets that are too small to accommodate relatively large items, have pockets that are not useful for storing the items mentioned, have pockets that cause the glove to constrict around the hand when filled, have pockets that cause a glove to obstruct the flexibility of the hand when filled, have pockets that are too large or that do not immobilize or hold items securely, or have pockets that are not easily accessible by the wearer.
The need for an exercise glove that is substantially tight fitting and at the same time provides storage for small or large items presents a number of issues that have not been addressed by the prior art. Therefore, a heretofore unaddressed need exists in the industry to address the aforementioned deficiencies and inadequacies.
The various embodiments of the present disclosure overcome the shortcomings of the prior art by providing a substantially tight fitting exercise glove with a compartment for storing a variety of articles including substantially large and rigid items such as a driver's license, keys, credit cards, and identification cards or flexible items such as cash. The flexibility of the hand is not compromised when such items are stored in the glove compartment. The contents of the compartment are easily accessible even when the glove is worn.
Generally described, the glove is adapted to facilitate any vigorous, strenuous, or otherwise active endeavor, including but not limited to exercise, sports, yard work, wheelchair operation, and the like, and may provide protection, for example, from the elements, from friction, or to improve the wearer's grip. The glove at least partially envelops the hand, and may or may not enclose the fingers and/or thumb. At minimum, the glove embodiments described herein include a back panel that extends at least partially across the back of the wearer's hand.
The glove includes a compartment that is configured to receive items. According to one aspect of the disclosure, the compartment is substantially the size of the back of a hand, and is adapted to rest against the back of the hand when the glove is worn.
According to another aspect, the tightness of the glove can be adjusted using any of various possible adjusting features; the compartment is formed in or on the glove so as not to inhibit this adjustment, but rather to cooperate with the adjusting features. For example, the compartment may be integral to an arrangement that tightens the glove around a hand.
In an exemplary embodiment, the tightening arrangement is a flap that is permanently or detachably anchored to the back panel of the glove along a first edge of the flap. The flap can be pulled across and detachably connected to the back panel of the glove, for example, by regions of hook-and-loop fasteners or by other means for detachably connecting material. The tightness of the glove can be adjusted as points of connection of the flap to the back of the glove are adjusted. Specifically, although the anchored edge provides a permanently or selectively fixed point of connection between the flap and the glove, the hook-and-loop fasteners enable the opposite end of the flap to be attached at different points to the glove according to what is comfortable to the user when the compartment is filled with one or more items.
In alternative embodiments, the compartment is not necessarily part of the tightening arrangement but is part of a structure that can be adjusted along with such a tightening arrangement.
According to another aspect of the disclosure, the interior of the compartment is secured by a closure that is easily accessible, particularly when the glove is worn. For example, where the glove includes a flap that includes a compartment, a first edge of the flap is anchored to the glove and hook-and-loop fasteners are configured to releasably secure the flap to the back panel of the glove so that the glove lies substantially against the back of the wearer's hand. An opening or access to the compartment is positioned adjacent the anchor point between the flap and the glove, and a closure such as a zipper is configured to selectively open and close the opening. In other words, an access is positioned nearer to the anchor point adjacent the proximal end of the flap and opposite the distal end of the flap. This is an ergonomic arrangement that allows an item to set in the pocket defined by the compartment while the compartment is zipped up or otherwise closed. Further, operating the closure of the compartment does not inadvertently detach the flap when the flap is releasably secured to the back panel of the glove so as to close or tighten the glove on the user's hand.
For example, the access of the compartment is provided to enable a top wall of the compartment and a bottom wall of the compartment to separate, i.e., to pull apart to reveal the interior of the compartment. In certain embodiments, the opening is adjacent the inside of the hand and the bottom of the compartment is adjacent the outside of the hand. As used herein, the "inside" of the hand refers to the portion of the hand adjacent the thumb and the "outside" of the hand refers to the blade or outside of the hand.
In certain embodiments, the compartment is expandable. An exemplary embodiment of an expandable compartment includes gussets that connect the top wall of the compartment to the base wall of the compartment. As the top wall is separated from the base wall, the gussets define sidewalls of a pocket for receiving items. The gussets collapse when the compartment is closed. Other exemplary embodiments of compartments include pockets. The pockets can be layered against the inside of one of the walls of the compartment or partition walls can extend between the gussets to define pockets.
According to another aspect of the disclosure, the compartment does not constrain movements of the hand. To that end, the compartment is positioned above the radius to avoid restricting flexing of the hand at the wrist, and may include a portion that is separate from the back panel of the glove. This aspect is particularly useful in embodiments in which the compartment is configured to be coextensive with the back of the wearer's hand, i.e., the compartment is substantially the size of the back of the hand. Alternatively described, the base wall of the compartment is partially separated from the back of the glove. This arrangement provides that the base wall and top wall of the compartment are not stretched significantly along with the glove during certain hand movements, such as making a fist, nor does the compartment restrict such movements. This separation permits the compartment to float on the back of the hand rather than conforming to the shape of the hand with certain hand movements. In certain embodiments, for example, the separate portion may be the portion of the base wall that is adjacent to a knuckle area of the glove.
The foregoing has broadly outlined some of the aspects and features of the present invention, which should be construed to be merely illustrative of various potential applications of the invention. Other beneficial results can be obtained by applying the disclosed information in a different manner or by combining various aspects of the disclosed embodiments. Accordingly, other aspects and a more comprehensive understanding of the invention may be obtained by referring to the detailed description of the exemplary embodiments taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in addition to the scope of the invention defined by the claims.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a hand wearing a glove according to an exemplary embodiment of the present disclosure.
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the glove of FIG. 1, a flap of the glove being partially detached from the glove.
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the glove of FIG. 1, a compartment of the glove being open.
FIG. 4 is a cross sectional side view of the glove of FIG. 1.
FIGS. 5-7 are partial perspective views of glove compartments, according to alternative exemplary embodiments of the present disclosure.
FIGS. 8 and 9 are partial perspective views of a glove, according to another alternative embodiment of the present disclosure.
FIG. 10 is a perspective view of a hand wearing a glove according to a second exemplary embodiment of the present disclosure
As required, detailed embodiments of the present invention are disclosed herein. It must be understood that the disclosed embodiments are merely exemplary of the invention that may be embodied in various and alternative forms, and combinations thereof. As used herein, the word "exemplary" is used expansively to refer to embodiments that serve as illustrations, specimens, models, or patterns. The figures are not necessarily to scale and some features may be exaggerated or minimized to show details of particular components. In other instances, well-known components, systems, materials, or methods have not been described in detail in order to avoid obscuring the present invention. Therefore, specific structural and functional details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but merely as a basis for the claims and as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to variously employ the present invention.
In general, the embodiments of the disclosure are directed to a glove that includes a compartment. The illustrated gloves and compartments are provided for purposes of teaching although many different configurations of gloves and compartments can incorporate the teachings of the disclosure. As used herein, the term glove is expansively defined as an article that is shaped to at least partially cover a hand or that is otherwise configured to be worn on a hand. The term compartment is expansively defined as a structure for storing an item. For example, a compartment can include a pocket, a pouch, a receptacle, combinations thereof, and the like.
The illustrated gloves are configured so as to be substantially tight-fitting around a hand as is common for many types of exercise gloves. As used herein, the term tight-fitting means substantially closely conforming to any of the contours of the wearer's hand without necessarily being elastic. The gloves can be formed from flexible materials, fabrics or cloths, leather, elastic material, soft plastics, combinations thereof, and the like. All or part of the glove may be water resistant or water proof to protect the wearer's hand and belongings from the flow of fluids such as sweat or water.
Referring to a first exemplary embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-4, the illustrated glove 10 includes a sleeve with a palm panel 12, a back panel 14, finger and thumb openings 16, and a wrist opening 18. The term "panel" is used herein to identify a particular area or section of the article, and does not imply limitation to a single or seamless piece of material.
The glove 10 includes a tightening arrangement to tighten the glove around the hand. The illustrated tightening arrangement includes a flap 20 that connects or otherwise controls the relative positions of a first section 22 of the back panel 14 to a second section 24 of the back panel 14.
The sections 22, 24 are partially separated from one another by a slit 26 that extends from the wrist opening 18. Generally, the slit 26 expands the wrist opening 18 so that a hand can easily be inserted therethrough.
An anchored edge 30 of the illustrated flap 20 is connected in part to the first section 22 and can detachably and adjustably connect to the back panel 14 by a touch fastener such as one or more hook-and-loop fasteners so as to draw the first section 22 toward the second section 24. In the illustrated embodiment, a hook region 32 is positioned on the second section 24 and a loop region 34 is positioned on the inside surface of the flap 20. The flap 20 can pivot along the anchored edge 30 away from the back panel 14, as shown in FIG. 2, and can pivot into a face contacting arrangement with the back panel 14 there by overlapping the hook region 32 and the loop region 34 to form a mating connection. Overlapping portions of the hook region 32 and the loop region 34 detachably connect to one another and thereby secure the flap 20 to the second section 24. In alternative embodiments, the loop region 34 can be positioned on the second section 24 and the hook region 32 can be positioned on the inside surface of flap 20. The hook region 32 is typically more abrasive and the loop region 34 is typically less abrasive and the position of each can be selected to limit irritation to the hand. Those skilled in the art will recognize that hook-and-loop fasteners are only one example of various touch fasteners that are suitable in that they provide suitable means for connection that maximizes adjustability and strength of the connection without requiring the wearer to match up male and female components. Other examples of suitable touch fasteners include magnetic or reusable adhesive surfaces, and directional adhesives. Additionally, use of various other types of fasteners such as hook-and-eye fasteners, zippers, or snaps is contemplated, as such mechanical fasteners are not inconsistent with the principles taught herein.
In an embodiment described in further detail below, the flap is separable from the remainder of the glove using a detachable connection along the anchored edge 30. In such an embodiment, the loop region can be positioned on the back panel such that the back of the glove is not abrasive when worn without the flap.
The illustrated flap 20 includes a compartment 40. The illustrated compartment 40 includes a base wall 42 and a top wall 44 that are connected to one another along respective edges. In the illustrated embodiments, the compartment 40 is formed in or on the flap 20. One or more items can be stored in the space between the walls 42, 44 and a closure 46 permits the compartment to be selectively opened and closed. The illustrated closure 46 is a hidden zipper although other closures can include hook-and-loop fasteners, hook-and-eye fasteners, reusable adhesive strips, clasps, snaps, clips, buttons, combinations thereof, and the like.
The illustrated compartment 40 is configured such that the walls 42, 44 are connected along a bottom edge 48 and along portions of side edges 50, 52. The zipper that defines closure 46 selectively connects the walls 42, 44 along portions of the side edges 50, 52 and along a top edge 54. Referring to FIGS. 1 and 3, the zipper of closure 46 can be unzipped to allow the top wall 44 to be partially separated from the base wall 42. A pocket 60 is defined by the portions of the walls 42, 44 that remain connected along edges 48, 50, 52. It should be noted that the illustrated closure is offset from the anchored edge 30 as shown.
The illustrated compartment 40 is further optimally configured such that access thereto can be accomplished adjacent the anchored edge 30 of the flap 20, i.e., adjacent to the inner edge of the hand or near the thumb. With such a configuration, the user does not apply a force that could inadvertently detach the flap 20 from the second section 24 or along the anchored edge 30 when accessing the compartment 40. Specifically, after operating the closure 46 to open the compartment 40, at least part of the top wall 44 can be pulled outwardly and toward the distal end 31 of the flap 20. This motion is opposite the motion that is used to detach the flap 20 from the second section 24. For example, to detach the flap 20 so as to separate the first section 22 from the second section 24 to loosen the glove 10, the distal end 31 of the flap 20 is pulled toward the edge 30. In addition, this configuration makes it easy to orient the compartment 40 with the closure 46 of the compartment 40 facing the user such that the user can operate the closure 46, insert items into the compartment 40, and remove items from the compartment 40. In other words, the opening of the compartment 40 is positioned such that a highly ergonomic position of palm down and thumb oriented between parallel and perpendicular to the wearer's body allows easy operation of the closure 46 and access to the compartment 40 with the opposite hand. The embodiment shown in FIG. 10 demonstrates an alternative arrangement for the closure 46 that allows access, for example, starting by moving the zipper pull along and then away from the anchored edge 30 to open the compartment, as shown in the figure. It is contemplated that rather than extending toward the wrist, yet another embodiment (not shown) includes a closure that is the mirror image along a horizontal line, extending instead toward the knuckles. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the opening process is determined at least in part by the type of closure used, and accordingly, the pertinent teaching is that the closure is to be operated in a manner that does not undesirably detach the flap 20, cause articles to fall out, or loosen the fit of the glove 10.
In the illustrated embodiment, the compartment 40 is substantially the size of the back of the intended wearer's hand. The compartment 40 extends longitudinally from substantially the wrist area of the hand to substantially the knuckle area of the hand and extends transversely from substantially the inside edge of the index finger to substantially the outside edge of the ring finger. The configuration described herein permits the compartment 40 to be relatively large while facilitating performance comparable to that which can be achieved while wearing a typical glove that does not have a compartment. Hence, the compartment 40 is large enough to contain, for example, one or more credit cards, driver's licenses, or gym membership cards, which typically are manufactured with standard dimensions of approximately 3.37 inches by 2.1 inches. To enclose such cards, the interior of the compartment 40 is substantially rectangular and is somewhat larger than a standard card to allow some clearance to easily insert and remove the cards and to store more than one such card. The compartment may also be large enough to enclose one or more keys, such as the typical car key, which are often well over three inches long. The corners of the illustrated compartment 40 are preferably rounded to facilitate smooth operation of the closure 46.
The illustrated hook-and-loop regions 32, 34 extend substantially the width of the compartment 40 but extend only along a portion of the length of the compartment 40. An attached portion of the compartment 40, here defined by the hook-and-loop regions 32, 34, extends longitudinally from the wrist area toward the knuckle area although the hook-and-loop regions 32, 34 are spaced apart from the knuckle area. As such, referring to FIGS. 2 and 4, a free portion 62 of the compartment 40 is not attached to the back panel 14 but rather is cantilevered or floats above the back panel 14. This arrangement permits the size of the compartment 40 to be maximized without compromising the flexibility of the glove 10. The size, number, and position of hook-and-loop regions 32, 34 are optimized so as to stabilize the compartment against the back of the hand.
The illustrated glove 10 includes a clip 70 that permits attaching the glove 10, for example, to a waistband, neckline, or other edge of an article of clothing. The illustrated clip 70 has a proximal end 72 that is attached to the flap 20 and a distal end 74 that extends over the flap 20 near distal end 31. It should be noted that the distal end 31 can be used to grasp the flap 20 to separate the hook and loop regions 32, 34. Those skilled in the art will recognize that the clip 70 can comprise any suitable means for attaching the glove 10.
Turning now to FIGS. 5-10, additional exemplary embodiments are illustrated. Where the elements introduced and described above are present and substantially similar in this embodiment, the same element number has been used. The description of the exemplary embodiments illustrated in FIGS. 5-10 will be directed to features that were not described in the first exemplary embodiment and description of features that were described in the first exemplary embodiment will be limited.
Referring to FIGS. 5-7, various exemplary compartment configurations are illustrated. FIG. 5 is a partial view of the compartment 40 with the top wall 44 pulled back along the bottom edge 48 to reveal its interior. In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 5, the walls 42, 44 are connected along the bottom edge 48 and the closure 46 can selectively connect the walls 42, 44 along the side edges 50, 52 and the top edge 54. One or more flat pockets 80 that are layered and connected to the base wall 42 and are configured to hold credit cards in a tiered manner. In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 6, the walls 42, 44 are connected along the bottom edge 48, gussets 82 provide collapsible side walls that connect the base wall 42 and the top wall 44, and the closure 46 selectively connects the walls 42, 44 along the side edges 50, 52 and the top edge 54. The gussets 82 permit the opening to the compartment 40 to expand such that an item can be easily inserted into the compartment 40 or removed from the compartment 40. The gussets 82 also allow the compartment 40 to conform to accommodate larger items and smaller items while snugly holding any such items in place so as to prevent them undesirably shifting about during the user's work-out or activity. Referring to the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 7, additional walls can extend between the gussets 82 to partition and define pockets in the compartment 40.
Referring to the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 8 and 9, the flap 20 can be fully detached from the glove 10 by separating the flap 20 along its anchored edge 30. The illustrated glove 10 includes a second zipper (not shown) or other suitable means for detachably connecting the anchored edge 30 that permits the flap 20 to be selectively detached and reattached. To permit the glove to tighten around the hand when the flap 20 is detached, the illustrated glove includes a third zipper 84 or other suitable fastener that can selectively open and close the slit 26, which can be positioned elsewhere on the glove as shown in FIG. 9.
The present invention has been illustrated in relation to a particular embodiment which is intended in all respects to be illustrative rather than restrictive. Those skilled in the art will recognize that the illustrated embodiments are capable of many modifications and variations without departing from the scope of the teachings. For example, as used herein, directional references such as "top", "base", "bottom", "end", "side", "inner", "outer", "upper", "middle", "lower", "front", and "rear" do not limit the elements of the glove to such orientation, but merely serve to distinguish the elements from one another.
The above-described embodiments are merely exemplary illustrations of implementations set forth for a clear understanding of the principles of the invention. Variations, modifications, and combinations may be made to the above-described embodiments without departing from the scope of the claims. All such variations, modifications, and combinations are included herein by the scope of this disclosure and the following claims.
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