Patent application title: REST-SUPPORTING DEVICE
Herwig Pusca (Vienna, AT)
ARCHITEKTURBÜRO DIPL. ING. DELUGAN-MEISSL ZT-GESELLSCHAFT M.B.H
IPC8 Class: AA47C1600FI
Class name: Beds support for user`s body or part thereof inflatable (e.g., air containing)
Publication date: 2012-09-06
Patent application number: 20120222219
A rest-supporting device has an inflatable supporting part which is of a
generally cuboidal configuration and to which straps serving for
fastening to a body of a user are attached. The supporting part is formed
by an outer covering and at least one inflatable cushion accommodated in
the interior of the covering.
1. A rest-supporting device, comprising: a inflatable supporting part of
a generally cuboidal configuration, said inflatable supporting part
having an outer covering and at least one inflatable cushion accommodated
in an interior of said outer covering; and straps serving for fastening
to a body of a user and attached to said inflatable supporting part.
2. The supporting device according to claim 1, wherein said at least one inflatable cushion is one of two inflatable cushions accommodated in said outer covering.
3. The supporting device according to claim 2, wherein said two cushions are connected to each other on mutually facing surfaces of said two cushions.
4. The supporting device according to claim 3, wherein said two cushions are connected to each other by adhesive bonding.
5. The supporting device according to claim 1, further comprising a sweat-reducing coating, at least that side of said outer covering which is on top in a use position is coated with said sweat-reducing material.
6. The supporting device according to claim 5, wherein said outer covering is flocked with said sweat-reducing material.
7. The supporting device according to claim 1, wherein said outer covering is composed of an elastic textile fabric.
8. The supporting device according to claim 1, wherein said inflatable cushion has an inflation valve disposed on a side which is on a bottom in a use position of said inflatable supporting part.
9. The supporting device according to claim 1, wherein that side of said outer covering which is on bottom in a use position of said inflatable supporting part has an access opening formed therein.
10. The supporting device according to claim 1, further comprising a compressible pillow attached to that side of said inflatable supporting part which is on top in a use position.
11. The supporting device according to claim 10, wherein said compressible pillow is a foam padding.
12. The supporting device according to claim 10, wherein said compressible pillow is attached within said outer covering, above said inflatable cushion.
13. The supporting device according to claim 12, wherein said compressible pillow is stitched to a top side of said outer covering.
14. The supporting device according to claim 1, wherein said straps include two shoulder straps and a lap belt.
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
 This application claims the priority, under 35 U.S.C. §119, of Austrian application GM 124/2011, filed Mar. 4, 2011; the prior application is herewith incorporated by reference in its entirety.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Field of the Invention
 The invention relates to a rest-supporting device with an inflatable supporting part which is of generally cuboidal configuration and to which straps serving for fastening to a user's body are attached.
 It is known to use an inflatable neck/head supporting cushion as a supporting device for the head on journeys, for example in motor vehicles, but also in airplanes. The neck supporting cushion customarily has a U-shape in top view, and therefore the head is not only supported in the region at the back of the head but also laterally. However, the head is only inadequately supported by the cushion, and the particular persons upper body has to be kept in the correct upright position.
 A further difficulty in airplanes is that the seat rows are extremely narrow, and therefore supporting the upper body on the front side of the body is virtually out of the question; in addition, the seat backs, which are moveable only to a very limited extent, in airplanes frequently also get in the way.
 U.S. Pat. No. 6,042,185 discloses a cuboidal inflatable cushion which serves to support the head and, in the process, rests on the particular persons thighs. The interior of the cuboidal inflatable cushion is provided with walls which are intended to stabilize the cushion during the supporting of the head. The cushion is configured as a single part, which is disadvantageous in terms of hygiene, since the cushion cannot simply be cleaned on the outside.
 International patent disclosure WO 2007/068950, corresponding to U.S. patent publication No. 2009/0283557, furthermore discloses a cushion device, in which there is a supporting or carrier unit which is not inflatable but carries an inflatable small chin supporting cushion. The supporting cushion can be removed from the carrying unit, a touch and close connecting device, for example, being provided for this purpose.
 Both cushion devices furthermore have straps for fastening to the user's body.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 It is an object of the invention to propose a supporting device with an inflatable supporting part, which supporting device provides a high degree of comfort, especially when the supporting of the upper body and head in airplanes is involved, and which, at the same time, is positionally stable and permits good support even in the event of narrow seat rows; furthermore, the supporting device is intended to satisfy adequate hygiene requirements and permit simple cleaning of the outside.
 Accordingly, the rest-supporting device according to the invention with an inflatable supporting part, as indicated at the beginning, is distinguished in that the supporting part is formed by an outer covering and at least one inflatable cushion accommodated in the interior of the covering.
 In the present supporting device, the inflatable supporting part is of a generally cuboidal configuration, wherein the dimensions of the supporting part can be proportioned in such a manner that the supporting part can also easily be used in the event of narrow seat rows, as in airplanes. For example, the cuboidal supporting part may have a height of approximately 40 cm, a width of approximately 20 cm and a depth of approximately 15-20 cm. Of course, other sizes are also conceivable, depending on the height of the person (whether a child, adult, etc.).
 "Generally cuboidal" is to be understood here as also meaning configurations of the supporting part that differ from an exactly cuboidal configuration, with exactly rectangular, flat subsurfaces and right angles, i.e. it is entirely possible, for example, for there to be somewhat concave surfaces (above all on the side facing the user) or convex surfaces, and a configuration tapering, for example, from the bottom upward, etc.; it is merely important that a supporting part is provided in the manner of a "block surface" for supporting the forearms and head.
 During use, the particular person can be supported with the forearms and with the head on the top side of the block supporting part, with relatively pleasant sleeping also being possible. By the supporting part being fastened to the user's body with the aid of the straps, the supporting part also remains securely in its position, i.e. it cannot slip laterally or forward, and therefore secure supporting of the head and arms is possible. The supporting part rests with the bottom side thereof on the user's thighs.
 For hygiene reasons, the supporting part is formed with an outer covering and at least one inflatable cushion accommodated in the interior of the covering. This enables the outer covering to be separately cleaned, in particular washed, which would scarcely be possible if the supporting part were directly an inflatable cushion composed of a tight rubber material, without a removable covering.
 If two inflatable cushions are accommodated in the covering, a natural indentation is produced on the top side of the supporting part in the region of the intersection between the two cushions when supporting the head, the indentation providing additional comfort for the support.
 In order, during use, to prevent the two cushions from slipping in relation to each other which, under some circumstances, can have an adverse effect on this comfort, it is furthermore favorable if the two cushions are connected to each other on the mutually facing surfaces thereof, for example by adhesive bonding. Connection by Velcro tapes (hook and loop tapes) or the like would also be conceivable.
 An advantageous embodiment is furthermore distinguished in that at least that side of the covering which is on top in the use position is coated with a sweat-reducing material, for example is flocked.
 In order, first, to enable the covering to be attached over the cushion or the cushions and, furthermore, to enable simple cleaning, the covering is expediently composed of an elastic textile fabric.
 In order to optimize the comfort during the use of the supporting part, it is also advantageous if each inflatable cushion has an inflation valve which is on the bottom side in the use position of the supporting part. This avoids annoying parts, namely inflation valves, on the top side where, for example, a head rests by the cheek.
 In order to be able easily to accommodate the cushion or the cushions in the covering and in order optionally to obtain simple access to the particular inflation valve, that side of the covering which is at the bottom in the use position of the supporting part preferably has an access opening. The opening can be closeable and can be of a size sufficient for the cushion or the cushions to be able to be removed downward out of the covering.
 In order additionally to increase the comfort when laying and supporting the head thereon, it is furthermore also favorable if a compressible pillow, for example in the form of a foam sheet, is attached on that side of the supporting part which is on top in the use position.
 In order to prevent slipping of the compressible pillow, it is expedient if the compressible pillow is attached within the covering, above the cushion or the cushions, for example is stitched to the top side of the covering.
 For secure "positioning" of the supporting part, it is favorable if two shoulder straps and a lap belt are provided. Furthermore, a back strap which can be positioned under a user's shoulders may also be provided.
 Other features which are considered as characteristic for the invention are set forth in the appended claims.
 Although the invention is illustrated and described herein as embodied in a rest-supporting device, it is nevertheless not intended to be limited to the details shown, since various modifications and structural changes may be made therein without departing from the spirit of the invention and within the scope and range of equivalents of the claims.
 The construction and method of operation of the invention, however, together with additional objects and advantages thereof will be best understood from the following description of specific embodiments when read in connection with the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS
 FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic, perspective front and side view of an embodiment of a supporting device according to the invention;
 FIG. 2 is a diagrammatic, top view of the supporting device;
 FIG. 3 is a side view of the supporting device, wherein inflatable cushions located on the inside are also illustrated by dotted lines;
 FIG. 4 is a front view of the supporting device;
 FIG. 5 is an illustration of a textile material blank for covering of the supporting device according to FIGS. 1 to 4;
 FIG. 6 is a top view of a compressible pillow to be attached within the covering; and
 FIG. 7 is a side view of the supporting device during use by a person on a seat, for example an airplane seat.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
 Referring now to the figures of the drawing in detail and first, particularly, to FIGS. 1 to 4 thereof, there is shown a supporting device 1 which has a generally block-shaped or cuboidal supporting part 2. Straps for fastening the supporting part to a user's body are attached to the supporting part 2 (also see FIG. 7), specifically--similarly as in a rucksack--two back carrying straps or shoulder straps 3, 4 and also a lap belt 5. The straps 3, 4, 5 are customarily adjustable in length, as indicated, for example, in FIG. 2 at 6 for the lap belt 5, in order thereby to permit adaptation of the length to the particular user.
 The supporting part 2 has an outer covering 7 which is correspondingly configured in the manner of a rucksack and the interior of which accommodates two inflatable cushions 8, 9. The cushions are indicated in FIGS. 1 and 3 by interrupted lines, and have inflation valves 11 and 12 on the bottom side thereof, according to FIG. 3. The covering 7 is configured with an opening 14 on the bottom side of the supporting device 1, the opening, first, permitting access to the inflation valves 11, 12 and, second, if the cushions 8, 9 are intended to be removed from the covering 7 or to be inserted into the latter again, is of a sufficient size in order to permit this removal or insertion of the cushions 8, 9.
 The covering 7 is preferably formed from an elastic textile fabric blank shown in FIG. 5. As is apparent from FIG. 5, a front part 15, a top part 16 and a back part 17 are provided in one piece; furthermore, tab-shaped wall parts 18A, 18B and 19A, 19B respectively protrude from the front part 15 and from the back part 17 in order to form the side walls of the covering 7 so as, after being put together, to form the side walls 18 and 19 of the supporting part 2.
 Finally, bottom parts 20A, 20B also protrude from the front wall part 15 and from the back wall part 17, the bottom parts, as is apparent in particular from FIG. 3, overlapping each other in the stitched together state of the covering 7 and in the process closing an access opening 21 on the bottom side of the supporting part 2. When the bottom parts 20A, 20B are moved apart, either only partially or entirely, it is first possible to reach the inflation valves 11, 12 in order thereby to be able to inflate the cushions 8, 9 or to let air out of the cushions 8, 9; second, when the access opening 21 is completely opened by folding away the bottom parts 20A, 20B, the cushions 8, 9, preferably in the state with the air let out, can be removed from the covering 7. In a corresponding manner, the cushions 8, 9 can be inserted again from below through the access opening 21 into the covering 7.
 On the top side of the supporting part 2, a compressible pillow 22, which can be seen in particular from FIGS. 3 and 4, for example in the form of a generally rectangular foam pad, with rounded corners, is accommodated directly below the head part 16. The pillow 22 is preferably fixed to the covering 7, more specifically to the head part or top part 16 thereof, for example by stitching.
 The pillow 22 is preferably composed of a soft compressible foam padding. By contrast, the cushions 8, 9 can be produced, for example, from an airtight PVC material. As mentioned, the covering 7 is manufactured from an elastic textile material, for example from the material known by the name LURAPRET. The material can additionally be coated on the outside, in particular on the top side (upper part) 16, with a sweat-reducing material, in particular it can be flocked, as is indicated merely entirely schematically in FIG. 2 in a sub-region 23.
 FIG. 7 finally shows the supporting device 1 in a position in use by a person 25 sitting on a seat 24 in an airplane, wherein it is apparent that the straps, for example 3, 5, have been put on by the person 25, after which the person 25 rests his/her head on the top side 16 of the supporting part 2 in order thereby to support and to rest the head. In this case, the top side of the supporting part 2 can be slightly indented on the top side by the fact that two cushions 8, 9 are provided in the interior, which increases the comfort when placing the head thereon. In addition, there is, of course, comfortable support by the pillow 22. What is furthermore apparent from FIG. 7, in this rest position, the supporting part 2 of the supporting device 1 rests on the thighs of the person 25, wherein slipping away of the supporting part 2 from the person's body is prevented by the straps 3, 4 and 5. It is therefore not necessary for the person 25 to keep the supporting part 2, as shown in FIG. 7, pressed against himself/herself; on the contrary, it is also conceivable for the forearms to be placed on the top side 16 of the supporting part 2, after which the head is placed on the forearms or on the supporting part 2.
 The two cushions 8, 9 may be connected to each other at least in regions on the mutually facing surfaces, as indicated schematically in FIG. 3, in order to prevent slipping in relation to each other, wherein the mutual connection can be undertaken, for example, by adhesive bonding or else with the aid of touch and close fastening points.
Patent applications in class Inflatable (e.g., air containing)
Patent applications in all subclasses Inflatable (e.g., air containing)