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Publication numberUS20020036149 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 09/956,727
Publication dateMar 28, 2002
Filing dateSep 19, 2001
Priority dateSep 22, 2000
Publication number09956727, 956727, US 2002/0036149 A1, US 2002/036149 A1, US 20020036149 A1, US 20020036149A1, US 2002036149 A1, US 2002036149A1, US-A1-20020036149, US-A1-2002036149, US2002/0036149A1, US2002/036149A1, US20020036149 A1, US20020036149A1, US2002036149 A1, US2002036149A1
InventorsBill Kwong
Original AssigneeBill Kwong
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Soft enclosure for data storage device
US 20020036149 A1
Abstract
A soft enclosure for an external data storage device or other electronic devices in their storage, carrying and operating mode comprises a soft outside enclosure and a soft inside enclosure. The soft outside enclosure is made of a durable fabric, polymeric or leather material. The soft outside enclosure is easily opened and closed with a variety of means such as zipper or velcrel without tool. To ease the quick interconnect with a variety of data storage devices having an equivalent electrical interface, the soft enclosure comprises two compartments wherein a physically flexible mechanical connector interchanger is disposed inside a first compartment separated from a second compartment enclosing the data storage device. Additional expansion compartments can also be integrated onto the soft enclosure for the direct connection of additional electronic modules or other accessories to the data storage device.
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Claims(16)
What is claimed are:
1. A durable, shock-proof and dirt-proof soft enclosure for the storage, carrying and operation of a device for external data storage, comprising:
a soft inside enclosure disposed in snug and all-around fitting contact with the enclosed device with the soft inside enclosure being made of a soft, shock absorbing and reasonably heat dissipating material;
a soft outside enclosure disposed in snug and all-around fitting contact with the enclosed inside enclosure with the outside soft layer being made of a durable, dirt-proof, and reasonably heat dissipating material;
the soft outside enclosure further comprising a number of all-around enclosing surfaces and a device cover having a means for opening or closing for easy opening or closing of the device cover and for the replacement or repair of the enclosed device without using any tool; and
the external surfaces of said soft inside enclosure being press fitted within or fastened to their respective fitting surfaces of said soft outside enclosure.
2. The durable, shock-proof and dirt-proof soft enclosure of claim 1 further comprises a mechanical connector interchanger disposed and snugly fit inside the soft enclosure with means of covering, accessing and separately replacing the mechanical connector interchanger and the enclosed device.
3. The durable, shock-proof and dirt-proof soft enclosure of claim 2 wherein the mechanical connector interchanger further comprises:
a host side standard connector capable of being electrically hooked up to an external electronic device working cooperatively with the device enclosed within the soft enclosure;
a storage device interface connector capable of being electrically hooked up to the device enclosed within the soft enclosure wherein said storage device interface connector may be in a variety of electrically equivalent but mechanically different interface configuration as determined by the type of the device;
a connector interchanger body having a set of printed circuit traces whereby the electrical signals of the host side standard connector are properly rerouted to the electrical signals of the storage device interface connector; and
a ribbon cable having its first end electrically hooked up to said host side standard connector through said connector interchanger body and its second end electrically hooked up to said storage device interface connector to enable connection of the device with the same host side standard connector thereby simplifying the task of mechanical hook up of an external electronic device working cooperatively with the enclosed device within the soft enclosure.
4. The durable, shock-proof and dirt-proof soft enclosure of claim 3 wherein the ribbon cable further enables a significant range of relative movement between the enclosed device and the mechanical connector interchanger without disturbing the related electrical connections.
5. The durable, shock-proof and dirt-proof soft enclosure of claim 2 wherein the means of covering, accessing and separately replacing the mechanical connector interchanger and the enclosed device comprises a first compartment disposed to enclose and restrain the mechanical connector interchanger and a second compartment disposed to enclose and restrain the device.
6. The durable, shock-proof and dirt-proof soft enclosure of claim 1 wherein said soft, shock absorbing and reasonably heat dissipating material is further porous.
7. The durable, shock-proof and dirt-proof soft enclosure of claim 6 wherein said soft, shock absorbing and reasonably heat dissipating material is further of low dimensional precision and of low memory effect under prolonged compression.
8. The durable, shock-proof and dirt-proof soft enclosure of claim 1 wherein said durable, dirt-proof, and reasonably heat dissipating material is further porous.
9. The durable, shock-proof and dirt-proof soft enclosure of claim 8 wherein said durable, dirt-proof, and reasonably heat dissipating material is further cosmetically pleasing.
10. The durable, shock-proof and dirt-proof soft enclosure of claim 9 wherein said durable, dirt-proof, and reasonably heat dissipating material is further of low dimensional precision.
11. The durable, shock-proof and dirt-proof soft enclosure of claim 1 wherein one or both of said soft inside enclosure and the soft outside enclosure are further made to be fire retardation.
12. The durable, shock-proof and dirt-proof soft enclosure of claim 1 wherein one or both of said soft inside enclosure and the soft outside enclosure are further made to shield against radio frequency interference for reliable data transfer to and from the enclosed device.
13. The durable, shock-proof and dirt-proof soft enclosure of claim 1 wherein one or both of said soft inside enclosure and the soft outside enclosure are further made to prevent build up of static electricity for good ESD protection.
14. The durable, shock-proof and dirt-proof soft enclosure of claim 1 wherein said soft inside enclosure and the soft outside enclosure are made of materials selected from the group consisting of sponge, polymeric foam, porous rubber, durable colored fabrics, fabrics made of nylon, fabrics made of polyester, fabrics made of polyimide, a woven structure of polymeric fabrics and tiny metal wires, colored decorative canvas, leather, and decorative leather with small venting holes or slots on its wall.
15. The durable, shock-proof and dirt-proof soft enclosure of claim 1 wherein the means for opening or closing the device cover is a velcrel, a zipper or a button structure.
16. The durable, shock-proof and dirt-proof soft enclosure of claim 1 wherein the soft enclosure further comprises a number of additionally integrated expansion compartments for the inclusion and direct connection of electronic modules or other accessories to the enclosed device.
Description
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This invention is a formal application of a provisional application, filed on Sep. 22, 2000, Serial No, 60/234,574.

FILED OF INVENTION

[0002] This invention relates to a soft enclosure design, more specifically, it relates to a soft enclosure for an external data storage device or other electronic devices in their storage, carrying and operating mode.

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION

[0003] Traditionally, external data storage devices such as Hard Drive, Optical or Magnetic Removable drives are housed in a rigid enclosure that is made of plastics or metal. The manufacturing of the plastic enclosure requires an expensive tool for injection molding which, depending upon the complexity of the parts and the required accuracy, takes a long time to produce—typically two to three months. Still, the resulting plastic enclosure can be easily damaged upon impact which can happen frequently in a mobile computing environment.

[0004] While a metal enclosure is more rugged, the manufacturing of metal enclosure also requires an expensive tooling and the piece part is more expensive to make than plastic. Additionally, a metal enclosure adds substantial weight to the device which is undesirable.

[0005] In any case, the enclosed data storage device is still very susceptible to shock damage as neither enclosure type provides any shock protection. Adding shock mount features would mean more complication and cost added to the manufacturing of the device. Furthermore, for both plastic and metal enclosure, it is inconvenient to repair or replace the enclosed data storage device as special tools are usually required to take apart the enclosures. Often time, the entire enclosure needs to be replaced in order to replace the data storage device inside.

[0006] The need of an enclosure for the protection of a variety of devices against shock has been around for a long time. A brief search and analysis of the prior art revealed the following U.S. patents:

[0007] U.S. Pat. No. 4,786,121 (November 1988, by Lyons), titled computer protective enclosure, teaches the usage of outside panels with inner linings to acoustically isolate and additionally protect the stored computer. The outside panels, or covers, are made of rigid materials such as wood, plastic and metal. The inner linings are made of foam plastic with a space between the inner linings and the computer. Furthermore, the enclosure is intended for affixing to building construction members or other stationary objects for stability.

[0008] U.S. Pat. No. 4,846,340 (July 1989, by Walther), titled shock proof carrying enclosure for musical instrument, teaches the usage of an enclosure for the shock proof storage and carrying of a musical instrument like cello. However, in this case, the enclosed musical instrument is already retained within a rigid case to begin with. Therefore, effectively, the protective structure for the musical instrument itself consists of an inner rigid case and an outer flexible enclosure.

[0009] U.S. Pat. No. 5,010,988 (April 1991, by Brown), titled expandable shock protected carrying case, teaches the usage of a carrying case for a lap top computer, printers, facsimiles and the like where the carrying case comprises of functional elements like handle, shoulder strap, compartments and accessory pockets. The disclosed wall structure consists of at least three layers, that is, an outer shell, an inner shell and a three-ply shock protection structure sandwiched in between. The outer shell is made of a substantially rigid yet soft material. The disclosed carrying case looks to be primarily used when the enclosed device is in its non-operating mode. Thus, for example, thermally insulating materials and related structural design are employed there to protect the enclosed device from temperature extremes.

[0010] U.S. Pat. No. 6,034,841 (March 2000, by Albrecht, Khanna, Kumar and Sri-Jayantha), titled disk drive with composite sheet metal and encapsulated plastic, describes the usage of a metal base with integrally molded plastic peripheral flanges plus elastomeric corner bumpers for shock protection. As described, except for the elastomeric corner bumpers, all the other enclosure pieces are made of rigid material.

[0011] The current invention is conceived to address all of the aforementioned problems and inconvenience of the traditional type of enclosure for an external data storage device.

[0012] It is therefore an objective of this invention to provide an enclosure for an external data storage device whereby the manufacturing of the enclosure requires only inexpensive and fast tooling with associated low piece part cost.

[0013] It is another objective of this invention to provide an enclosure for an external data storage device whereby the enclosure is durable, lightweight and provides for shock protection of the enclosed data storage device.

[0014] A third objective of this invention is to provide an enclosure for an external data storage device whereby a standardized mechanical computer interface with a variety of data storage devices can be quickly established without using any special tool.

[0015] A fourth objective of this invention is to provide an enclosure for an external data storage device whereby the repair or replacement of the enclosed data storage device does not require any special tool.

[0016] A fifth objective of this invention is to provide an enclosure for an external data storage device whereby the enclosure can be made to be fire retardant, shielding against radio frequency interference, preventing build up of static electricity, allowing heat dissipation from the data storage device while preventing dirt penetration into the interior of the enclosure.

[0017] A sixth objective of this invention is to provide an enclosure for an external data storage device whereby the enclosure can be easily and quickly customized for various fashionable designs thus product differentiation.

[0018] A seventh objective of this invention is to provide an enclosure for an external data storage device whereby additional expansion compartments can be easily integrated onto the enclosure for the direct connection of future electronic modules or other accessories to the data storage device.

[0019] An eighth objective of this invention is to provide an enclosure for an external data storage device whereby the enclosure can be easily integrated with a carrying bag, a luggage bag or any type of carrying cases.

[0020] A ninth objective of this invention is to provide an enclosure for a variety of electronic and computer peripheral devices whereby some or all of the just mentioned objectives are achieved.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0021] This invention concerns a new enclosure design (hereinafter referred to as “Soft Enclosure”) for, but without limitation to, an external data storage device. The Soft Enclosure consists of an outside soft layer and an inside soft layer. The outside soft layer is decorative, is made of a durable fabric, polymeric or leather material and is easily opened and closed with a variety of means without tool. The inside soft layer is made of a soft shock absorbing material thus providing a snug fit and all around shock protection for the enclosed data storage device. As needed, one or both layers can be designed to be fire retardant, shielding against radio frequency interference, preventing build up of static electricity, allowing heat dissipation from the data storage device while preventing dirt penetration into the interior of the enclosure. To ease the quick mechanical computer interface with a variety of data storage devices having the same electrical computer interface, the Soft Enclosure employs a two-compartment design wherein a mechanical connector interchanger is disposed inside a first compartment separated from a second compartment containing the data storage device. Additional expansion compartments can also be easily integrated onto the Soft Enclosure for the direct connection of future electronic modules or other accessories to the data storage device.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0022] The invention is explained in full detail with the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments, with reference made to the accompanying drawings, wherein:

[0023]FIG. 1A, FIG. 1B and FIG. 1C are perspective illustrations of a commonly practiced prior art wherein two rigid covers with mounting means are employed to enclose a storage device;

[0024]FIG. 2A, FIG. 2B and FIG. 2C are perspective illustrations of the current invention wherein two layers of Soft Enclosure material are employed to enclose a storage device. Furthermore, a connector interchanger is added to simplify the computer interface with a variety of storage devices;

[0025]FIG. 3A, FIG. 3B, FIG. 3C and FIG. 3D are perspective illustrations of the current invention wherein the details of fitting between the soft inside enclosure base and the storage device are shown without the visual interference of the soft outside enclosure for better clarity;

[0026]FIG. 4A and FIG. 4B are perspective illustrations of the current invention wherein the details of fitting between the soft inside enclosure connector interchanger cover and the just seated storage device from FIG. 3D are shown without the visual interference of the soft outside enclosure for better clarity; and

[0027]FIG. 5A, FIG. 5B, and FIG. 5C are perspective illustrations of the current invention wherein the details of fitting between the soft outside enclosure and the seated storage device from FIG. 4B are shown for further geometric clarity.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0028]FIG. 1A is a perspective illustration of a plain storage device 1 with a storage device interface connector 2. The wall material of the storage device 1 is usually made of metal to house the precision mechanism inside. The storage device interface connector 2, when hooked up with the corresponding mating connector from a computer not shown here, would provide all the necessary electrical power and interface signals to insure proper operation of the storage device 1.

[0029] For the look and feel of a finished product the plain storage device 1 needs to be properly enclosed in a housing structure. In a common prior art practice, as illustrated in FIG. 1B, the storage device 1 is generally housed between a rigid top cover 3 and a rigid bottom cover 4 wherein a set of top cover mounting holes 3 a and a corresponding set of bottom cover mounting holes 4 a are provided and fastened with a set of mounting screws 5 a. The finished product is illustrated in FIG. 1C. Usually these rigid covers are made of plastics or metal. The manufacturing of the plastic enclosure requires an expensive molding tool which also takes a long time to produce—typically two to three months. Still, the resulting plastic enclosure can be easily damaged upon impact which can easily happen in a mobile computing environment. While a metal enclosure is more rugged, the manufacturing of the metal enclosure also requires an expensive tooling and the piece part is more expensive to make than plastic. Additionally, a metal enclosure adds substantial weight to the device which is undesirable.

[0030] In any case, the enclosed storage device 1 is still very susceptible to shock damage as neither enclosure type provides any damping protection against the shock. Adding shock mount would mean more complication and cost added to the manufacturing of the device. Furthermore, for both plastic and metal enclosure, it is inconvenient to repair or replace the enclosed storage device 1 as special tools are usually required to take apart the enclosures. As illustrated here, four mounting screws 5 a need to be removed with a special tool to replace the enclosed storage device 1. Often time, the entire plastic enclosure needs to be replaced in order to replace the data storage device 1 inside.

[0031]FIG. 2A, FIG. 2B and FIG. 2C are perspective illustrations of the current invention called Soft Enclosure. The Soft Enclosure comprises a soft inside enclosure 9 and a soft outside enclosure 8 to enclose the said storage device 1. Furthermore, a connector interchanger 67 is added to simplify the computer interface with a variety of storage devices.

[0032]FIG. 2A shows the details of the connector interchanger 67. The connector interchanger 67 consists of two parts. The part next to the storage device 1 further consists of a ribbon cable peripheral side connector 6 b, a ribbon cable with terminating connectors 6 and a ribbon cable host side connector 6 a. The part on the computer side further consists of a connector interchanger host side standard MC-36 connector 7 a and a connector interchanger 7. Thus, the ribbon cable peripheral side connector 6 b is mated with the corresponding storage device interface connector 2 (not visible here) of the storage device 1. Likewise, the ribbon cable host side connector 6 a is mated with the corresponding connector of the connector interchanger 7. In this way, using a properly designed set of printed circuit trace patterns on the connector interchanger 7, a variety of electrically equivalent but mechanically different storage device interface connectors 2 are converted into the same host side standard connector 7 a greatly thus simplifying the task of mechanical hook up to the computer. Additionally, the usage of the flexible ribbon cable 6 allows significant range of relative movement between the storage device 1 and the connector interchanger host side standard connector 7 a which will be unavoidable with the usage of the Soft Enclosure. It should be further understood that other functionally equivalent design specifics exist for the connector interchanger 67. For example, an alternative design for the connector interchanger 67 would consist of just a flexible circuit with a peripheral side connector 6 b on one end and a connector interchanger host side standard connector 7 a on the other end.

[0033]FIG. 2B illustrates the detailed construction of the Soft Enclosure. As said before, the Soft Enclosure comprises a soft inside enclosure 9 and a soft outside enclosure 8 to enclose the said storage device 1. The soft inside enclosure 9 is made of a soft, porous and shock absorbing material. Some examples are polymeric foam, sponge and porous rubber. Thus, the soft inside enclosure 9 will provide shock protection and heat dissipation for the enclosed storage device 1. As shown, the soft inside enclosure 9 further consists of a soft inside enclosure base 9 a, a soft inside enclosure device ridge 9 d, a soft inside enclosure device cover 9 b and a soft inside enclosure connector interchanger cover 9 c. Therefore, after the composite of storage device 1 and connector interchanger 67 from FIG. 2A gets seated onto the soft inside enclosure base 9 a as illustrated by the downward pointing arrow, the storage device 1 would be restrained within a first compartment from any downward and lateral movement with the combination of soft inside enclosure base 9 a and soft inside enclosure device ridge 9 d. Furthermore, the connector interchanger 67 would be sandwiched from movement in all direction within a second compartment formed between the soft inside enclosure base 9 a and the soft inside enclosure connector interchanger cover 9 c. More graphical clarification of this point will be presented later. It is remarked that the soft inside enclosure base 9 a, the soft inside enclosure device ridge 9 d and the soft inside enclosure connector interchanger cover 9 c of the soft inside enclosure 9 can be designed as separate pieces or as a single integrated unit in practice, dictated by the corresponding manufacturing and assembly process and cost considerations. In any case, the said members 9 a, 9 d and 9 c should be press fitted within or fastened to their respective fitting surfaces of the soft outside enclosure 8. Likewise, as illustrated, the soft inside enclosure device cover 9 b is also press fitted within or fastened to its fitting surface of the device cover 12 of the soft outside enclosure 8. Thus, upon closing of the device cover 12 of the soft outside enclosure 8 as illustrated with the curved arrow at the right side of FIG. 2B, the soft inside enclosure device cover 9 b will close the said first compartment with the soft inside enclosure base 9 a and the soft inside enclosure device ridge 9 d restraining the movement of the enclosed storage device 1 in all directions.

[0034] The soft outside enclosure 8 is made of a soft, porous, durable and cosmetically pleasing material. Some examples are colored decorative canvas or fabrics made of polymeric materials like nylon, polyester or polyimide. Another example is a decorative leather with small venting holes or slots on the wall. Thus, the soft outside enclosure 8 would provide durability, heat dissipation and an ergonomic look and feel for the enclosed storage device 1. As needed, one or both of the soft inside enclosure 9 and the soft outside enclosure 8 can be designed to be fire retardant, shielding against radio frequency interference, preventing build up of static electricity while preventing dirt penetration into the interior of the enclosure. For example, the usage of an interleaved structure of polymeric fabrics and tiny metal wires in the weaving of the soft outside enclosure 8 will provide the functions of static prevention and shielding against radio frequency interference.

[0035] In addition to the basic surfaces of an outside enclosure, the soft outside enclosure 8 includes a soft outside enclosure device cover 12 as mentioned before. One way of easily opening and closing the soft outside enclosure device cover 12, as illustrated herein, is with the usage of a zipper structure consisting of two soft outside enclosure zipper contours 10 and the corresponding outside enclosure zipper handle 11. The soft outside enclosure 8 further includes a connector access slot 15 through which the connector interchanger host side standard connector 7 a can be hooked up to a host computer for operation. For the protection of the connector interchanger host side standard connector 7 a during storage and transportation of the enclosed storage device 1, the soft outside enclosure 8 further includes a soft outside enclosure connector cover 13 and associated securing means of a velcro hook pad 14 a and a velcro loop pad 14 b as illustrated with the curved arrow at the left side of FIG. 2B. It should be noted that, in addition to the usage of zipper and velcro as illustrated herein for their respective functions, there are other means by which the same functions can be performed. For example a snap on button can be used instead for the opening and closing of the soft outside enclosure connector cover 13.

[0036]FIG. 2C illustrates the Soft Enclosure after the closing of both the soft outside enclosure device cover 12 and the soft outside enclosure connector cover 13 with the storage device 1 and the connector interchanger 67 enclosed inside for storage or transportation. Here, the soft outside enclosure zippers 10 are seen in their locked position guided by the outside enclosure zipper handle 11.

[0037] It should become clear by now that the manufacturing of the Soft Enclosure requires only inexpensive and fast tooling with associated low piece part cost, given that the materials and parts involved are made of soft polymeric fabrics, sponge, rubber, leather or the like. The Soft Enclosure is also clearly durable, light weight and provides for shock protection of the enclosed storage device. In addition, the Soft Enclosure can be easily and quickly customized for various fashionable designs thus product differentiation in the market. Other expansion compartments can also be easily integrated onto the Soft Enclosure for the direct connection of future electronic modules or other accessories to the storage device. By the very nature of its materials and construction, the Soft Enclosure can be easily and ergonomically integrated with a carrying bag, a luggage bag or any type of carrying cases. A mechanically standardized computer interface with a variety of storage devices can also be quickly established by the current invention using an enclosed connector interchanger without any special tool. With the design of the Soft Enclosure and its associated easy means of opening and closing the respective covers, the repair or replacement of the enclosed data storage device or connector interchanger would not require any special tool, providing additional after-sales benefit to the customer. Finally, it should also become clear by now that the scope of the current invention should not be limited to the enclosure of just storage devices. Instead, the content and unique benefit of the current invention should be applicable to a wide variety of electronic and computer peripheral devices.

[0038]FIG. 3A, FIG. 3B, FIG. 3C and FIG. 3D are additional perspective illustrations of the current invention wherein the details of fitting between the soft inside enclosure base 9 a and the storage device 1 are shown without the visual interference of the soft outside enclosure 8 for better clarity. FIG. 3A illustrates the step of connecting the connector interchanger 67 to the storage device 1 following the direction of the arrow. As seen, the relevant connectors to be mated are the ribbon cable peripheral side connector 6 b and the storage device interface connector 2. FIG. 3B shows the composite of storage device 1 and connector interchanger 67 after the step from FIG. 3A. FIG. 3C depicts the step wherein the composite of storage device 1 and connector interchanger 67 gets seated onto the soft inside enclosure base 9 a of the soft inside enclosure 9 following the direction of the arrow. FIG. 3D shows the seated composite of storage device 1 and connector interchanger 67 after the step from FIG. 3C. Notice that the composite of storage device 1 and connector interchanger 67 is also restrained laterally, as mentioned before, by the soft inside enclosure device ridge 9 d of the soft inside enclosure 9.

[0039]FIG. 4A and FIG. 4B are additional perspective illustrations of the current invention wherein the details of fitting between the soft inside enclosure connector interchanger cover 9 c and the just seated composite of storage device 1 and connector interchanger 67 from FIG. 3D are shown without the visual interference of the soft outside enclosure 8 for better clarity. FIG. 4A depicts the fitting of the soft inside enclosure connector interchanger cover 9 c onto the composite assembly from FIG. 3D following the direction of the arrow. FIG. 4B illustrates the next composite assembly resulting from the step in FIG. 4A. Notice the clearance feature at the bottom of the soft inside enclosure connector interchanger cover 9 c which forms a slot with the soft inside enclosure base 9 a allowing the protrusion of the connector interchanger host side standard connector 7 a for the purpose of computer interface later.

[0040]FIG. 5A, FIG. 5B and FIG. 5C are additional perspective illustrations of the current invention wherein the details of fitting between the soft outside enclosure 8 and the seated composite assembly from FIG. 4B are shown for further geometric clarity. Notice that the illustration shown here is for positional fit only but not for actual assembly procedure. For instance, from previous description, it should be clearly understood that all the members of the soft inside enclosure 9 are either press fitted within or made as part of the Soft Enclosure to begin with.

[0041] The construction of the Soft Enclosure for the data storage device requires primarily soft materials with low dimensional precision such as fabrics, foams, rubber and the like. As such, only inexpensive and fast tooling is required for manufacturing and the associated piece part production cost is low. By the same token, the Soft Enclosure can be easily shaped and quickly customized with low cost for various customer specific fashionable designs thus product differentiation. This equates to the business advantage of an easily customizable product with low cost and short time to market.

[0042] A second advantage of using the above mentioned soft material is that, comparing with the traditional materials of plastic and metal, the Soft Enclosure with an inside shock absorbing layer is more durable, light weight and provides for shock protection of the enclosed data storage device. These are all important competitive advantages especially in a mobile computing environment.

[0043] A third advantage of this invention is that the Soft Enclosure can include a mechanical interface interchanger device whereby a standardized mechanical computer interface with a variety of data storage devices having the same electrical interface but different mechanically can be quickly established without using any special tool. In this way the Soft Enclosure offers great versatility to the user.

[0044] The Soft Enclosure, with its pliant construction and easy means of opening and closing, allows quick and easy repair or replacement of the enclosed data storage device without any special tool. This greatly increases the after-sales value of the product.

[0045] With the wide range of choice of soft materials and their related method of weaving or fabrication, the Soft Enclosure can be made to be fire retardant, shielding against radio frequency interference, preventing build up of static electricity, allowing heat dissipation from the data storage device while preventing dirt penetration into the interior of the enclosure, thus satisfying a wide range of customer requirements.

[0046] Another advantage of this invention is that the Soft Enclosure can be easily and economically made to integrate additional expansion compartments for the direct connection of future electronic modules or other accessories to the data storage device.

[0047] Yet another advantage of the Soft Enclosure is that, as its soft construction being in many cases made of a fabric or leather material already, it can be easily and ergonomically integrated with a carrying bag, a luggage bag or any type of carrying cases suitable for the mobile computing environment.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7399719Feb 24, 2005Jul 15, 2008Vaultstor CorporationProtection apparatus and methods
US7431501 *Nov 15, 2004Oct 7, 2008The United States Of America As Represented By The Secretary Of The NavyBag assembly providing electrostatic discharge protection
US7961425 *Jan 31, 2008Jun 14, 2011Durapower Technology Ltd.Protection structure to receive a portable memory device with less locking structure
US8570719 *Aug 21, 2008Oct 29, 2013John D. Brush & Co., Inc.Fire resistant enclosure for a data storage device having heat sink capabilities and method for making the same
US20110019355 *Aug 21, 2008Jan 27, 2011Cleveland Terri PFire Resistant Enclosure for a Data Storage Device Having Heat Sink Capabilities and Method for Making the Same
DE102009018783A1 *Apr 24, 2009Nov 4, 2010Frenzelit-Werke Gmbh & Co. KgBag for use in e.g. automobile industry, has external layer and internal layer that are not electrically conducted with each other, and intermediate layer that is formed as electrically conductive layer
Classifications
U.S. Classification206/308.3
International ClassificationA45C13/36, A45C3/00, B65D85/30
Cooperative ClassificationA45C3/00, A45C13/36, B65D85/30
European ClassificationB65D85/30, A45C3/00, A45C13/36
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Sep 19, 2001ASAssignment
Owner name: ADDONICS TECHNOLOGIES, INC., CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:KWONG, BILL;REEL/FRAME:012196/0798
Effective date: 20010918