SUMMARY OF INVENTION
(Refer to Dwg. 2K-003 page #6)
The device is a lotion-containing two handled device that interlocks together to form a sealed unit (#1), that incorporates retractable belting to dispense lotions to hard to reach parts of the body.
The body housings used for prototype work (#2) have employed off-the-shelf materials and have been round in shape relying on various pipe sizes. This really forms the heart of the mechanism that can be installed into any body type. The body types can be elaborate sweeping designs such as egg shaped, football shaped, Darth Vader helmet, or others following the design limitations of a hand-held device.
The basic design employs a retractable belting assembly (#3) similar to a seat-belt device, but more compact in design with more specially selected belting material. The belting can be any combination of materials from absorbent and stretchable, to abrasive. The belting can be in a variety of forms and composites such as strapping, webbing, cloth, sponge, foam, or other specialty belting fabrics. A variety of spiral/power springs can be used varying in diameter, band width, material thickness, and spring material. The spring (#4) is mounted onto an arbor or shaft (#5) through a shaft slot (#6) at one end of the shaft. The other end of the shaft pivots in a UHMW alignment washer (#8). On the spring end of the shaft another UHMW alignment washer (#8) keeps the mechanism aligned in the housing and reduces rolling resistance. This mechanism is housed in a round body (#9) with end caps (#10) that can be removed for cleaning, repair, or replacement of components. Lotion or other substances are filled through either of the fill ports (#12) and is available to the absorbent belting through reservoir cavity (#7) and pass through reservoir (#13). Teflon seals in positions (#11) seal the body
The body employs a handle (#14) for each of the Right hand and Left-hand sides of the unit. The handles direct the hands into position to make a spreading-sweeping motion (see SUNBELT motion) to position the belting at its fully extended length and position the belting to access body areas such as the back and shoulders. The handle and body types employed in the prototypes have employed commonly available pipe sizes and materials. The ideal body and handle shapes would be injection molded or metal fabricated giving a better size, shape, and feel. Tooling and prototypes of a more final assembly are currently being designed.
The mechanism, body, and handles can be scaled up or down in size to accommodate a variety of uses and applications.
The best way to describe the motion, is imagine that you are standing and are ready to jump rope. There is no rope but the motion is the same. Your hands are to your sides and out in front a bit. You imagine you are holding the handles and you have your wrists cocked back slightly. Now you slowly bring your wrists up as if the rope is going over your head and behind you to start the first jump. Your wrists should be about shoulder level and cocked back slightly. If you stop and look at your hand position this is how the belt would look from one hand to the other. The device sits on top of the ring area of the finger and is held by handles to insure the device can work only one way. The handles on the device force you to hold it in the only possible position.
Now still in the same position raise your hands just over your shoulders and stop. Straighten your wrist and bring your fists together in a sweeping half moon motion so they end up with your top knuckles touching and in front of your eyes. Now slowly drop your elbows down and you see your middle knuckles of the hand that are still touching each other, end up in a clenched fist, say, praying position. That is how you begin and end the process and just reverse the motion to get to the back area. It's called the SUNBELT motion.
We have looked into many possibilities for the retractable belt material. The belting can be any combination of materials from absorbent and stretchable, to abrasive. The belting can be in a variety of forms and composites such as strapping, webbing, cloth, sponge, foam, or other specialty belting fabrics. The materials investigated thus far are; polyurethane open cell foam, a stretchable, squeezable foam with a nylon backing, elastic polyester, fabric sheet materials, baby wipe materials, and many others. We are working with a cotton material that incorporates a nylon or similar backing in the material make-up so it will be washable and minimize fatigue, stretching and other premature failure. The material will also need to chemically work with the various types of lotions. We also may have the material made especially for us through a mill. If that does happen we will look into that as a patentable item as well.
The body design of the SUNBELT device lends itself to a replaceable cartridge; either for substances to be applied, or for pre-charged applicated belting. The pre-charged belting could take on many different forms including washable, reusable, and could be a tear-off disposable once used. The disposable type could be a retractable material that is thrown away as a whole, or tear off belt sheets as in a paper towel dispenser. These concepts would employ some of the same concepts presented here, and two other configurations are currently under development.
The market is varied across many fields including consumer, medical, industrial (for lubricating parts), sports, and others. Young people and older people and everything in the middle will find it practicable, trendy and provide maximum sun safety. Kids would have more access to convenient, easy to use protection and would be more encouraged to use it. Older folks who live alone haven't many options. Again this would provide independence to its users. Sales would be stronger in sunny places verses other areas in the U.S. But, people travel to or live in those types of areas everyday, not to mention the worldwide market. The device is so practical that it actually benefits society with a way to help prevent skin cancers or at least to slow down the effects. You won't have to feel you have to ask some stranger to put lotion on your back knowing you are damaging your skin by not putting something on. No more egos to worry about and especially no mess.