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Publication numberUS20050151042 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/752,553
Publication dateJul 14, 2005
Filing dateJan 8, 2004
Priority dateJan 2, 2004
Also published asCA2454751A1
Publication number10752553, 752553, US 2005/0151042 A1, US 2005/151042 A1, US 20050151042 A1, US 20050151042A1, US 2005151042 A1, US 2005151042A1, US-A1-20050151042, US-A1-2005151042, US2005/0151042A1, US2005/151042A1, US20050151042 A1, US20050151042A1, US2005151042 A1, US2005151042A1
InventorsRobert Watson
Original AssigneeRobert Watson
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Camera mount
US 20050151042 A1
Abstract
A camera mount supports a web camera thereon. The mount includes a bracket for supporting a light source thereon and a platform supported on the bracket for receiving the base of the web camera thereon. The light source may be operable in either flash or steady-on modes to provide optimum lighting for the web camera. The platform ensures various designs of web cameras and web camera bases can be accommodated and supported thereon. The bracket also readily permits the camera mount to be supported on an upright supporting surface to remove the clutter of cords from the workspace on a desk supporting a computer thereon.
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Claims(20)
1. A camera mount for supporting a web camera having a lens for capturing a digital image to be recorded on a computer and a base for supporting the lens thereon, the camera mount comprising:
a bracket for attachment to an upright supporting surface;
a platform supported on the bracket for receiving the base of the web camera thereon.
2. The camera mount according to claim 1 wherein the camera is adjustable in position relative to the bracket.
3. The camera mount according to claim 1 wherein the camera is pivotal about two axes, oriented transversely to one another, relative to the bracket.
4. The camera mount according to claim 1 wherein there is provided a pair of inverted U-shaped clips on the bracket for securement to a laptop monitor.
5. The camera mount according to claim 1 wherein there is provided a microphone mount on the bracket.
6. The camera mount according to claim 1 wherein the platform includes a peripheral lip for supporting the base of the camera snugly within a perimeter of the peripheral lip.
7. The camera mount according to claim 1 wherein there is provided a telescoping arm supporting the platform on the bracket.
8. The camera mount according to claim 1 wherein there is provided a pair of speakers supported on the bracket.
9. The camera mount according to claim 1 wherein there is provided a pair of lights supported on the bracket.
10. A camera mount for supporting a web camera having a lens for capturing a digital image to be recorded on a computer and a base for supporting the lens thereon, the camera mount comprising:
a bracket for supporting a light source thereon; and
a platform supported on the bracket for receiving the base of the web camera thereon.
11. The camera mount according to claim 10 in combination with the light source, wherein the light source is supported rearward of the platform when the camera is supported on the platform to face forwardly.
12. The camera mount according to claim 11 wherein the light source is adjustable in position relative to the camera.
13. The camera mount according to claim 10 wherein the light source and the camera are independently adjustable relative to the bracket.
14. The camera mount according to claim 10 wherein the bracket is suitably arranged for being supported on an upright supporting surface.
15. The camera mount according to claim 10 in combination with the light source, wherein there is provided switch means for operating the light source on the bracket.
16. The camera mount according to claim 10 in combination with the light source, wherein the light source includes a remotely positioned power source connected to the light source by an electrical cord and switch means at the power source.
17. The camera mount according to claim 10 in combination with the light source, wherein the light source and the camera mount are connectable to a computer and wherein there is provided software for controlling operation of the light source.
18. The camera mount according to claim 17 wherein the software permits operation of the light source in a flash camera mode.
19. The camera mount according to claim 17 wherein the camera and the light source are independently controlled by the light source.
20. The camera mount according to claim 10 wherein there is provided a clamp member for clamping to an edge of a horizontal supporting surface and an upright support slidably supporting the bracket thereon for height adjustment relative horizontal supporting surface.
Description
    FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • [0001]
    The present invention relates to a camera mount for supporting a web camera on a supporting surface and more particularly relates to a camera mount for supporting a light source in combination with a web camera.
  • BACKGROUND
  • [0002]
    The use of a web camera with a computer is well known. Typically the web camera has a housing supporting a lens therein for capturing a digital image to be recorded on the computer and a base for supporting the housing of the lens thereon. The web camera is typically connected to the computer through a USB port of the computer by an elongate cord. Various other multimedia related accessories for the computer including microphones and speakers and the like, also include elongate cords which can be messy and occupy considerable desk space surrounding a computer. Other problems typically associated with web cameras is poor performance as a result of insufficient lighting.
  • [0003]
    Typically, web cameras are supported on an upper, generally horizontal surface of the computer's monitor with tape and the like. Many current computers make use of flat screens however which are difficult to accommodate conventional web camera designs.
  • [0004]
    US patents U.S. Pat. No. 4,398,815 to Barzee et al and U.S. Pat. No. 5,921,523 to South et al each disclose camera mounts for supporting a camera thereon, however neither is suitably arranged to support a conventional web camera thereon. Neither camera mount would permit a web camera to be supported on an upright supporting surface. Furthermore, the prior art relating to camera mounts propose no means for supporting a light source suitable for increasing performance of a web camera.
  • SUMMARY
  • [0005]
    According to one aspect of the present invention there is provided a camera mount for supporting a web camera having a lens for capturing a digital image to be recorded on a computer and a base for supporting the lens thereon, the camera mount comprising:
  • [0006]
    a bracket for supporting a light source thereon; and
  • [0007]
    a platform supported on the bracket for receiving the base of the web camera thereon.
  • [0008]
    The use of a bracket for supporting a light source operable in either flash or steady-on modes and a web camera ensures sufficient lighting for optimum performance of the web camera. The use of a platform ensures various designs of web cameras and web camera bases can be accommodated and supported thereon. The bracket also readily permits the camera mount to be supported on an upright supporting surface to remove the clutter of cords from the workspace on a desk supporting a computer thereon.
  • [0009]
    The camera mount may be provided in combination with the light source, wherein the light source is supported rearward of the platform when the camera is supported on the platform to face forwardly.
  • [0010]
    Preferably the light source and the camera are independently adjustable relative to the bracket.
  • [0011]
    There may be provided switch means for operating the light source on the bracket and/or when the light source includes a remotely positioned power source connected to the light source by an electrical cord, switch means may be provided at the power source.
  • [0012]
    The light source and the camera mount are preferably connectable to a computer through USB ports. Preferably software is provided in this instance for controlling operation of the light source and the camera independently of one another. The software may permit operation of the light source in various modes, for example a flash camera mode or a strobe mode.
  • [0013]
    There may be provided a clamp member for clamping to an edge of a horizontal supporting surface and an upright support slidably supporting the bracket thereon for height adjustment relative horizontal supporting surface.
  • [0014]
    According to a second aspect of the present invention there is provided a camera mount for supporting a web camera having a lens for capturing a digital image to be recorded on a computer and a base for supporting the lens thereon, the camera mount comprising:
  • [0015]
    a bracket for attachment to an upright supporting surface;
  • [0016]
    a platform supported on the bracket for receiving the base of the web camera thereon.
  • [0017]
    The camera is preferably adjustable in position relative to the bracket, so as to be pivotal about two axes, oriented transversely to one another, relative to the bracket. Additional, there may be provided a telescoping arm supporting the platform on the bracket for adjusting a relative spacing therebetween.
  • [0018]
    There may be provided a pair of inverted U-shaped clips on the bracket for securement to a laptop monitor.
  • [0019]
    The bracket may also include a microphone mount, a pair of speakers, or various light sources supported thereon.
  • [0020]
    The platform may include a peripheral lip for supporting the base of the camera snugly within a perimeter of the peripheral lip in a snap-fit configuration.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0021]
    In the accompanying drawings, which illustrate exemplary embodiments of the present invention:
  • [0022]
    FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of a first embodiment of the camera mount.
  • [0023]
    FIG. 2 is a front elevational view of the camera mount according to FIG. 1.
  • [0024]
    FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of a further embodiment of the camera mount for support on a laptop monitor.
  • [0025]
    FIG. 4 is a side elevational view of a further embodiment of the camera mount for support above a horizontal supporting surface.
  • [0026]
    FIG. 5 is a side elevational view of a telescoping embodiment of the camera mount.
  • [0027]
    FIG. 6 is a schematic view of the camera mount in combination with a desktop computer.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • [0028]
    Referring to the accompanying drawings, there is illustrated a camera mount generally indicated by reference numeral 10. The camera mount is suitable for supporting a web camera 12 of the type typically connected to a computer by suitable cable for recording either video or still images to the computer in a digital format.
  • [0029]
    While various embodiments of the camera are illustrated in the accompanying figures, the common elements will first be described herein. The camera mount 10 includes a platform 14 for supporting the camera thereon. The camera includes a broad flat supporting surface which readily accepts the base of various types of commercially available web cameras 12 to be supported thereon. A support bracket 16 is provided which can be mounted on a suitable supporting surface such as a wall and the like or may be adapted for attachment to a laptop screen in some embodiments. A support arm 18 couples the platform to the support bracket for supporting the camera 12 on the supporting surface to which the bracket is attached. A light mount 20 is provided on the bracket 16 for supporting a light source 22 thereon.
  • [0030]
    Turning now to the embodiment of FIGS. 1 and 2 the platform 14 includes a raised peripheral lip which snugly receives a base 26 of the camera 12 snugly within the perimeter of the lip 24 such that the web camera can be securely snap-fit onto the platform. A microphone mount 28 is positioned on the bracket for supporting a microphone 30 thereon.
  • [0031]
    The support arm 18 is formed with two pivot joints 32 therein which pivot about respective axis oriented perpendicularly to one another. Also, the platform connects to the free end of the support arm 18 with a ball and socket joint so that the platform 14 can be freely positioned in various orientations relative to the support bracket 16. The joints are all friction joints permitting the joints to remain in a set position once manually adjusted while additionally supporting the weight of the camera 12 and microphone 30 in the selected orientation of the support arm 18.
  • [0032]
    The bracket 16 generally comprises a mounting plate 34 having fastener apertures 36 formed therein to permit the use of fasteners for attachment of the mounting plate to a wall or other suitable supporting surface. Receptacles 38 are supported on the mounting plate 34 for selectively supporting lights 22 thereon. A pair of the receptacles 38 are provided at spaced positions on opposing sides of the support arm 18 mounted to the bracket. The mounting plate 34 also supports a pair of switches 40 thereon which can be wired in series with the lights 22 respectively.
  • [0033]
    The lights 22 each include an elongate flexible rod 42 which carries wiring therethrough from a base end received in the receptacles 38 to a free end supporting a light bulb 44 thereon. The rods 42 are flexible and are sufficiently stiff to remain in a selected orientation once manually adjusted. Wiring delivering power to the bulbs 44 is connected through the switches 40 to respective power converters 46 formed in desk top units locating additional switches 48 therein. The elongate cords connecting the power converters 46 to the bracket 16 permits the switches 48 to be positioned remotely from the light sources 22. Adjacent the bulb 44 of each light, a rod 50 is provided which acts as a handle for readily positioning the bulb. A series of lenses 52 are provided which include a snap fit socket which can be secured to the rod 50 to position the lenses to span an opening of the housing locating each bulb 44 therein.
  • [0034]
    The bracket 16 also includes two speaker receptacles 54 formed on the mounting plate which selectively receive respective speaker mounts. The receptacles 54 are located on opposing sides respectively of the arm 18 mounting the camera thereon to permit speakers 56 to be mounted on opposing sides of the camera and light source. Each speaker mount generally comprises an elongate flexible support arm with a bracket at a free end thereof for supporting a respective one of the speakers 56 thereon to permit speaker position to be manually adjusted as desired.
  • [0035]
    Turning now to the embodiment of FIG. 3, the bracket 16 is adapted to include inverted U-shaped clips 60 which can be secured overtop of the top edge of a lap top display monitor 62 in a snap fit engagement therewith. The remaining features of the bracket including the adjustable support arm 18 and light sources 22 remain identical to the previous embodiment.
  • [0036]
    Turning now to FIG. 4 a further embodiment of the bracket 16 is illustrated for support on a horizontal desk top surface 66 and the like. A clamp 68 adjustably clamps over an edge at a periphery of the desk surface 66. A pair of mounting rods 70 extend vertically upward therefrom for slidably supporting the support bracket 16 thereon. The support bracket 16 in this instance includes mounting apertures slidably receiving the rod therethrough. The rod in this instance is notched at spaced positions for cooperation with a spring loaded bearing located in the apertures of the support bracket which receive the rods therethrough. The bearings cooperate with the notches and the rods 70 for selectively supporting the bracket 16 at any one of the spaced notches along the rod similar to many conventional click-stop mounting configurations.
  • [0037]
    As illustrated in FIG. 5, in a further embodiment of the support arm 18, the arm may be provided with telescopic sections 72 to permit the platform 14 to be extended away from the bracket as desired. Preferably the telescopic sections 72 are located between the pivot joints 32 of the arm and the platform to permit telescopic extension in any desired direction as set by the joints 32.
  • [0038]
    As illustrated in FIG. 6 both the camera and the lights supported on the bracket 16 may be coupled to the USB ports of a computer including suitable software thereon for controlling activation of the camera and lights independently of one another by selecting options displayed on the monitor using a mouse. The software control permits the light source to be activated as a camera flash when taking still pictures with the camera, or may cause the lights to remain in a steady on position when using the camera for video. Independently of camera use, the lights can also be controlled for strobe operation or for dimming and the like. In combination with the various lenses that can be snap-fit onto the rod of the light sources 22, various lighting configurations are possible.
  • [0039]
    In the various embodiments described herein, the support arm may be extendable and provided with various joints including knuckle joints or knee joints to permit the camera or a mic to be readily positioned in relation to the mounting bracket supporting the camera thereon. Various platform designs are possible to accommodate different styles of cameras. In some embodiments the support arm 18 may be controlled by actuators to adjust the position thereof remotely or manually as desired. Variation of the platform may also be accomplished to support various designs of mics thereon.
  • [0040]
    The incorporation of speakers are also possible as described above by either providing mounting locations on the support bracket 16 or on the platform 14 in which case the position of the speakers are adjustable with the camera.
  • [0041]
    When using software control, an icon may be provided of the task bar of the computer desktop to permit control of the lights including dimming functions and the like.
  • [0042]
    Installation of a chip would permit the lights to work as a flash for still pictures powered by a computer via USB ports and the like. The platform itself can be designed to form various shapes representative of any desired object of which the appearance is desirable.
  • [0043]
    By providing a camera mount according to the present invention, much of the clutter and mess from cables and the like are removed from the desk surface supporting the computer thereon. Furthermore no sticky tape or other mounting configurations including screw holes and the like are required to be attached to the monitor. The wires operating the camera and light sources can instead run along the wall behind a desk or other supporting surface of the computer. The camera mount also permits a web camera to be supported in instances where flat screens previously did not permit support of the camera at all. The lighting is operable independently of the camera to permit lighting of a workspace surrounding the computer as desired. The light sources preferably operate from twelve volt transformers which consume minimal power while permitting operation through the computer control as desired.
  • [0044]
    In some embodiments the platform 14 may be provided by itself with the support bracket simply for supporting the camera thereon out of the way of the user. It is desirable however to provide a combination of a support for lights and for a web camera to ensure adequate lighting when using the video mode of the web camera. The lights in this instance are supported rearwardly of the camera to eliminate glare on the camera lens. In some embodiments the bracket may be adapted to support a combination of a camera, a microphone, light sources and speakers to permit all wiring of accessories relating to multimedia computer tools to be held out of the way rearwardly of the computer.
  • [0045]
    While various embodiments of the present invention have been described in the foregoing, it is to be understood that other embodiments are possible within the scope of the invention. The invention is to be considered limited solely by the scope of the appended Claims.
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Classifications
U.S. Classification248/226.11, 348/E07.079
International ClassificationF21V21/14, F21V33/00, A47K1/00, H04N7/14, F16M11/04, F16M11/12, F16M13/02, G03B17/56, F16M11/40
Cooperative ClassificationF16M13/022, F16M11/14, F16M11/2021, F16M2200/022, H04N7/142, F16M11/40
European ClassificationF16M11/14, F16M11/20A2, F16M13/02A, F16M11/04, F16M13/02, H04N7/14A2, F16M11/40