US 20050284901 A1
An over the head hands free electronic device holder comprising a flexible headband terminating at one end in an electronic device holding housing. The electronic device holding housing comprises a soft and/or flexible material that holds the electronic device vertically, and is enclosed on the sides and bottom but open at the top to allow the electronic device to be inserted into the holder. The holder is located proximally to the ear of the wearer so that a device receiving signals can transmit the same to the wearer via a speaker. The holder is also located proximally to the wearer's mouth so that an electronic device such as a cellular telephone can be used with the device. The holder may have openings in the side facing the head of the wearer so that sounds from an electronic device are not blocked and so that the wearer's voice is not blocked when speaking into the microphone of a cellular telephone.
1. A portable electronic device holder, comprising a generally U-shaped head band for holding said electronic device to the head of the user, and a holding means for securing a portable electronic device to the said head band attached at one end of said head band.
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10. A portable electronic device holder, comprising a generally U-shaped head band for holding said electronic device to the head of the user, and a holding means for securing a portable electronic device to the said head band attached at one end of said head band, said holding means comprising a basket wherein the top portion of said basket is open to receive said electronic device, said holding means further comprises a semi-rigid material that stretches to accommodate electronic devices of various sizes, said head band is a semi-rigid, flexible material and said holding means further includes two or more holes located proximally to the wearer's head and oriented to coincide with the speaker and microphone of portable cellular telephone.
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The present invention relates in general to hands-free support for electronic devices that either produces sound that is intended to be heard by a person, receives sound generated by a person, or both. More particularly, the present invention relates to a hands-free device for the use of a person desiring to use a portable electronic device, such as a radio, cellular telephone, recording device, or the like without the necessity of holding the device in their hand while using the same or without costly and cumbersome attachments, such as microphones as speakers on cords running from the device held elsewhere on the body.
The use of devices to support and hold telephones and other electronic equipment are well known. Beginning with U.S. Pat. No. 1,951,332 to Barclay in 1934, and followed on by, for example, U.S. Pat. No. 2,360,027 to Werner; U.S. Pat. No. 2,481,387 to Bonecutter; and U.S. Pat. No. 4,048,453 to Seidel, to name a few, inventions have been taught for the hands-free support of a standard corded home or business telephone handset. Cordless and portable phones have also been subject of numerous solutions to free the user's hands, such as U.S. Pat. No. 5,388,155 to Smith, U.S. Pat. No. 5,689,558 to Osgood and Osgood-Graver, U.S. Pat. No. 5,706,345 to Allen, U.S. Pat. No. 5,407,113 to Golliher, U.S. Pat. No. 5,828,749 to Brodskiy, and U.S. Pat. No. 6,130,953 to Wilton and Wagner.
In the busy modern world, the option of carrying personal electronic devices, such as telephones, radios, and musical play-back devices has allowed individuals more freedoms and the ability to communicate, work, and/or be entertained while on the move. The concept of hands-free use of such equipment followed on the heels of the prior are pertaining to hands-free use of cordless telephones. Devices such as those taught by U.S. Pat. No. 6,363,147 B1 to Maxwell, U.S. Pat. No. 6,374,090 to Morales, and U.S. Pat. No. 6,639,985 B1 have tried to solve the same problems of hands-free operation for cellular telephones.
To date, however, most solutions to portability have either required a cellular telephone user to have at least one hand tied up holding their cellular telephone or opt for additional equipment, such as plug-in microphone and speaker assemblies requiring cords that can become entangled or pulled loose from the cellular telephone and most often have poor quality in both the speaker sound production and the microphone sensitivity. Other solutions, such as U.S. Pat No. 6,363,147 B1 to Maxwell, require cumbersome and costly devices to support the phone or other electronic device. Other designs have attempted to solve the problem of carrying and operating electronic equipment such as radios and MP3 playback devices. The majority of those solutions, however, involve the electronic device being carried at the waist or elsewhere and long, cumbersome wires running to some form of headset or earpieces. While worn on the belt or elsewhere on the body, the playback device requires a long speaker cord running to the speakers worn by the user.
The present invention either eliminates the need for such cords completely and provides a better and more secure location for the primary electronic device so that any wires or cords need only run a short distance, can be easily contained, and are not in danger of becoming entangled either in the wearer's clothing, extremities, or in objects surrounding the wearer. It allows the user to listen to music or carry on a conversation on the phone while having his or her hands free to accomplish other tasks, be they household, office, workshop, or any other tasks wherein it is desirous for both hands to be free. It also allows for the safe use of a cellular phone while operating a motor vehicle. Many jurisdictions now require hands-free operation of a cellular telephone while driving; the present invention allows the user to safely have conversations while driving and comply with laws pertaining to the use of cellular phones in vehicles.
The present invention includes a generally inverted U-shaped headband that is made of a thin flexible material that can adjust to the wearer's head, grip the wearer's head firmly but comfortably, and retain the rigidity necessary to be put on and removed numerous times without losing its combination of rigidity and flexibility. At one end of the headband is a holder made of a lightweight, flexible and semi-rigid material that can stretch to accommodate and securely hold a wide range of electronic devices. The holder is open in the top so that the electronic device may be placed in it without fear of the device falling out, and allows it to be carried comfortably in the position that most people spend the majority of their day in; either sitting upright or standing.
It is an object of the present invention to provide a hands-free telephone holder which easily accepts a wide variety of phone styles.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a hands-free electronic device holder for portable electronic equipment which accepts a wide variety of electronic equipment styles and reduces the length and awkwardness of headphone cords.
A further object of the present invention is to provide a hands-free cellular telephone holder that positions the cellular telephone in such a manner that the earpiece speaker is located close to the user's ear, and the mouthpiece microphone is located close to the user's mouth in a position close to or the same as the position in which the cellular telephone is intended to be used.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a hands-free cellular telephone holder in which no additional parts are needed to be attached to the phone in order for the design to work.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a hands-free cellular telephone holder in which openings are provided in the design so as not to block the user from hearing clearly sounds emitted from the ear speaker of the cellular telephone or block the user from speaking clearly into the microphone of the cellular telephone. The holes may also be multiple holes in a mesh structure so as not to block the transmission or reception of sounds by the user without compromising the strength of the holder.
In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the electronic device or cellular telephone holder are constructed of a lightweight material, such as ballistic nylon. The headpiece itself is semi-rigid, allowing it to stay firmly in place on the user's head, while being flexible enough to accommodate all user's head sizes and still firmly but comfortably grip the user's head. The back portion of the invention that retains the cellular telephone proximal to the user's head is also semi-rigid to allow for the secure use and carrying of the cellular telephone or other electronic device.
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The invention has been described in connection with a preferred embodiment thereof, and it should be clear to one skilled in the art that modifications and changes therein may be made by one skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the intention. The details of the present invention as described are illustrative only, and do not limit the scope of the present invention as claimed below.