|Publication number||US20060101674 A1|
|Application number||US 10/991,665|
|Publication date||May 18, 2006|
|Filing date||Nov 18, 2004|
|Priority date||Nov 18, 2004|
|Publication number||10991665, 991665, US 2006/0101674 A1, US 2006/101674 A1, US 20060101674 A1, US 20060101674A1, US 2006101674 A1, US 2006101674A1, US-A1-20060101674, US-A1-2006101674, US2006/0101674A1, US2006/101674A1, US20060101674 A1, US20060101674A1, US2006101674 A1, US2006101674A1|
|Original Assignee||Nike International Ltd.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Referenced by (11), Classifications (8), Legal Events (1)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This invention relates generally to an article of footwear, and, in particular, to an article of footwear with powered elements such as light elements and a power source shaped to conform to a portion of the article of footwear.
Articles of footwear have been known to include devices that require a power source in order to run. Examples of such devices include light elements, e.g., lights such as LED's, optical fibers, and electro-luminescent (EL) materials. Such electrically powered elements can provide functional advantages and aesthetic appeal, as well as enhanced visibility and, therefore, safety for the user. Known power sources for such devices are typically batteries, which are bulky and typically have simple cylindrical or rectangular cubic shapes. Batteries with such bulky sizes and shapes do not mate with or conform well within the complex geometry of articles of footwear. Placing batteries on the exterior of a shoe creates problems of bulk and interference with the opposing shoe as well as external objects.
It would be desirable to provide an article of footwear with a light element on an upper where the illumination of the light element on a portion of the upper is provided by the actual thread of a woven fabric. It would also be desirable to provide a power source for powered elements that is shaped to conform to a portion of the article of footwear and which reduces or overcomes some or all of the difficulties inherent in prior known devices. Particular objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art, that is, those who are knowledgeable or experienced in this field of technology, in view of the following disclosure of the invention and detailed description of certain preferred embodiments.
The principles of the invention may be used to advantage to provide an article of footwear with one or more powered elements such as light elements, and a power source shaped to conform to a portion of the article of footwear. In accordance with a first aspect, an article of footwear includes an upper, a sole assembly secured to the upper, and a woven fabric of light elements that forms a portion of the upper.
In accordance with another aspect, an article of footwear includes an upper, a sole assembly secured to the upper, and a light fiber forming a stitching line on a portion of the upper.
In accordance with a further aspect, an article of footwear includes an upper, a sole assembly secured to the upper, a powered element on one of the upper and sole assembly, and a power source operably connected to the powered element, with the power source received in one of the upper and the sole assembly and having a shape that conforms substantially to a portion of one of the upper and the sole assembly.
Substantial advantage is achieved by providing an article of footwear with light elements and/or powered elements and a power source shaped to conform to a portion of the article of footwear. In particular, enhanced aesthetic appeal can be provided, safety for the user can be improved, and such a power source can reduce the bulk typically associated with batteries used in footwear for powered elements.
These and additional features and advantages of the invention disclosed here will be further understood from the following detailed disclosure of certain preferred embodiments.
The figures referred to above are not drawn necessarily to scale and should be understood to provide a representation of the invention, illustrative of the principles involved. Some features of the article of footwear with light elements and powered elements and a power source depicted in the drawings have been enlarged or distorted relative to others to facilitate explanation and understanding. The same reference numbers are used in the drawings for similar or identical components and features shown in various alternative embodiments. Articles of footwear with light elements and powered elements and a power source as disclosed herein would have configurations and components determined, in part, by the intended application and environment in which they are used.
The present invention may be embodied in various forms. A preferred embodiment of an article of footwear 10 in accordance the present invention is shown in
For purposes of general reference, footwear 10 may be divided into three general portions: a forefoot portion 16, a midfoot portion 18, and a heel portion 20. Portions 16, 18, and 20 are not intended to demarcate precise areas of footwear 10. Rather, portions 16, 18, and 20 are intended to represent general areas of footwear 10 that provide a frame of reference during the following discussion.
Sole assembly 12 includes a midsole 22 to which upper 14 is secured, and an outsole 24, which may include a tread pattern (not shown) for added traction. An insole (not shown) may be positioned within upper 14 above midsole 22.
Footwear 10 includes one or more powered elements 25. Each powered element 25 is positioned on or in one of upper 14 or sole assembly 12. In certain embodiments, a powered element 25 may be a light element, such as a light fiber presented as a stitching line 27. As illustrated here, stitching line 27 is an alphanumeric character on upper 14. The stitches of stitching line 27 may be formed of, for example, light conducting or light emitting fibers such as optical fibers or electroluminescent material. In certain preferred embodiments, side light fibers may be used, which emit light along at least a portion of their length. In such an embodiment, the illumination provided on the upper is provided by the actual thread forming stitching line 27.
Each powered element 25 is powered by a power source 26. Stitching line 27 is operably connected to power source 26 by a cable 28. Power source 26 may be a battery in certain preferred embodiments. Power source 26 is molded or otherwise formed to have a desired shape. Power source 26 is advantageously shaped to substantially conform to one or more surfaces of a portion of footwear 10. This helps to reduce the bulk typically associated with a battery, and allows power source 26 to be placed in a portion of footwear 10 without increasing the profile of footwear 10. Thus, in many embodiments power source 26 will have one or more curved surfaces and such curved surfaces may be compound curved surfaces.
In the illustrated embodiment, power source 26 is positioned within padding 30 positioned about an ankle opening 32 of footwear 10. In such an embodiment, power source 26 is substantially cylindrical, and, more preferably, a curved cylindrical member.
In certain preferred embodiments, as illustrated in
Another example of a powered element 25 is a pedometer 38, which is secured to upper 14 and has a display 40 to indicate to the user the number of miles that they have walked or run. Pedometer 38 is connected to power source 26 by cable 42. Other suitable powered elements 25 that can be powered by power source 26 will become readily apparent to those skilled in the art, given the benefit of this disclosure.
In certain preferred embodiments, as seen in
Additional embodiments of powered elements 25 are illustrated in
Another preferred embodiment is illustrated in
The sequencing of the illumination of the light elements 52 of the moving image is managed by a controller 54, which is positioned between power source 26 and light elements 52, and connected to each by a cable 56. Controller 54 may be a microprocessor, or “chip”, or any other suitable control mechanism suitable for controlling the operation of a light element. Suitable controllers will become readily apparent to those skilled in the art, given the benefit of this disclosure.
In certain preferred embodiments, powered elements 25 taking the form of light elements are provided with multiple colors. An individual powered element 25 may be a single color with other powered elements 25 having different colors, or an individual powered element 25 may comprise multiple colors. In certain embodiments, powered elements 25 may flash on and off intermittently, providing greater visibility for the user aesthetic appeal.
In certain preferred embodiments, power source 26 is a flexible thin layer electrochemical cell. Suitable flexible thin layer electrochemical cells can be supplied by Power Paper of Petah Tikva, Israel. In other embodiments, power source 26 may be a molded lithium-ion battery, which can be configured to conform to a surface of a portion of footwear 10. Suitable lithium-ion batteries can be supplied by Stone Battery Industries Corp. of Taipei, Taiwan.
In light of the foregoing disclosure of the invention and description of the preferred embodiments, those skilled in this area of technology will readily understand that various modifications and adaptations can be made without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention. All such modifications and adaptations are intended to be covered by the following claims.
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US7789520 *||Sep 7, 2007||Sep 7, 2010||Kristian Konig||Electroluminescent communication system between articles of apparel and the like|
|US7794101||Nov 12, 2008||Sep 14, 2010||Matthias Joseph Galica||Microprocessor enabled article of illuminated footwear with wireless charging|
|US7866066||Sep 7, 2007||Jan 11, 2011||Forbes Brandon F||Footwear device with scrolling light emitting diode display|
|US8056269||Nov 15, 2011||Nike, Inc.||Article of footwear with lighting system|
|US8058837||Feb 11, 2009||Nov 15, 2011||Nike, Inc.||Charging system for an article of footwear|
|US8356430||Feb 11, 2010||Jan 22, 2013||Nike, Inc.||Article of footwear incorporating an illuminable fluid-filled chamber|
|US8528235||Sep 23, 2011||Sep 10, 2013||Nike, Inc.||Article of footwear with lighting system|
|US8544197||Feb 11, 2010||Oct 1, 2013||Nike, Inc.||Article of footwear incorporating an illuminable panel|
|US8684121 *||Nov 14, 2011||Apr 1, 2014||Acton, Inc.||Wearable mobility device|
|US20120285756 *||Nov 15, 2012||Peter Treadway||Wearable mobility device|
|WO2009145863A1 *||Apr 24, 2009||Dec 3, 2009||Brandon Forbes||Footwear device with scrolling light emitting diode display|
|Cooperative Classification||A43B3/001, A43B1/0027, A43B3/0005|
|European Classification||A43B3/00E10, A43B1/00C, A43B3/00E|
|Jul 1, 2005||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: NIKE, INC., OREGON
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:UNGARI, JOSEPH L.;REEL/FRAME:016211/0361
Effective date: 20041110