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Publication numberUS20070113594 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/477,790
Publication dateMay 24, 2007
Filing dateJun 30, 2006
Priority dateJun 30, 2005
Also published asDE102006029918A1, DE102006029918B4
Publication number11477790, 477790, US 2007/0113594 A1, US 2007/113594 A1, US 20070113594 A1, US 20070113594A1, US 2007113594 A1, US 2007113594A1, US-A1-20070113594, US-A1-2007113594, US2007/0113594A1, US2007/113594A1, US20070113594 A1, US20070113594A1, US2007113594 A1, US2007113594A1
InventorsByung Ahn, Hung Cho
Original AssigneeLg Electronics Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Laundry machine with screen displaying image data therein
US 20070113594 A1
Abstract
A laundry machine is disclosed. The laundry machine includes an image display for displaying various images. In more detail, the laundry machine includes a main body and the image display installed in the main body to display the image data on a screen. The image display may be a liquid crystal display, a plasma display panel, or the like.
Images(56)
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Claims(24)
1. A laundry machine comprising:
a main body; and
an image displaying device provided in the main body for displaying moving images on a screen.
2. The laundry machine according to claim 1, further comprising a data receiver for receiving the image data of the moving images from an exterior and providing the received data to the image displaying device.
3. The laundry machine according to claim 1, further comprising a data storage for storing the image data.
4. The laundry machine according to claim 1, wherein further comprising a disc player for reproducing image data recorded in a disc and providing the reproduced image data to the image displaying device, the disc player provided in the main body.
5. The laundry machine according to claim 1, wherein the image displaying device is connected to a folding unit rotatably provided in the main body so that the image displaying device can be folded.
6. The laundry machine according to claim 5, wherein the main body comprises a concave accommodator in which the image displaying device is folded and accommodated.
7. The laundry machine according to claim 6, further comprising a lid for covering the accommodator.
8. The laundry machine according to claim 7, wherein the lid is pivotally installed to the main body.
9. The laundry machine according to claim 5, further comprising a folding driving unit for electrically driving the folding unit to rotate.
10. The laundry machine according to claim 5, further comprising a rotation unit connected between the image displaying device and the folding unit, wherein the rotation unit rotatable in the direction perpendicular to the rotational direction of the folding unit.
11. The laundry machine according to claim 5, further comprising a spacer provided in the main body to space the image displaying device and the main body apart from each other when the image displaying device is folded to the main body.
12. The laundry machine according to claim 11, wherein the spacer comprises a protrusion made of a buffering material.
13. The laundry machine according to claim 11, wherein the spacer comprises a ring made of a buffering material.
14. The laundry machine according to claim 2, wherein the data receiver comprises a tuner for wirelessly receiving image data.
15. The laundry machine according to claim 2, wherein the data receiver comprises a data input terminal for receiving data through a cable.
16. The laundry machine according to claim 1, wherein the image displaying device receives operation data of the laundry machine from the controller of the laundry machine and selectively displays the image data and the operation data on the screen.
17. The laundry machine according to claim 1, wherein the main body comprises an accommodator for providing an accommodating space; and
the image displaying device is slid to be accommodated in the accommodator.
18. The laundry machine according to claim 17, wherein the accommodator comprises supporting recesses respectively formed in side walls of the accommodator, and the image displaying device is connected to a moving unit sliding within the supporting recesses.
19. The laundry machine according to claim 18, further comprising a slider connected to the moving unit to electrically slide the moving unit.
20. The laundry machine according to claims 18 or 19, wherein the moving unit is rotatable within the supporting recesses so that the image displaying device is foldable.
21. The laundry machine according to claim 20, further comprising a folding driving unit connected to the moving unit to electrically rotate the moving unit.
22. The laundry machine according to claim 20, further comprising a rotation unit connected between the image displaying device and the moving unit, wherein the rotation unit rotatable in the direction perpendicular to the rotational direction of the moving unit.
23. The laundry machine according to claim 1, further comprising a sound outputting unit provided in the main body to output audio data.
24. The laundry machine according to claim 3, wherein the data storage stores an operating manual of the laundry machine in the form of image data.
Description
    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • [0001]
    This application claims the benefit of Korean Patent Application Nos. 10-2005-0057844, 10-2005-0057845, 10-2005-0057846, 10-2005-0057847, 10-2005-0057848, and 10-2005-0057820, filed on Jun. 30, 2005 and expressly incorporated herein by reference in their entireties.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    1. Field of the Invention
  • [0003]
    The present invention relates to a laundry machine, and more particularly, to a laundry machine having an image display device for displaying various images.
  • [0004]
    2. Discussion of the Related Art
  • [0005]
    Generally, laundry machines are grouped into a clothes washing machine for washing clothes and a dryer for drying wet laundry with hot air. The clothes washing machines are grouped into a pulsator type clothes washing machine in which a drum is vertically erected and a drum type clothes washing machine in which a drum lays down horizontally.
  • [0006]
    Here, since the drum of the drum type clothes washing machine lays down horizontally as described above, laundry put into the drum is repeatedly raised and dropped to be washed.
  • [0007]
    FIGS. 1 and 2 schematically illustrate a conventional drum type clothes washing machine as described above.
  • [0008]
    In more detail, the conventional drum type clothes washing machine includes a main body 10, an outer tub 20 installed in the main body 10, a drum 30 installed to rotate in the outer tub 20, a driving device for driving the drum 30, and a control panel 50 for manipulation.
  • [0009]
    Here, in a front side of the main body 10, an opening 11 through which laundry is put, and a door 40 is installed at the surrounding of the opening 11 to open and close the opening.
  • [0010]
    The outer tub 20 is provided with a damper 21 installed at the lower sides of the outer circumference of the outer tub 20 and is supported in the main body 10.
  • [0011]
    In this case, the drum 30 is installed to rotate in the outer tub 20 and has a plurality of through-holes 31 formed in the circumference thereof through which washing water is introduced and discharged.
  • [0012]
    The driving device includes a driving motor 71 for driving the drum 30 and a belt 72 for transmitting a driving force of the driving motor 71 to the drum 30.
  • [0013]
    As shown in FIG. 2, the control panel 50 displays operation controls and present operation state of various components.
  • [0014]
    The control panel 50 includes a washing manipulation unit 51 and a displaying window 52 for displaying the operation state.
  • [0015]
    In this case, the washing manipulation unit 51 includes a plurality of manipulation buttons 51 a and a manipulation dial 51 b.
  • [0016]
    Moreover, the displaying window 52 is made of liquid crystal display or a plurality of light emitting diodes.
  • [0017]
    In the conventional drum type clothes washing machine as described above, laundry and a predetermined quantity of detergent are put into the drum 30, and a washing cycle, a rinsing cycle, and dehydrating cycle are automatically carried out according to control signals of a controller (not shown) for a predetermined time period to wash the laundry.
  • [0018]
    However, the displaying window 52 of the control panel 50 of the conventional drum type clothes washing machine displays only simple numbers or characters such as time and error messages due to the restriction of the size of the control panel 50.
  • [0019]
    Due to this, through the conventional drum type clothes washing machine, various images (for example, TV, DVD, or the like) cannot be displayed.
  • [0020]
    Particularly, although recent home appliances provide various kinds of information to a user, since, in the conventional drum type clothes washing machine, the displaying window 52 has an extremely small area through which images are displayed, the displaying window cannot be used to provide various information and as a multimedia device.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0021]
    Accordingly, present invention is directed to an improved laundry machine that substantially obviates one or more problems due to limitations and disadvantages of the related art.
  • [0022]
    An object of the present invention is to provide an improved laundry machine having a displaying device which can displays various moving images such as TV program, a movie, or the like.
  • [0023]
    Another object of the present invention is to provide an improved laundry machine in which a separate displaying device for displaying various images is prevented from damage due to being exposed to the exterior of the laundry machine.
  • [0024]
    Additional advantages, objects, and features of the invention will be set forth in part in the description which follows and in part will become apparent to those having ordinary skill in the art upon examination of the following or may be learned from practice of the invention. The objectives and other advantages of the invention may be realized and attained by the structure particularly pointed out in the written description and claims hereof as well as the appended drawings.
  • [0025]
    To achieve these objects and other advantages and in accordance with the purpose of the invention, as embodied and broadly described herein, a laundry machine includes a main body and an image displaying device provided in the main body to display image data on a screen. The image displaying device includes a liquid crystal display or a plasma display panel.
  • [0026]
    Here, the laundry machine may further include a data receiver for receiving the image data from the exterior and providing the received image data to the image displaying device.
  • [0027]
    Preferably, the laundry machine further includes a data storage for storing the image data received from the data receiver.
  • [0028]
    The laundry machine preferably further include a disc player provided in the main body to reproduce image data recorded in a disc such as a compact disc, a digital versatile disc, or the like and to provide the reproduced image data to the image displaying device.
  • [0029]
    The image displaying device can display images such as TV programs, or various laundry-related image data provided by the manufacturer of the laundry machine.
  • [0030]
    Recently, as more various and outstanding functions of the laundry machine are developed, the operating method of operating the functions is more complicated. Although a user's written manual is provided together the laundry machine by a manufacturer, since the user's written manual is inconvenient to use, the user hardly uses the same. Due to this reason, the user cannot operate the laundry machine well even though the laundry machine is improved so that the user cannot utilize the functions of the laundry machine.
  • [0031]
    The user's written manual of the laundry machine is inconvenient to read and is not large enough to contain necessary information.
  • [0032]
    If the user's manual is not provided in the form of a book but of image data, the above-mentioned problem will be solved. The user can read the user's manual in front of the laundry machine through the image displaying device immediately.
  • [0033]
    If the manufacturer of the laundry machine provides the user's manual, regularly upgraded in a compact disc or a digital versatile disc, or the like, the updated information can be provided to the user periodically.
  • [0034]
    Preferably, the image displaying device may be folded in the main body. To this end, the image displaying device is connected to a folding device installed in the main body. The image displaying device is folded toward the main body by the folding device. For example, the folding device includes a hinge structure.
  • [0035]
    Here, the main body has a concave accommodator in which the image displaying device is folded and accommodated. Preferably, the depth of the concave accommodator is greater than the thickness of the image displaying device. Thus, when the image displaying device is folded and accommodated into the accommodator, the image displaying device is not exposed from the main body.
  • [0036]
    Preferably, the laundry machine further includes a spacer provided in the image displaying device or in the main body to space the image displaying device and the main body apart from each other when the image displaying device is folded to the main body. The spacer prevents the image displaying device from contacting the surface of the main body. Particularly, a screen of the image displaying device is weak so that it may malfunction when being pressed, and the spacer prevents this phenomenon.
  • [0037]
    Preferably, the spacer is made of buffering material such as a rubber in the form of a protrusion. The spacer may be in the form of a ring.
  • [0038]
    Preferably, the data receiver may include a tuner for receiving data via wireless line. The data receiver may include an antenna or an antenna terminal to be connected to an outdoor antenna installed outdoor.
  • [0039]
    Moreover, the data receiver may include a data input terminal through which data are inputted through a cable. The image data such as cable TV programs may be inputted through the data input terminal.
  • [0040]
    Meanwhile, the image displaying device receives data for operation of the laundry machine from the controller of the laundry machine to display the same. Thus, the image data and the operation data are selectively displayed on the screen. Here, the operation data contains data related to the operation of the laundry machine, for example, data for washing time or drying time, information data relating to washing and drying of laundry, data for washing conditions or drying conditions of laundry, or the like.
  • [0041]
    The image displaying device is connected to a rotation unit rotating in the direction perpendicular to the rotating direction of the folding unit. The rotation unit adjusts an angle of the image displaying device so that a user can watch the screen of the image displaying device from any direction.
  • [0042]
    The image displaying device may be slid into the main body to be accommodated instead of the folding method. To this end, the main body includes an accommodator for providing a predetermined accommodating space and the image displaying device is slid in and out of the accommodator to be inserted and withdrawn into and from the accommodator.
  • [0043]
    Here, for the sliding of the image displaying device, the accommodator includes supporting recesses respectively formed in both walls of the accommodator, and the image displaying device is preferably connected to a moving unit sliding within the supporting recesses.
  • [0044]
    More preferably, the moving unit is rotated within the supporting recesses. Thus, the image displaying device is folded and unfolded. The image displaying device is completely withdrawn out and unfolded, and after the use, the image displaying device is folded to slide and to be accommodated in the accommodator.
  • [0045]
    More preferably, the image displaying device is connected to the rotation unit to adjust an angle of the screen.
  • [0046]
    Meanwhile, a sound outputting unit may be further provided in the main body to output sound with the display of the image data. The sound outputting unit may be a speaker.
  • [0047]
    As described above, the laundry machine of the present invention includes the image displaying device enabling a user to watch various contents and the sound outputting unit so that the user can conveniently utilize the laundry machine in various ways.
  • [0048]
    In other words, during the washing of laundry, the user can watch TV or various images or listen to radio.
  • [0049]
    Particularly, in the laundry machine of the present invention, the image displaying device is folded, the accommodator is formed in a side of the main body, the image displaying device is accommodated in the accommodator so that the image displaying device is prevented from damage as much as possible when the image displaying device is protruded from the laundry machine.
  • [0050]
    Particularly, in the laundry machine of the present invention, a spacer is further provided on facing sides of the image displaying device and the main body to prevent the screen from damage when the external shock is applied to the image displaying device.
  • [0051]
    It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description of the present invention are exemplary and explanatory and are intended to provide further explanation of the invention as claimed.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0052]
    The accompanying drawings, which are included to provide a further understanding of the invention and are incorporated in and constitute a part of this application, illustrate embodiment(s) of the invention and together with the description serve to explain the principle of the invention. In the drawings:
  • [0053]
    FIG. 1 is a side view illustrating an internal configuration of a conventional drum type clothes washing machine;
  • [0054]
    FIG. 2 is a perspective view illustrating an external appearance of the conventional drum type clothes washing machine;
  • [0055]
    FIG. 3 is a side view illustrating an internal configuration of a laundry machine according to a first preferred embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0056]
    FIGS. 4 and 5 are perspective views illustrating the withdrawal of an image displaying device, of the laundry machine according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention, so as to be used;
  • [0057]
    FIGS. 6 and 7 are perspective views illustrating another installation of the image displaying device of the laundry machine according to the first preferred embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0058]
    FIG. 8 is a perspective view illustrating another laundry machine according to the first preferred embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0059]
    FIG. 9 is a perspective view illustrating still another laundry machine according to the first preferred embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0060]
    FIGS. 10 to 16 illustrate a laundry machine according to a second preferred embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0061]
    FIGS. 17 to 24 illustrate a laundry machine according to a third preferred embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0062]
    FIGS. 25 to 31 illustrate a laundry machine according to a fourth preferred embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0063]
    FIGS. 32 to 40 illustrate a laundry machine according to a fifth preferred embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0064]
    FIGS. 41 to 47 illustrate a laundry machine according to a sixth preferred embodiment of the present invention; and
  • [0065]
    FIGS. 48 to 55 illustrate a laundry machine according to a seventh preferred embodiment of the present invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • [0066]
    Reference will now be made in detail to the preferred embodiments of a laundry machine, examples of which are illustrated in FIGS. 3 to 55.
  • [0067]
    FIGS. 3 to 9 illustrate a laundry machine according to a first preferred embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0068]
    In more detail, the laundry machine according to the first preferred embodiment of the present invention includes a main body 100, an outer tub 200, a drum 300, a control panel 400, a data receiver 500, an image displaying device 600, a data transmitter 700, and a controller 800. The laundry machine is a drum type clothes washing machine.
  • [0069]
    Here, the main body 100 forms an external appearance of the washing machine and has an opening 110 formed in the front side thereof, and the outer tub 200 is supported in the main body 100.
  • [0070]
    A door 120 is installed to a portion of the main body 100 where the opening 100 is formed to open and close the opening 100.
  • [0071]
    The drum 300 is installed in the outer tub 200 to rotate and an opened side of the drum 300 is faced to the opening 110.
  • [0072]
    The control panel 400 is provided at the front upper side of the main body 100 and displays the operation controls and the present operating state of various components of the washing machine.
  • [0073]
    The various components include a driving motor 310 for driving the drum 300 and various kinds of valves (not shown) such as a water-supplying valve, an exhaust valve, or the like.
  • [0074]
    The control panel 400 includes a washing manipulation unit 410 for operating the washing process and a display window 420 for displaying the operating state of the washing machine.
  • [0075]
    The washing manipulation unit 410 includes a plurality of manipulation buttons 411 and a manipulation dial 412.
  • [0076]
    Moreover, the display window 420 includes a liquid crystal display or a plurality of light emitting diodes for displaying numbers, characters, or simple images.
  • [0077]
    The data receiver 500 is provided in the main body 100 and receives various content data.
  • [0078]
    The data receiver 500 preferably includes a tuner for receiving contents data such as TV programs, digital multimedia broadcasting program, radio broadcasting programs, or the like. The data receiver 500 preferably further includes a converter (not shown) for converting an analog signal into a digital signal.
  • [0079]
    Moreover, the data receiver 500 may receive another contents data from the exterior via various data cables (for example, RS-232C cable). To this end, although not shown in the drawings, the data receiver 500 may include connection terminals to which the cables are connected.
  • [0080]
    Moreover, although not shown in the drawings, the main body may include a disc player for reproducing various portable discs such as a digital versatile disc (DVD).
  • [0081]
    The contents data includes various image data and various audio data.
  • [0082]
    Moreover, the data receiver 500 preferably further includes a memory (not shown) capable of storing the contents data.
  • [0083]
    The above-mentioned data receiver 500, although not shown in the drawings, may be provided in the control panel 400 or in the image displaying device 600.
  • [0084]
    The image displaying device 600 includes a case 610 for forming an external appearance of the image displaying device and a screen 620 provided at a side of the case 610 to display images of the various types of the contents data.
  • [0085]
    The screen 620 is a liquid crystal display or a plasma display panel.
  • [0086]
    The image displaying device 600 is coupled to the main body 100 to be pivoted and folded to the surface of the main body 100 by the main body 100 and a hinge shaft 601.
  • [0087]
    This is to prevent the image displaying device 600 from damage during the transportation of the washing machine and to minimize an undesired packaging space by folding the image displaying device 600 when the image displaying device 600 is not used.
  • [0088]
    Particularly, according to the first preferred embodiment of the present invention, the main body 100 has a concave accommodator 130 with a predetermined size formed in the upper front side of the main body 100, and the image displaying device 600 is hinged to be accommodated in the accommodator 130.
  • [0089]
    In other words, the image displaying device 600 is folded into the main body 100 so that the image displaying device 600 is rotated and erected to be exposed to the exterior of the accommodator 130 when using the image displaying device 600 and is rotated and folded back to be accommodated in the accommodator 130.
  • [0090]
    This is to provide the maximum protection of the image displaying device from damage due to the exposure to the exterior of the main body 100.
  • [0091]
    Particularly, in order to protect the screen 620 of the image displaying device 600, when the image displaying device 600 is folded (when the image displaying device is accommodated in the accommodator), the screen 620 is preferably positioned on the bottom of the accommodator 130. To this end, a hinged portion of the image displaying device 600 is positioned on a surface facing the inner surface of the accommodator 130.
  • [0092]
    Thus, when the image displaying device 600 rotates forward, the image displaying device 600 is folded and accommodated in the accommodator 130, and when the image displaying device 600 rotates backward, the image displaying device 600 is unfolded and exposed to the exterior of the accommodator 130.
  • [0093]
    Naturally, as shown in FIGS. 6 and 7, the image displaying device 600 may be structured such that the screen 620 is positioned on a surface opposite to a surface facing the inner surface of the accommodator 130 of the main body 100 when the image displaying device 600 is folded.
  • [0094]
    In this case, the hinged portion of the image displaying device 600 is preferably positioned at the front side of the accommodator 130.
  • [0095]
    In this case, the screen 620 of the image displaying device 600 may perform the function of the display window 420 of the control panel 400.
  • [0096]
    The data transmitter 700 transmits the contents data of the data receiver 500 to the image displaying device 600.
  • [0097]
    In this case, the data transmitter 700 transmits the contents data such as various images or audio data and may be preferably a flexible cable capable of being smoothly folded or unfolded when the image displaying device 600 rotates.
  • [0098]
    Particularly, the data transmitter 700, although not depicted in the drawings, preferably penetrates the hinged portions of the accommodator 130 and the image displaying device 600 and is electrically connected to the image displaying device 600. In other words, it is preferred that the data transmitter 700 is not exposed to the exterior.
  • [0099]
    Further, the controller 800 is provided in the main body 100, and optionally controls the control panel 400, the image displaying device 600, and the data receiver 500.
  • [0100]
    Meanwhile, the laundry machine according to the first preferred embodiment of the present invention further includes a media manipulation unit 910 for manipulating the image displaying device 600.
  • [0101]
    In this case, the media manipulation unit 910, as shown in the accompanying drawings, is preferably provided in the control panel 400, however, may be provided on the case 610 of the image displaying device 600 or the outer surface of the main body 100.
  • [0102]
    The media manipulation unit 910 may include a plurality of manipulation buttons or manipulation knobs.
  • [0103]
    Moreover, at least one surface of the main body 100, a sound outputting unit 920 for outputting audio data of the contents data received by the data receiver 500 is further provided. The sound outputting unit 920 may be a conventional speaker.
  • [0104]
    Naturally, the sound outputting unit 920 may be provided on the control panel 400 or on a side of the main body 100.
  • [0105]
    Hereinafter, the provision of the contents data by the image displaying device 600 and the sound outputting unit 920 among the operating process of the laundry machine according to the first preferred embodiment of the present invention will be described in detail as follows.
  • [0106]
    Firstly, an initial state is shown in FIG. 4.
  • [0107]
    In more detail, the image displaying device 600 is accommodated in the accommodator 130 of the main body 100 and is folded.
  • [0108]
    In this state, if a user desires to watch a specific image, the user withdraws the image displaying device 600 from the accommodator 130 of the main body 100.
  • [0109]
    At this time, the image displaying device 600 rotates upwardly about the hinge shaft 601, and due to this, as shown in FIG. 5, the screen 620 of the image displaying device 600 is erected to be exposed to the exterior.
  • [0110]
    After this, when the user manipulates the media manipulation unit 910, electric power is supplied to the image displaying device 600 by the control of the controller 800 so that the screen 620 of the image displaying device 600 is turned on.
  • [0111]
    At this time, the data receiver 500 receives the contents data from the user or a broadcasting signal from the tuner, and provides the received contents data to the image displaying device 600 and the sound outputting unit 920 through the data transmitter 700.
  • [0112]
    The contents data may be received from the user through RS-232C communication or a local wireless data communication such as Bluetooth technology. The contents data may be stored in the memory (not shown) of the data receiver 500 in advance.
  • [0113]
    By the above-mentioned process, the image data of the contents data is outputted from the image displaying device 600 and is displayed on the screen 620, and the sound outputting unit 920 outputs the audio data of the contents data.
  • [0114]
    The accommodation of the image displaying device 600 is carried out reversely to the process of the manipulation carried out to use the image displaying device 600.
  • [0115]
    In other words, when the user rotates the image displaying device 600 forward at a state of stopping the output of the contents data by the manipulation of the media manipulation unit 910, the image displaying device 600 rotates downwardly about the hinge shaft 601 and is accommodated in the accommodator 130 of the main body 100. Naturally, when the image displaying device 600 is rotated forwardly, the output of the contents data may be automatically stopped.
  • [0116]
    Meanwhile, as shown in FIG. 8, the image displaying device 600 may be provided at a side of the main body 100, or at the front upper end of the main body 100 as shown in FIG. 9.
  • [0117]
    Moreover, the screen 620 of the image displaying device 600 may be a touch panel to serve as the display window 420 or the washing manipulation unit 410 of the control panel 400.
  • [0118]
    By doing so, the image displaying device 600 may receive the image data of the various contents data and various information related to the washing operation and may display the same.
  • [0119]
    In this case, preferably, a signal received by the image displaying device 600 is directly provided to the controller 800.
  • [0120]
    FIGS. 10 to 16 illustrate a washing machine according to a second preferred embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0121]
    The washing machine according to the second preferred embodiment of the present invention, as shown in FIG. 10, includes a main body 100, an outer tub 200, a drum 300, a control panel 400, a data receiver 500, an image displaying device 600, a folding unit 630, a rotation unit 640, a data transmitter 700, and a controller 800.
  • [0122]
    The description for the similar components of the washing machine according to this preferred embodiment of the present invention as those of the washing machine according to the previous preferred embodiment of the present invention will be omitted.
  • [0123]
    The folding unit 630 operates the image displaying device 600 to be selectively folded to or separated from the upper surface of the main body 100.
  • [0124]
    The folding unit 630 folds the image displaying device 600 when the image displaying device 600 is not used to prevent the image displaying device 600 from damage during the transportation of the washing machine and to minimize a space for packaging the washing machine.
  • [0125]
    Moreover, according to the second preferred embodiment of the present invention, the main body 100 has a concave accommodator 130 with a predetermined size formed in the upper front side of the main body 100, and both ends of the image displaying device 600 are pivoted in the accommodator 130 such that the image displaying device 600 is selectively accommodated in the accommodator 130. The folding unit 630 has a connector shaft coupled with the image displaying device 600.
  • [0126]
    In this case, the depth of the accommodator 130 is sufficient to completely accommodate the image displaying device 600, and the folding unit 630 serves as a conventional hinge in the accommodator 130.
  • [0127]
    In other words, the image displaying device 600 is accommodated in the accommodator 630 so that the image displaying device 600 can be prevented from damage that could be generated when the image displaying device 600 protrudes to the exterior of the main body 100.
  • [0128]
    Particularly, the folding unit 630 is preferably coupled with the front side of the inside of the accommodator 130. This is to make the screen 620 be positioned at the front side of the main body 100 so as to minimize the viewing distance when the image displaying device 600 is withdrawn and exposed to the exterior.
  • [0129]
    The rotation unit 640 includes an end coupled with the connector shaft 633 of the folding unit 630 and an opposite end coupled with the lower side of the case 610 of the image displaying device 600. The rotation unit 640 rotates the image displaying device 600 in the direction perpendicular to the rotation direction of the folding unit 630.
  • [0130]
    At least one of the ends of the rotation unit 640 rotates in the direction perpendicular to the rotation direction of the folding unit 630.
  • [0131]
    The rotation unit 640 rotates the image displaying device 600 as desired to satisfy the demand of the user desiring a variety of viewing angles.
  • [0132]
    Due to the rotation unit 640, when to custody the image displaying device 600 (when the image displaying device is accommodated in the accommodator), the screen 620 of the image displaying device 600 may be exposed to the exterior or hidden.
  • [0133]
    The reason for exposing the screen 620 of the image displaying device 600 is to provide various information, which cannot be displayed on the display window 420 of the control panel 400, to the image displaying device 600. The reason for hiding the screen 620 of the image displaying device 600 is to prevent the screen 620 from damage caused by the external shock when the washing machine is not used.
  • [0134]
    Like the first preferred embodiment of the present invention, as shown in FIGS. 15 and 16, the image displaying device 600 may be provided at a side of the main body 100, or at the front upper end of the main body 100.
  • [0135]
    FIGS. 17 to 24 illustrate a washing machine according to a third preferred embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0136]
    The washing machine according to the third preferred embodiment of the present invention, as shown in FIG. 17, includes a main body 100, an accommodator 140, an outer tub 200, a drum 300, a control panel 400, a data receiver 500, an image displaying device 600, a data transmitter 700, and a controller 800.
  • [0137]
    The description for the similar components of the washing machine according to this preferred embodiment of the present invention as those of the washing machine according to the previous preferred embodiment of the present invention will be omitted.
  • [0138]
    The image displaying device 600 penetrates a side of the main body 100 to be selectively accommodated in or withdrawn from the accommodator 140 and receives image data of various contents data to display the same.
  • [0139]
    The image displaying device 600 includes a case 610 for forming an external appearance and a screen 620 provided at a side of the case 610 to display the image. The case 610 is connected to a moving unit 650.
  • [0140]
    The moving unit 650 is a component for selectively withdrawing the image displaying device 600 out of the accommodator 140, and includes a connector shaft 633 integrally formed therewith to be connected to the case 610 and both ends being moved along the inner walls of the accommodator 140 of the main body 100.
  • [0141]
    In this case, the accommodator 140 has supporting recesses 141 formed in the both inner walls thereof to support the movement of the moving unit 650.
  • [0142]
    The configuration of supporting the movement of the moving unit 650 is not only using the supporting recesses 141, but may use rails on which the moving unit 650 rolls.
  • [0143]
    Moreover, the moving unit 650 is preferably coupled into the supporting recesses 141 of the accommodator 140 to rotate in the direction perpendicular to the moving direction thereof.
  • [0144]
    This is enabled by forming both side ends of the moving unit 650 in a circular shape such as a hinge shaft and by forming a cut-off groove in the upper side of the entrance of the accommodator 140 cut off at a width sufficient for the image displaying device 600 to be erected.
  • [0145]
    A rotation unit 640 is further provided at a coupling portion between the moving unit 650 and the case 610 to make the screen 620 face the front side or the rear side of the main body 100, or to rotate the screen 620 for the adjustment of a viewing angle of the screen 620.
  • [0146]
    The rotation unit 650 includes both ends as rotation shafts respectively coupled with the connector shaft 633 of the moving unit 650 and the case 610.
  • [0147]
    The rotation unit 640 rotates the image displaying device 600 as desired to satisfy the demand of the user desiring a variety of viewing angles.
  • [0148]
    Hereinafter, the provision of the contents data by the image displaying device 600 and the sound outputting unit 920 among the operating process of the washing machine according to the third preferred embodiment of the present invention will be described in detail as follows.
  • [0149]
    Firstly, an initial state is shown in FIGS. 17 and 18.
  • [0150]
    In more detail, the image displaying device 600 is accommodated in the accommodator 130 of the main body 100. Due to this, the screen 620 of the image displaying device 600 is prevented from damage due to the external shock or the permeation of moisture.
  • [0151]
    In this state, if a user desires to watch a specific image, the user withdraws the image displaying device 600 from the accommodator 140 of the main body 100.
  • [0152]
    At this time, both ends of the moving unit 650 move along the supporting recesses 141 respectively formed in the both walls of the accommodator 140 so that the image displaying device 600, as shown in FIGS. 19 and 20, is withdrawn to the exterior of the main body 100. At this time, the screen 620 of the image displaying unit 600 faces the lower side of the main body 100.
  • [0153]
    After this, when the image displaying device 600 is upwardly erected, the moving unit 650 rotates and the image displaying unit 600 is erected and simultaneously the screen 620 faces forward.
  • [0154]
    Thus, the user can adjust the viewing angle by rotating the image displaying device 600 right or left as desired. If the image displaying device 600 rotates, the image displaying device rotates about the rotation unit 640 and the viewing angle thereof is adjusted.
  • [0155]
    Like the previous preferred embodiments of the present invention, as shown in FIGS. 23 and 24, the image displaying device 600 may be provided to be withdrawn through any one side or the upper side of the main body 100.
  • [0156]
    FIGS. 25 to 31 illustrate a washing machine according to a fourth preferred embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0157]
    The washing machine includes a main body 100, an outer tub 200, a drum 300, a control panel 400, a data receiver 500, an image displaying device 600, a folding unit 630, a spacer 660, a data transmitter 700, and a controller 800.
  • [0158]
    The description for the similar components of the washing machine according to this preferred embodiment of the present invention as those of the washing machine according to the previous preferred embodiments of the present invention will be omitted.
  • [0159]
    The spacer 660 is configured to space the image displaying device 600 and the main body 100 from each other when the image displaying device 600 and the main body 100 are overlapped with each other (at a stat of custody of the image displaying device 600).
  • [0160]
    The spacer 660 is provided at any one of overlapped sides of the image displaying device 600 and the main body 100 (that is, facing sides of the image displaying device and the accommodator).
  • [0161]
    The spacer 660 may be made of a solid material. However, since the image displaying device 600 may be damaged when a shock is applied to a corresponding portion, the spacer 660 is preferably made of buffering material such as a rubber or other flexible material.
  • [0162]
    Moreover, the spacer 660, as shown in FIG. 27, is preferably one or more protrusions protruded from near the inner circumference of the accommodator 130 (a portion that the screen does not contact) toward the facing side (the circumference of the image displaying device).
  • [0163]
    Naturally, a plurality of spacers 660 may be formed along the outer circumference of the screen 620 of the image displaying device 600.
  • [0164]
    A distance between the image displaying device 600 and the main body 100 spaced apart from each other by the spacer 660 is preferably a distance large enough to prevent the screen 620 and the main body 100 from directly contacting each other when a load within an allowable load is applied to the image displaying device 600. The allowable load generally means a standard load insufficient to damage the washing machine.
  • [0165]
    The spacer 660, as shown in FIG. 28, may have a ring-shape and be installed to the inner circumference of the accommodator 130 (a portion that the screen does not contact).
  • [0166]
    Like the previous preferred embodiments of the present invention, as shown in FIGS. 30 and 31, the image displaying device 600 may be provided at one side or the front upper end of the main body 100.
  • [0167]
    FIGS. 32 to 40 illustrate a washing machine according to a fifth preferred embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0168]
    The washing machine according to this preferred embodiment of the present invention includes a main body 100, an outer tub 200, a drum 300, a control panel 400, a data receiver 500, an image displaying device 600, a rotation unit 630, a lid 670, a data transmitter 700, and a controller 800.
  • [0169]
    The description for the similar components of the washing machine according to this preferred embodiment of the present invention as those of the washing machine according to the previous preferred embodiments of the present invention will be omitted.
  • [0170]
    The lid 670 is provided at an opening of the accommodator 130 to selectively open and close the accommodator 130.
  • [0171]
    The lid 670 is detachably provided to the main body 100 to open and close the accommodator 130. However, in this preferred embodiment of the present invention, the lid 670 is coupled with the main body 100 to pivot in the same direction as the withdrawing direction of the image displaying device 600.
  • [0172]
    Particularly, when the lid 670 closes the accommodator 130, the upper side (a side exposed to the exterior) of the lid 670 is level with the height of the upper side of the main body 100 or is lower than the upper side of the main body 100.
  • [0173]
    This is to prevent the contact between the lid 670 and the image displaying device 600 accommodated in the accommodator 130 by preventing the lid 670 from falling down even when various things such as a laundry basket are placed on the corresponding side of the lid 670.
  • [0174]
    FIGS. 41 to 47 illustrate a washing machine according to a sixth preferred embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0175]
    The washing machine according to this preferred embodiment of the present invention, as shown in FIG. 41, includes a main body 100, an outer tub 200, a drum 300, a control panel 400, a data receiver 500, an image displaying device 600, a folding unit 631, a folding driving unit 632, a data transmitter 700, and a controller 800.
  • [0176]
    The folding driving unit 632 selectively rotates the folding unit 631 and is automatically driven by an electric control.
  • [0177]
    The folding driving unit 632 may include a first driving motor 632 b directly coupled with the folding unit 631 by a shaft 632 a.
  • [0178]
    The first driving motor 632 b is preferably fixed in a space hidden within the main body 100. Particularly, the first driving motor 632 b preferably rotates the image displaying device 600 within an angle range (about 90 degrees to 120 degrees) convenient to watch the image displaying device 600.
  • [0179]
    As shown in FIG. 44, it is possible that a first gear 631 a is formed on the end circumference of one side end of the folding unit 631 and the folding driving unit 632 includes a second gear 632 c engaged with the first gear 631 a of the folding unit 631 and a second driving motor 632 d coupled with the second gear 632 c and driven by an electric control.
  • [0180]
    Although not depicted in the drawings, it is also possible that the folding unit 631 is elastically rotated and the folding driving unit prevents the folding unit 631 from rotating until a specific manipulation is carried out.
  • [0181]
    As shown in FIG. 45, a rotation unit 641 is further provided between the image displaying unit 600 and the folding unit 631. As described above, the rotation unit 641 rotates the image displaying unit 600 as desired to satisfy the demand of the user desiring a variety of viewing angles.
  • [0182]
    FIGS. 48 to 55 illustrate a washing machine according to a seventh preferred embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0183]
    The washing machine according to this preferred embodiment of the present invention includes a main body 100, an accommodator 140, a control panel 400, a data receiver 500, an image displaying device 600, a moving unit 651, a slider 652, and a data transmitter 700.
  • [0184]
    The slider 652 is driven by an electric control and selectively moves the moving unit 651 in the accommodating direction (or in the withdrawing direction) of the image displaying device 600.
  • [0185]
    The slider 652 may be variously structured. In this preferred embodiment, the slider 652 is an actuator 652 b for moving a plunger 652 a forward and backward.
  • [0186]
    In this case, both ends of the moving unit 651 penetrate both walls of the accommodator 140 to be exposed to the main body 100, and the plunger 652 a of the actuator 652 b is coupled with the moving unit 651 exposed to the exterior of the accommodator 140. An end of the plunger 652 a surrounds the moving unit 651 so that the moving unit 651 can rotate.
  • [0187]
    Moreover, the washing machine according to this preferred embodiment of the present invention further includes a folding driving unit 653 automatically rotated by an electric control even when the moving unit 651 does not carry out a command from the user. The structure of the folding driving unit 653 is shown in FIG. 52.
  • [0188]
    The folding driving unit 653 includes a third driving motor 653 b coupled with the moving unit 651 by a shaft 653 a. The third driving motor 653 b is preferably fixed to the plunger 652 a of the slider 652 by a bracket 653 c.
  • [0189]
    Preferably, a rotation unit 641 is further provided to rotate the image displaying device 600 in the direction perpendicular to the direction of the image displaying device 600 being rotated by the moving unit 651.
  • [0190]
    When the user manipulates the media manipulation unit 910 to watch media, the controller 800 controls the slider 652 such that the image displaying device 600 is withdrawn from the accommodator 140 of the main body 140.
  • [0191]
    In other words, when the actuator 652 b is driven by the controller 800, the plunger 652 a moves forward, and due to this, the moving unit 651 moves forward along the accommodator 140 and is withdrawn to the exterior of the main body 100. At this time, the screen 620 of the image displaying device 600 faces the lower side of the main body 100. This state is shown in FIGS. 50 and 51.
  • [0192]
    After this, the controller 800 controls the folding driving unit 653 to rotate the moving unit 651. In other words, when the third driving motor 653 b is rotated by the controller 800, the moving unit 651 coupled with the third driving motor 653 b by the shaft 653 a rotates.
  • [0193]
    Due to this, the image displaying device 600, as shown in FIG. 53, is erected and the screen 620 faces forward.
  • [0194]
    It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various modifications and variations can be made in the present invention without departing from the spirit or scope of the inventions.
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7787241 *Apr 18, 2008Aug 31, 2010Lg Electronics Inc.Apparatus for coupling display window and buttons for clothing handler
US7946054 *Jan 26, 2006May 24, 2011Bsh Bosch Und Siemens Hausgeraete GmbhFront assembly for a tumble dryer
US9428855 *Mar 25, 2013Aug 30, 2016Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.Washing machine
US20080163510 *Jan 26, 2006Jul 10, 2008Bsh Bosch Und Siemens Hausgerate GmbhFront Assembly for a Tumble Dryer
US20080259548 *Apr 18, 2008Oct 23, 2008Hyo-Jin KimApparatus for coupling display window and buttons for clothing handler
US20130255327 *Mar 25, 2013Oct 3, 2013Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.Washing machine
US20150035722 *Jan 29, 2013Feb 5, 2015BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte GmbHDomestic appliance having a plurality of displays and actuation method for said domestic appliance
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Classifications
U.S. Classification68/3.00R, 68/12.01
International ClassificationD06F33/00, D06F37/00
Cooperative ClassificationD06F39/005, D06F2216/00, D06F39/12
European ClassificationD06F39/12, D06F39/00P
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jan 29, 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: LG ELECTRONICS INC., KOREA, REPUBLIC OF
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:AHN, BYUNG HWAN;CHO, HUNG MYONG;REEL/FRAME:018857/0922
Effective date: 20070124