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Publication numberUS20090056777 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/845,547
Publication dateMar 5, 2009
Filing dateAug 27, 2007
Priority dateAug 27, 2007
Publication number11845547, 845547, US 2009/0056777 A1, US 2009/056777 A1, US 20090056777 A1, US 20090056777A1, US 2009056777 A1, US 2009056777A1, US-A1-20090056777, US-A1-2009056777, US2009/0056777A1, US2009/056777A1, US20090056777 A1, US20090056777A1, US2009056777 A1, US2009056777A1
InventorsJeffrey D. Lawhead
Original AssigneeLawhead Jeffrey D
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Lighted Cane
US 20090056777 A1
Abstract
A lighted cane includes a transparent rod having upper and lower ends. A foot is coupled to the lower end of the rod. A light source is in communication with one of the rod upper end and the rod lower end, wherein light from the light source travels through and is emitted by the rod. The lighted cane includes a handle operatively coupled to the upper end of the rod. In addition, the lighted cane includes a battery for powering the light source and includes an activation device coupled to the handle for selectively actuating said light source. The lighted cane may also include an emergency alert system having an input device in data communication with a transmitter for transmitting a distress signal upon activation of the input device.
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Claims(20)
1. A lighted cane, comprising:
a transparent rod having upper and lower ends;
a foot coupled to said rod lower end;
a handle operatively coupled to said rod upper end;
a light source in communication with one of said rod upper end and said rod lower end, wherein light from said light source travels through and is emitted by said rod;
a battery for powering said light source; and
an activation device coupled to said handle for selectively actuating said light source.
2. The lighted cane as in claim 1, further comprising a sleeve selectively coupled to said handle, said sleeve substantially enclosing said handle when coupled thereto.
3. The lighted cane as in claim 1, wherein said light source includes at least one LED.
4. The lighted cane as in claim 1, further comprising a unit housing said light source, and wherein said unit couples said handle to said rod.
5. The lighted cane as in claim 1, wherein:
said handle has proximal and distal ends;
said handle proximal end is operatively coupled to said rod upper end; and
said activation device is a button adjacent said handle proximal end.
6. The lighted cane as in claim 1, further comprising an emergency alert system having an input device in data communication with a transmitter for transmitting a distress signal upon activation of said input device.
7. The lighted cane as in claim 6, wherein:
said handle has proximal and distal ends and at least one side face extending between said proximal and distal ends;
said handle distal end has an end face;
said handle proximal end is operatively coupled to said rod upper end; and
said input device is a button accessible only at said handle end face.
8. The lighted cane as in claim 7, wherein:
said handle has a curved configuration; and
said activation device is a button accessible at said side face adjacent said handle proximal end.
9. The lighted cane as in claim 8, further comprising:
a sleeve selectively coupled to said handle, said sleeve substantially enclosing said handle when coupled thereto; and
a unit housing said light source, said unit removably coupling said handle to said rod wherein said battery is accessible when said handle and said rod are separated.
10. A lighted cane, comprising:
a transparent rod having upper and lower ends;
a foot coupled to said rod lower end;
a handle coupled to said rod upper end;
means for lighting said rod; and
an emergency alert system having an input device in data communication with a transmitter for transmitting a distress signal upon activation of said input device.
11. The lighted cane as in claim 10, wherein said means for lighting said rod includes at least one LED.
12. The lighted cane as in claim 11, further comprising a unit housing said LED, and wherein said unit couples said handle to said rod.
13. The lighted cane as in claim 10, wherein:
said handle has proximal and distal ends and at least one side face extending between said proximal and distal ends;
said handle distal end has an end face;
said handle proximal end is operatively coupled to said rod upper end; and
said input device is a button accessible only at said handle end face.
14. The lighted cane as in claim 13, further comprising a sleeve selectively coupled to said handle, said sleeve substantially enclosing said handle when coupled thereto.
15. The lighted cane as in claim 14, wherein:
said handle has a curved configuration; and
said means for lighting said rod includes at least one LED.
16. A lighted cane, comprising:
a transparent acrylic rod having upper and lower ends;
a foot coupled to said rod lower end, said foot having a nonslip configuration;
a handle coupled to said rod upper end;
means for lighting said rod; and
an emergency alert system having an input device in data communication with a transmitter for transmitting a distress signal upon activation of said input device.
17. The lighted cane as in claim 16, further comprising a plurality of sleeves, each sleeve being configured to be respectively coupled to said handle.
18. The lighted cane as in claim 17, wherein:
each sleeve substantially encloses said handle when respectively coupled thereto; and
at least one said sleeve has a tactile characteristic that is different than a tactile characteristic of another said sleeve.
19. The lighted cane as in claim 18, wherein:
said means for lighting said rod includes at least one LED;
said handle has proximal and distal ends and at least one side face extending between said proximal and distal ends;
said handle distal end has an end face;
said handle proximal end is operatively coupled to said rod upper end;
said handle has a curved configuration; and
said input device is a button accessible only at said handle end face.
20. The lighted cane as in claim 16, wherein:
said means for lighting said rod includes at least one LED;
said handle has proximal and distal ends and at least one side face extending between said proximal and distal ends;
said handle distal end has an end face;
said handle proximal end is operatively coupled to said rod upper end;
said handle has a curved configuration; and
said input device is a button accessible only at said handle end face.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to mobility aids and, more particularly, to a walking cane having lighting elements and other safety features.

A walking cane is traditionally used to enhance the balance of a person who is elderly, disabled, or otherwise experiencing a mobility challenge, such as may be due to an injury. A person who is using a cane, however, may experience additional challenges when attempting to walk in the dark. To be mobile in a darkened environment may require the walker to carry a flashlight in his free hand. It is also possible that a person who requires a cane to enhance mobility may also have other health concerns that may require special or sometimes urgent health care.

Various devices have been proposed in the art for providing a light source for a walking cane. Although presumably effective for their intended purposes, the existing devices do not provide a transparent cane rod illuminated by an array of lights or an emergency alert system.

Therefore, it would be desirable to have a walking cane having a transport rod lighted by an array of light sources for lighting the path of a person using the cane. Further, it would be desirable to have a cane having an emergency alert system that may be actuated by a user who may be experiencing a health issue. In addition, it would be desirable to have a cane having a sleeve that is selectively and removably attached to a cane handle.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A lighted cane according to the present invention includes a transparent rod having upper and lower ends. A foot is coupled to the lower end of the rod. A light source is in communication with one of the rod upper end and the rod lower end, wherein light from the light source travels through and is emitted by the rod. The lighted cane includes a handle operatively coupled to the upper end of the rod. In addition, the lighted cane includes a battery for powering the light source and includes an activation device coupled to the handle for selectively actuating said light source. The lighted cane may also include an emergency alert system having an input device in data communication with a transmitter for transmitting a distress signal upon activation of the input device.

Therefore, a general object of this invention is to provide a lighted cane for illuminating the path of a person using the cane.

Another object of this invention is to provide a lighted cane, as aforesaid, that includes a transparent rod and an array of light sources for illuminating the entire rod and surrounding area.

Still another object of this invention is to provide a lighted cane, as aforesaid, having an activation device on the cane's handle for conveniently enabling a user to activate the light sources.

Yet another object of this invention is to provide a lighted cane, as aforesaid, having an emergency alert device such that a user may cause a distress signal to be transmitted if a medical or other emergency is detected.

A further object of this invention is to provide a lighted cane, as aforesaid, having a sleeve that may be removably coupled to the cane's handle.

A still further object of this invention is to provide a lighted cane, as aforesaid, that is light weight.

Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein is set forth by way of illustration and example, embodiments of this invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a lighted cane according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the lighted cane as in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 a is a top view of the lighted cane as in FIG. 1; and

FIG. 3 b is a sectional view taken along line 3 b-3 b of FIG. 3 a.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

A lighted cane 100 according to the present invention will now be described in detail with reference to FIGS. 1 through 3 b of the accompanying drawings. More particularly, according to the current invention, a lighted cane 100 includes a transparent rod 110, a foot 120, and a handle 130.

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the rod 110 has upper and lower ends 112 a, 112 b. The rod 110 may be constructed of acrylic or another appropriate transparent material and may be solid or hollow. Importantly, the rod 110 should be able to withstand high loads without failing, and should also be relatively light-weight. This can be achieved through the configuration of the rod 110 and/or through material selection.

The foot 120 is coupled to the lower end 112 b of the rod 110, as shown in FIGS. 1, 2, and 3 a. The foot 120 may have a nonslip configuration. For example, the foot 120 may be constructed of a soft material (e.g., rubber, etc.) that provides traction and/or may include traction elements 122 (FIG. 3 a) such as a nub, ridge, etc.

The handle 130 is operatively coupled to the rod upper end 112 a and has proximal and distal ends 132 a, 132 b. At least one side face 134 extends between the proximal and distal ends 132 a, 132 b, and the proximal end 132 a may be operatively coupled to the rod upper end 112 a. The distal end 132 b may have an end face 136, as shown in FIG. 3 a, and the handle 130 may have a curved configuration as shown throughout the drawings.

As shown in FIG. 2, a sleeve 140 may be selectively coupled to the handle 130 and may substantially enclose the handle 130 when coupled to the handle 130. The lighted cane 100 may include a plurality of sleeves 140 that can be respectively coupled to the handle 130, and different sleeves 140 may have different characteristics. For example, individual sleeves 140 may have different indicia and/or different tactile characteristics. In other words, one sleeve 140 may have a soft (e.g., rubber-like) tactile characteristic while another sleeve 140 may have a hard (e.g., metal-like) tactile characteristic.

Means for lighting the rod 110 may be included. For example, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3 a, the cane 100 may include a light source 150 (e.g., one or more LED, etc.), a battery 152 for powering the light source 150, and an activation device 154 for selectively actuating the light source 150. The light source 150 may be in communication with the rod upper end 112 a or the rod lower end 112 b so that light from the light source 150 travels through and is emitted by the rod 110. The activation device 154 may be coupled to the handle 130, and, for example, may be a button accessible at the handle side face 134 adjacent the handle proximal end 132 a (FIG. 3 a). As shown in FIGS. 1 and 3 a, a unit 156 may house the light source 150 and may couple the handle 130 to the rod 110. The battery 152 may only be accessible when the handle 130 and the rod 110 are separated (FIG. 2), or an access door for the battery 152 may be included (not shown).

An emergency alert system 160 may have an input device 162 in data communication with a transmitter 164 for transmitting a distress signal upon activation of the input device 162. As shown in FIG. 3 a, the input device 162 may be a button accessible only at the end face 136 of the handle 130.

In use, a respective sleeve 140 may be placed over the handle 130 to obtain a desired look or feel as discussed above. The user may use the lighted cane 100 in a traditional manner to aid in walking, and when additional light is needed the user may actuate the activation device 154 (or in other words, press the button 154). The activation device 154 may in turn actuate the light source 150 (e.g., a LED), which may be powered by the battery 152. The transparent nature of the rod 110 may allow the light from the light source 150 to illuminate the entire rod 110 and the surrounding area. The light source 150 may turn off automatically (e.g., by a timer at a predetermined time interval) or may be turned off when the user again presses the button 154. If the user falls or is otherwise in distress, he may press the input device 162, which may cause the transmitter 164 to transmit a distress signal to a monitoring service or another appropriate location (e.g., a family member, nurse, etc.). The location of the input device 162 may keep it from being pressed accidentally, and may therefore prevent false alarms.

It is understood that while certain forms of this invention have been illustrated and described, it is not limited thereto except insofar as such limitations are included in the following claims and allowable functional equivalents thereof.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7784479 *Dec 15, 2008Aug 31, 2010Randal A. NavarroAdjustable lighted walking aid
US7921861Aug 6, 2010Apr 12, 2011Randal A. NavarroAdjustable lighted walking aid
US7997775 *Sep 23, 2008Aug 16, 2011Nite Glow Industries, Inc.High visibility safety lighting system integrated within a vehicle's frame
US8810407May 27, 2011Aug 19, 2014Guardian Angel Navigational Concepts IP LLCWalker with illumination, location, positioning, tactile and/or sensor capabilities
US20120085378 *Apr 12, 2012Koushick ChakrabortyAmbulatory Assistive Devices With Improved Visual Safety
USD734020 *Jan 17, 2013Jul 14, 2015Douglas William ChisumCane
WO2013090273A1 *Dec 11, 2012Jun 20, 2013Technical Vision, Inc.Illuminated mobility enhancing device
Classifications
U.S. Classification135/66
International ClassificationA45B3/02
Cooperative ClassificationA45B3/04
European ClassificationA45B3/04