US 20100301188 A1
An apparatus for holding and support a device such as an Ebook reader is provided.
1. A flexible stand assembly for supporting an article, comprising:
a support base;
an elongate, resiliently flexible tubular member having a first end releasably mounted on the base, and a second end; and
a holder for securing the article, the holder releasably mounted to the second end of the tubular member.
2. The stand assembly of
3. The stand assembly of
4. The stand assembly of
5. The stand assembly of
6. The stand assembly of
Embodiments of the invention relate to an apparatus for holding documents and devices such as an Ebook reader.
Ebook readers are a recently developed class of devices, a portable reading device with software and hardware for wirelessly downloading content and electronically displaying books, blogs, magazines, and newspapers. Examples of ebook readers include the “Kindle”, “Kindle 2,” and “Kindle DX” developed by an Amazon.com subsidiary. The dimensions of the Kindle line of ebook readers allow the device to fit easily in one hand. The Kindle 2 is slimmer, more lightweight reader with a reduced overall thickness, improved 6-inch display, increased storage and faster page turns, among other features. A larger version, the Kindle DX has a 9.7-inch display and a built-in PDF reader, and automatically rotates pages between landscape and portrait orientations as the device is turned. The readers include a keyboard which enables full text searching of a library or within a specific title.
Various assemblies have been developed for supporting books and electronic devices such as computer keyboards. However, available stands are bulky and cannot be readily adjusted or adequately positioned ergonomically, particularly for a person reading in a prone or nearly prone position.
It would be useful to provide an adjustable support stand for Ebook readers and other devices that overcomes these problems.
Embodiments of the invention are described below with reference to the following accompanying drawings, which are for illustrative purposes only. Throughout the following views, the reference numerals will be used in the drawings, and the same reference numerals will be used throughout the several views and in the description to indicate same or like parts.
The following description with reference to the drawings provides illustrative examples of apparatus and methods according to embodiments of the invention. Such description is for illustrative purposes only and not for purposes of limiting the same.
Embodiments of the apparatus of the invention can be fabricated from materials and constructed to support documents and/or accessory devices of different dimensions and weights mounted on the accessory end plate. Examples of accessory devices that can be used with the apparatus include E-book readers such as the Amazon Kindle (7.5″×5.3″×0.7″; 10.4 ounces), Amazon Kindle2 (8″×5.3″×0.36″; 10.2 ounces), and Amazon Kindle DX (10.4″×7.2″×0.38″; 18.9 ounces), clipboards, lighting, Ipods, wireless phones, among other devices.
Use of the apparatus of the invention as a holder for an E-book reader allows the user to read a book or newspaper “hands free” and while doing other activities (e.g., eating, note taking, knitting, holding an infant, etc.). In addition, with the present apparatus, a user can arrange a document or device such as an E-book reader in an ergonomically comfortable position and optimal focus point to reduce eye strain.
The flexible stand assembly is lightweight, portable and ideal for use in a small space such as on a work surface in a classroom or lecture hall. In a shop environment, the apparatus can be used to hold drawings, blueprints and other documents up off of the work surface where they will sustain less damage, remain cleaner and be easier to read. The apparatus can also be used as a portable teleprompter or podium for speaking engagements. The assembled apparatus or the parts of the apparatus can be easily packaged and shipped to a consumer. The connections between the parts of the holder apparatus allow quick and easy assembly and disassembly of the apparatus.
A first embodiment of an apparatus 10 for supporting a media device or other accessory according to the invention is illustrated and described with reference to the
The support base 12 is in the form of a clamp that is structured to support the accessory device 20 attached to the accessory end plate 16. As depicted, the support base (clamp) 12 has a C-configuration for mounting onto the end of a tabletop, etc. As illustrated in an exploded view in
The support base 12 can be fabricated from 5/16-inch steel plate, which can be cut, for example, using a laser cutting apparatus, e.g., CNC Laser Cutting Machine. The support base 12 as depicted in
To assemble the support base 12, the threaded male stud 22 of the adjustable handle 26 is fixed in the tapped (threaded) opening 22 of the support base 12. A swivel pad 32 (with thread locker) can be installed onto the threaded male stud 24 of the adjustable handle 26. A pad 34 such as a 0.032-inch thick adhesive backed clear silicone pad (e.g., about 2″×2″) can be applied to the surface 36 of the support base 12 to provide a non-marking, non-scratching surface to protect a table or other surface to which the support base clamp is attached.
The tubular extension member 14 is resiliently flexible and bendable along substantially its entire length, and is constructed to provide sufficient flexibility such that it can be bent and shaped to position the accessory end plate 16 with an attached accessory device 20 as desired by the user. The tubular extension members 14 can be manually conformed to a desired shape and position, but is adequately rigid to maintain the desired shape while supporting the device or documents on the accessory end plate 16. The tubular extension member 14 can be fabricated, for example, as a flexible metal tubing which is bendable and remains in position where bent (e.g., flexible jointed, coiled or interlocking segments of steel, plastic, etc., or ‘gooseneck’ shaft) within a flexible shaft. In other embodiments, the tubular extension member 14 can be fabricated as a resiliently deformable material in the shape of a tube.
The tubular extension member 14 includes a first threaded end 38 a that is sized (e.g., with ¼″-20 female threads) for receiving the press-in captive stud 30 (e.g., ¼″-20 captive stud) for attachment to the support base 12. A second threaded end 38 b is sized (e.g., #10-32 tapped hole) for receiving a shoulder screw (bolt) or other attachment member 40 (e.g., ¼″ diameter, 10-32 threads) therein for mounting the tubular extension member 14 to the accessory end plate 16.
A media device or other accessory device 20 is mounted on the accessory end plate 16. The end plate 16 can be fabricated from 0.063-inch steel and can be formed using a press, e.g., CNC Press Brake. In the embodiment depicted in
The fastening element 18 can be strips of a hook and loop fastener strips (e.g., VELCRO® brand hook-and-loop fasteners), which can be mounted on the first and second surfaces 42 a, 42 b of the accessory end plate 16, as shown in
To assemble the apparatus 10, the captive stud 30 installed in the thru-hole 28 of the support base 12 is turned into the first threaded end 38 a of the tubular extension member 14.
The fastening element 18 can then be mounted on the first and second surfaces 42 a, 42 b of the accessory end plate 16. An example of a fastening element 18 is a hook & loop fastener strip (e.g., VELCRO® Brand STICKY BACK® Tape) composed of a hook component and a mating loop component, each with a backing of a pressure sensitive adhesive covered by a removable liner. With the hook and loop components pressed together, the backing of one of the components, e.g., the hook component, can be peeled off to adhesively attach the component of the fastener strips to one of the even plane surfaces 42 a, 42 b of the accessory end plate 16, with the backing of the other component, e.g., the loop component, remaining in place over the adhesive. The apparatus can then be packaged and shipped to a consumer. The connections between the tubular extension member, the support base and the accessory end plate allow quick and easy assembly and disassembly of the apparatus.
In use, the support base 12 of the apparatus 10 is clamped onto a solid or rigid surface such as a table and secured using the adjustable handle 26. The remaining backing of the fastening element 18 is removed and the accessory device 20 (e.g., a media device) is pressed onto the exposed adhesive to mount the device 20 on the accessory end plate 16. The media device or other accessory 20 can be put in multiple positions and different orientations for ease of use and ergonomic positioning by adjusting the tubular extension member 14 and/or by rotating the accessory end plate 16 (
Another embodiment of an apparatus 10′ according to the invention is illustrated in
The illustrated support base 12′ is U-shaped with the elongated base section 52′ and an upper flat section 56′. An object 54′ of adequate weight (shown in phantom in
The tubular extension member 14′ is composed of interconnected rigid tubular sections 58′ and flexible tubular sections 60′. The tubular sections can be assembled to vary the length while providing the necessary rigidity to maintain the desired shape and support an attached accessory device 20′ in the desired position.
The rigid tubular sections 58′ can be fabricated from steel, aluminum, carbon fiber, fiberglass, plastic, etc. A first end 62 a′ of the rigid tubular section 58′ is sized with an opening (e.g., ¼″-20 tapped hole) for receiving a machined fitting 64′ therein structured with threaded opening (e.g., ¼″-20). The fitting 64′ can be secured by means of a screw/bolt 66′ (e.g., an Allen screw) inserted through a sized opening 68′ near the first end 62 a′ of the rigid tubular section 58′. The second end 62 b′ of the rigid tubular section 58′ is sized with an opening (e.g., ¼″-20 tapped hole) for receiving a second machined fitting 64′ therein, which can be secured with an adhesive such as 3M™ Scotch-Weld™ adhesive.
Similar to the tubular extension member 14 of the first embodiment, the flexible tubular section 60′ can be fabricated as a flexible metal tubing (e.g., gooseneck shaft) within a flexible shaft, or, in other embodiments, as a resiliently deformable tubular-shaped material. The flexible tubular section 60′ provides sufficient flexibility such that the tubular section can be angled to change the overall curvature of the tubular extension member 14′ for positioning the accessory device 20 attached to the accessory end plate 16. Attachment at either end 68 a′, 68 b′ of the flexible tubular sections 60′ is a second machined fitting 70′ structured with threaded screw (male end) sized for attachment in the threaded opening of the machined fitting 64′ situated on the end of an adjacent rigid tubular section 58′.
The upper flat section 56′ of the support base 12′ includes a thru-hole 76′ (e.g., a 1⅛″ thru-hole) that is sized for receiving the first end 78 a′ of the tubular extension member 14′ therethrough (e.g., end 62 a′ of the rigid tubular section 58′ with attached machined fitting 64′. The first end 78 a′ of the tubular extension member 14′ is attached to the support base 12′ by insertion of the press-in captive stud 74′ into the opening of the machined fitting 64′.
To assemble the apparatus 10′, the desired number and arrangement of rigid and flexible tubular sections 58′, 60′ are connected to form the tubular extension member 14′having the desired height. For example, the tubular extension member 14′ can be assembled to have a rigid tubular section 58′ at the first end 78 a′ and a flexible tubular section 60′ at the second end 78 b′, as shown in
As depicted in
An accessory end plate 16′ as described in the first embodiment, can then be mounted onto the second end 78 b′ of the tubular extension member 14′. Similar to the first embodiment, the second end 78 b′ of the tubular extension member 14′ (e.g., end 68 b′ of the flexible tubular section 60′ at end 78 b′) can be threaded and sized (e.g., #10-32 tapped hole) for receiving an attachment screw 40′ (e.g., shoulder screw (bolt), ¼″ diameter, 10-32 threads) therein for mounting the accessory end plate 16′. The accessory end plate 16′ can be attached by mounting the attachment screw 40′ through a first washer 46′ (e.g., a metal wave spring washer), the opening 44′ in the accessory end plate 16′, and a second washer 50′ (e.g., a rubber washer), and into the threaded end 76 b′ (e.g., 68 b′) of the tubular extension member 14′. The fastening element 18′ can then be fixed to the surfaces of the accessory end plate 16′, and an accessory device 20′ (e.g., e-reader device) can be mounted on the accessory end plate 16′, as described for the first embodiment.
The connections between the rigid and tubular sections 58′, 60′, and between the tubular extension member 14′, the support base 12′ and the accessory end plate 16′ allow a quick and easy assembly and disassembly of the apparatus.
In use, with the apparatus 10′ situated in a desired location, the flexible tubular section(s) 60′ of the tubular extension member 14′ can be manually bent and shaped to place the accessory device 20′ in a desired location. The tilt and position of the accessory end plate 16′ can be adjusted by swiveling or rotating the end plate 16′ (arrow 48′) and/or manually adjusting the tubular extension member 14′. The accessory device 20′ can be separated from the accessory end plate 16′ as previously described.
Although specific embodiments have been illustrated and described herein, it will be appreciated by those of ordinary skill in the art that any arrangement which is calculated to achieve the same purpose may be substituted for the specific embodiments shown. This application is intended to cover any adaptations or variations that operate according to the principles of the invention as described. Therefore, it is intended that this invention be limited only by the claims and the equivalents thereof. The disclosures of patents, references and publications cited in the application are incorporated by reference herein.