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Publication numberUS2177234 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 24, 1939
Filing dateMay 4, 1938
Priority dateMay 4, 1938
Publication numberUS 2177234 A, US 2177234A, US-A-2177234, US2177234 A, US2177234A
InventorsWalser Eugene O
Original AssigneeWalser Eugene O
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Touch readable timepiece
US 2177234 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 24, 1939. w s 2,177,234

TOUCH READABLE TIMEPIECE Original Filed April 10, 1936 vwan Patented Oct. 24, 1939 UNlTED STATES PATENT OFFICE April 10, 1936. This application filed May 4,

1938, Serial N0. 206,065

7 Claims.

This invention relates to a touch readable timepiece especially designed for use by the blind.

The primary object of the invention is to provide a timepiece having a novel arrangement of time indicating indicia that facilitates and expedites a reading by the touch system.

A further object of the invention is to eliminate the usual groping and feeling in the use of touch readable timepieces by providing a timepiece with separate touch readable hour and minute indicating means of an area to be substantially encompassed by a finger tip.

A still further object of the invention is to make the touch reading of this timepiece practically instantaneous with respect to the hour and minute by an arrangement of separate touch readable hour and minute indicating means for engagement by adjacent finger tips with the fingers in a natural position.

Another object of the invention is to make the timepiece in the form of a wrist watch whereby the location and position of the instrument is instinctively known to the wearer, and the perfectly natural action of moving one hand over the other tends to guide adjacent finger tips into touch reading position on the exposed face of the timepiece.

Still another object of the invention is to facilitate the reading of the separate hour and minute indicating means by having certain of the stationary designations, preferably the quarters of the circle, distinguishing from the uniformity of the others.

Other objects will, from the description, be apparent to those skilled in the art. The present disclosure constitutes an exposition of an embodiment of the invention, and illustrates the best means I have thus far devised for reducing the invention to practice. It is to be understood that the structural details shown and described shall not constitute limitations inconsistent with the scope of the invention as claimed.

In the drawing:

Figure 1 is a perspective View of the timepiece in the form of a wrist watch mounted on the users wrist with the other hand overlying the same, and adjacent finger tips about to engage the timepiece.

Figure 2 is a face view of the timepiece show- 0 ing in. dotted lines adjacent finger tips engaged therewith.

Figure 3 is a section on the line 33 of Figure 2 showing the gear train for operatively connecting the hour and minute dials with the 5 mechanism of the timepiece.

Touch readable timepieces for use by the blind have been heretofore used, but all of such devices are for pocket size watches or clocks. They embody .on the conventionally sized face of such timepieces a concentric single set of touch readable time designations occupying practically the entire face of the same. A stationary set of hour designations surrounds two separately movable indicators for the hours and minutes driven by the watch or clock mechanism. These lastmentioned indicators are either dials or hands. The disadvantage of such mechanism is that considerable groping is usually required for initially locating and distinguishing the relationship of the movable indicators, and then separate movement is necessary to read the hour and minute.

In this invention these defects are overcome. Essentially, the invention resides in the provision of a touch readable timepiece including separate touch readable hour and minute indicating means, each of an area to be substantially encompassed by a finger tip and arranged to be engaged by adjacent fingers of a users hand. The separate touch readable indicating means are closely spaced and their combined area is approximately that of the tips of two adjacent fingers in normal position. Thus, by the perfectly natural act of resting adjacent finger tips on the face of the timepiece over the touch readable hour and minute indicating means and by a slight wriggling or rotary movement from the wrist, the correct time may be almost instantly read.

While this invention in its broadest aspect could be used with any size or shape of watch, provided the touch readable indicating means are closely spaced and each is of a size to be substantially encompassed by a finger tip, it is best adapted for use in a wrist watch and has so been illustrated in the adaptation disclosed.

In Fig. 1 is shown the timepiece in the form of a wrist watch I, mounted by a strap 2 on the wrist of a hand A. The usual crystal is eliminated and separate touch readable time indicating means for the hours and minutes are positioned on the exposed face of the watch. Above the hand A is shown the other hand B of the user with two fingers disposed just above the watch face preparatory to taking a time reading by the sense of touch in a manner to be hereinafter more fully described.

In the form shown the watch I comprises an elongated case 3 partially shown in Fig. 3 having an exposed face plate 4 with a pair of closely 55 spaced movable hour and minute dials 5 and 6. The axis of each spindle 1 and 8 of the dials is arranged on the longitudinal axis of the face plate. These dials are mounted in apertures in the face plate so that the faces of the dials are substantially flush with the exposed face of said plate.

A suitable mechanism (not shown) is mounted in an internal supporting frame 9, the top of which abuts the bottom of a flange of the case 3, while the face plate 4, abuts and is suitably secured to the top of the flange as shown in Fig. 3. A rotatable driving shaft l has one end mounted in the frame 9, midway of the ends of the same, and is arranged for connection with the operating mechanism, usually for rotation at the rate of one revolution for each hour of time. The spindle 8 of the minute dial 6 is operatively connected with the shaft H! by means of pinions II and 12, respectively, mounted as shown and an intermediate gear l3 on a pin 14 secured in the frame 9. The hour dial 5 is driven by a gear 15, fixed to the spindle I, which meshes with a pinion E6 on a pin [1 secured in the frame 9. Coaxially held with respect to the pinion I6 is a gear [8 which meshes with the pinion [2 on shaft 10. Thus by the drives disclosed the operating mechanism will cause one complete rotation of the minute dial 6, and one-twelfth rotation of the hour dial 5 upon each hourly rotation of the shaft In.

To form separate touch readable hour and minute indicating means for the watch the face plate 4 carries touch readable stationary time designations which in the form shown comprise two circles or groups of raised bosses concentric to and closely spaced with respect to the dials 5 and 6. These bosses are uniformly spaced apart to correspond to the hour positions around the hour dial and to indicate minutes in multiples of five around the minute dial. The circles are identical, but certain of the bosses at the quarters of each circle distinguish from the uniformity of the other bosses l9. In the form shown the bosses H are rounded heads while the bosses 20 are radial ribs extending above the plane of the bosses I9. Due to the closely spaced relationship of the dials, the boss 20 therebetween serves with both the hour and minute group, and acts as an identifying guide in a manner to be hereinafter more fully described.

The noon or midnight meridian or twelve oclock may be indicated by the boss 20 of the hour group nearest the end of the watch. The intermediate boss 20 then indicates six oclock for the hour group and sixty minutes for the minute group. Of course, the boss of the minute group nearest the other end of the watch would indicate thirty minutes. Thus, the meridian runs on the longitudinal axis of the watch.

The movable dials 5 and 6 have radially extending ribs 2| and 22 which serve the purpose of the hour and minute hands of a conventional timepiece. In conjunction with the surrounding stationary hour and minute designations, they will indicate the hour or minute in accordance with their position with respect thereto. A stem 23 is provided for winding and setting the watch and attaching means 24 for the strap 2 or the like are positioned at either end of the case.

A most important feature of this invention is the relative size of the touch readable hour and minute indicating means used. Each of these groups of touch readable indicia is of an area to be substantially encompassed by a finger tip. This is generally shown in Fig. 1, and best illustrated in Fig. 2, wherein two adjacent finger tips 25 are shown in dotted lines substantially encompassing the movable dials and stationary hour and minute designations of each group. As these separate hour and minute indicating groups substantially cover the entire face plate of the watch, the act of placing adjacent finger tips within the easily ascertained confines of the face plate automatically positions a finger tip on each of the hour and minute indicating means or groups.

It will be apparent that when a timepiece of the form shown and described is mounted on a wrist as shown in Fig. 1, a blind person or anyone during darkness, by the perfectly natural act of placing the other hand over the wrist upon which the watch is carried, may readily rest adjacent finger tips on the exposed face carrying the separate touch readable hour and minute indicating means. As these means are each of an area to be substantially encompassed by a finger tip by a slight wriggling or rotary motion of the wrist, the relative position of the ribs 2| and 22 of the movable dials may be located with respect to the stationary designating bosses l9 and 20 by the sense of touch and the exact time ascertained. No groping or feeling around with a single finger is necessary. The advantage of making and using the timepiece in the form of a wrist watch is that the weight of the same on the Wrist serves to instinctively locate the instrument so that the two fingers of the other hand are guided with little effort to touch reading position. When engaged with the face plate, they encompass the hour and minute indicators so that the reading is almost instantaneous.

While it is well known that blind persons have a very highly developed sense of touch, the type of stationary hour and minute designations used serves to expedite the touch reading. The raised bosses 25, located at the quarters of each circle being of a different character and height than the bosses 19, will immediately identify the position of the dial ribs with respect to each circle. Also the boss 20, located between the closely spaced dials and serving with each group of hour and minute designations can be felt with both fingers which acts as an initial identifying and locating guide.

While this timepiece is primarily designed for use by the blind, it may also be used by normal persons for reading time by the sense of touch in darkness. The stationary concentric circles of hour and minute designations may be of any desired type, such as raised or depressed on the face plate, or Roman or Arabic numerals could be used. Any form of adaptable timepiece may be used, although a wrist watch seems most adaptable for the invention. The essential feature of the invention is the provision of separate touch readable hour and minute indicating means of an area to be substantially encompassed by a finger tip. Various modifications of timepiece structure may be made embodying this idea that fall Within the scope of the invention disclosed.

This application is a continuation of my copending application, Serial No. 73,733, filed April 10, 1936.

What I claim is:

1. A touch readable timepiece including a pair of closely spaced touch readable hour and minute indicating means each of an area to be substantially encompassed by a finger tip and each including a movable dial with a single designation thereon and a plurality of suitably spaced stationary designations surrounding the dial, and the stationary designation lying between the spaced hour and minute indicating means serving with each dial surrounding group and acting as an identifying guide When the indicating means are engaged by adjacent fingers of the users hand.

2. A touch readable timepiece comprising an elongated case having on the top a pair of closely spaced rotatable dials arranged on the longitudinal axis thereof, touch readable portions on said dials, a separate set of spaced stationary touch readable designations surrounding each dial, each dial and corresponding set of stationary designations being of an area to be substantially encompassed by a finger tip, and means in the case for rotating said dials to correspond to the hour of the day and the minute of the hour.

3. A touch readable wrist Watch comprising a case having a pair of closely spaced rotatable dials on the face thereof, touch readable portions on said dials, a, circular series of stationary touch readable hour designations around one of said dials, a similar series of stationary touch readable minute designations around the other of said dials, each dial and corresponding set of stationary designations being of an area to be substantially encompassed by a finger tip, and means in the case for rotating said dials to correspond to the hours of the day and minutes of the hours.

i. A touch readable timepiece comprising an elongated case including a cover plate formed with a plurality of dial receiving apertures spaced apart along the longitudinal axis of said case, sets of similarly spaced stationary touch readable designations provided on the outer face of said plate around the margins of and between said apertures, exposed dials rotatably mounted in said apertures and being substantially flush with the outer face of said cover plate, touch readable portions on said dials, and means in the case for rotating said dials.

5. A touch readable timepiece comprising an elongated case including a cover plate formed with a plurality of substantially circular dial receiving apertures spaced apart along the longitudinal aXis of said case, a circular series of stationary raised touch readable hour designations around one of said apertures, a similar series of raised minute designations disposed about the margin of the other aperture, exposed rotatable hour and minute dials mounted in said apertures, and disposed so that when the hand of the user is placed on the cover plate the ends of two adjacent fingers will contact said dials, means for rotating said dials to correspond to the hours of the day and the minutes of the hour, and raised touch readable portions on said dials.

6. A touch readable Wrist Watch including a pair of separate time indicating units for the hour and minute each having movable and stationary touch readable indicia, each unit being of an area to be substantially encompassed by a finger tip, and said units being arranged in spaced alinement to be engaged by adjacent finger tips of the users hand for separate touch reading at all times.

7. A touch readable timepiece including separate touch readable hour and minute indicating means, each means including a separate time indicating unit having movable and stationary indicia, a separate axis for each movable indicia arranged in parallel spaced relationship, each unit being of an area to be substantially encompassed by a finger tip, and said units being arranged in spaced alinement to be engaged by adjacent fingers of the users hand for separate touch reading at all times.

EUGENE O. WALSER.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2943507 *Aug 25, 1958Jul 5, 1960Sterling Prec CorpPrecision gear train
US2997794 *Dec 14, 1959Aug 29, 1961Burr Esther MEducational device for teaching children to tell time
US3648647 *Aug 14, 1970Mar 14, 1972J Tec Ass IncTouch sensitive indicators
US5088440 *Dec 28, 1990Feb 18, 1992Keaney Carl JIndicator for an indicating device
US7079454 *Dec 23, 2003Jul 18, 2006Alexander WellenTactile timepiece
US9080910 *Mar 6, 2015Jul 14, 2015Jacobo Zyman BeerTactile handle integrated scale
US20050135198 *Dec 23, 2003Jun 23, 2005Alexander WellenTactile timepiece
USD758211 *Jan 8, 2015Jun 7, 2016Richemont International SaWatch
WO2016040687A1 *Sep 10, 2015Mar 17, 2016Duo Watches CorporationMulti-watch band
Classifications
U.S. Classification368/77, 968/245, 368/230, D10/39
International ClassificationG04B25/00, G04B25/02
Cooperative ClassificationG04B25/02
European ClassificationG04B25/02