US 2713159 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
y 12, 1955 w. E. MORRISON 2,713,159.
SLEEP INHIBITING DEVICE Filed May 8, 1953 srnsr risrneirnsc nnvrcn Application May b, 1%53, Serial No. 353,836
3 Claims. (Cl. sis- 279 This invention relates to a sleep inhibiting device and more particularly to a head mounted alarm which will maintain awake such persons as vehicle drivers and guards upon whom may depend the preservation of property and life itself.
I am aware of certain prior art devices which have been proposed for the purpose of sounding an alarm responsive to the nodding of the head to maintain awake a person who wears the device. These prior devices are of the wind-up type or have an electrical connection with a remote source of energy. Obviously, a device which requires winding at frequent intervals will run down and become ineffective after a short time or, at best, will require a person such as a truck driver to divert his attention from his job during the period of rewinding the device, thereby creating the very hazard which it is proposed to avoid. The devices which require an electrical lead or fixed connection to a stationary structure are not practical in that the lead or connection may get in the way of the wearer, may accidently become disconnected or may even prevent freedom of movement on the part of the person wearing the device. Furthermore, these prior devices have all utilized a loud bell, buzzer or other drastic alarm which it was thought necessary to prevent the wearer of the device from falling asleep.
My invention, on the other hand, contemplates as an important object thereof an inexpensive and .simple selfcontained alarm of small and compact construction which, because of the means of attaching to the head of the wearer will cause sufficient audible sensation when the wearer nods his head so as to prevent him from lapsing into sleep.
It is another object of the invention to provide for a sensitive and easily adjustable liquid switch and a battery operated alarm in a head mounted device of the class described.
it is a further object of the invention to provide for a novel sleep inhibiting device in which the self contained alarm unit therein constitutes a small electrical buzzer having a wall which can be maintained against the ear or in close sound-conducting relation therewith so that a small and lower powered battery may serve to operate the device with efficiency over a considerable period of time.
These and other objects and advantages of my invention will more fully appear from the following description made in connection with the accompanying drawing wherein like reference characters refer to similar parts through the several views and in which:
Fig. 1 is a perspective view of my sleep inhibiting device;
Fig. 2 is an enlarged detailed view of the alarm portion of the device, the housing cover having been removed;
Fig. 3 is a side View of the alarm mechanism taken on the sectional line 3-3 of Fig. 2;
Fig. 4- shows an alternate form of the alarm mechtstes Patent anism in which a single mercury switch is employed; and
Fig. 5 is a vertical section of the alarm mechanism in the alternate form taken on the line 5-5 of Fig. 4, certain portions thereof being left in full line.
Referring now more particularly to the drawing, the entire device is shown in Fig. 1. A mounting structure M serves as a head mount and may comprise a curved double spring wire which is looped at 11 and has downwardly extending ends 12 and 13 at the opposed side. The head mount M is adapted to be placed over the top of the wearers head in a manner somewhat similar to that employed by persons using radio and telephone ear phones. An alarm mechanism B is secured to the side of the head mount M as shown. The alarm mechanism is of the buzzer type preferably comprising a housing 14 to which the remainder of the mechanism is attached and which forms the fastening means for attaching to the head mount M at the ends of the wires 12 and 13. The housing 14 has a back panel 15 and to which a cover may be secured. In the instant case, the cover comprises most of the housing, since it provides a front panel 16, a top panel 17, a bottom panel 18 and side panels 19 and 20. The side panels 19 and 20 are provided with indentations 21 and 22 which in turn cooperate with corresponding indentations 25 and on bracket or ear members 25 and 26, which are in turn attached to the back panel 15 or formed integrally therewith, being bent at right angles forwardly of the panel as shown in Figs. 2 and 3.
lso mounted to the rear panel 15 is the alarm itself which may constitute a buzzer 27 as shown in Figs. 1, 2 and 3. The internal parts of the buzzer 27 are not shown, it being understood that the buzzer will operate from a source of direct current in a manner common to the art. The particular buzzer in question is adapted to operate from a battery having low voltage characteristics such as that shown mounted above the buzzer at 23. The battery 28 is typical of those employed in pocket type flash lights. The buzzer 27 is rigidly secured to back panel 15 so that it can resonate therewith and also provides electrical contact for completing the circuit as will be presently described. The battery 28 is mounted between a bracket 29 secured to the back panel 15 and a spring pressed contact member 30 which is fixed to the screw terminal 31 and is insulated from the wall of the buzzer 27 by such means as the dielectric washer 32. When the battery 28 is placed between the bracket 29 and the spring retainer 36, an electrical circuit is established through the casing 14 and through the spring contact terminal 30 which in turn leads internally of the buzzer 27 to supply current thereto. The other terminal for the buzzer 27 appears at 33 and during normal operation of the device will have a manual circuit energizing switch in contact therewith, the spring contact arm 34 closing the circuit when the switch is in upper position as shown in Fig. 2. More particularly the switch comprises a button member 35 which is slidably mounted within a slot 36 in the housing 14, the button 35 being formed of dielectric material secured at its inner end to the spring contacting member 34. The guide member or slot 36 is interposed between the insulated button 35 and the spring contact 34 as shown in Fig. 2. At the lower end of the spring con tact member 34 an electrical connection is established with leads 37 and 38 both of which terminate within mercury switches 39 and 40 as shown. Another wire 42 terminates within the mercury switch 39 adjacent the end of lead 33. The wire lead .-2 is electrically connected to the housing 14 via a screw member 43. Similarly the wire lead 44 terminates within the mercury switch 40 and lies adjacent the terminal of lead 37 which also extends into the mercury switch 40. The mercury switches 39 and 40 are respectively held by spring clips 45 and @6 as shown. Each of the spring clips 45 and 46 in turn are rotatably mounted to the back panel 15' as. shown at 47 in Fig. 3. The rotatable mounting 57 may provide frictional drag so that the mercury switches 39 and 40 may be adjusted to the desired tilt and frictionally retain the switch at its adjusted position.
An alternate form of the invention is shown in Figs. 4 and 5. In this case the housing 43 is attached to the head band M in much the same manner as the first form shown in Fig. l. The housing 48, however, is in the alternate form, of wider construction than that shown in Fig. l. The purpose of the extra width is to provide for a circular mercury switch 49 which is dish-shaped and provided with a contact member 59 which extends around the upper inside periphery of the mercury switch 49 and is electrically connected through lead 51 to the spring switch 52 which has an insulated button 53 slid-- ably mounted within the housing wall 54- through slot 55 so as to establish a contact with the alarm or buzzer 56 when in an upper position as shown in Fig. or may be retracted within the slot 55 to separate the spring contact 52 from the electrical connection to the buzzer 56.
Another terminal communicates with the internal mechanism of buzzer 56 and extends downwardly and centrally of the dish-shaped mercury switch 49 at 57 so as to provide a mount for the switch 49 while at the same time having its end 58 in continuous contact with a pool of mercury 59 lying within the mercury switch. As in the previous form, the battery 60 is mounted above the buzzer 58 and establishes an electrical circuit through the spring clip 61, through the buzzer mechanism 56, the supporting element 57, the mercury pool 59, the lead 51, the spring switch 52, the metal mount 62 and back to the battery 6 as shown. The electrically conducting spring clip 62 may be secured to the housing of the buzzer 56 by means such as rivet 63 while the spring contact 61 may be secured to a terminal 64 which is insulated from the buzzer 56 by such means as a dielectric washer 65.
Operation In the use and operation of my sleep inhibiting device, the head band of the mounting structure M is placed over the top of the users head with the alarm mechanism B either in contact with the bone structure adjacent the ear or directly over the ear itself. The circuit energizing switch mechanism is then raised into closed position as shown in Fig. 2 by positioning the dielectric button 35 upwardly. When in this position, the spring contact member 34 presses against the terminal -33 of the buzzer 27. The buzzer, of course, will not be energized until such time as the circuit is completed. If the user nods his head one or the other of the mercury switches 39 and 40 will be closed after a predetermined tilt of the head has been acquired. Thus, the alarm mechanism as viewed in Fig. 2 will, when tilted to the left, cause the pool of mercury 39a to bridge the terminals between leads 38 and 37. A flow of current will then be established from the battery 28 through buzzer terminal 32, out of the second buzzer terminal 33, through spring contact 34, lead 38, mercury pool 39a, lead 42, housing contact 43, through the housing 14, bracket 29 and thus back to the other terminal of battery 28. If the head is again brought to upright position, the mercury pool 39a will go back to its original position shown, thus breaking the contact and interrupting the signal. Similarly, if the head is tilted in the opposite direction, the mercury pool 40a will bridge the contact members comprising the ends of leads 37 and 44 so as to similarly establish a circuit which includes the housing at contact point 43. Again, when the head is righted, the pool of mercury 40a will assume its position shown in Fig. 2 and the circuit to the buzzer 27 will be deenergized.
Referring now to the alternate form. in Figs. 4 and 5, the circuit energizing switch button 53 is moved upwardly so as to establish the potential circuit through spring contact members 52 and brackets 52, and the head mount M is positioned in a similar manner to that described above. It will be noted that the alternate form has but one mercury switch, the pool of mercury 59 being capable of bridging the conducting members 57 and 5t) whenever the head of the user is tilted in any direction. Thus, whenever the head of the user nods, as where he is first becoming drowsy, the mercury pool 59 will bridge the contact between 57 and so as to complete the circuits through the buzzer 56. The circuit thus established is from the battery terminal through spring contact 61, buzzer terminal 64- and through the buzzer mechanism, out again through terminal 57 through the mercury pool 59, contact wire 50 through lead 51, through spring switch 52, bracket 62 and back to the other lead of battery 6%. It will be noted that the sensitivity of the mercury switch shown in the alternate form of Figs. 4 and 5 cannot be adjusted and therefore must be set to average conditions at the time the sleep inhibiting device is manufactured.
On the other hand, the mercury switches 39 and 40 of the first mentioned form of the invention will adapt themselves to adjusting the sensitivity so that a slight nodding will energize the buzzer 27. If it is desired to decrease the sensitivity or" the unit, the switch 39 may be rotated slightly in a clockwise arc and the switch 40 in a counterclockwise arc. It will now take a more pronounced nod of the head to close the mercury switches and energize the buzzer. It is, of course, within the control of the operator to determine the degree of sensitivity which he desires. The device has been so constructed that ordinary tilting and movements of the head will not ordinarily energize the alarm mechanism B. In the event the mechanism is accidentally energized there is, of course, no harm done, the occurrence being avoided only to prevent unnecessary distraction at times other than those of actual danger.
It may thus be seen that I have devised an extremely efiicient and useful device which is completely self contained and which, through the medium of a small and inexpensive battery unit will give long and faithful service to prevent the user from falling into a deep sleep at a time of danger.
It will, of course, be understood that various changes may be made in the form, details, arrangement and proportions of the parts without departing from the scope of my invention.
What I claim is:
l. A sleep inhibiting device comprising a mounting structure for attachment to the head of a wearer, an electrically operated buzzer mechanism secured to the mounting structure and adapted to be placed in physical communication with the head of the wearer in the area of his ear, a small dry cell battery secured to the head mounting structure, an electrical circuit from the dry cell battery to the buzzer, and a pair of independently adjustable mercury switches secured to said mounting structure in oppositely disposed forward and rearward angular relation one with the other and either of which is capable of closing said circuit whereby nodding of the wearers head will cause one of said mercury switches to energize said electrical buzzer for awakening the wearer of the device.
2. A sleep inhibiting device comprising a mounting structure for attachment to the head of a wearer, an electrically operated alarm mechanism secured to the mounting structure and adapted to be placed in physical communication with the head of the wearer in the area of his ear, a small dry cell battery secured to the head mounting structure, an electrical circuit from the dry cell battery to the alarm, and a pair of mercury switches secured to the mounting structure, each being interposed in parallel connection with said circuit, one of said switches being adjustably tilted in a vertical plane lying substantially in a forward and rearward direction with respect to the head of the wearer and tilted upwardly and forwardly and the other of said switches also lying in a vertical plane disposed in the forward and rearward direction with respect to the wearers head and angulated upwardly and rearwardly, each of said switches being more responsive to forward and rearward tilting of the head than to side tilting whereby centrifugal action on the mercury of said switches will be less apt to cause closing of the circuit during travel thereof in a curved path than if said switches were disposed in a plane lateral to said forward and rearward direction.
3. A sleep inhibiting device comprising a mounting structure for attachment to the head of a wearer, an electrically operated alarm mechanism secured to the mounting structure and adapted to be placed in physical communication with the head of a wearer in the area of his ear, a small dry cell battery secured to the head mounting structure, an electrical circuit from the dry cell battery to the alarm, a first mercury switch lying in a vertical plane and adjustably angulated upwardly and forwardly with respect to the wearers head, and a second mercury switch lying in a vertical plane and adjustably angulated in an upward and rearward position with respect to the wearers head, each of said switches being connected in parallel in said circuit, the forward and upward switch being adjustable to change sensitivity of the switch in response to forward nodding of the head and the upward and rearwardly disposed switch being adjustable to change sensitivity thereof in response to rearward nodding of the head,
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,054,484 Patterson Sept. 15, 1936 2,066,092 Brown Dec. 29, 1936 2,196,543 Anderson Apr. 9, 1940 2,604,559 Shapiro July 22, 1952