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Publication numberUS3163856 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 29, 1964
Filing dateNov 14, 1961
Priority dateNov 14, 1961
Publication numberUS 3163856 A, US 3163856A, US-A-3163856, US3163856 A, US3163856A
InventorsFrederick G Kirby
Original AssigneeFrederick G Kirby
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Alarm device for indicating lack of motion
US 3163856 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec. 29, 1964 F. cs. KIRBY 3,163,355


I6 (I? I8 F9 go 5 62?: A 2'' 516 2| L TIME ALARM 3 t it t2' I l k VTIME 23 24 25 2e 27 28 22 R. F. I RANSMITTER I INVENTOR. FREDERICK G. KIRBY A TTORNEY 3,163,856 ALARM DEVEQE FGR INDHEATENG LACK @F MOTTQN Frederick G. Kirby, 2.8361 Set-fridge Drive, Malibu, Caiilf. Filed Nov. 14, 1961, der. No. 152,369 4 Claims. (6!. 340 279) This invention relates generally to alarm systems and more particularly to a novel alarm device arranged to be automatically energized in the event a person or object does not move within a given period of time.

Many people, particularly older men and women, live alone in apartments or homes. These people may be subject to comas, heart attacks, or fainting spells which may prove fatal unless a suitable alarm is sounded or some signal is given to outsiders. Thus far, it is not uncommon for older people to hire a telephone answering service instructing them to call their homes every hour or so during the day to make sure that they are still physically conscious.

With foregoing in mind, it is a primary object of this invention to provide a novel alarm means which overcomes the foregoing difliculties by sounding an alarm in the event that a person using the device should have a heart attack, drop into a coma, or have some other misfortune befall him when alone.

More particularly, an object of this invention is to provide an alarm device which includes a simple structure wearable on a persons wrist similar to a wristwatch and which cooperates with other components disposed in a stationary position within a persons home for causing an alarm to sound in the event of no movement by the operators wrist within a given period of time.

Still another object is to provide a system responsive to lack of movement which is faihsafe in that any failure in the structure worn by a person will result in sounding of the alarm.

Briefly, these and many other objects and advantages of this invention are attained by providing a signal generating means designed to be worn about the wrist and to transmit a signal in response to movement of the wrist. A receiver and time delay means are stationarily positioned in the users home or apartment at a convenient location to receive the signals from the generating means. Each time a signal is received, the receiver amplifies the signal and initiates a given period of time or timing cycle in the delay means. An alarm device in turn is connected to the time delay means. The alarm device is adapted to be energized only if the time delay means is permitted to complete its timing cycle; that is, operate for the given period referred to. This can only be achieved in the absence of a signal from the signal generating means, resetting or again initiating the timing cycle. It will thus be evident that if the signal generating means is held motionless for a period of time exceeding the given period of the time delay means, an alarm will be sounded. On the other hand, if motion exists so that signals are periodically generated, no alarm will be sounded.

A better understanding of the invention will be had by referring to various embodiments thereof as described in conjunction with the attached drawings, in which:

FIGURE 1 is a block diagram illustrating the basic components of this invention;

FIGURE 2 is a timing diagram useful in explaining the operation of the device of FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 3 ilustrates in broken-away perspective view view a first embodiment of the signal generating device employed in FIGURE 1; and

FIGURE 4 is a view similar to FIGURE 3 showing a United States Patent Patented Dec. 29, 1964 modified type of signal generating device in accordance with the invention.

Referring first to FiGURE 1, there is provided a signal generating device 10 adapted to be held about a persons wrist 11 as by a conventional band or strap 12. The device m is preferably the same size as a watch so that it may be Worn in comfort. The signal generating device In is designed to transmit a radio frequency signal each time the wrist 11 is moved; that is, each time the structure id is submitted to some type of motion.

The radio frequency signal from the generator 10 is received in a receiver 13 which will provide a reset signal to a timer 14 to effect resetting and initiating of a timing cycle. An alarm device 15 i connected to the timer 14 and arranged to be energized only when the timer 1 reaches the end of its timing cycle.

From the foregoing, it will be evident that the alarm 15 will never be sounded provided that signals are successively received within the period of the timing cycle of the timer M. In other words, provided the timer 14 is reset to its initial starting position before it has time to complete its normal timing cycle, the alarm 15 will remain silent.

This situation is pictorilly illustrated in FIGURE 2 wherein the various signals 16, 1'7, 18, 19, and 20 represent burst of R.- energy resulting from movement of a persons wrist 11 causing actuation of the signal generator ill of FIGURE 1. Since these movements may occur at intermittent or random periods, the spacing between the signals ld-Zil is random as shown.

Below the signals ltd-2t} on a vertical time scale between the horizontal line 21 and base line 22 is repre sented the period T of the timer 1d. The operation of the time delay itself is represented by the various slopes 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, and 28. Thus, when operation of the timer is initiated by a signal, the delay period will commence as represented by the slope line, this slope line approaching the end of the timing period as represented by the horizontal line 21. For example, when the signal 16 is received within the timer 14, it will reset the operation of the timer to the time base line so that the timer will commence operating up the slope 24. The next signal 17 is received before the timer period itself has elapsed so that the timer is again reset and again initiates its cycle as indicated by the slope 25. Each time one of the signals 162tl is received, the timer is reset and starts its timing cycle again.

Referring to the lefthand ordinants representing the time elapsed within the timer circuit itself, it will be noted that as long as the definite time periods 11, t t t and t are each less than the timer period T, the alarm will not be actuated. However, should the spacing between the generated or reset signals 16-26 become greater than the timer period, then the alarm will be sounded. The timer 14 may be adjusted to vary its cycle or period T and thereby vary the given period in which motionlessness is necessary to operate the alarm.

In the case of detecting human motion during day time, it is preferable to set the period T of the time delay circuit to a value between three and five minutes. A person who is conscious will normally move his wrist eight or ten times every minute so that there are provided successive signals sutficient to reset the timer circuit so that no alarm will ordinarily be sounded. When a person is resting or even sleeping, provided he is not in a coma, he will move his wrist at least once every six or eight minutes so that again a timer period of fifteen minutes would result in no alarm being sounded unless the patient actually became absolutely motionless for this period of time. At night time, the timer device may be set for a period of perhaps twenty minutes to accommodate those rare occurrences when a person may be slee ing normally but not move his wrist for a period of ten or fifteen minutes.

Referring now to FIGURE 3, there is shown one embodiment of the signal generator It) useful for providing the radio frequency signals illustrated in FIGURE 2 at 16-29. As shown in FIGURE 3, the structure It may include a casing 29 including a spiral spring 30 anchored at its inner end at 31 to the casing 29 and having its outer end terminating in a first contact means in the form of an upwardly projecting probe 32 which is freely floating, being held solely through the medium of the spiral spring. is absolutely motionless so as to be held out of physical contact therewith is a second contact means constituting a ring 33. Conductor 34 connects through a normally'closed switch S to the ring 33 and a conductor 35 connects to the probe 32 through the medium of the spring itself. These conductors include a battery 36 and trigger circuit 37 in series so that when contact is made between the first contact and the second contact, the battery 36 is connected across the trigger 3'7. The trigger circuit 37 may constitute a one-shot multi-vibrator for providing a modulating pulse to turn on and cause a burst of R-F energy from an R-F transmitter 32 to be emitted. Other equivalent triggering circuits may be employed.

In the operation of the device of FIGURE 3, it will be evident that when the structure It) is worn on a persons wrist, any movement whatsoever will result in relative movement of the free floating probe 32 at the end of the spiral spring 30 and the ring 33 as a consequence of inertia to cause successive contacts therewith and thereby trigger the circuit 37 to result in transmission of radio frequency signals. These signals will be received in the receiver 13 of FIGURE 1 which will amplify the R-F signal to provide the resetting signal to the timer 7.4.

FIGURE 4 shows an alternative signal generating means including difierent types of contacts. In FIGURE 4, there is provided a casing 39 incorporating an annular raceway 49 in its floor. A conducting ball bearing 41 is received in the raceway 49. About the peripheral portion of the casing 39 is provided a plurality of contacts 42, alternate ones being connected to an output lead 34' and the ones adjacent thereto being connected to a second output lead 35' corresponding to the output leads 34 and 35 of FIGURE 3.

Any motion of the persons wrist will cause the ball 41 by inertia effects to roll about the raceway to move from one set of adjacent contacts to another set of adjacent contacts so that making and breaking of the connections between the conductors 3d and 35 will cause successive triggering of the circuit 37 of FIGURE 3 and thus generation of the desired radio frequency signals.

The alarm itself may constitute any suitable circuit for accomplishing a variety of functions such as sounding a signal in a neighbors house, causing an automatic dialing of a doctors telephone, or effecting any other equivalent function which will bring aid to the person in distress.

In the event that a user should leave the signal generating device in a drawer or on his bureau, rather than strapped on his wrist, after the given delay period determined by the timer has elapsed, the alarm will be sounded indicating to the user that he has forgotten to place the generator on his wrist. It is thus seen that a fail-safe feature is included in that failure of the user to actually be using the device results in operation of the alarm.

The alarm will similarly be actuated in the event any part of the signal transmitting mechanism is not functioning. In other words, if the trigger circuit fails to operate or if the radio frequency transmitter does not transmit,

Surrounding the probe 32 when the samealarm.

the receiver 13 will not receive a signal and thus the timer 14 will be permitted to run throughout its cycle to sound the alarm I5. Sounding of the alarm, if the user is still in motion, will indicate that the signal generator it is out of order.

The normally closed switch S is provided in the event the wearer is still conscious and wishes to sound the For example, in some instances, an elderly person may fall and fnacture a hip. In such cases, the person may not be able to move or transport his body but nevertheless still be conscious. By then manually opening the switch S, the time delay will run through its cycle and the alarm will sound.

From the foregoing description, it will thus be evident that the present invention has provided a unique and novel system for indicating lack of motion to the end that people subject to strokes, comas, and the like need no longer live in fear of being unaided after being motionless for a given period of time.

While the invention has been described principally in connection with elderly people who may be subject to spec fic types of attacks, it will be evident that the present invention will find use in any particular situation in Which it is desired to detect a lack of motion. The invention, therefore, is not to be thought of as limited to the one application set forth merely for illustrative purposes.

What is claimed is:

1. An alarm device for indicating lack of motion of an external portion of a persons body, comprising, in combination: a casing structure adapted to be attached to an external portion of a persons body; a radio frequency transmitter incorporated within said casing structure; a source of energy for triggering said transmitter disposed in said casing structure; inertial responsive electrical contact means in said casing structure responsive to random movement of said casing structure resulting from random movement of said portion of said persons body to connect said source to said transmitter and effect triggering of said transmitter to effect wireless transmitting of signals; time delay means disposed at a stationary location removed from said casing and responsive to said signals to reset itself and initiate the running of a given time period each time one of said signals is received, said time delay means including means for adjusting said given time period to any arbitrary value between three and twenty minutes; and, alarm means connected to said time delay means and responsive to completion of said given time period by said time delay means to operate an alarm, whereby lack of motion for a length of time longer than said given time period results in operation of said alarm.

2. An alarm device according to claim 1, in which said contact means includes:

(a) a spiral spring having one end fixed and its other end terminating in a free floating first contact; and,

(b) a second contact stationarily secured to said casing and surrounding said first contact such that any motion of said casing results in physical engagement of said first and second contacts with each other.

3. An alarm device according to claim 1, in which said casing includes:

(a) an annular raceway, said contact means including:

(b) a conducting ball constrained to rolling movement in said raceway; and,

(c) a plurality of electrical contacts about the periphery of said raceway in positions such that adjacent contacts are electrically bridged by said ball When said ball is in a given position, movement of said casing resulting in movement of said ball to break its contact with said adjacent contactsrand effect other contacts.

4. An alarm device according to claim 1, including a manually operable switch Within said casing structure adapted to prevent transmission of said signal.

(References on following page) References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Apold Apr. 7, 1908 Strauss et a1 Mar. 19, 1940 Potts June 23, 1944 Tobias June 21, 1949 Campisi Dec. 6, 1955 Kayser Feb. 24, 1959 Tommi Oct. 2, 1962 Papaminas Mar. 19, 1963 FOREIGN PATENTS Great Britain Mar. 25, 1959

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U.S. Classification340/526, 340/573.1, 340/539.1, 200/61.45R, 340/539.12, 455/100, 600/595, 128/903
International ClassificationH01H35/00, G08B21/04
Cooperative ClassificationY10S128/903, G08B21/0415, H01H35/00
European ClassificationG08B21/04A1, H01H35/00