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Publication numberUS3803831 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 16, 1974
Filing dateAug 29, 1973
Priority dateAug 29, 1973
Publication numberUS 3803831 A, US 3803831A, US-A-3803831, US3803831 A, US3803831A
InventorsHorzick J
Original AssigneeMotorola Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Visual indication apparatus with rotatable transparent discs
US 3803831 A
Abstract
A novel rotary indicator apparatus which is particularly suitable for timepieces but which is adaptable for any application where derived information is to be visually displayed. For time-pieces two or more graduated discs are utilized in co-centric relation to one another. At least one of such discs is caused to rotate with respect to the other by having the respective discs exhibit a progressively decreasing color intensity but in opposite directions, a unique visual effect or traveling zone is evidenced to the viewer's eye as the discs rotate one on top of the other.
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ite States Patent 1 Munich VISUAL INDICATION APPARATUS WTTI-ll ROTATABLE TRANSPARENT DISCS [75] Inventor: Joseph ll-Iorzick, West Chicago, Ill.

[73] Assignee: Motorola, ]lnc., Chicago, Ill.

[22] Filed: Aug. 29, 1973 [2]] Appl. No.: 392,838

[52] US. Cl. 58/126 R, 116/115 [51] Int. Cl. G04b 19/00 [58] Field of Search 58/126 R, 126 A, 126 D,

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2/1967 Beall, Jr. et a1 116/115 X 5/1972 Calama 58/127 R X FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS Switzerland 58/126 A Apr. 16, 1974 Primary Examiner-George H. Miller, Jr. Attorney, Agent, or FirmVincent J. Rauner; Donald B. Southard [5 7] ABSTRACT A novel rotary indicator apparatus which is particularly suitable for timepieces but which is adaptable for any application where derived information is to be visually displayed. For time-pieces two or more graduated discs are utilized in co-centric relation to one another. At least one of such discs is caused to rotate with respect to the other by having the respective discs exhibit a progressively decreasing color intensity but in opposite directions, a unique visual effect or traveling zone is evidenced to the viewers eye as the discs rotate one on top of the other.

5 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures VISUAL INDICATION APPARATUS WITH ROTATABLE TRANSPARENT DISCS BACKGROUND Without imposing a limitation as to any other potential applications, the present invention is set forth and disclosed in the environment of timepieces.

The conventional method of displaying information, particularly for clocks or timepieces generally, is by moving radial arms or hands about a circular dial face. The watch hands are more often than not quite fragile,

particularly the second hand. Additionally, it takes a discemable amount of time to correlate the respective positions of the plurality clock or watch hands for the conventional timepiece so as to correctly determine the particular time.

SUMMARY An object of the present invention is to provide an improved rotary indicator apparatus which exhibits a novel visual'effect.

A more particular object of the present invention is to provide improved visual indicator apparatus for a timepiece which provides an immediate and accurate indication of time at a glance.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an improved visual indicator apparatus of the foregoing type for timepieces in which conventional radial or clock hands are not required.

In a preferred embodiment, as applied to timepieces, a plurality of graduated plastic discs are arranged one on top of another on the clock or dial face. The discs aremade of any suitably transparent material with the portions that are visible being graduated in color from full or 1.00 percent intei'lsity down to some nominal value, say in the 5 percent range. One disc is made stationary with the remaining disc or discs beingselectively rotated in the same manner and by the same rotary shafts of the associated timepiece as used for the conventional radial arms or clock hands.

Accordingly, as one disc rotates in relation to another, a continually expanding zone of either darker or lighter color tone is presented to the eye which provides an immediate and accurate indication of time at a glance, while at the same time effects an attractive and pleasing visual effect to the viewer. Separate rotatable, discs may be employed for minute and hour references in addition to indicating seconds. Alternatively, it may be desirable or otherwise preferable to merely indicate seconds and utilize other means for referencing minutes and hours. Further, markers of one sort or another may be utilized on the minute and hour discs, if used,- to provide a more conventional time references in addition to the traveling zone effect. In this instance, however, conventional radial arms or hands are nevertheless still not required.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The features of the present invention which are believed to be novel are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The invention, itself, however, together with further objects and advantages thereof, may best be understood by reference to the following description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of a desk clock or timepiece which has been constructed in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the clock of FIG. ll wherein the respective rotatable discs are shown arranged one on top of the other;

FIGS. 3a through 3d are front plan views of the respective discs shown in side elevation in FIG. 2; and

FIG. 41 shows a pair of rotatable discs in perspective to illustrate the traveling zone effect.

Referring now to the drawings, a timepiece in the form ofa desk or table clock 10 is shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, which timepiece has been constructed in accordance with the present invention. As previously mentioned, however, the invention itself is in no way limited to timepieces, but may be utilized advantageously in a wide variety of applications where it is desired to visually display derived information. Incorporation into timepieces is but one such advantageous application.

As seen in FIGS. l and 2, timepiece 110 includes a housing 12 integral with an L-shaped pedestal or base 14. A transparent cap 116 covers the front of the dial face. As best seen in FIG. 2, a plurality of hollow shafts, rotatably mounted within housing 12, extend laterally outward from the dial face. Shaft 20a, utilized for rotatably indicating seconds, is turnably mounted within a hollow shaft 20b, the latter rotatably indicating min- 4 utes." Shaft 20b, is in turn mounted within a further hollow shaft 200 for indicating hours. The mechanism for selectively rotating the shafts 20a through 200 is not shown in detail since it forms no part of the pres ent invention, and further, is conventional in any clock orwatch, and accordingly will be readily understood by those skilled in the art. i

The time indicating elements for timepiece It) are provided in the form of a plurality of transparent disc members 30, 32, 3d and 36 arranged one on top of another on the dial face (FIG. 2), and which are shown individually in plan view in FIGS. 3a through 3c. Asindicated, disc 32 is mounted upon and is rotated by shaft 20c and, as will be explained subsequently, is effective to indicate hours." That is, it is effective in combination with the base, or master, disc member 30, the latter being attached directly to the dial face of the timepiece and remains stationary at all times.

In like manner, the disc 34 is mounted on and is rotated by the control shaft 20b. Disc 34, in association with master disc 30, is effective to indicate minutes." Moreover, whereas the hour disc 32 is substantially the same size or diameter as the master disc 30, disc 34 is somewhat smaller than disc 30. Disc 36, for indicating seconds, is constructed to be still smaller than the disc member 34. It is, of course, mounted on and is rotated by the control shaft 200. I

As will be appreciated in FIG. ll, which shows the disc 30 through 36 in plan view arranged on top of one another, disc 32 may be seen as a circular strip, with disc 34 being viewed as a still smaller circular strip cocentric with, but inside, the inner periphery of disc 32.

Disc 36 is viewed as a full circle, but smaller than the inner periphery of disc 34. The double-circular dots in bullseye, representing the hours of 12, 3, 6 and 9 together with the single circles, for the hours of l, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, l and l 1, may be conveniently etched into or otherwise affixed to the transparent clock face cover 16.

As might be appreciated, the hour, minute, and second indicating discs 32, 34 and 36, respectively, are constructed of a suitably transparent material, such as a medium or heavy gauge plastic or cellulose acetate sheeting. One such material is available commercially under the brand name Plexiglassl' In practice, it has been found that a material of this sort of approximately 0.007 inches thickness provides satisfactory operation in the environment as herein described. Master disc 30, of course, does not need to be transparent and accordingly, may be of any suitable material, including paper stock or the like. In any event, it is attached directly to the dial of timepiece 10 and the remaining discs rotate in relation to the stationary master disc v30. The hour, minute and second bands or rings on master 30 are identified, respectively, at 30a, 30b and 300 (FIG. 3a). In a clockwise direction, each of the bands or circular segments 30a, 30b and 300 are colored or opaqued starting at a reference line or radius designated at x. The color intensity thereof progressively decreases from the full of 100 percent intensity level at reference x until it reaches a nominal percent at substantially full circle. The graduated coloring may be accomplished by any one of a number of presently known techniques, such as lithography or an acceptable silk screening process. The density of the printing dots may vary over predetermined range. However, it has been found that the nominal 120 line density may be preferred.

It has also been found that it is more desirable to utilize different colors for the respective bands or segments as depicted in master disc 30of FIG. 3a. This enables the eye to quickly distinguish the respective bands and thereby discern the particuar time displayed at a quick glance. For example, the outer ring 30a may be provided as a bright orange coloring, while the ring 30b for indicating minutes may be attractively portrayed in a lavender coloring, with the circular center portion occupied by disc 36 being of a less conspicuous color, such as black, since it presents substantially greater area. It is to be understood, however, that the specific coloring form no part of the present invention and should be left entirely to subjective preferences.

The transparent discs 32, 34 and 36 associated with master disc 30 include the same graduating color scheme, except in reverse order. That is, the progressive decrease in opaqueness or color intensity is effected in a counter clockwise direction as opposed to the clockwise direction for disc member 30. In this way, the traveling zone effect is exhibited when each of the discs 32, 34 and 36 rotate in relation to the master disc 30.

This traveling zone effect may be more readily appreciated upon reference to FIG. 4 which illustrates a view in perspective of disc 36 in rotative relation to the center portion 30c of disc 30. As disc 36 rotates, say in a clockwise direction, the full or percent color intensity area following reference line X overlaps the full color intensity area of disc portion 30c which begins at reference line X, thereby creating a wedge-shaped zone of visibly darker tone or shading. This zone continues to expand arcuately as disc 36 is rotated by the shaft 20a until reference line X travels full circle and the cycle then repeats. The same traveling zone effect is obtained by disc member 32 in combination with the inner strip portion or ring 30b of master disc 30 and also by disc member 34 in combination with the outer strip portion or ring 3011 of disc 30.

While only particular embodiments of the invention have been shown and described herein, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that certain modifications and alternative constructions may be made without materially departing from the invention in its broader aspects and, accordingly, the appended claims are intended to cover all such changes and alternative construction that may fall within the true scope and spirit of the invention.

What is claimed is:

1. In a timepiece of the type having concentric hollow shafts for referencing seconds, minutes and hours, improved rotary indicator apparatus including in combination:

a dial face comprising a plurality of concentric circular bands each having a graduated color intensity and which progressively decreases from substantially full color in a given rotary direction; and

a plurality of transparent discs arranged on said concentric hollow shafts in substantial coaxial alignment with each other and to said dial face;

each of said plurality of transparent discs having a corresponding circular band overlaying a respective one of said dial face circular bands, and which includes the same said graduated color intensity but progressively decreasing in a rotary direction opposite to said first named direction,

each said transparent disc creating a traveling zone effect as it rotates in relation to an associated one of said dial face circular bands.

2. Rotary indicator apparatus for a timepiece in accordance with claim 1 wherein said transparent discs are formed of a cellulose acetate material with a thickness in the range of 0.007 inches.

3. Rotary indicator apparatus in acordance with claim 1 wherein the graduated color intensity of said plurality of transparent discs varies between substantially full color intensity and approximately five percent thereof.

4. Rotary indicator apparatus for a timepiece in accordance with claim 1 wherein there are at least three transparent discs of differing colors and of progressively smaller diameters to represent, respectively, hours, minutes and seconds.

5. Rotary indicator apparatus for a timepiece in accordance with claim 4 wherein said transparent discs of graduated but differing colors includes a full color intensity level in the range of lines per inch when applied by a lithographic printing process.

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4653930 *Mar 14, 1986Mar 31, 1987Eta S.A. Fabriques D'ebauchesTimepiece with special aesthetic effects
US4875432 *Oct 17, 1988Oct 24, 1989Cohen Joseph DVolleyball scoreboard
US5586089 *Mar 18, 1994Dec 17, 1996Mcgarvey; John D.Rotational moire timepiece
US5662479 *Mar 13, 1996Sep 2, 1997Rogers; Janice L.Apparatus and method to aid in the teaching of the concept of time
US5751663 *Dec 10, 1996May 12, 1998Johnson; Peter R.Timepiece having disks of graduated design density
US5943300 *Dec 3, 1997Aug 24, 1999Johnson; Peter R.Timepiece having disks of graduated design density
US6366540Nov 18, 1998Apr 2, 2002Edward KaminskyOpen-faced watch display
US6754139Nov 29, 2001Jun 22, 2004Timefoundry, LlcAnimated timepiece
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US7427143Jun 30, 2005Sep 23, 2008Yazaki North America, Inc.Instrument cluster with three-dimensional display
US7502280 *Jan 19, 2005Mar 10, 2009Stephan Johannes MuellerPosition indicator, measuring apparatus and method of manufacturing a position indicator
US7571696Jun 19, 2007Aug 11, 2009Yazaki North America, Inc.System and method for analog vehicle gauge with embedded driver information
US7750821Jul 6, 2010Yazaki North America, Inc.System and method for instrument panel with color graphical display
US9244439 *Apr 13, 2010Jan 26, 2016Charles AllisonColor changing wrist watch device and associated method
US20020054066 *Feb 14, 2001May 9, 2002Dan KikinisMethod and system for inputting time in a video environment
US20060012971 *Jun 20, 2005Jan 19, 2006Ching FongVehicle gauge with embedded driver information
US20080066335 *Jan 19, 2005Mar 20, 2008Stephan Johannes MuellerPosition indicator, measuring apparatus and method of manufacturing a position indicator
DE3526028A1 *Jul 20, 1985Jan 22, 1987Sebastian LeggeIndicating device for a clock
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Classifications
U.S. Classification368/233, 968/162, 116/335, 968/382
International ClassificationG04B19/20, G04B45/00, G04B19/00
Cooperative ClassificationG04B45/0007, G04B19/20
European ClassificationG04B45/00B, G04B19/20