Saturday, November 28, 2015

Oh, patents! Stride Rite® lighted shoes

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

What’s cooler than a pair of lighted shoes? A pair of shoes that blink without batteries!

In a nutshell, this is what the Stride Rite® patent US2007020122 is all about: addressing the issue of battery depletion so that a small child's lighted shoes will blink without exhaustion. 

Prior art lighted shoes have attempted to address the issue of battery depletion by resorting to various strategies. Among these strategies, increases in battery life, pressure sensitive switches that turn the lights on only under the pressure of a jump, a skip or walking, the use of less blinking lights, or of light-blinking sequences so that not all the lights go on at the same time. But none of these lighted shoes were batteryless. Indeed, none had ever operated without switches or a controller!

Accordingly, US2007020122 offers to resolve the issue of battery life in children’s lighted shoes with a light and power-generating device “configured as a magnetic field induction element that operates in accordance with Faraday's law of electromagnetic induction:. .”

The shoe upper contains LED lights in a desirable configuration. The lights are connected with wires to a printed circuit board that is part of a lighting module, located in a cavity, inside the shoe heel or elsewhere inside the sole. 

The power-generating device, consisting of a permanent magnetic rod measuring less than ½ an inch in length, and less than 1/8 of an inch in diameter, inside a tube, configured as a magnetic field -operating according to Faraday’s law of electromagnetic induction, then has the capacity to induce voltage on a coil, coiled around the tube, and thus to generate sufficient voltage to make a small LED light blink, every time the magnetic field is disturbed. 

Accordingly every time there is erratic movement (skipping, jumping, walking), the magnetic rod will move, creating a disturbance in a magnetic field that induces voltage on a coil, which in turn will make the lights blink!

Thus, not only does the shoe no longer need a battery to operate the LED lights of the little shoe, it also no longer needs a pressure-activated switch, since the movement of the magnetic field is enough to induce voltage. In turn, the reduction in the number of components of the invention also makes the little shoe more cost efficient. 

The patent further recites the specific design details of this dynamic magnetic motor or “dynamo” that generates energy inside the shoe, using the relative motion of a magnetic field and stationary coiled inductor or stator, the various circuit configurations to actuate the lights, and those that will bypass the use of a controller, thus further reducing the number of parts, components and cost associated with the invention. 


Stride Rite® lighted shoes may thrill little kids with their blinking lights, and they may also fascinate parents with such an ingenious patent stored in their soles and uppers!

The Abstract for US2007020122 titled Lighted shoes is included below with one of the patent drawings and a marketed Stride Rite® StarWars lighted model. 

A lighted shoe including, but not limited to, a component including, but not limited to, at least one light source (e.g., a light emitting diode or "LED"), and a power generating element (e.g., a magnetic dynamic motor or "dynamo") used to generate power to illuminate the at least one light source. The lighted shoe need not incorporate a battery to operate the at least one light source. 
[Abstract US2007020122]

Friday, November 27, 2015

Oh, patents! Skip*Hop® Moby bath spout cover

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

Lots more Skip*Hop® patented bath time fun for you and your tot!

The Skip*Hop®, whale-looking, Moby bath spout cover is designed to protect tots from injuring themselves with a protruding bath spout when playing in the tub, on in case they slip.

According to one aspect of the invention, the Moby bath spout cover is designed for easy installation and removal from the bath spout. Easy removal is deemed necessary for proper drying and prevention of mildew and mold formation. The snug fit of the spout cover is obtained with the design of a strap that fits under the bath spout and adjusts to tighten or loosen the fit of both sides of the spout cover, around the spout. This aspect of the invention also affords use of the spout cover invention with various types and sizes of bath spouts.

According to another aspect of the invention, the bath spout cover also includes an opening on the top portion of the cover, which is designed to accommodate the shower diverter of a bath spout.

Finally, the Moby whale design is also an integral part of the invention as it is deemed important that the embodiment of the bath spout cover be aesthetically pleasing and appealing to little children! Indeed, in a perfect design match of form and function, the ends of the adjustable strap thus appear as small fins on each side the whale (See Item 26 on the patent drawing). 

US2015265104 titled Bath spout cover was filed on Sept. 24, 2015. The abstract of the invention is included below, as well as one of the patent drawings and an image of the marketed Moby whale product.
A bath spout cover is provided that includes a body structure having an upper portion, two opposing side portions, and a front portion; a receiving area defined between the upper portion, the two opposing side portions, and the front portion; a strap spanning the two opposing side portions, said strap being adjustable on at least one of the side portions of the body structure; and at least one aperture defined by one of the side portions of the body structure, said aperture for receiving an end of the strap. Further provided are methods for securing a bath spout cover to a bath spout. [Abstract US2015265104

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Oh, patents! Skip*Hop® Bathtub baby rinser

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

Do you have a little tot? Would you like to gently shower your baby or remove shampoo with a soft flow of water? Skip*Hop® has an ingenious whale-looking jug that enables you to scoop water and then to pour it evenly and gently on your baby’s head. The jug is further equipped with a soft yellow rubber lip that fits snuggly on your infant's forehead, and thus protects face and eyes from water and shampoo!

The Skip*Hop® bathwater jug is called a baby rinser. It has a wide, semi-cylindrical opening with channels on the lower portion, extending from the closed end to the opening of the jug. The channels are designed to spread the flow of water widely and evenly across the opening as the water is dispensed, resulting in a gentle shower.  

Additionally, the Skip*Hop® baby rinser really looks like a blue whale, with a curled up tail that functions as a handle to scoop up bath water!

US2015305470, titled Bathtub baby rinser, was filed on October 29, 2015. The patent abstract is included below with one of the patent drawings, and an image of the marketed product.

Happy tubby time!

A container has a body with an opening for holding a fluid such as water. A plurality of substantially parallel fins extend from an opening toward an opposite end of the container defining parallel channels. When a fluid is dispersed from the opening of the container, the fluid is dispersed evenly across the opening in a coaxial direction to the fins [Abstract US2015305470].