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Numéro de publicationUS20090159766 A1
Type de publicationDemande
Numéro de demandeUS 12/337,030
Date de publication25 juin 2009
Date de dépôt17 déc. 2008
Date de priorité21 déc. 2007
Autre référence de publicationWO2009085891A1
Numéro de publication12337030, 337030, US 2009/0159766 A1, US 2009/159766 A1, US 20090159766 A1, US 20090159766A1, US 2009159766 A1, US 2009159766A1, US-A1-20090159766, US-A1-2009159766, US2009/0159766A1, US2009/159766A1, US20090159766 A1, US20090159766A1, US2009159766 A1, US2009159766A1
InventeursDerek L. Lawson
Cessionnaire d'origineLawson Derek L
Exporter la citationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
Liens externes: USPTO, Cession USPTO, Espacenet
Holder for Portable Electronic Devices
US 20090159766 A1
Résumé
In one embodiment, a holder for retaining a portable electronic device on a dashboard of an automobile comprises a resilient body that includes a generally wedge-shaped section for resiliently wedging into an angled space formed between the dashboard and a windshield of the automobile, and a device recess configured to snugly hold the portable electronic device. The device recess is located in the resilient body such it that faces an interior of the automobile when the holder is wedged into place, and therefore allows the holder to maintain a portable electronic device in an easily viewed/accessed orientation. In another embodiment, a system for retaining portable electronic devices on automobile dashboards comprises a set of holders. Different holders in the set are characterized by having differently dimensioned device recesses, corresponding to different portable device form factors, and/or by having differently dimensioned wedge-shaped sections, corresponding to different ranges of dashboard-windshield angles.
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Revendications(16)
1. A holder for retaining a portable electronic device on a dashboard of an automobile, said holder comprising a resilient body including:
a generally wedge-shaped section for resiliently wedging into an angled space formed between the dashboard and a windshield of the automobile; and
a device recess located in the resilient body such it that faces an interior of the automobile when the holder is wedged into place, and configured to snugly hold the portable electronic device.
2. The holder of claim 1, wherein the resilient body comprises a front portion that includes the device recess and a back portion that extends rearward from the front portion and includes the generally wedge-shaped section.
3. The holder of claim 2, wherein the resilient body is a unitary body including integrally connected front and back portions, and wherein the device recess is cut or otherwise formed in the unitary body.
4. The holder of claim 2, wherein the front and back portions comprise separate body parts connected together to form the resilient body.
5. The holder of claim 4, wherein the front portion detachably connects to the back portion, to allow different front portions having differently dimensioned device recesses to be connected to the same back portion.
6. The holder of claim 4, wherein the front portion detachably connects to the back portion, to allow different back portions having differently dimensioned generally wedge-shaped sections to be connected to the same front portion.
7. The holder of claim 1, wherein the resilient body includes one or more slits or other openings into the device recess corresponding to one or more cable connections of the portable electronic device, to thereby provide for cabled usage of the portable electronic device while it is seated in the device recess.
8. The holder of claim 1, wherein one or more contact surfaces of the resilient body are coated with a high static friction surface coating, for enhancing wedged retention of the holder.
9. The holder of claim 1, wherein one or more contact surfaces of the resilient body are ribbed or slotted, for enhancing wedged retention of the holder.
10. The holder of claim 1, wherein a back portion of the resilient body includes a face to which a front portion of the resilient body connects, and wherein the back portion includes opposing top and bottom concave surfaces tapering rearward from the face and terminating in a wedge-shaped protuberance that comprises the generally wedge-shaped section.
11. The holder of claim 1, wherein a back portion of the resilient body includes a face to which a front portion of the resilient body connects, and wherein the back portion includes opposing top and bottom surfaces arcuately tapering rearward from the face, thereby forming the generally wedge-shaped section.
12. The holder of claim 1, wherein the resilient body comprises front and back portions that are connected together to form the holder, and wherein the back portion includes a substantially planar face for mounting the front portion, and wherein the front portion includes a frame that defines the device recess when the front portion is mounted to the face of the back portion.
13. The holder of claim 1, wherein a front portion of the resilient body includes a grid of individually removable foam elements, such that the device recess is formed by a user of the holder plucking or otherwise removing individual ones of the foam elements in a pattern that corresponds to a form factor of the portable electronic device.
14. A system for retaining portable electronic devices on automobile dashboards comprises a set of holders, each holder comprising a resilient body including a generally wedge-shaped section for resiliently wedging into an angled space formed between a dashboard and a windshield of an automobile, and further including a device recess located in the resilient body such it that faces an interior of the automobile when the holder is wedged into place, said device recess dimensioned for a given size of portable electronic devices, and wherein different holders in the set are characterized by at least one of differently dimensioned device recesses, corresponding to different portable device form factors, and differently dimensioned wedge-shaped sections, corresponding to different ranges of dashboard-windshield angles.
15. The system of claim 14, wherein the resilient body of each holder comprises a back portion that includes the generally wedge-shaped section and a front portion that connects to the back portion and defines the device recess, and wherein the system includes at least one standardized back portion having a given wedge-shaped section profile, and includes a plurality of standardized front portions, each having given device recess dimensions, such that a holder for a particular size or style of portable electronic device is constructed by joining the appropriate standardized front portion to the appropriate standardized back portion.
16. The system of claim 15, wherein the at least one standardized back portion comprises a plurality of standardized back portions, each having given wedge-shaped section dimensions, such that a holder for a given automobile size or style and for a particular size or style of portable electronic device is constructed by joining the appropriate standardized front portion to the appropriate standardized back portion.
Description
    RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • [0001]
    This application claim priority under 35 U.S.C. §119(e) from the U.S. provisional patent application entitled “Device Holder for In-car Use,” filed on 21 Dec. 2007 and assigned Application No. 61/015,827, and which is incorporated herein by reference.
  • TECHNICAL FIELD
  • [0002]
    The present invention generally relates to holding or otherwise supporting portable electronic devices in an automobile, and particularly relates to device holders having resilient bodies.
  • BACKGROUND
  • [0003]
    Portable electronic devices are commonly used in vehicles, with popular examples including cellular telephones and route-guidance GPS devices. For reasons of safety and usability, it is common to secure such devices in various types of rigid holders, which are permanently or temporarily mounted within the vehicle. Examples include the well known suction cup holders commonly used for GPS devices. With such holders, a rigid device carrier provides a snap-in or other device-locking mount, and includes a strong suction-cup base for securing the carrier to the inside surface of a vehicle's windshield. Such holders offer the advantage of placing the mounted electronic device high within the driver's line of sight, but they are disadvantageous in a number of respects.
  • [0004]
    For example, suction mounts can mar the windshield surface, or at least leave visible rings on the window. Further, the performance of suction mounts depends strongly on having clean suction cup and windshield surfaces, meaning that some care must be taken to keep the suction mount(s) clean when the holder is not in use. Still further, suction mounts tend to lose their grip when the vehicle interior gets hot (i.e., in a parked car during summertime).
  • [0005]
    Alternatives commonly rely on permanent/semi-permanent dashboard mounts, such as carriers that mount to dashboard vents, or two-piece carriers that mount to and detach from a permanently-mounted base. Such bases typically are glued on or screwed into the vehicle's dashboard or other interior structure. These alternatives have the disadvantage of requiring permanently-mounted fixtures.
  • SUMMARY
  • [0006]
    In one embodiment, a holder for retaining a portable electronic device on a dashboard of an automobile comprises a resilient body that includes a generally wedge-shaped section for resiliently wedging into an angled space formed between the dashboard and a windshield of the automobile, and a device recess configured to snugly hold the portable electronic device. The device recess is located in the resilient body such that it faces an interior of the automobile when the holder is wedged into place, and therefore allows the holder to maintain a portable electronic device in an easily viewed/accessed orientation.
  • [0007]
    In another embodiment, a system for retaining portable electronic devices on automobile dashboards comprises a set of holders, each holder comprising a resilient body including a generally wedge-shaped section for resiliently wedging into an angled space formed between a dashboard and a windshield of an automobile. Further, each holder includes a device recess located in the resilient body, such it that faces an interior of the automobile when the holder is wedged into place. The device recess of each holder is dimensioned for a given size of portable electronic devices, and different holders in the set are characterized by having differently dimensioned device recesses, corresponding to different portable device form factors, and/or by having differently dimensioned wedge-shaped sections, corresponding to different ranges of dashboard-windshield angles.
  • [0008]
    However, the present invention is not limited to the above summary of features and advantages. Indeed, those skilled in the art will recognize additional features and advantages upon reading the following detailed description, and upon viewing the accompanying drawings.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0009]
    FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one embodiment of a holder for a portable electronic device.
  • [0010]
    FIG. 2 is a diagram of a conventional portable electronic device, e.g., a GPS device, as an example of a device that can be securely and protectively held by the holder of FIG. 1.
  • [0011]
    FIG. 3 is a side view of one embodiment of a holder.
  • [0012]
    FIG. 4 is a side view of one embodiment of a holder wedged into place within the angled space formed between the dashboard and windshield of an automobile.
  • [0013]
    FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a two-piece assembly, forming one embodiment of a holder.
  • [0014]
    FIG. 6 is a side view of a two-piece assembly, forming one embodiment of a holder.
  • [0015]
    FIG. 7 is a front view of a face, formed on a back portion of a holder in one embodiment.
  • [0016]
    FIG. 8 is a side view of another embodiment of a holder, illustrating a wedging section profile that is advantageous for certain dashboard/windshield angles.
  • [0017]
    FIG. 9 is a top view of a one embodiment of a holder, wherein a contact surface of the holder includes a high static-friction coating.
  • [0018]
    FIG. 10 is a rear view of one embodiment of a holder, wherein contact surfaces of the holder are ribbed or slotted.
  • [0019]
    FIG. 11 is a diagram of one embodiment of a system of device holders.
  • [0020]
    FIG. 12 is a diagram of one embodiment of pluralities of standardized front and back portions, that can be mixed and matched to form device holders targeted to particular styles of vehicles, and to particular device form factors.
  • [0021]
    FIG. 13 is a front view of a holder in one embodiment, illustrating a grid of removable elements.
  • [0022]
    FIG. 14 is a perspective view of one embodiment of a removable element.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • [0023]
    FIG. 1 depicts one embodiment of a holder 10, which is configured for retaining a portable electronic device on the dashboard of an automobile. (Neither the device or automobile are shown in FIG. 1.) The holder 10 comprises a resilient body 12, which includes a generally wedge-shaped section 14, for resiliently wedging into an angled space formed between the dashboard and a windshield of the automobile. The body 12 further includes a device recess 16, which is located in the resilient body 12 such it that faces an interior of the automobile when the holder 10 is wedged into place on an automobile's dashboard. In a preferred embodiment, the device recess 16 is configured to snugly hold the portable electronic device, thereby securely and safely retaining the device while the automobile is in use.
  • [0024]
    In the illustrated embodiment, the resilient body 12 of the holder 10 includes a front portion 18 that includes the device recess 16, and further includes and a back portion 20 that extends rearward from the front portion 18. The back portion 20 includes the generally wedge-shaped section 14, for resiliently wedging into the angled space formed between an automobile's dashboard and its windshield.
  • [0025]
    In one embodiment, the resilient body 12 is a unitary body, including integrally connected front and back portions 18 and 20. In such embodiments, the device recess 16 is cut or otherwise formed in the unitary body. In another embodiment, the front and back portions 18 and 20 comprise separate body parts connected together to form the resilient body 12. In at least one such embodiment, the front portion 18 detachably connects to the back portion 20, to allow different front portions 18 having differently-dimensioned device recesses 16 to be connected to the same back portion 20. In the same or other embodiments, the front portion 18 detachably connects to the back portion 20, to allow different back portions 20 having differently dimensioned generally wedge-shaped sections 14 to be connected to the same front portion 18.
  • [0026]
    Further, in at least one embodiment, the resilient body 12 includes one or more slits or other openings 26 into the device recess 16. These openings 26 correspond to one or more cable connections of a portable electronic device, and they thereby provide for cabled usage of the portable electronic device while it is seated in the device recess 16. As a non-limiting example, FIG. 2 depicts a conventional portable electronic device 28, which includes a number of cables (e.g., data, power, etc.) connected to it. Referring back to FIG. 1, one sees that such cables can be inserted through the openings 26 formed in the resilient body 12.
  • [0027]
    In particular, the depicted front portion 18 “frames” and therefore defines the device recess 16, and the openings 26 can be formed by molding, cutting, etc., through the framing section of the front portion 18. Notably, because the framing section of the front portion 18 is resilient in one or more embodiments, it can be dimensioned slightly undersize, or at least in close conformance to the device dimensions of interest, thereby allowing the resilient body 12 to snugly hold the device 28. In at least one embodiment, the resilient body 12 is formed from polyurethane or other foam rubber, and it has good resiliency and elasticity. As such, a given device recess 16 can accommodate a range of device sizes, i.e., it can stretch to some extent, and also can accommodate somewhat irregular device contours, even if its borders are more uniformly shaped.
  • [0028]
    In a similar aspect of its adaptability, the generally wedge-shaped section 14, extending rearward as part of the rear portion 20, can be squashed or otherwise compressed into a range of opening sizes. FIG. 3 depicts a side view of one embodiment of the holder 10, where one configuration of the generally wedge-shaped section 14 is shown in profile. FIG. 4 correspondingly depicts a partial side view of an automobile, showing the holder 10 wedged into place, in the angled space formed between the automobile's dashboard and its windshield. Advantageously, the resiliency of the wedged-shaped section 14 allows it to be squashed or otherwise stuffed into the angled space, such that the holder 10 is robustly retained in its desired position on the dashboard of the automobile.
  • [0029]
    Of course, it is contemplated herein that advantageous structure (e.g., wedge-shaped section 14 and snugly-retaining device recess 16) and material properties (e.g., foam or other resilient body material) allow the holder 10 to be used for portable electronic device retention in other spaces. Non-limiting examples including wedging the holder 10 into a vehicle console compartment, in between vehicle seats, etc. The holder 10 also can be used to wedge a device conveniently into place within a backpack or other travel bag, for easy access and viewing.
  • [0030]
    FIG. 5 provides fabrication details for one embodiment of the holder 10, wherein the resilient body 12 is formed from separate front and back portions 18 and 20. More particularly, in this embodiment, the resilient body 12 comprises front and back portions 18 and 20 that are connected together to form the holder 10, wherein the back portion includes a substantially planar face 30 for mounting the front portion 18, and wherein the front portion 18 includes a frame that defines the device recess 16 when the front portion 18 is mounted to the face 30 of the back portion 20. In this view, one sees that the back portion 20 includes opposing top and bottom surfaces arcuately tapering rearward from the face 30, thereby forming the generally wedge-shaped section 14.
  • [0031]
    With this two-piece arrangement, the device recess 16 is formed when the front portion 18 is mounted to the face 30 of the back portion 20. Momentarily referring back to FIG. 1, one sees that the frame 22 surrounds the cut-out 32 and thus forms the perimeter for the device recess 16. One also sees that the recess bottom surface 24 is a part of the back portion's face 30. It also should be noted that the cut-out 32 generally is dimensioned for a particular style or type of device (a targeted device form factor), although the resiliency of the holder 10 means that the contours of the device recess 16 can stretch or otherwise conform to a range of device sizes.
  • [0032]
    Also, as noted, other arrangements for fabricating the holder 10 are contemplated herein, such as where the device recess 16 is wholly formed within the front portion 18. As a further alternative, the device recess 16 may be molded in or cut in, where the front and back portions 18 and 20 are integrally connected together, in embodiments where the resilient body 12 is unitary. Also, it should be noted that the mounting of the front portion 18 to the back portion 20 can be permanent, such as by adhesive joining, or it may be non-permanent, such as through the use of magnets, hook-and-loop fasteners (e.g., VELCRO), etc. FIGS. 6 and 7 illustrate one embodiment of a non-permanent connection between the front and back portions 18 and 20, wherein one or more hook-and-loop, magnetic, or other fasteners 34 are mounted to the face 30 of the back portion 20, and corresponding, complementary fasteners 36 are mounted in aligned fashion to the corresponding surface of the front portion 18.
  • [0033]
    FIG. 8 depicts a further variation, which may be practiced independent of permanent and non-permanent variations on the connection between the front portion 18 and the back portion 20. Here, the back portion 20 includes opposing top and bottom concave surfaces 38, which taper rearward from the face 30 and terminate in a wedge-shaped protuberance that comprises the generally wedge-shaped section 14. This arrangement can be particularly advantageous in automobiles that have relatively shallow windshield-to-dashboard angles, because it allows greater wedging depth and more robust retention. Of course, in automobiles that have steeper windshield-to-dash angles, such as in SUVs (e.g., JEEPS, etc.), the wedge contouring introduced in FIG. 1 is more appropriate. In fact, it is contemplated herein that holders 10 having different radii of curvature for their wedging sections 14 and/or having different wedging profiles (e.g., compound curvatures or differently tapered) can be manufactured, to suit a wide range of vehicle types.
  • [0034]
    Other embodiments that offer enhanced in-place holding are shown in FIGS. 9 and 10, and it should be understood that these enhancements can be used with a variety of wedging profiles and dimensions. FIG. 9, in particular, depicts a top view of a holder 10, wherein a portion of the top surface is coated with a high static-friction coating 40. Such coatings sometimes are referred to as high “stiction” coatings. It should be understood that a like coating may be used on the bottom of the holder 10. In at least one embodiment, a rubber coating, such as a soft, high tactility rubberization, is used on the top and bottom contact surfaces of the generally wedge-shaped section 14, allowing better gripping with the automobile windshield and dashboard. (Additionally, UV-protective coatings may be applied generally to the exterior of the holder 10, to increase longevity.) FIG. 10 depicts a rear-view of one embodiment of the holder 10, and shows a further alternative to increased grip, wherein a plurality of ribs or slots 42 are used to enhance grip when the holder 10 is wedged into place.
  • [0035]
    Thus, in one or more embodiments, one or more contact surfaces of the resilient body 12 are coated with a high static friction surface coating, for enhancing wedged retention of the holder 10. Additionally, or alternatively, in one or more embodiments, one or more contact surfaces of the resilient body 12 are ribbed or slotted, for enhancing wedged retention of the holder 10. Various enhancements are therefore contemplated for making the holder 10 hold in place more robustly on the dashboard of an automobile.
  • [0036]
    Of course, it is advantageous if good wedging and device retention performance is provided across a range of automobile types, and for a range of portable electronic device form factors. To that end, it was noted that the front and back portions 18 and 20 comprise separate body parts in one or more embodiments, which are connected together to form the resilient body 12. In one such embodiment, the front portion 18 detachably connects to the back portion 20, to allow different front portions 18 having differently dimensioned device recesses 16 to be connected (one at a time) to the same back portion 20. Additionally, or alternatively, such an arrangement allows different back portions 20 having differently dimensioned generally wedge-shaped sections 14 to be connected (one at a time) to the same front portion 18.
  • [0037]
    In this manner, a user buys the front portion 18 that best matches the type of portable electronic device to be held by the holder 10, and buys the back portion 20 that best matches the type of automobile the holder 10 will be used in. Indeed, as depicted in FIG. 11, it is contemplated herein to manufacture or otherwise provide a system 50 for retaining portable electronic devices on automobile dashboards. Such a system 50 comprises a set of holders 10 (e.g., holders 10-1, 10-2, . . . , 10-R), each one comprising a resilient body 12 including a generally wedge-shaped section 14 for resiliently wedging into an angled space formed between a dashboard and a windshield of an automobile, and further including a device recess 16 located in the resilient body 12 such it that faces an interior of the automobile when the holder is wedged into place, e.g., see FIG. 4 for orientation of the device recess 16 when the holder 10 is properly wedged into position on the dashboard.
  • [0038]
    The device recess 16 of any given holder 10 is dimensioned for a given size of portable electronic devices, and the different holders 10 in the set are characterized by at least one of differently dimensioned device recesses 16, corresponding to different portable device form factors, and differently dimensioned wedge-shaped sections 14, corresponding to different ranges of dashboard-windshield angles. The resilient body 12 of each holder 10 comprises a back portion 20 that includes the generally wedge-shaped section 14, and a front portion 18 that connects to the back portion 20 and defines the device recess 16.
  • [0039]
    In at least one embodiment of the system 50, there is at least one standardized back portion 20 having a given wedge-shaped section profile, and a plurality of standardized front portions 18, each having given device recess dimensions, such that a holder 10 for a particular size or style of portable electronic device is constructed by joining the appropriate standardized front portion 18 to the appropriate standardized back portion 20. Preferably, the at least one standardized back portion 20 comprises a plurality of standardized back portions 20, each having given wedge-shaped section dimensions, such that a holder 10 for a given automobile size or style and for a particular size or style of portable electronic device is constructed by joining the appropriate standardized front portion 18 to the appropriate standardized back portion 20.
  • [0040]
    FIG. 12 depicts such an embodiment of the contemplated system 50, wherein the system 50 includes a plurality 52 of differently configured front portions 18 (e.g., 18-1, 18-2, . . . , 18-N), each one having a differently dimensioned device cut-out 32 (e.g., cut-out 32-1, 32-2, . . . , 32-N). The system 50 further includes a plurality 54 of differently configured back portions 20 (e.g., 20-1, 20-2, . . . , 20-M), each one having a differently dimensioned wedge-shaped section 14 (e.g., 14-1, 14-2, . . . , 14-M). With this arrangement, a manufacturer or vendor can provide a holder 10 that is particularized for a given style of automobile and for a given style of portable electronic device simply by selecting a given one of the front portions 18 and a given one of the back portions 20.
  • [0041]
    These items may be made available in component form, allowing the consumer to do the required mixing and matching, or such items may be pre-assembled, such that a consumer purchases pre-assembled front and back portions 18 and 20 having the desired configurations. Also, it should be noted that the overall dimensions of the holder 10 can be varied. Referring back to FIG. 1 for reference, in one example embodiment “w” and “h” are about 5 inches each, “d1” is about 1.5 inches, and “d2” is about 3.5 inches. Example recess dimensions are 3⅝ inches wide, 2⅞ inches high at the terminal points of the depicted arch, and 3⅛ inches at the apex of the arch. Of course, different families of holders 10 can be manufactured by varying one or more of these dimensions, and the size and border contours of the device recess 16 can be made to match a particular device form factor or range of form factors. Because the device recess 16 is framed by a resilient border, a given range of device sizes and shapes can be accommodated.
  • [0042]
    FIG. 13 illustrates yet another embodiment of the holder 10 aimed at increased configurability. In particular, FIG. 13 depicts a front view of the holder 10 (i.e., looking at the face of the front portion 18, as would be viewed by an automobile occupant), wherein a front-most portion of the resilient body 12 includes a grid 60 of individually removable foam elements 62, such that the device recess 16 (not shown in FIG. 13) is formed by a user of the holder 10 plucking or otherwise removing individual ones of the foam elements 62 in a pattern that corresponds to a form factor of the portable electronic device. FIG. 14 depicts a given foam element 62, showing its torn end 64 after being plucked from the grid 60.
  • [0043]
    With the pluck grid 60 and the other examples given herein, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the holder 10 can be manufactured or otherwise adapted to a wide range of automobile styles and portable electronic device form factors. Broadly, the holder 10 comprises a resilient body 12 that is advantageously configured to snugly retain a portable electronic device in place on the dashboard of an automobile, based on wedging the holder 10 into the angled space between the automobile's dashboard and its windshield.
  • [0044]
    In one or more embodiments, the holder 10 is a soft foam rubber device that is designed to hold many commonly used in-car electronic devices snug and secure, for safe and convenient use in all vehicle types. The design and materials used to construct the holder 10 allow it to firmly hold and “wedge” into the angled space between a vehicle's dashboard and its windshield. The holder 10 also can be wedged into many other convenient locations within an automobile, e.g., between seats, within console recesses, etc., according to the needs of the vehicle occupants.
  • [0045]
    As non-limiting examples, different models of the holder 10 are manufactured or otherwise provided, with each model targeted to a different style of portable electronic device, and, optionally, different models or model variations are provided for different vehicle types. In particular, it is contemplated to provide different models of the holder 10 targeted to the most popular styles of GPS units, such as those from TOM-TOM and GARMIN. For example, a number of GARMIN GPS model families share a common form factor, and a given model of the holder 10 can be configured with a device recess 16 matched to that form factor. The same can be done for TOM-TOM, MAGELLAN, and other popular GPS equipment. Likewise, different holder models can be targeted to popular cellular telephone form factors from various manufacturers, including SONY-ERICSSON, NOKIA, SAMSUNG, and APPLE (e.g., the IPHONE).
  • [0046]
    With an appropriately dimensioned device recess 16, the holder 10 snugly and securely retains the portable electronic device seated within the device recess 16, in an operable position. That is, when the holder 10 is properly wedged into place on a vehicle's dashboard, or otherwise wedged into a desired space, the device recess 16 seats the retained device in its face-up, operable position (if the device allows for such seating), and allows a user to use or otherwise interact with the device. Also, as noted, various models of the holder 10 include cable openings, which allow device cables to be routed into the device recess 16 through the resilient body 12 of the holder 10, thereby allowing a device seated within the holder 10 to maintain its data and/or power connections.
  • [0047]
    Advantageously, the holder 10 can be tilted, turned and adjusted in an essentially unlimited range of positions, as needed or desired. The holder 10 also offers enhanced protection and security for portable electronic devices, by snugly retaining them within a resilient body 12 that provides impact protection. (To that end, the depth of the device recess 16 may be set to a value that allows for seated devices to be recessed from the front face of the holder 10, thereby providing extra device protection. Additionally, when not in use, electronic equipment (which is routinely sought out by thieves) can be hidden out of sight by simply removing the holder 10 from the dashboard, and placing or stuffing it in a more discreet location within the vehicle.
  • [0048]
    More particularly, the holder 10 remains functional so long as its body 12 retains sufficient resiliency, and there are no moving parts or sealing surfaces (like suction cups) to wear out. As such, the holder 10 can be installed and removed an essentially unlimited number of times, directly complementing the desire to more discreetly stow valuable electronics once a vehicle is parked. From the user's perspective, “installing” the holder 10 entails no more than wedging it into place, and uninstalling the holder 10 entails no more than un-wedging it. With these and other advantages in mind, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the present invention is not limited to the foregoing discussion and accompanying drawings. Instead, the present invention is limited only by the following claims and their legal equivalents.
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Classifications
Classification aux États-Unis248/231.9, 248/309.1
Classification internationaleA47B96/06
Classification coopérativeB60R2011/0075, B60R2011/0005, B60R11/02, B60R2011/005
Classification européenneB60R11/02