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Número de publicaciónUS20030188375 A1
Tipo de publicaciónSolicitud
Número de solicitudUS 10/118,412
Fecha de publicación9 Oct 2003
Fecha de presentación8 Abr 2002
Fecha de prioridad8 Abr 2002
Número de publicación10118412, 118412, US 2003/0188375 A1, US 2003/188375 A1, US 20030188375 A1, US 20030188375A1, US 2003188375 A1, US 2003188375A1, US-A1-20030188375, US-A1-2003188375, US2003/0188375A1, US2003/188375A1, US20030188375 A1, US20030188375A1, US2003188375 A1, US2003188375A1
InventoresReginald Wilson, Deidre Wilson
Cesionario originalReginald Wilson, Deidre Wilson
Exportar citaBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
Enlaces externos: USPTO, Cesión de USPTO, Espacenet
Helmet device with side configured peripheral viewing portions
US 20030188375 A1
Resumen
A helmet device incorporating both increased peripheral vision characteristics as well as retaining sufficient rigidity and durability. A three dimensionally shaped and interiorly hollowed helmet shell is adapted to being placed upon a head of a wearer and includes an extending forward surface defining a forward facial opening. First and second spaced apart pairs of side surfaces define first and second peripheral openings. The pairs of side surfaces communicate with specified locations of the forward surface and each extends along the sides of the helmet shell in a direction substantially towards a rear of the shell. A face guard includes elongate extending structural members securing along both the forward surface as well as the pairs of spaced apart side surfaces. The guard extends in a forward direction from the forward facial opening and protects a face of the wearer as well as providing reinforcing support to the shell.
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Reclamaciones(11)
I claim:
1. A helmet device, comprising:
a three dimensionally shaped and interiorly hollowed helmet shell adapted to being placed upon a head of a wearer;
an extending forward surface of said shell defining a forward facial opening;
said shell further being configured by first and second spaced apart pairs of side surfaces which define first and second peripheral openings, said pairs of side surfaces communicating with specified locations of said forward surface and extending, along sides of said helmet shell, in a direction substantially towards a rear of said shell; and
a face guard extending from a forward location of said helmet shell, said guard securing to said forward surface as well as said pairs of spaced apart side surfaces and to provide reinforcing support to said shell.
2. The helmet device as described in claim 1, further comprising a transparent window portion arrayed in extending fashion between each pair of spaced apart side surfaces and an associated and interconnecting end surface.
3. The helmet device as described in claim 1, said first and second spaced apart pairs of side surfaces each adopting a generally rectangular configuration.
4. The helmet device as described in claim 1, said first and second spaced apart pairs of side surfaces each adopting a generally arcuate configuration.
5. The helmet device as described in claim 1, said face guard further comprising at least one elongate extending structural member secured along said front and extending side surfaces of said shell.
6. The helmet device as described in claim 5, said guard further comprising a plurality of interconnecting and elongate extending members.
7. The helmet device as described in claim 5, further comprising a plurality of rivet fasteners for securing said face at specified locations to said helmet shell.
8. The helmet device as described in claim 6, said guard having a specified shape and size and being constructed of a durable material comprising at least one of a metal and a metal alloy.
9. The helmet device as described in claim 8, an encapsulating material being applied over said guard and comprising at least one of a plastic and a polymeric based plastic.
10. A helmet device, comprising:
a three dimensionally shaped and interiorly hollowed helmet shell adapted to being placed upon a head of a wearer;
an extending forward surface of said shell defining a forward facial opening;
said shell further being configured by first and second spaced apart pairs of side surfaces which define first and second peripheral openings, said pairs of side surfaces communicating with specified locations of said forward surface and each extending in substantially rectangularly configured fashion along sides of said helmet shell in a direction substantially towards a rear of said shell; and
a face guard extending from a forward location of said helmet shell, said guard including at least one elongate extending structural member securing along both said forward surface as well as said pairs of spaced apart side surfaces, said guard protecting a face of the wearer as well as providing reinforcing support to said shell.
11. A helmet device, comprising:
a three dimensionally shaped and interiorly hollowed helmet shell adapted to being placed upon a head of a wearer;
an extending forward surface of said shell defining a forward facial opening;
said shell further being configured by first and second spaced apart pairs of side surfaces which define first and second peripheral openings, said pairs of side surfaces communicating with specified locations of said forward surface and each extending in substantially arcuately configured fashion along sides of said helmet shell in a direction substantially towards a rear of said shell; and
a face guard extending from a forward location of said helmet shell, said guard including at least one elongate extending structural member securing along both said forward surface as well as said pairs of spaced apart side surfaces, said guard protecting a face of the wearer as well as providing reinforcing support to said shell.
Descripción
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates generally to helmet and related head covering devices, in particular those providing some enhanced degree of lateral or side visibility. More specifically, the present invention discloses such a helmet device incorporating improved and reinforced lateral vision characteristics.

[0003] 2. Description of the Prior Art

[0004] The prior art is fairly well documented with various examples of enhanced visibility helmet designs. Such helmets are typically worn by participants engaged in any of a number of different sporting occupations, such as including full contact sports, namely football, as well as auto racing. The objective in each instance is, to the extent practicable, enhancing the visibility afforded the helmet wearer and without unnecessarily degrading the durability of the helmet or head apparel device.

[0005] U.S. Pat. No. 5,101,517, issued to Douglas, discloses a first example of a sport helmet including a hard outer shell, a flexible and resilient inner shell and a face mask coupled to the outer shell. The side walls of the outer shells include transparent windows therein, these being located so as to be laterally and rearwardly of the eyes of the wearer. The windows are further disclosed as capable of increasing the peripheral vision of the wearer.

[0006] U.S. Pat. No. 5,014,366, issued to Discipio, Sr., teaches an enhanced visibility racing helmet with a transparent shell including a matrix of ventilation apertures positioned coextensive with the shell. A visor mounted at a forward end of the shell overlays a forwardly located facial opening, and further includes lateral ventilation ports (13) positioned coextensive with the visor laterally displaced side edges. Aside from the general reference to the ports 13 in the Discipio reference, there is no teaching or suggestion as to whether these ports provide any degree of transparency and/or function to any degree in order to provide enhanced peripheral vision.

[0007] U.S. Pat. No. 5,539,936, issued to Thomas, teaches a sports helmet transparent guard assembly including opposing side regions within which are positioned substantially “C” shaped recesses positioned therein. A transparent guard device includes a support bar formed in a generally semicircular configuration with two ends, coupling devices being positioned along the support. Side flaps are formed in arcuate and generally circular configuration. Each side flap has a linear upper end coupled to an end of the support bar, each side flap further adapted to being positioned within an associated “C” shaped recess of the helmet in operative orientation. The support bar is further coupled to the upper cross bar of the face mask to secure the guard device in place, the transparent face guard teaching providing users with increased peripheral visibility to avoid injuries while participating in contact sports.

[0008] Finally, U.S. Pat. No. 4,663,785, issued to Comparetto, teaches a fluid filled head protector for absorbing trauma. Features such as a safety valve and monitoring system are provided for the safety and efficient use of the wearer.

[0009] It has further been found that an individual's peripheral vision is actually quite extensive, and the net effect of limiting that capacity, by not fully exploiting it, can prove dangerous for the wearer when participating in the given sporting event. In particular, football players such as quarterbacks and wide receivers are always at the risk of sustaining injury, due in at least part to not being able to anticipate the approach of a tackler from angular positions to the side and rear.

SUMMARY OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

[0010] Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a helmet device, which incorporates both increased peripheral vision characteristics, as well as retaining sufficient rigidity and durability. In particular, the helmet device of the invention is, according to one particularly well suited application, worn by a football player such as a quarterback or a wide receiver and which enables the player to utilize substantially all of his/her peripheral viewing capacity while engaged in the sporting event.

[0011] In particular, the helmet device includes the provision of a three dimensionally shaped and interiorly hollowed helmet shell adapted to being placed upon a head of a wearer. An extending forward surface of the shell defines a forward facial opening.

[0012] First and second spaced apart pairs of side surfaces define first and second peripheral openings in the shell. The pairs of side surfaces communicate with specified locations of the forward surface and each extends in substantially rectangularly configured fashion along the sides of the helmet shell in a direction substantially towards a rear of the shell, such rearward extension in the preferred embodiment typically extending across at least one half of each associated side of the helmet shell.

[0013] A face guard extends from a forward location of the helmet shell and typically includes a plurality of interconnecting and elongate extending members. The face guard also includes at least one elongate extending structural member securing along both the forward surface as well as the pairs of spaced apart side surfaces and in order to protect a face of the wearer as well as providing reinforcing support to said shell.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0014] Reference will now be made to the attached drawings, when read in combination with the following detailed description, wherein like reference numerals refer to like parts throughout the several views, and in which:

[0015]FIG. 1 is a first view of the helmet device with side extending peripheral viewing portions according to the present invention; and

[0016]FIG. 2 is a second view of the present invention and which illustrates a helmet device exhibiting an even more significant degree of peripheral visibility to the wearer.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART

[0017] Referring now to FIG. 1, a helmet device is illustrated at 10 according to a first preferred embodiment of the present invention. As previously described, the helmet device of the present invention incorporates both increased peripheral vision characteristics, as well as retaining sufficient rigidity and durability. The present invention is further an improvement over the prior art devices and which in particular permit only a relatively minor degree or amount of lateral or peripheral viewing capacity to the wearer.

[0018] Referring again in particular to FIG. 1, the helmet device includes the provision of a three dimensionally shaped and interiorly hollowed helmet shell 12, typically of a construction known in the art and as is most relevantly used in the playing of U.S. football. In particular regard, the helmet device of the present invention is particularly suited, in a preferred application, for use by such football participants as quarterbacks, wide receivers or any other player to whom it would be desirable to maximize the extent of peripheral vision afforded by normal eyesight and in order to assist in preventing injury due to severe and unprepared physical contact.

[0019] It is also contemplated that both the structural composition and configuration of the helmet shell 12 can be modified within the scope of the present invention and in particular for such pursuits as auto racing, skiing or any other pursuit and in which it is again particularly desirous to utilize the maximum degree of lateral or peripheral vision which is naturally afforded a participant of reasonably good eyesight.

[0020] The helmet shell 12 is typically constructed of a heavy-duty synthetic plastic or like material and is adapted to being placed upon and over a head of a wearer (not shown). An extending forward surface of the shell 12 is referenced at 14 and 16 and which defines a forward facial opening. As is further known, the forward extending surfaces are typically presented in combination as arcuate extending surfaces exhibiting a number of angles and bends. The various edge surfaces (14, 16) form in combination a generally configured and three dimensional open area in front of the wearer's face.

[0021] First and second spaced apart pairs of side surfaces are provided (see pair of spaced apart side surfaces 20 and 22 and end surface 24) and define first and second peripheral openings in the shell. The pairs of side surfaces (again referenced in the side view of FIG. 1 by surfaces 20 and 22, and end surface 24) communicate with specified locations of the forward surfaces (14, 16 and 18) and, as illustrated in the embodiment of FIG. 1, each pair of side surfaces extend in substantially rectangularly configured fashion along the sides of the helmet shell in a direction substantially towards its rear.

[0022] In the preferred embodiment, such rearward extension (defined by the location of the rear interconnecting end surface 24) typically extends across at least one half of each associated side of the helmet shell and in the illustration of FIG. 1, approximately ⅔ the side extending distance of the helmet shell 12 between its front and rear edges. As previously described, the configuration of the peripherally extending side openings is suited to maximize the potential range of angular eye perception available to most individuals of reasonably good sight. This includes the known ability of such individuals to both see and perceive motion in directions both from the side and as well as towards a rear of the wearer's head.

[0023] Referring again to FIG. 1, a transparent window portion 26 arrayed in extending fashion between each pair of spaced apart side surfaces and an associated and interconnecting end surface. A forward end of the window portion is located in the side view of FIG. 1 at 28 (this both communicating with and separating the edge surfaces previously identified at 14 and 16). It is also understood that, while some type of transparent covering is desired to in fact provide the maximum desired degree of protection, it is also within the scope of the invention to not include the transparent (or other suitable type) of window portions while still retaining the maximum desired degree of peripheral (visual) perception.

[0024] A face guard extends from a forward location of the helmet shell 12 and typically includes a plurality of interconnecting and elongate extending members. The face guard is further typically constructed of a metal or metal alloy based material (exhibiting the necessary properties of strength and durability) and which may further be covered by a plastic or polymeric plastic based overlay.

[0025] The face guard includes, in the side profile of the helmet illustrated in FIG. 1, spaced apart and elongate members 30, 32, 34, 36 and 38, as well as interconnecting and forward extending member 40 and spaced apart rear member 41. Also included is at least one elongate extending structural member extending around and securing to the perimeter of the side surfaces 20 and 22 and end surface 24. This is illustrated by face guard extending member 42 (extending in arcuate fashion from elongate member 32 and secured to the side surface 20), face guard extending member 44 (extending in arcuate fashion from elongate member 34 and secured to the side surface 22), and rear face guard extending member 46 (extending between guard members 42 and 44 and secured to the associated and rear side surface 24).

[0026] The extending and interconnected members 42, 44 and 46 are secured to proximate edge locations of the side surfaces 20, 22 and 24, such as through the use of rivet fasteners, such as shown at 48 (for member 42), 50 (for member 44) and 52 (for rear interconnecting member 46). The purpose and advantage for securing the extending members in the fashion disclosed herein is so that a degree of sturdy and reinforcing support is provided to the helmet shell and which compensates for the innate weaknesses created by recessing the peripheral side surfaces to the extent disclosed. Additional rivet fastener connections are also indicated at 54 and 56 in associating fashion with the elongate extending members 30 and 41 and which are located along the front peripheral edge of the face mask. It is also contemplated that the extending portions of the face guard can be glued, heat applied, or otherwise secured in some conventionally known fashion to and around the corresponding edges of the helmet shell within the scope of the invention.

[0027] Referring now to FIG. 2, a secondary variant 58 is illustrated of the helmet device according to the present invention. The variant 58 is substantially identical in virtually all aspects as that disclosed in the variant 10 of FIG. 1, accordingly, a repetitive description of each and every element is unnecessary.

[0028] The helmet shell 12′ includes the provision of the extending forward surfaces 14 and 16, as well as the array of face guard members 30-41 just as previously described. In relevant part, the previously disclosed rectangular configuration of the side surfaces is substituted in the variant of FIG. 2 by the provision of curved surfaces 60 and 62 which converge at a substantially rearward location of the helmet and provide the peripheral viewing portion with its generally arcuate configuration.

[0029] Additional features again include the associated extending members 64 (from 32) and 66 (from 34) which secure to and over the associated side surfaces 60 and 62, such as through the use again of rivet fasteners 68 and 70) and in order fixedly and reinforcingly secure the a transparent portion 72 within peripheral aperture defined therein.

[0030] Having described my invention, additional preferred embodiments will become apparent to those skilled in the art to which it pertains, and without deviating from the scope of the appended claims:

Citada por
Patente citante Fecha de presentación Fecha de publicación Solicitante Título
US697367617 Feb 200413 Dic 2005Elwood Jesse Bill SimpsonProtective helmet with integral air supply
US764970014 Feb 200719 Ene 2010Arrowhead Center, Inc.Peripheral vision helmet
US795417710 Ene 20077 Jun 2011Riddell, Inc.Sports helmet
US20110214225 *8 Mar 20108 Sep 2011Richard Alan NorrisLateral vision football helmet
Clasificaciones
Clasificación de EE.UU.2/424, 2/425
Clasificación internacionalA42B3/20, A42B3/04, A42B3/06
Clasificación cooperativaA42B3/20, A42B3/0406
Clasificación europeaA42B3/04B, A42B3/20