© Copyright 2012 Leisure & Travel Week via VerticalNews.com
2012 AUG 4 (VerticalNews) — By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Leisure & Travel Week — From Alexandria, Virginia, VerticalNews journalists report that a patent by the inventors Wilson, II, Ron (San Diego, CA); Pettersen, Carl (San Diego, CA); Rauhala, Kristian (Solana Beach, CA); Dirksing, Pete (San Diego, CA); McCluskey, Cory (San Diego, CA); Pena, Jim (Encinitas, CA), filed on August 6, 2008, was cleared and issued on July 24, 2012.
The patent’s assignee for patent number 8223997 is H2O Audio, Inc. (San Diego, CA).
News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: “This invention relates in general to water resistant and waterproof audio systems for delivering audio to a user in aquatic environments.
“Portable electronic devices have become a part of everyday lives. The use of portable electronics during sporting activities has become extremely common. Some examples include the use of the Apple.RTM. iPod.RTM. portable audio player for music, or the use of a mobile phone, during exercise. Various accessories are available which allow these devices to be taken into basic sporting and even extreme sporting environments. These accessories include basic Nylon.RTM. and Neoprene.RTM. armbands as well as protective housings such as H2O Audio.RTM. waterproof cases designed to protect the devices during use in and around the water.”
As a supplement to the background information on this patent, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors’ summary information for this patent: “In one embodiment of the invention, a waterproof enclosure is adapted to receive a first electronic device. The enclosure includes a flexible waterproof bag, a rigid frame attached to the bag, and a rigid cover operatively coupled to the rigid frame. The rigid frame defines an opening larger than a cross-section of the first electronic device. The cover is movable between an open position, in which the cover is disposed away from the opening, and a closed position, in which the cover forms a waterproof seal with the frame. In one aspect of the embodiment, the enclosure further comprises a water resistant electronic communication link passing through at least one of the frame and the cover, the link being configured to allow an electronic connection between the first electronic device when it is placed inside the bag and a second electronic device disposed outside of the bag. In such an aspect, the electronic communication link can be an audio communication link. In such an aspect, the electronic communication link can pass through the frame and/or the cover. In such an aspect, the second electronic device can be a waterproof headset. In such an aspect, the cover can include an audio jack connected to the electronic communication link. In such an aspect, the bag can include at least one generally planar wall, the frame being substantially coplanar with the wall. In such an aspect, an outer portion of the electronic communication link can be recessed in an outer portion of the cover. In such an aspect, the waterproof enclosure can include a cable extending from an inner portion of the electronic communication link, the cable being configured to allow connection of the electronic device to the electronic connection link while the cover can be in the open position, before the electronic device can be received in the bag. The cable can comprise an audio plug. In some aspects of this embodiment, the bag comprises polyurethane, PVC, and/or silicone. In some aspects of the embodiment, the frame can comprise a flange. In such an aspect, the cover can include a skirt which, when the cover can be in the closed position, cooperates with the flange to reinforce the waterproof seal. In some aspects of the embodiment, the frame can be RF welded, heat sealed, and/or clamped to the bag. In some aspects of the embodiment, an adhesive can be disposed between the frame and the bag. In some aspects of the embodiment, one or more fasteners can secure the frame to the bag. In one aspect of the embodiment, the cover is coupled to the frame by a hinge. In another aspect, the cover is coupled to the frame by a tether. In another aspect, the enclosure further includes a latch configured to hold the cover in the closed position. In such an aspect, the latch can be configured to lock the cover in the closed position.
“In another embodiment of the invention, a wearable article includes the waterproof enclosure described above. In one aspect of the embodiment, the article is an armband. In one aspect of the embodiment, the article is a waistbelt. In one aspect of the embodiment, the article is a shirt. In one aspect of the embodiment, the article is a wetsuit. In another aspect of the embodiment, the article further includes a protective member configured to protect the waterproof enclosure from impact.
“In another embodiment of the invention, a waterproof housing is adapted to receive an electronic audio device. The housing includes means for flexibly protecting the electronic audio device from exposure to water and for allowing a user to interact with the device, the protecting means having an opening for receiving the electronic audio device into the protecting means. The housing also includes means for forming a waterproof seal at the opening, the sealing means being coupled to the protecting means. The housing further includes means for conveying an electrical signal through the sealing means from inside the protecting means to outside the protecting means.
“In another embodiment of the invention, a method of facilitating use of an electronic audio device while protecting it from exposure to water is provided. The method includes providing a waterproof housing which includes a flexible bag with an opening and a rigid lid configured to seal the opening, at least a portion of the lid being stationary with respect to the bag, at least a portion of the lid being movable with respect to the bag between an open position and a closed position, the lid comprising a waterproof pass-through jack. The method further includes connecting the electronic audio device to the pass-through jack. The method further includes placing the electronic audio device in the waterproof housing.”