Patents Examined by Ashok Mannava
  • Patent number: 6239692
    Abstract: A multi-tone sounder system including the sounder and a method of controlling the sounder in which at least a pair of chime bars (3, 5), bells or gongs are spaced apart and arranged to be struck by a solenoid operated striker (26) positioned between the chime bars; the solenoid (24) is powered by a controller (FIG. 2) in one of several ways so that in one way by sudden application of power to the solenoid the striker strikes one bar but then the power is reduced gradually preventing the striker by means of a spring (28) hitting the other bar; in a second way by gradual application of power to the solenoid and sudden reduction the other bar only is struck; in a third way by sudden application and a sudden reduction of power to the solenoid both bars may be struck; by using a predetermined combination of strikes a particular push button in a house can easily be identified.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 1997
    Date of Patent: May 29, 2001
    Assignee: Coradon Friedland Limited
    Inventor: John Maguire
  • Patent number: 6166624
    Abstract: A horn with a piezoelectric membrane including a ceramic disk adhered to a rectangular plate. A slotted ring made of light metal is rigidly attached to the edge of the plate and comprises sixteen radial projections uniformly distributed around its circumference. Each projection has an axially facing boss forming a stiffener. The membrane assembly is attached to a molded rubber membrane that is circular to make mounting easier. The membrane comprises a flexible wavy portion enabling free movement of the center. Two thin metal strips are embedded in the rubber of the membrane for establishing electrical contact with the ceramic disc and the metal plate respectively. The piezoelectric horn has a substantially reduced weight and power consumption relative to conventional electromagnetic horns.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 6, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 26, 2000
    Assignee: Societe de Composants Electriques
    Inventor: Gilbert Hurst
  • Patent number: 5986576
    Abstract: A remote control portable traffic signaling device (10) and system (94) for controlling a flow of traffic. The remote control portable traffic signaling system (94) includes the portable signaling device (10) and a plurality of warning flashers (76). The portable signaling device (10) includes a remote control unit (42) and a signal head (11) having an LED display device (50) and a microprocessor (46). The remote control unit (42) transmits a control signal to be received by the microprocessor (46) for use in controlling a message communicated by the LED display device (50). A base unit (30) including a storage compartment for housing the power source (36) is connected to the signal head (11) for supplying power to the microprocessor (46) and LED display device (50) via a connection wire (38) extending through a pole (24) positioned therebetween.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 21, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 16, 1999
    Inventor: Sheldyn Kyle Armstrong
  • Patent number: 5982302
    Abstract: A combination keyboard/mouse is realized using a touch-sensitive member. The touch-sensitive member (or an area of a larger touch-sensitive member) may be approximately the size of a business card (2".times.3.5"). Data obtained from a touch sensor array is software manipulated to achieve a simple, powerful method of user interaction in which the traditional keyboard and mouse disappear, being replaced by a display window (manipulable like other display windows) overlaid by the touch sensor array. The resulting input window allows for realization of a sketch-pad computer having essentially no external moving parts but providing keyboard/mouse interaction (as opposed to pen-only interaction, for example). The window need not obscure underlying text and graphics but need only delineate its extent. The keyboard/mouse may instead be housed in a housing in the same manner as a conventional mouse.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 7, 1994
    Date of Patent: November 9, 1999
    Inventor: Michael J. Ure
  • Patent number: 5973591
    Abstract: The electronic signaling system comprises a base unit including an audio media player for reproducing a recorded audio signal from an inserted recorded medium, and an audio output stage for producing an audio output responsive to the occurrence of a trigger signal. A remote triggering device, such as a doorbell, includes a signal generator for communicating energy from the triggering device to the base unit. A receiving device in the base unit is provided for intercepting the energy communicated from the triggering device for reproducing the recorded audio signal. The medium may be a replaceable medium, permitting the user to select, from a variety of sound recordings, which recording is to be played back when a visitor or a guest pushes the doorbell. The replaceable medium may be recordable by a user. The audio player is preferably a player capable of reproducing sound patterns from integrated circuits containing encoded or non-encoded sound program information.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 19, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 26, 1999
    Inventors: David Schwartz, Richard S. Davis
  • Patent number: 5959597
    Abstract: An audio reproducing unit 2 has a audio signal processor 5 responsive to results of detection by a turning angular velocity sensor 16 for carrying out calculations for localizing the input audio outside the head of a wearer of a head attachment unit 15, for preventing the sound image orientation from following head turning movement and for setting the sound image orientation in a pre-set direction in the viewing/hearing environment of the wearer. The image reproducing unit 10 has an image signal processor 12 for setting the input image in a pre-set orientation in the viewing/hearing environment of the wearer responsive to the results of detection by the turning angular velocity sensor 16.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 28, 1999
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventors: Yuji Yamada, Kiyofumi Inanaga
  • Patent number: 5959613
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for shaping force signals for a force feedback device. A source wave is provided and is defined by a set of control parameters (including a steady state magnitude, a frequency value and a duration value) and modified by a set of impulse parameters (including an impulse magnitude, and a settle time representing a time required for the impulse magnitude to change to the steady-state magnitude). Optionally, application parameters specifying a direction of force signal and trigger parameters specifying activating buttons can also be provided for the source wave. Using a host processor or a local processor, the force signal is formed from the source wave and the sets of control parameters and impulse parameters, where the force signal includes an impulse signal followed by a continual steady-state signal after an expiration of the settle time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 28, 1999
    Assignee: Immersion Corporation
    Inventors: Louis B. Rosenberg, Adam C. Braun
  • Patent number: 5955954
    Abstract: A warning and measuring device for personal protection with a rod-shaped casing shape. The shape of the casing allows the device to be suitable 1. for measuring if held in the hand or mounted on a tripod, 2. for warning when carried on the body and 3. for leak detection in hollow conductors. This is made possible through a compact construction and a movable absorber which in an absorber package within a cap can be fitted to the casing while the cap is detachable and can be used as handle on the other end. The device can be economically manufactured and with regard to quality can be considered a high-quality measuring instrument.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 15, 1998
    Date of Patent: September 21, 1999
    Assignee: Wandel & Goltermann Management Holding GmbH
    Inventor: Helmut Keller
  • Patent number: 5949331
    Abstract: A vision system for a vehicle includes at least one image capture device which may be directed rearwardly with respect to the direction of travel of the vehicle. A display system displays an image synthesized from an output of the image capture device. The display system enhances the displayed image by visually informing the driver of what is occurring in the area surrounding the vehicle. For example, hazards, such as objects too close to the vehicle for safe lane-change maneuver, can be highlighted such as by flashing the image of the hazard or displaying the hazard in a particular color.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 22, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 7, 1999
    Assignee: Donnelly Corporation
    Inventors: Kenneth Schofield, Mark L. Larson, Keith J. Vadas
  • Patent number: 5940373
    Abstract: A frame relay network planning tool is provided for analyzing the status of an existing network, for evaluating the condition of any user defined configuration, and for optimizing the expansion of the network based on demand and costs. The tool recommends the optimal locations of new switches, the configurations of existing switches and the placement of new trunks, and backhaul locations where desirable. The tool attempts to optimize the network configuration for the given demand by a sequence of network configuration changes. After each change, an attempt is made to route the demand, with minimal cost, until all demand is routed. The network changes made by the program include in order of priority, upgrading a link, adding a link, upgrading a switch, and adding a switch. When this process is completed a survivability test is run to insure that the network configured by the tool is survivable.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 14, 1997
    Date of Patent: August 17, 1999
    Assignees: U S West, Inc., MediaOne Group, Inc.
    Inventors: Steve Y. Chiu, Subramanian Raghavan, Ronald L. Hansen, Jiyang Xu
  • Patent number: 5936518
    Abstract: A method for judging vehicle collision in which an output signal from an acceleration sensor carried on a vehicle, which is obtained from a time of start of judgment on collision, is outputted through interval windows each having a predetermined time width of a plurality of sampling cycles and provided as those successively delayed by one sampling cycle respectively. A waveform of the output signal is Hadamard-transformed and decomposed into frequency components for each of the interval windows by using an Hadamard-transforming unit. A threshold value set for a predetermined frequency component and outputted from a threshold-outputting unit is compared with a level value of the predetermined frequency component selected from the frequency components obtained by the decomposition in the Hadamard-transforming unit, by using a collision-judging unit. Occurrence of collision of the vehicle is judged on the basis of a result of the comparison.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 1996
    Date of Patent: August 10, 1999
    Assignee: Honda Giken Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Tsutomu Fukui, Kazuo Matsuda
  • Patent number: 5929747
    Abstract: Devices and methods to simply prompt and record medical events provide improved medical treatment devices and methods. A hand-held electronic device can prompt patients regarding and train patients in a medical event. Physicians or other health care workers can program pre-determined time intervals for scheduled medical events into the device. An alarm can prompt the patients regarding the scheduled medical events at the pre-determined time intervals. Patients can enter scheduled and non-scheduled medical events into the device. The health care workers can access this information from the device directly or the information can be downloaded to an office personal computer for permanent recording in the patient's chart. In another embodiment, the device can determine a compliance rate based upon the occurrence of the medical events. This compliance rate can be compared with a pre-determined target rate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 1996
    Date of Patent: July 27, 1999
    Assignee: UroSurge, Inc.
    Inventors: Peter L. Rosenblatt, Michael J. Magliochetti
  • Patent number: 5926087
    Abstract: A tire pressure monitor is incorporated in a module mounted within a vehicle visor for ready accessibility and visibility by the vehicle operator. The monitor includes a light display extending on a first side of the visor which faces the vehicle operator when the visor is in a raised stored position against the vehicle headliner. A more detailed display is located on the opposite side of the visor for providing an indication to the vehicle operator as to which tire is low in pressure and the pressure of each of the tires.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 20, 1999
    Assignee: Prince Corporation
    Inventors: David B. Busch, Mark L. Zeinstra, James P. Robillard, William J. Fluharty
  • Patent number: 5914651
    Abstract: A new Vehicle Safety Emergency Flasher System for automatically operating a flashing light system within a vehicle by sensing when there is another approaching vehicle thereby protecting oncoming drivers while conserving a charge within a battery of the vehicle. The inventive device includes a plurality of photo-transistors, a control panel having a central processing unit electrically coupled to the photo-transistors, a multi-positioned hazard switch electrically coupled to the control panel, a receiver, and a transmitter. The photo-transistors detect motion from moving vehicles or light from the headlights of a vehicle thereby triggering the flashing of a plurality of conventional hazard lights electrically coupled to the control panel. After the vehicle has passed, the conventional hazard lights are deactivated thereby conserving a charge within a battery of the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 4, 1997
    Date of Patent: June 22, 1999
    Inventor: Bryan H. Smalls
  • Patent number: 5912661
    Abstract: A z-encoder for a computer input device includes a wheel button that is supported on an axle or spindle within the housing of the input device. The axle is supported in the housing by spaced-apart axle supports. The axle supports are configured to allow one end of the axle to move in a direction perpendicular to the axis of rotation of the wheel button such that the wheel button may be depressed, tilting the axle sightly. A spring mounted within the housing is arranged to resist depression of the wheel button.An optical encoder may be positioned on the axle for rotation with the wheel button. A light source and a light sensor may be mounted within the housing so as to sense the motion of the optical encoder to provide a positioning signal. A microswitch may be mounted within the housing, and a switch engager on the axle may be arranged to depress the microswitch when the wheel button is depressed, thereby providing a button signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 14, 1997
    Date of Patent: June 15, 1999
    Assignee: Microsoft Corp.
    Inventor: Kabir Siddiqui
  • Patent number: 5907283
    Abstract: A power supply voltage detecting circuit for preventing a current from being supplied to a chip in a stand-by state when a chip is not in operation, which is capable of being used even at a low power supply voltage. The power supply voltage detecting circuit for operating at a low power supply voltage includes a power supply voltage node whose output voltage varies as a function of an external power supply voltage, and a reference voltage node having a given voltage characteristic in accordance with the external power supply voltage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 1996
    Date of Patent: May 25, 1999
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics, Co. Ltd.
    Inventor: Chang-Rae Kim
  • Patent number: 5892502
    Abstract: A storage device such as a CD, DVD or other optical disk drive is incorporated into the keyboard housing in what would normally be the numeric keypad area. The drive may be of a flip-top variety or may be of a type having a mechanized insertion drawer. A headphone output jack is provided such that a user may pop a CD or other recording into the drive and listen to it through headphones. A touch-screen LCD display may be provided in the numeric keypad area and may function as a control panel for the drive, providing volume controls, scanning controls, etc. When the drive is not in use, the touch-screen LCD display may be used to realize a virtual keypad, therefore making more effective use of what would normally be the numeric keypad area without sacrificing the functionality of a numeric keypad. The drive may be connected to the computer through a standard input port in the same manner as an external CD ROM drive.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 1996
    Date of Patent: April 6, 1999
    Inventor: Jeffrey H. Hiller
  • Patent number: 5892434
    Abstract: A system for sensing the manner of operation of an automotive vehicle and for generating feedback signals to the vehicle operator as a function of the manner of operation includes a pressure sensor connected to the brake pedal so as to generate a multi-state output signal as a function of the instantaneous pressure applied to the brake, and a plurality of acceleration sensors supported so as to sense the rate of change of the motion about different axes. The sensor output signals are all provided to a controller which compares their outputs to values stored in a table to generate one of a stored set of output values. An audio signal generator receives the output values and generates an audio feedback signal to the vehicle operator as a function of the status of the sensors. The system may also provide a signal to the vehicle engine to prevent operation of the vehicle when excessively erratic operation is detected.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 7, 1997
    Date of Patent: April 6, 1999
    Assignee: David M. Carlson
    Inventors: David M. Carlson, Michael G. Lalonde
  • Patent number: 5889478
    Abstract: On the moving body, the apparatus comprises an active transponder, and on the track it comprises a passive responder. The transponder has an LF transmitter and an MF transmitter which, during displacement of the moving body, transmit to a zone through which the responder passes during said displacement. The responder has an LF receiver circuit and an MF receiver circuit having tuned radiating circuits that are associated so that an LF signal induced in the LF circuit causes the MF radiating circuit of the responder to be closed at the LF rate. The transponder responds to disturbances in the MF transmitter caused by the MF circuit of the responder being closed. The MF circuit of the responder includes two units having respective tuned radiating circuits that are strongly coupled together. Each is connected to a respective logic unit which, when excited, delivers a digital message causing the MF radiating circuit to be closed only for bits of a determined value in the digital message.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 1997
    Date of Patent: March 30, 1999
    Assignee: Matra Transport International
    Inventor: Didier Minesi
  • Patent number: 5886640
    Abstract: A power monitoring circuit for monitoring the power being supplied to a central processing unit (CPU) is provided. This power monitoring circuit can adaptively adjust for a suitable power level corresponding to the power rating of the CPU. The CPU on which the power monitoring circuit is used should be of the type having a factory-preset built-in power-rating code that indicates the tolerable power range acceptable by the CPU. The power monitoring circuit includes decoding means that can decode the power-rating code into a bottom-limit reference value and an bottom-limit reference value which indicate respectively the bottom and upper limits of the tolerable power range acceptable by the CPU. Further, the power monitoring circuit includes means for comparing the magnitude of the power being supplied to the CPU against the bottom-limit reference value and the bottom-limit reference value to see if the power is within the tolerable power range acceptable by the CPU.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 25, 1997
    Date of Patent: March 23, 1999
    Assignee: Winbond Electronics Corp.
    Inventors: Cheng-Chih Wang, Angel Huang, Der-Shyun Huang