Apparatus and method for adhering and releasing items
An apparatus and method to attach or detach items, including a rockable magnetic apparatus to enable adhesion and releasing of elements to or from a surface. The apparatus may include a rigid body, magnets, and sides or portions that meet at a base at an angle greater than 180 degrees. The apparatus may enable one-handed or single action operation, and may prevent the falling of the magnetic apparatus and/or the items being held by it. The apparatus may include a foldable or detachable side, and may enable attachment of items between at least two portions of the apparatus. A plurality of items may be connected.
The present invention relates to magnetic utility apparatuses. Specifically, embodiments of the present invention relate to adhering and releasing items using magnetic apparatuses.BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
There exist many magnetic apparatuses for attaching items such as papers to metal or other surfaces. For example, numerous refrigerator magnets exist for attaching light items, such as papers, to a refrigerator. Typical apparatuses for adhering or releasing items from surfaces require two-handed operation, for example, using one hand to release and hold the apparatus and the other hand to hold the items being placed or released. Apparatuses may be operated using one handed operation, however, such operation may require relatively complex multi-step one-handed operation, for example, using one side of a hand to release and hold the apparatus and the other side of the hand to simultaneously hold the items being placed or released.
It would be highly advantageous to have a magnetic apparatus that may enable, for example, relatively simple or easy one-handed operation. For example, such an apparatus may be used by people with disabilities preventing them from using both hands. Furthermore, there may be a need for an apparatus for adhering or releasing items, which can be relatively simply operated by one hand, for example, while the other hand is concurrently utilized for another purpose. For example, an apparatus may be needed that enables easy and rapid clipping of a paper on to a metal or magnetic surface using one hand, in such a way that the items being held or clipped are prevented from falling off the metal or magnetic surface.SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
There is provided, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention, one or more rockable magnetic apparatuses to enable adhesion and releasing of elements to or from, for example, a metal or magnetic surface. The apparatus may include a rigid body, magnets, and sides or portions of the body that meet at a base having an angle greater than 180°. According to some embodiments of the present invention, an apparatus may be provided that enables single action operation, and may prevent the falling of the magnetic apparatus and/or the items being held by it when attaching or detaching items. The apparatus may have flexible or detachable body sides. Two or more apparatuses may be used in combination, to hold items to a surface or between the apparatuses.BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The principles and operation of the apparatus and method according to the present invention may be better understood with reference to the drawings, and the following description, it being understood that these drawings are given for illustrative purposes only and are not meant to be limiting, wherein:
It will be appreciated that for simplicity and clarity of illustration, elements shown in the figures have not necessarily been drawn to scale. For example, the dimensions of some of the elements may be exaggerated relative to other elements for clarity. Further, where considered appropriate, reference numerals may be repeated among the figures to indicate corresponding or analogous elements throughout the serial views.DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THR INVENTION
The following description is presented to enable one of ordinary skill in the art to make and use the invention as provided in the context of a particular application and its requirements. Various modifications to the described embodiments will be apparent to those with skill in the art, and the general principles defined herein may be applied to other embodiments. Therefore, the present invention is not intended to be limited to the particular embodiments shown and described, but is to be accorded the widest scope consistent with the principles and novel features herein disclosed. In other instances, well-known methods, procedures, and components have not been described in detail so as not to obscure the present invention.
In the following detailed description, numerous specific details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of the present invention. However, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that the present invention may be practiced without these specific details.
Embodiments of the present invention may enable implementation or usage of a rockable apparatus that may include one or more magnets. Such an apparatus may be attached to a metal or other surface by pressing at least one part of the apparatus and thereby adhering and/or releasing item(s) to/from the metal or magnetically attractive surface, without the need of disconnecting the apparatus from the metal or magnetic surface. Such an apparatus may enable, for example, one-hand or single action attachment of items such as paper sheets, photographs, bills, folders, pens, pads, disks, etc. to surfaces such as fridges, other magnets, memo boards etc. A rockable magnetic apparatus may adhere to elements or surfaces made of, for example, steel, iron, nickel, cobalt, gadolinium, or other suitable materials. Such an apparatus may enable simple, optionally one-handed or single action detachment of items such as paper sheets, photographs, bins, files, folders etc. to surfaces such as fridges, other magnets, memo boards etc., without causing the magnetic apparatus to fall, by a one process pulling movement of the item away from the surface. The phrases “one-handed”, “single-action” and the like, as used herein, may refer to operations requiring relatively simple coordination, such that one handed operation, or operations using substantially simple and single actions at a time, may implement the relevant operations.
Reference is now made to
Magnet(s) 16 may be attached to apparatus 10 using a plastic clamp (e.g., snaps), glue, ultrasonic means, pressure, melting, insert molding, or any other suitable attaching means known in the art. Apparatus 10 may be formed with a variety of base shapes or supports, or with a variety of base angles (e.g., external angles on the side of the magnets, in the place indicated by 14 in
The angled or rocker-shaped base of apparatus 10 may act as a fulcrum, enabling usage of a lever effect when releasing a side or portion of apparatus 10. For example, in the case where a powerful magnet is being used to attach a side of apparatus 10 to a surface, the magnet may be released by pressing on a non-adhered side of apparatus 10, the lever effect aiding the release of the currently adhered side or portion. Apparatus 10 may be attached or magnetically bonded to a surface on either an external or internal side. For example, apparatus 10 may be attached to a refrigerator at the point of magnet 16 (e.g., on the external side of apparatus 10), or at the point of pressing area 13 (e.g., on the internal side of apparatus 10, and optionally on the entire inner surface of apparatus 10 in the case where inner surface of apparatus 10 is flat).
Press zone 13 may include finger holes, hand holes, or troughs etc. for comfortable gripping, holding, or pressing etc. of apparatus 10. Apparatus 10 may be constructed with one or more detachable sides, such that side 17, 18, for example, may be detached from apparatus 10, and optionally attached in line with a magnet in the remaining portion of apparatus 10. For example, a magnetic apparatus may be manufactured with one side of apparatus 10, such as 18, and may, for example, be mechanically attached to another side, such as 17.
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According to some embodiments of the present invention, promotional information may be printed, molded, or otherwise adhered or integrated onto the magnetic apparatus 10. Such visual printed message material may include painted symbols, printed foils, graphic screens, and/or molded-in or engraved information etc. Embodiments of the present invention may include at least one attachment for the apparatus that may enable attaching content holding apparatus to apparatus 10. For example, attachments such as frames, adhesives, magnets, vacuum caps, clips, hooks and screws, or any other suitable items may be used.
According to some embodiments of the present invention, different shapes may be used for the magnetic apparatus 10 to enable production of different looks or forms, as long as the rockable principal is maintained. For example, apparatus 10 may resemble an image, figure, item, element, ornament, object etc. Apparatus 10 may be, for example, a doll, a slice of pizza, a figurine, a coin, a ball, a notepad, a company logo, or any other suitable form.
Apparatus 10, according to some embodiments of the present invention, may be used for games or entertainment, by, for example adhering or releasing multiple apparatuses. Some embodiments may, for example, enable usage of multiple apparatuses that may be adhered to each other and/or to a metal surface, magnetic surface, or alternative suitable surface. Some embodiments, for example, may enable usage of multiple apparatuses that may be attached to each other, thereby providing a magnetic object that may be operated with or without a metal or magnetic surface, such as, for example, a desktop, play area or other suitable location.
According to a preferred embodiment of present invention, different kinds and sizes of magnets can be placed in an apparatus, enabling apparatuses with variable strengths, sizes, and shapes. For example, portions such as 17,18 of apparatus 10 (
According to one embodiment of the present invention, apparatus 10 may be formed so as to have a pen, a pencil, or another writing apparatus inserted in the apparatus. Other writing or drawing apparatus may be inserted in apparatus 10 or placed on apparatus 10. Other suitable apparatus attachments may be integrated with or attached to apparatus 10.
According to one embodiment of the present invention, apparatus 10 may be formed so as to include at least one sensor. Such a sensor may be used, for example, to receive and optionally measure and/or process environmental data such as, for example, temperature, humidity, illumination and other data etc. A sensor-based apparatus may be provided with a display panel to enable displaying of received, measured, and/or processed sensor data. A plurality of sensors may be used.
According to one embodiment of the present invention, apparatus 10 may be formed so as to include at least one dynamic display element, such as, for example, a L.E.D. display panel. Such display elements may be used to display data such as, for example, temperature, changing content, and alternative data etc. Other suitable display elements may be used.
According to one embodiment of the present invention, apparatus 10 may be formed so as to include a computing unit, such as an integrated chip. For example, a chip may be included in apparatus 10 to provide, for example, the time. Other suitable computing units may be used.
According to a further embodiment, apparatus 10 may include functional means such as a lighting element. Such a lighting element may be a LED source, a flashlight, or any other suitable lighting apparatus or element. One or more power sources may be supplied to the lighting element. For example, lighting element may be powered by a battery, solar panel, or alternative powering sources. Lighting element may be used to illuminate at least a part of apparatus, or a display area of apparatus etc. According to some embodiments of the present invention, alternative functional units may be added, adhered or otherwise integrated into apparatus 10, for example, a bottle opener, key holder etc.
According to an embodiment of the present invention, a magnetic rocker apparatus may be provided with at least two magnetized sides, separated by an element that may function as a bridge or obstacle between the magnetic sides, enabling swinging or rocking of the apparatus between the magnetized sides. The rocker apparatus in such an embodiment may be a flat item, such that the sides are 180 degrees from one another. The rocker apparatus may have sides joining together at a base, the sides having any angle towards one another, such as less than 180 degrees or greater than 180 degrees.
Of course, other structures and dimensions may be used. For example, the magnetic apparatus according to some embodiments of the present invention may include several magnets and several pressing points, such that pressing on a point may enable adhering or releasing of items to/from the apparatus. Multiple items may be simultaneously adhered or released by apparatus 10 or apparatus 30.
According to an embodiment of the present invention, a method may be provided for adhering and/or releasing items to/from a surface, such as a metal or magnetic surface etc. As can be seen with reference to
In operation 64, a user may detach or release an item attached to a surface, and may thereby release the previously attached portion of the apparatus, by pulling the item away from the surface. Operation 64 may cause the apparatus portion that is currently attached to the surface to release, enabling release of the item. Operation 64 may in parallel cause the previously un-pressed portion of the apparatus to magnetically attach to the surface, thereby bonding the apparatus to the surface, such that apparatus may remain on surface, without being manually held (e.g., the apparatus may not fall down) when operation 64 is implemented.
In operation 64, a user may detach or release an item attached to a surface, by pressing on a pressing zone to release an item from being held between a magnet and a surface. Upon releasing the magnet and the surface, a user may remove an item previously held by the previously attached portion of the apparatus. According to some embodiments of the present invention, the above adhering and/or releasing operations may be executed using a one step action, thereby enabling operation by users with limited facilities or capabilities, or someone who has only one hand currently available. Any combination of the above steps may be implemented. Further, other steps or series of steps may be used.
It will be appreciated that additional elements or combinations of elements may be implemented on or integrated with apparatus 10. Furthermore, additional modes, structures, angles, and dimensions etc. may be implemented.
The foregoing description of the embodiments of the invention has been presented for the purposes of illustration and description. It is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise form disclosed. It should be appreciated by persons skilled in the art that many modifications, variations, substitutions, changes, and equivalents are possible in light of the above teaching. It is, therefore, to be understood that the appended claims are intended to cover all such modifications and changes as fall within the true spirit of the invention.
1. A magnetic utility apparatus comprising:
- an apparatus body, said body having at least two sides, the sides meeting at a base having an angle of more than 180 degrees; and
- a magnet on at least one side of the apparatus body.
2. The apparatus of claim 1, comprising a plurality of sides.
3. The apparatus of claim 1, comprising a plurality of magnets.
4. The apparatus of claim 1, comprising at least one foldable side.
5. The apparatus of claim 1, comprising at least one detachable side.
6. The apparatus of claim 4, said foldable side having a magnet with a different polarity from a second magnet on a second side.
7. The apparatus of claim 1, at least one side of said apparatus is not magnetized.
8. The apparatus of claim 1, comprising an apparatus selected from the group consisting of a sensor apparatus, a display apparatus, an illumination apparatus, and an integrated chip.
9. A magnetic utility apparatus comprising:
- at least two apparatus bodies, each of said bodies having at least two sides, the sides meeting at a base of each apparatus body at an angle of more than 180 degrees; and
- a magnet on at least one side of each apparatus body, at least two of said magnets having different polarities.
10. The apparatus of claim 9, comprising a plurality of magnets for each said apparatus body.
11. The apparatus of claim 9, comprising holding an item between said two apparatus bodies, said apparatus bodies being magnetically attracted to each other.
12. A method for adhering an item to a surface, comprising:
- placing a magnetic rocker apparatus with at least two magnetized sides on a surface, said apparatus having at least one said magnetized side being magnetically adhered to said surface; and
- inserting at least one item between at least one side of the apparatus and the surface, said side not currently being magnetically adhered to said surface.
13. The method of claim 12, comprising pressing on a side that is not currently magnetically adhered to said surface.
14. The method of claim 12, comprising releasing an attached item, by pulling said item away from the surface.
15. The method of claim 12, said operations being implemented with one hand.
16. A method for releasing an item from a surface, the item being located between at least one side of a magnetic rocker apparatus and the surface, comprising pulling said item away from said surface, said pulling action causing at least one other side of the apparatus to be magnetically attached to the surface.