FLASHNG BOTTLE POURER
A lighted bottle pourer has a standard shape and size top spout and lower stopper base. The bottle pourer is inserted into the top of a liquor bottle. Inside the top spout is a circuit board having two small liquid activated leads that stick out into the central pouring tube. The circuit board containing the electronics also has two LEDs that protrude through a reflective ring and a power supply of batteries. When liquid is poured from the bottle, through the spout and out of the top, the liquid activated leads cause the electrical circuit to be energized and light up the LEDs. When the bartender is finished pouring out the liquor, the leads return the electronic circuit to the open position and the LEDs are shut off.
This invention relates to the field of fluid dispensing. More particularly, a lighted and flashing liquor bottle pourer is presented.
The field of liquid dispensing has many tasks and devices have been introduced to solve many different problems. For example, fountain dispensers have evolved over the past decades from owner operated to customer dispensing units. Different inventions and improvements have been made to increase productivity or the enjoyment of beverages over the years.
In the liquor bartending business in particular, various types of inventions have been devised to aid the bartender in his daily work. A bartender has to pour liquor from many different bottles over the course of a day's work. In addition, he or she has to pour discreet amounts of liquor or other drinks into glasses in order to create the various drinks served. A bartender may use a jigger, or measuring glass, to prepare drinks. However, this procedure is time consuming and hence not cost effective.
One of the more useful applications has come in the discreet amount dispensing pourers. In order to improve the speed and accuracy of pouring a mixed drink, discreet pourers were devised to automatically measure and dispense portions of liquor for mixed drinks. These discreet pourers were in the form of removable caps for liquor bottles. The caps each had a mechanism for first measuring and then dispensing liquor. Improvements over these discreet pouring caps have recently become available.
Some improvements to the pourer art have included a pourer spout that has a magnetically operated valve. In U.S. Pat. No. 3,920,149 an actuator ring was placed around the pourer spout and connected by a cable to a computer. When the bottle and ring were inverted, a switch closed, causing an electromagnetic driver coil in the spring to be energized. After a set amount of liquor was dispensed, the computer closed the valve. Such a device not only measures and dispenses discreet amounts of liquor; it also insures that the bartender is not serving extra drinks to preferred customers.
Yet another example of a pourer is found in the 1997 patent issued to Loehrke. U.S. Pat. No. 5,603,430 disclosed a separate spout with a magnetically operated valve that enables the storeowner to record the amount of liquor dispensed from each bottle. Such a device can aid in keeping inventory data current.
Another example of a sophisticated discreet pourer cap is found in U.S. Pat. No. 6,354,468 issued to Riek in 2002. The Riek disclosure describes a beverage dispenser transponder system which measures a discreet amount of liquor to be dispensed and then electronically records such pouring at a central location, usually the cash register of the bar or restaurant. Riek utilizes an electromagnetic actuator stopper valve to measure and allow dispensing of liquor from a bottle. The actuator valve is located in the pouring spout of the Riek device. When liquor is dispensed, a radio frequency signal is sent from the uniquely identified bottle to a central data storage decoder. All types of data can be recorded such as quantity dispensed, volume remaining in the bottle, cost of the drink, and even the time required to dispense a particular volume of liquor. The name of the drink or bottle can also be displayed along with other data.
The bartending business is a leisure-based business and aesthetics are an important part of the business. The more attractive or unique the bar, the more customers are willing to come to the business and spend their time and resources enjoying the ambiance of the bar or restaurant. In an attempt to improve the overall appearance of the bar or liquor, ornamental pouring spouts have also been introduced. These spouts come in a variety of shapes and sizes, all designed to improve the appearance of the seating area. It would be an improvement over the known art to provide aesthetically pleasing pouring spouts that light up when in use.
With the introduction of miniaturization, electronic novelties have also been introduced into the bar, restaurant and entertainment industries. Examples of electronic applications in the bar and restaurant industry include neon lighting, flashing or rotating lighting and similar visual attractions. It is an object of this invention to provide lighting for the various bottle pourers when liquor is being dispensed from the bottle.
Another object of this invention may be found in the variation of the use of lighted bottle pourers. In one embodiment of the invention disclosed, the bottle pourers may be manually lighted even when they are not in use. This manually lighting of the bottles would also enhance the ambiance of the bar area. It is a still further object of this invention to provide lighted bottle pourers that remain lighted when they are situated on the shelves in the area behind the bar.
Other and further objects of this invention will become obvious upon reading the below described specification.BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
A lighted bottle pourer is presented that flashes when a bartender pours liquid from a bottle into a glass. The top spout and lower stopper of the bottle pourer have a shape similar to standard bottle pourers used in the industry. However, contained inside the lower part of the spout are an electronic circuit board, batteries, a reflector ring and LEDs. Liquid activated sensors are placed inside the pouring tube or corridor. These sensors come into contact with liquid as it is being poured through the bottle pourer. The liquid activated sensors switch on the electrical circuit when they are in contact with liquid. This lights up the LEDs and illuminates the bottle pourer spout. A flashing circuit is also provided which alternately lights up the LEDs. A manual switch may also be provided to override the liquid activated switches to turn the electrical circuitry on or off as desired.
A bottle pourer, especially for liquor bottles, has an irregularly shaped top 1 and a stopper-sealing base 12. The top 1 has a pourer spout 2 generally as shown in
Sealed inside the base 3 are a top reflector ring 4, a circuit board 5, a battery base 6 and batteries 9. The electronic elements of this invention are best shown on
The essentially cylindrical sealed base 3 also contains an essentially cylindrical solid-state circuit board 5. The circuit board 5 has a hole in its central section and is doughnut shaped. The circuit board 5 is isolated from the liquid as the liquid is poured through the central pouring corridor 10. This circuit board has liquid activated sensor switches embedded into the circuit board as best shown on
The essentially cylindrical longitudinal central pouring corridor 10 runs continuously from the bottom of the pourer stopper all the way to the top spout nozzle 2, as best shown on
When the liquid activated sensor leads 14 are touched simultaneously by the liquid they close the circuitry and light up the left 7 and right 8 LEDs as shown on the electrical schematic diagram of
The left 7 and right 8 LEDs are red and green, respectively, in the preferred embodiment. The circuitry also includes a flashing component so that the red and green LEDs are made to alternately flash when the sensors 14 activate the circuit. In another embodiment within the contemplation and disclosure of this invention, the flashing circuitry may be omitted so that the LEDs are continuously lighted.
Located underneath the circuit board 5 is a plurality of batteries 9 used to power the circuit. In the preferred embodiment three small batteries are used. The batteries are electrically connected to the circuit board 5 as shown in
The cylindrical reflecting ring 4, circuit board 5 and battery base 6 are all located within the top pourer spout base 3. After these components have been inserted into the base 3 in the manufacturing process, the top part of the lower sealing unit 11 is attached to the bottom part of the lower spout base 3 and the electrical components are sealed into the lower base 3. As stated above, the sensors 14 protrude into the central pouring corridor 10.
Attached to the bottom of the lower sealing unit 11 is a flexible stopper bottom base 12. The sealing unit 11 has a central pouring corridor 10 as shown on
The top pourer spout 1 of the device may be made of transparent or translucent material so that patrons may observe the electronic circuitry and lighting mechanism. Since the light emitting diodes are bright, the bottle pourer will light up when the pourer electronics is activated.
It is to be understood that the above is a description of the preferred embodiment of the flashing pourer. The details enumerated are meant as an illustration of the preferred and not as a limitation on the functionality or appearance of the invention. Minor variations on the general disclosure are well within the contemplation and spirit of the invention. For example, one or three or more LEDs could be used in practicing this invention. All LEDs could be one color or each could be a different color. Similarly, one or two batteries could be used rather than the preferred three. Further, as stated above, the LED lights may flash or remain constantly on during pouring or a manual or electronic switch could be used to keep the LEDs illuminated.
1: A lighted bottle pouring device, comprising:
- (a) a top pourer spout having a central pouring corridor and a lower base;
- (b) a circuit board located in said lower spout base having at least one LED, a power source, and a switching mechanism;
- (c) a lower sealing unit having a central pouring corridor in fluid communication with said spout pouring corridor, attached to the lower part of said top spout base;
- (d) a stopper sealing base having a central pouring corridor in fluid communication with said sealing unit pouring corridor, attached to the lower part of said sealing unit;
- wherein said bottle pouring device may be illuminated when said switch is activated.
2: A lighted bottle pouring device as in claim 1, wherein said switching mechanism comprises a liquid activated sensor switch located in said pouring corridor wherein said switch activates said LEDs when liquid is poured into said bottle pouring device.
3: A lighted bottle pouring device as in claim 1, further comprising a reflective ring located in said spout lower base having holes for receiving said at least one LED.
4: A lighted bottle pouring device as in claim 1, wherein said switching mechanism comprises a manual switch to activate said LEDs.
5: A lighted bottle pouring device as in claim 1, wherein said at least one LED flashes.
International Classification: B65D 5/66 (20060101);