COMPUTING DEVICE CASE WITH INTEGRATED STAND

A case (10) for a computing device (50) and an integrated stand (11) provides the user of the computing device a case (10) for carrying a computing device and a mechanism that supports the portable computing device (50) in an elevated manner. The portable computing device carrying case (10) includes a first housing portion (12) and a second housing portion (14) pivotably connected (16) to the first housing portion (12) for movement between an open position and a closed position. In the closed position the first housing portion (12) and the second housing portion (14) form a cavity adapted to receive and enclose a portable computing device (50) when in the closed position. The portable computing device carrying case (10) includes an inner platform (40) positioned within the cavity when the second housing portion (14) is in the closed position. The inner platform (40) is moveable to an inclined position to support the portable computing device (50) when the second housing portion (14) is in the open position. The inner platform (40) is pivotably connected to the first housing portion (12) and supported by the second housing portion (14) when in the inclined position.

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Description

RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims benefit of priority to Provisional Patent Application No. 61/087,619, filed on Aug. 8, 2008, the entire contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

A computing device case having an integrated stand is disclosed.

BACKGROUND

Increased flexibility and mobility of the workplace drives an increase in the use of portable computing devices, such as laptop and notebook computers. Some computing devices are difficult or practically impossible to use in a portable working environment. Also, portability of the workplace can present scenarios in which a computing device would be more susceptible to damage or breakage, as well as provide an awkward, clumsy or uncomfortable experience while operating the device.

SUMMARY

Embodiments consistent with the claimed invention relate to a case for a computing device and an integrated stand, which provides the user of the computing device a case for carrying a computing device and a mechanism that supports the computing device in an elevated manner.

In a first exemplary embodiment, a portable computing device carrying case includes a first housing portion and a second housing portion pivotably connected to the first housing portion for movement between an open position and a closed position. In the closed position the first and second housing portions form a cavity adapted to receive a portable computing device. The first housing portion and the second housing portion are adapted to enclose the portable computing device in the cavity when in the closed position.

The portable computing device carrying case includes an inner platform positioned within the cavity when the second housing portion is in the closed position. The inner platform is moveable to an inclined position to support the portable computing device when the second housing portion is in the open position. The inner platform is pivotably connected to the first housing portion and supported by the second housing portion when in the inclined position.

In a second embodiment consistent with the claimed invention, a portable computing device carrying case includes a first housing portion and a second housing portion pivotably connected to the first housing portion for movement between an open position and a closed position forming a cavity adapted to receive a portable computing device. The first housing portion and the second housing portion are adapted to enclose the portable computing device in the cavity when in the closed position.

The second embodiment includes an inner platform is positioned within the cavity when the second housing portion is in the closed position, and moveable into a plurality of inclined positions to support the portable computing device when the second housing portion is in the open position. The inner platform is pivotably connected to the first housing portion.

At least one access opening is formed in the first housing, positioned adjacent the inner platform, and sized to permit receiving at least one of a user's finger and an inner platform extension to permit a user to apply a force to the inner platform.

It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description are exemplary and exemplary only and are not restrictive of the invention, as claimed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings, which are included to provide a further understanding of the invention and are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate embodiments of the invention that together with the description serve to explain the principles of the invention. In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a portable computing device carrying case in accordance with an exemplary embodiment with housing portions of the case in a closed position.

FIG. 2 is a top view of the portable computing device carrying case shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a front view of the portable computing device carrying case shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the portable computing device carrying case of FIG. 1 with the housing portions of the case in an open position and the pivotably inner tray at an inclined position.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the portable computing device carrying case of FIG. 4 with a computing device provided on the pivotable tray.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the portable computing device carrying case of FIG. 1 with the housing portions of the case in an open position and the pivotably inner tray at an inclined position.

FIG. 7 is a side view of the portable computing device carrying case with the pivotably inner tray at the inclined position shown in FIG. 6 and a computing device provided on the pivotable tray.

FIG. 8 is a diagram of a portion of an opened portable computing device carrying case with elements that connect the inner tray to a housing portion according to an exemplary embodiment.

FIG. 9 is a diagram of a portion of an opened portable computing device carrying case with the inner tray connected to a housing portion and including an access opening according to an exemplary embodiment.

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of a portion of an opened portable computing device carrying case according to an exemplary embodiment with a housing portion including the pivotable inner tray shown in cross-section.

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of a portion of an opened portable computing device carrying case with connecting elements according to an exemplary embodiment.

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of a portion of an opened portable computing device case showing an access opening according to an exemplary embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The various aspects are described hereafter in greater detail in connection with a number of exemplary embodiments to facilitate an understanding of the invention. However, the invention should not be construed as being limited to these embodiments. Rather, these embodiments are provided so that the disclosure will be thorough and complete, and will fully convey the scope of the invention to those skilled in the art.

FIGS. 1 to 3 show a portable computing device carrying case 10 according to an exemplary embodiment with the case 10 in a closed position. The portable computing device carrying case 10 includes a first housing portion 12 and a second housing portion 14 pivotably connected to the first housing portion 12 via a rotating hinge 16. The first housing portion 12 serves as the base of an integrated portable computing device stand, which will be described later in detail. The first housing can include a stop portion 18a to prevent the second housing portion 14 from extending radially more than about 90 degrees when the stop portion 18a contacts a stop portion 18b on the second housing portion 14, although other embodiments can allow the first portion to be opened to any practical extent relative to the second portion 14, such as 180 degrees.

The second housing portion 14 forms the “top side” of the carrying case when the portable computing device carrying case 10 is oriented with the first housing portion 12 resting on a surface, such as a table or the lap of an individual. The second housing 14 includes sidewalls 15 and can rotate down over portions of the first housing portion 12 forming the “bottom,” or “lower side” until the portable computing device carrying case 10 is in a fully closed position, as depicted in FIGS. 1-3, and form a cavity adapted to receive a portable computing device. The second housing portion 14 can lock onto the lower housing via two spring loaded latches 20 located on the front of the case that control respective latching elements 21. The case can include a handle 22, which provides a mechanism by which the portable computing device carrying case 10 can be carried by hand. The handle 22 can be made of semi-rigid material that can retract into cavities in housings 24 when the handle is not being used to allow for less space consumption, or instead be made from flexible or a rigid material. Alternatively, the portable computing device carrying case 10 can be carried using a strap (not shown) attached to tabs 26, which can be removably attached to the an attachment 27 on sidewall 15 of the second housing portion 14.

In an embodiment, a frame 28 can be attached to an outside surface of the second housing portion 14 and a flexible and stretchable material 30 can be attached to the frame 28 to form a pocket or flexible pouch 31 in which a wired or wireless peripheral devices such as a keyboard and mouse, power supply, and other work items such papers memory discs etc. can be stored by placing them in an access opening 32 provided in the material 30. In other embodiments, a compartment may be formed on the second housing 14 of rigid material and include a removable access panel, hinged panel or other accessible compartment in which to store items. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the exemplary flexible/stretchable material 30 also can include an opening 34, through which a power cable and/or other cable such as a network cable can be provided. The opening 34 can generally be provided in line with an opening 36 formed in the underlying surface of the second housing portion 14, as shown in FIG. 4.

FIGS. 4-7 illustrate an exemplary integrated computing device stand 11 of the portable computing device carrying case 10. The integrated computing device stand 11 includes the first housing portion 12, the second housing portion 14, and an inner platform 40 that can be elevated at one end and connected to the second housing portion 14 to provide one or more inclined positions or inclinations. At all adjustment levels, the points at which the first housing portion 12, the second housing portion 14, and an inner platform 40 connect to form a triangular shape, which provides sound structural geometry for supporting the load of a computing device.

FIGS. 4 and 5 show the stand in a first exemplary position, for example, with the inner platform 40 at an angle of about 20 degrees with respect to a lower inner surface 13 of the first housing portion 12. In this position, the keyboard 70 of a portable computing device 50 is slightly raised and can provide a comfortable hand position.

FIGS. 6 and 7 show the integrated computing device stand 11 in a second exemplary position, for example, with the inner platform 40 fully raised at an angle of about 60 degrees with respect to the lower inner surface 13 of the first housing portion 12. When positioned at this relatively high inclination, the display 58 of a computing device 50 can be elevated substantially to the user's eye level. At higher inclinations of the inner platform 40, such as the second position shown in FIG. 7, a user can utilize a peripheral keyboard and pointing device (not shown), such as a full size wireless keyboard and mouse while being provided with an ergonomic display experience.

With reference again to FIGS. 4 and 5, the exemplary portable computing device carrying case 10 is depicted in open position and configured as the integrated computing device stand 11. The elements inside the cavity formed by the first housing portion 12 and the second housing portion 14 include an inner platform or tray 40 pivotably mounted near a front side 42 of the first housing portion 12, such that the back of the platform 40 can be tilted radially upward in the direction towards the front side 42. As shown in FIG. 5, the inner platform 40 is sized and rigid enough to support a portable computing device 50, such as a laptop computer, notebook computer, or other electronic portable device including a display, in an inclined position relative to the bottom inside surface 13 of the first housing portion 12, and thus forms a stand for a computing device. For example, the inner platform can be sized to extend across substantially the entire extent of a cavity formed by the first housing portion 12 and the second housing portion 14. The front side 42 can provide a stop against the bottom of the computing device 50 when it is placed on the inner platform 40 and the portable computing device carrying case 10 is configured as the integrated computing device stand 11.

With reference to FIG. 10, a view of a cross-section of an area behind a front side of a first housing portion 12 is shown to illustrate a hinge structure of the inner platform 40 in accordance with an embodiment. As shown in FIG. 10, the inner platform 40 can be rotated about an axis of the hinge 62 by way of a hinge structure including a pair of dowel elements 64, each provided in a retaining structure 66 at opposite sides of the first housing portion 12, although another hinge structure, such as a piano hinge, can be used.

Returning to FIGS. 4 and 5, an embodiment of the portable computing device carrying case 10 can include an inner platform 40 having openings 43 that function to promote venting and circulation of air for cooling a computing device placed on it, although the inner platform 40 can include fewer openings (e.g., one or zero openings) or a greater number of openings from what is depicted in the figures. The rear of the inner platform 40 can be raised to a desired position to create a more comfortable and ergonomic viewing angle of the display 58 of a portable computing device 50, such as a monitor of the laptop computer, as shown in FIG. 5, while still allowing the user to operate the keyboard 70 of the portable computing device 50. In the fully extended configuration of integrated computing device stand 11 shown in FIGS. 6 and 7, the connectors 60 of the inner platform 40 are engaged with the supports 46 to provide a higher inclination than a position obtained when the connectors 60 are engaged with the supports 44.

To maintain a desired position of inclination, the inner platform 40 and second housing portion 14 are provided with connecting elements that can be selectively engaged and disengaged to secure the inner platform 40 to the second housing portion 14 and in an inclined position. For example, one or more pairs of supports can be provided on the inside of the sidewall 15 of second housing 14, and a complementary pair connectors can be provided on opposite ends of the inner platform 40. In the FIG. 4 configuration of the stand 11, plural support pairs 44 are provided to permit the user to removably secure the inner platform 40 at one of two positions of inclination by connecting first and second ones of a pair of connectors 60 located at the rear of the inner platform 40 with first and second ones of the pair of supports 44 or the first and second ones of the second pair of supports 46.

FIGS. 4-7 and 9 show that the interior of the portable computing device carrying case 10 can include pads that cushion and provide friction fit against both sides of the computing device when the inner platform 40 is in the fully retracted position and the second housing portion 14 closed onto the first housing portion 12. In an embodiment, pads 41 can be provided on the lower surface 13 of the first housing portion 12 and shaped such that they protrude through one or more openings 43 when the inner platform 40 is resting on the bottom surface 13 in the fully retracted position. Pads 43 also can be provided on the inside surface of the second housing portion 14 and can contact the computing device placed. In an embodiment, pads on one or both of the first and second housing portions 12, 14 can include a inflatable bladder and inflated with a pump (not shown) provided on the exterior of the case 10 to accommodate computing devices having sized different thicknesses.

FIG. 8 shows a magnified view of a corner of the second housing portion 14 that includes a support 46 and connector 60. A similar connection structure can be provided at the opposite side of the second housing and at each of the supports 44 when the inner platform is positioned in a lower inclination. In this embodiment, the connector 60 of inner platform 40 is provided as a projection on a side of the rear of the inner platform 40 and provides an interference fit with a notch structure provided at the distal end of the support 46 in a “snap in” engagement. The support 46 can be integrated into a frame structure 48 provided on the inside of the sidewall 15. Other types of known connecting mechanisms can be provided to secure the inner platform 40 with the second housing portion 14, which include but are not limited to magnetic, hooks, Velcro™, clamping elements that provide a friction fit to a pair of tracks etc.

FIG. 11 shows another embodiment of a support 90 for receiving a projection 92 that extend from opposite sides of the inner platform 40. The projections 92 do not extend beyond the lateral sides of the inner platform 40 and form a detachable interference type fit with a notch formed by the support 90.

In the fully extended configuration integrated computing device stand 11 shown in FIGS. 6 and 7, the connectors 60 of the inner platform 40 are engaged with the supports 46 to provide fully extended higher inclination of about 60 degrees. FIG. 7 is a side view of the portable computing device carrying case 10 with a computing device 50 placed on the inner platform 40 positioned at the higher inclination. As can be seen in FIG. 7, the position of the inner platform 40 elevates computing device 50 and its display 58 to a height of the user's eye level. At these higher inclinations, the user can utilize a peripheral keyboard and pointing device (not shown), such as a full size wireless keyboard and mouse and be provided with an ergonomic display experience.

In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 4-7 and 9, the portable computing device carrying case 10 can include at least one access opening 56 that is sized to receive at least one of a user's finger and an inner platform extension 53 and contact portion 54 extending from the inner platform 40 to permit a user to apply a force to the inner platform 40 and raise the inner platform 40 at least high enough for the connectors 60 to clear the sidewall 84 of the first housing portion. As shown in FIG. 9, the access opening 56 is formed on a bottom surface 52 of the first housing portion 12. The bottom surface 52 can also include anti-skid pads 82 that provide friction to resist unintentional movement of the integrated computing device stand 11. An access opening can be located on each side of the first housing portion 12. If the second housing portion 14 includes a frame structure 48, FIG. 7 shows a groove or recess 80 that may be provided to allow proper clearance for the extension/contact 53/54.

FIG. 12 shows an alternative type of access opening 96 in the form of a slot in a sidewall 98 of a first housing portion 12′. The inner platform 40′ includes a tab portion 94 that can extend into and engage the slot access opening 96, but has an outer surface that is flush with the outer surface of the sidewall 98 so it does not interfere with the sidewall 15 when closing and opening the second housing portion 14. The tab portion 94 can be manipulated to lift the inner platform 40′ over the sidewall 98 by grabbing the tab portion 94 and pulling it upwards or the tab portion can be pushed from a surface of the tab portion 94 under the flush surface. In an embodiment, the exemplary support and inner platform structures shown in FIG. 11 can be combined with a slot type access opening as shown in FIG. 12 to position the edge of the platform 40′ a close distance from the sidewall 98.

An exemplary method of operating the portable computing device carrying case 10 will now be described. A user can start from a position where the case 10 is closed. The user will push the two sliding latch buttons 20 outward to move the latch elements 21 laterally and release the second housing portion 14 from the first housing portion 12. Next, the user can raise the second housing portion 14 up to its full 90 degree stopped position. The user can lift the rear of the inner platform 40 up slightly by manipulating the access opening (e.g., access opening 56 or 96) towards the rear of the first housing portion 12 or 12′. The user's finger accesses the inner platform 40 through the opening and applies an upward force on inner platform 40 which allows for the free hand to easily raise the rear of the inner platform 40 to the desired viewing height. The user can then secure the rear connectors 60 on the inner platform 40 into recesses in the supports 44/46 provided on the first housing portion 12, and thus detachably connect and secure the inner platform 40 at the desired position.

If not already placed on the inner platform 40, the user will then place his/her portable computing device 50 (e.g., a laptop or notebook computer) on the inner platform 40 in an open position. With the inner platform 40 raised at the rear, the display of the portable computing device is raised to a more comfortable and ergonomic position for the user in order to reduce head, neck and/or back strain. Optionally, the user may remove a wireless keyboard and mouse (not shown) from the flexible pouch 31 located on the exterior of the second housing portion 14. USB fobs, for example a Bluetooth™ or another high frequency wireless fob for a keyboard/mouse can be used to provide connectivity from these devices to the portable computing device 50. The user can then position the wireless keyboard and mouse in their desired positions to reduce hand and wrist strain.

Once the user has completed their session on the computing device 50, the wireless keyboard and mouse can be returned to the flexible pouch 31, and the user's computing device moved to a closed position. The inner platform 40 is lowered to a resting position on the first housing portion 12, and the user's computing device rests on the inner platform 40. The second housing portion 14 then can be closed down onto the first housing portion 12 where the case is locked via the spring loaded slide latches 20/21. Once in the closed and locked position, the user will utilize the carrying handle 22 or the shoulder strap (not shown) to transport the portable computing device carrying case 10.

Although not shown, exemplary embodiments may include modifications, such as a battery pack, USB ports, and/or ventilation system integrated into one or more of the first and second housing portions 12, 14.

Although a limited number of exemplary embodiments is described herein, one of ordinary skill in the art will readily recognize that there could be variations to any of these embodiments and those variations would be within the scope of the appended claims. Thus, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various changes and modifications can be made to the portable computing device carrying case and integrated stand described herein without departing from the scope of the appended claims and their equivalents.

Claims

1. A portable computing device carrying case, comprising:

a first housing portion;
a second housing portion pivotably connected to said first housing portion for movement between an open position and a closed position forming a cavity adapted to receive a portable computing device, said first housing portion and said second housing portion adapted to enclose the portable computing device in said cavity when in the closed position;
an inner platform positioned within said cavity when said second housing portion is in said closed position and moveable to an inclined position to support the portable computing device when said second housing portion is in said open position, said inner platform pivotably connected to said first housing portion and supported by said second housing portion when in said inclined position.

2. The carrying case of claim 1, wherein said inner platform is movable into a plurality of inclined positions.

3. The carrying case of claim 1, wherein said inner platform is sized to extend across substantially an entire extent of said cavity.

4. The carrying case of claim 3, wherein said inner platform is a flat, planar structure.

5. The carrying case of claim 4, wherein said inner platform includes a plurality of vent openings to allow air to pass through said inner platform.

6. The carrying case of claim 1, further including a connection means for connecting said inner platform to said second housing portion when in the inclined position.

7. The carrying case of claim 1, wherein said second housing portion includes a first support and a second support positioned on opposite sides of said second housing, said inner platform including a first connector and a second connector mounted on opposite sides of said inner platform to engage said first support and said second support, respectively, to secure said inner platform in said inclined position.

8. The carrying case of claim 7, wherein each of said first connector and said second connector includes a projection, each of said first support and said second support including a notch adapted to receive a respective said projection.

9. The carrying case of claim 8, wherein said second housing portion includes a first side wall and a second side wall positioned opposite said first side wall, said projections extending laterally from said inner platform toward said first and said second side walls.

10. The carrying case of claim 1, wherein said first housing portion includes at least one access opening formed in said first housing portion, positioned adjacent said inner platform, and sized to receive at least one of a user's finger and an inner platform extension to permit a user to apply a force to said inner platform.

11. The carrying case of claim 10, wherein said inner platform includes at least one contact portion positioned in or adjacent to said at least one access opening.

12. The carrying case of claim 10, wherein said at least one access opening includes a first access opening positioned on one side of said first housing portion and a second access opening positioned on an opposite side of said first housing from said first access opening.

13. The carrying case of claim 10, wherein said at least one access opening is a hole positioned in an underside of said first housing portion.

14. The carrying case of claim 10, wherein said at least one access opening is a slot positioned in a side wall of said first housing portion.

15. The carrying case of claim 11, wherein said contact portion includes a tab extending from one side of said inner platform to engage said slot.

16. The carrying case of claim 6, wherein said connection means includes a lower pair of supports extending from said second housing portion and positioned to support said inner platform in a lower inclined position, and a higher pair of supports extending from said second housing portion and positioned to support said inner platform in a higher inclined position.

17. A portable computing device carrying case, comprising:

a first housing portion;
a second housing portion pivotably connected to said first housing portion for movement between an open position and a closed position forming a cavity adapted to receive a portable computing device, said first housing portion and said second housing portion adapted to enclose the portable computing device in said cavity when in the closed position;
an inner platform positioned within said cavity when said second housing portion is in said closed position and moveable into a plurality of inclined positions to support the portable computing device when said second housing portion is in said open position, said inner platform pivotably connected to said first housing portion; and
at least one access opening formed in said first housing, positioned adjacent said inner platform, and sized to permit receiving at least one of a user's finger and an inner platform extension to permit a user to apply a force to said inner platform.

18. The carrying case of claim 17, wherein said at least one access opening is a hole positioned in an underside of said first housing portion.

19. The carrying case of claim 17, wherein said at least one access opening is a slot positioned in a side wall of said first housing portion.

20. The carrying case of claim 17, wherein said at least one access opening includes a first access opening positioned on one side of said first housing portion and a second access opening positioned on an opposite side of said first housing from said first access opening.

Patent History

Publication number: 20120217175
Type: Application
Filed: Aug 10, 2009
Publication Date: Aug 30, 2012
Inventors: Chris Oskuie (Vienna, VA), Eskinder Sahle (Arlington, VA), Hari Natarajan (Bangalore), Jochen Backs (San Francisco, CA)
Application Number: 13/058,183

Classifications

Current U.S. Class: With Folding Easel Or Receptacle Support (206/45.24)
International Classification: A45C 11/00 (20060101);