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Alert actuation device for body alignment

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Title: Alert actuation device for body alignment.
Abstract: The present invention provides a training device for attaining proper body alignment for jumps. The device comprises footwear (for example, a skate) and an ankle wrap. The ankle wrap may be a permanent part of the skate or may be releasably attached to the skate. The ankle wrap is constructed of neoprene and comprises a repositionable holder, an instep strap, a hook and loop two-part fastening system, and two lateral portions. The repositionable holder has a hook and loop two-part fastening system and a mesh pocket that holds a sound box. When the jumper achieves proper ankle contact, a sound is emitted from the sound box. Such sounding alerts the jumper that proper body alignment was achieved. ...


- Alexandria, VA, US
Inventor: Audrey K. Weisiger
USPTO Applicaton #: #20080185799 - Class: 280 1136 (USPTO) - 08/07/08 - Class 280 


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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20080185799, Alert actuation device for body alignment.

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Jumper   Sounding    FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to training devices for figure skating.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

A figure skater's rate of rotation during a jump significantly increases when proper ankle contact is achieved. In order to achieve proper ankle contact, the skater must employ efficient body alignment during the jump. However, during such jumps, due to the rapid rotation of the skater's body (as well as other dynamics of a jump), it is extremely difficult for the skater be sufficiently aware of his or her body alignment. Consequently, there is a need for a device to assist a skater in his or her body alignment awareness. A search of the prior art shows that no such device is known.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is a primary objective of the present invention to provide a device that can be used by a figure skater to attain proper body alignment during jumps. More particularly, it is an objective of the present invention to provide a device (an ankle wrap) that attaches to a skate in order to assist a skater in attaining proper body alignment during a jump.

Computer software was used to evaluate, in great detail, the most efficient body alignment for a skater during triple and quadruple jumps. The gathered data assisted the development of the present invention. The data was used to formulate a table showing airtime, rotation rate, and body position needed to complete skating jumps.

The present invention was developed experimentally. A variety of materials were tried in conjunction with a skate. The materials were placed over the outside anklebone of the skater's landing foot where the optimal ankle contact must occur. Some of the difficulties encountered were finding a way to secure the invention to a skate (providing safe and accurate placement), developing a sound box that had adequate volume and duration of sound, and creating a device that was sufficiently durable.

To address the aforementioned difficulties and other concerns, the ankle wrap is comprised of neoprene, Velcro, elastic, and mesh. Neoprene provides sufficient durability for the ankle wrap. The Velcro is used to safely secure the ankle warp to the skate on the landing foot of the skater jumper). A Velcro and mesh pocket is positioned over the outside anklebone of the skater. Inside the mesh pocket is a pressure-sensitive sound box that emits a prerecorded sound, alerting the skater and the coach when proper ankle contact has been achieved. The mesh allows for the emitted sound to be easily heard. If the skater (jumper) makes foot contact, but not proper ankle contact, there is no sound emitted from the sound box. Thus, the skater is alerted that proper alignment was not achieved.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Preferred and alternative embodiments of the present invention are described in detail below with reference to the following drawings:

FIG. 1 is a top view of an ankle wrap, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a top view of the repositionable actuation mechanism holder.

FIG. 3 is a side perspective view of a skate bearing the ankle wrap of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a rear perspective view of a skate bearing the ankle wrap of FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is a side perspective view of the alert actuation device in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 6 is a lower perspective view of the alert actuation device.

FIG. 7 is a side view of the repositionable holder for the alert actuation device in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 8 is a side view of the ankle wrap.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring to FIG. 1, an ankle wrap 10 for an ankle having a substantially arcuate shape such that it forms a crescent shape. Throughout this disclosure, a hook and loop two-part fastening system is discussed. Velcro, where the scratchy part is the “hook” and the soft side is the “loop”, illustrates such a system. In the preferred embodiment, the ankle wrap 10 is constructed of neoprene with the soft loop side of the two-part fastening system on the first lateral portion 11A and the hook part on the second lateral portion 11B of the two-part fastening system secures to first lateral portion 11A. The two-part fastening system may include buckles, clips, snaps, buttons, or the like.

An instep strap 12 secures to one of the lateral portions 11A, 11B near the boundary between the first and second lateral portions. The free end of the instep strap 12 bears a first part 13, consisting of the hook part of a hook and loop fastening system. In the illustrated embodiment, the first part 13, of the hook and loop fastening system secures to a lower surface of the first lateral portion 11A. The instep strap 12 secures to the first lateral portion 11A and the second part 11A. The instep strap 12 may be elastic.

Referring to FIG. 2, a repositionable holder 14 secures to the upper surface of the first lateral portion 11A. In the illustrated embodiment, the repositionable pocket 14 secures to anywhere on the first lateral portion 11A that the wearer desires. The repositionable holder 14 is comprised of elastic, Velcro (hooks and loop), mesh, and neoprene. The repositionable holder 14 is designed to hold a sound producing device 17 as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6 inside a mesh pocket 15 that has the outward facing portion 21 comprised of the loop of a two-part fastening system.

The sound-producing device 17 is secured in the mesh pocket 15 with a hooks tab 20 of a two-part fastening system. The mesh pocket 15 has a hook and loop fastening system at the top 15B to ensure containment of the sound-producing device 17. The reverse side of the repositionable holder 14 has a hook fastening system 22 as part of a two-part fastening system. This hook portion 22 secures the repositionable holder 14 to the ankle warp. On each end of the elastic of the repositionable holder 14 is a hook and loop fastening system. The ends 16A and 16B of the repositionable holder secure around the ankle wrap 10.

The repositionable holder 14 receives a sound-producing device 17 having a button or like structure that causes the sound-producing device 17 to produce sound when contacted. In the preferred embodiment, the mesh pocket 15 is formed of mesh material such that the sound-producing device 17 is audible. The mesh pocket 15 is slightly larger than the sound-producing device 17, such that the position of the position of the sound-producing device within the mesh pocket is adjustable. Inasmuch as skates are of varying sizes, it is advantageous to adjust the position of the sound-producing device 17 within the pocket to position the sound-producing device 17 properly with respect to the skater's feet.

Referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, the ankle wrap 10 secures to a skate 18 such that the instep strap 12 extends beneath the instep of the skate 18. The free end of the instep strap 12 secures to the lateral portion 11A by means of the two-part fastening system 13 11A. The ends of the lateral portions 11A extend around the skate 18 and secure to one another near the heel of the skate 18 by means of a two-part fastening system 11A and 11B. The central portion of the ankle wrap 10 at the junction of the lateral portions 11A is positioned over the arch of the skate having the repositionable holder 14 off-set to one side of the skate 18.

Referring to FIG. 5, the sound-producing device 17 includes a button controlling a speaker 19. When the button 23 is depressed, the speaker 19 emits a sound. The sound-producing device 17 contains a battery and circuits known in the art for producing electrical signals driving a speaker 19.

Referring to FIG. 6, a fastener 20 such as the hook part of a hook and loop two-part fastening system secures to a rear surface of the sound-producing device 20. In the illustrated embodiment, the fastener 21 is part of a hook and loop fastening system extending across the entire area covered by the mesh pocket 15.

While the preferred embodiment of the invention has been described, various alternative embodiments of the invention are possible without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. For example, the lateral portions of the ankle wrap may form a loop that is permanent over the skate before the user inserts the foot into the skate (i.e., the ankle wrap may be permanently attached to the skate). In addition, the invention is not limited to skates, but contemplates all kinds of footwear, including, but not limited to, shoes and boots. Accordingly, the scope of the invention is not limited by the disclosure of the preferred embodiment.

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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20080185799 A1
Publish Date
08/07/2008
Document #
11702140
File Date
02/05/2007
USPTO Class
280 1136
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
63C3/04
Drawings
6


Jumper
Sounding


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