|Publication number||US20040103563 A1|
|Application number||US 10/306,740|
|Publication date||3 Jun 2004|
|Filing date||29 Nov 2002|
|Priority date||29 Nov 2002|
|Publication number||10306740, 306740, US 2004/0103563 A1, US 2004/103563 A1, US 20040103563 A1, US 20040103563A1, US 2004103563 A1, US 2004103563A1, US-A1-20040103563, US-A1-2004103563, US2004/0103563A1, US2004/103563A1, US20040103563 A1, US20040103563A1, US2004103563 A1, US2004103563A1|
|Original Assignee||Linge Julie E.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (3), Referenced by (28), Classifications (6)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
 This application claims priority from U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/333,481, filed Nov. 28, 2001.
 The present invention relates to illuminated footwear.
 Footwear such as slippers are often placed bedside ready to be put on upon rising. Often times, a person finds themselves having to get up during the night in order to attend the bathroom and such. The frequency of the activity is higher with the very young and elderly. A risk involved with getting up at night time is the lack of visibility due to darkness which could lead to accidental tripping or bumping into objects.
 Some examples of footwear or toys is disclosed in US Patents:
5,267,886 (Wood et al) 4,479,329 (Fraden) 4,464,861 (Fogarty et al) 3,808,418 (Conard et al) 4,245,430 (Hoyt) 5,465,197 (Chien) 5,821,858 (Stone) 5,546,681 (Goldston et al) 3,800,133 (Duval) 4,020,572 (Chiaramonte) 4,324,054 (Rovinsky)
 According to an aspect of the present invention there is provided footwear having a sole and an upper foot portion arranged for connection to the sole. An electrical lighting arrangement for the footwear includes;
 an electrically operable light attached to the footwear;
 a self-contained power source for the light, and;
 an electric circuit connecting the power source to the light;
 the circuit including a means for activating the light source.
 Preferably the circuit has a sound activation system arranged to activate the light.
 Preferably the circuit has a motion sensor arranged to activate the light.
 Conveniently the upper foot portion has a lighting arrangement which is activated by the circuit such that an interchangeable symbol is light up.
 Preferably the circuit is arranged to receive a clap signal to activate the light.
 Preferably the circuit is sound activated for initially activating the light and the light is deactivated after a determined period of time and remains on when the circuit senses motion.
 Conveniently a light sensor is arranged to deactivate the circuit during use in lighted situations.
 Preferably a battery is enclosed within the sole.
 Conveniently a closable opening provides access to the battery for replacement thereof.
 Preferably the circuit is embedded in the sole.
 According to another aspect of the present invention there is provided a slipper having a sole and an upper, and characterised by an electrically operable light attached to the slipper, a self-contained power source for the light and an electric circuit connecting the power source to the light, the circuit including a pressure-responsive switch in the sole of the slipper.
 When worn, the pressure of the wearer's foot activates the pressure-responsive switch and turns on the light, allowing the wearer to see the way to the chosen destination.
 It is preferred that the circuit includes a time delay to keep the light on for a period after the pressure switch is opened. This limits flickering on and off of the light with each step of the wearer.
 It is further preferred to include either a manual on/off switch or a photoelectric override in the circuit to prevent operation in lighted conditions, e.g. during the day or when the room lighting is turned on. This extends the life of the self-contained power source, e.g. a battery.
 In the accompanying drawings, which illustrate an exemplary embodiment of the present invention:
FIG. 1 is an isometric view of the present invention.
FIG. 2 is an exploded view of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a partial top plan view of the present invention.
FIG. 4 is a top plan view of the sole.
FIG. 5 is a side elevational view of FIG. 4.
FIG. 5A is an isometric view of a slipper according a second embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 5B is an asectional view of the sole showing the layout of the embedded components of the second embodiment.
FIG. 5C is a circuit diagram of the second embodiment.
FIG. 6 is a list of components.
FIG. 7 is a block diagram showing the sensors, components and output devices utilised to implement the functions of the footwear.
FIG. 7A is a block diagram showing an alternate arrangement of the sensors, components and output devices utilised to implement the functions of the footwear.
FIG. 8 is a program flow chart.
FIG. 9 is a 3D plot showing the variations in sound.
FIG. 10 is a contour plot showing the variations in sound.
FIG. 11 is a frequency plot.
FIG. 12 is a slice plot.
FIG. 13 is a computer program print out showing the “on” function.
FIG. 14 is a electronic component diagram showing the electronic system.
 Appendix A is a computer program printout.
 Referring to the accompanying drawings, there is illustrated footwear 1 which has a lighting arrangement 3. The footwear has a sole 5 and a foot receiving portion 7, commonly known as a slipper or indoor shoe. The lighting arrangement is arranged to provide a wearer with a light source during the night. The lighting arrangement has a battery 9 positioned with a battery enclosure 11 fabricated into the sole of the shoe. The battery can be replaced by removing a removable sole portion 13 at a heel 15 of the sole. A circuit board 17 is located within an enclosure 19 fabricated in the sole and is connected to the battery. The circuit board is arranged to receive signals from a light sensor 21, a microphone 23 and a motion sensor 25 and is arranged to provide a power source to a front light 27 and an alternative novelty light 29.
 The microphone is located in the toe of the sole. The microphone is arranged to receive an initial signal such as a clapping sound or the like from a wearer which activates the lights. The sound activation provides the wearer with a means to located the shoe as well as initial lighting of the surrounding area. Upon receiving the clapping signal the front mounted light is activated and remains activated for approximately three seconds for allowing the user to locate the slippers. Once the wearer puts on the slippers and begins motion, the motion sensor, located within the heel of the sole, detects motion signalling the circuit board to maintain power to the light source. The microphone used in the clap sensor is a common crystal microphone with an integrated fet amplifier. The center frequency of a clap signal has been found to be centred at approximately 1600 Hz. The microphone input is buffered to eliminate any loading problems and a bandpass filter is included. The hi-pass cut of frequency is approximately 1 kHz and the low pass cut off frequency is approximately 2.2 kHz. This results in an active bandpass of approximately 1.2 kHz centred at approximately 1600 Hz. Sensitivity of the clap signal is approximately 10-15 feet on the microcontroller receiving a clap signal the front light is activated for approximately three seconds then deactivated and is used to indicate the location of the slipper if not in the immediate vicinity of the wearer. This arrangement works adequately and resulted in the necessary selectivity of the “clap” signal while rejecting signals below 1 kHz and most signals above 2.2 kHz. The output of the last buffer acted as one input to a 2 input Nand Gate (Schmitt Trigger). The other input taken to a logic “high” resulted in the output of the Nand gate going low each time a “clap” signal was received at the microphone. The microcontroller monitored the output of the nand gate (pin 7-PIC12C509A) for an active low which indicated to the microcontroller that a “clap” audio signal has been received. Gains of 181 (U2) and 202 (U3) in conjunction with the Schmitt trigger nand gate inputs guaranteed that the “clap” signal results in an adequate “low” logic signal at the output of the nand gate resulting in reliable “clap” signal recognition. Sensitivity of the “clap” signal is approximately 10-15 ft and is more than adequate for most applications. On the microcontroller receiving a “clap” signal, the front mounted LED (Fled) is activated for approximately 3 seconds then deactivated and is used to indicate the located of the slipper if not in the immediate vicinity of the user.
 The motion detection is performed by a piezoelectric element which generates a voltage signal each time the slippers experience acceleration. The piezo element output is coupled to a buffer through a 1 uF capacitor then is followed by a hi-pass filter with an op-amp gain of approximately 28. This high gain in conjunction with the hi-pass response is a reliable movement recognition. The output of the non-inverting gain stage (U6) again acted as one of the inputs to a 2-I/P Nand gate which resulted in a low logic signal being passed to pin 6 of the microcontroller each time the slipper experienced an acceleration.
 The light sensor is located beside the microphone in the toe of the sole. The light sensor detects nominal levels of sunlight or overhead lighting which deactivates the lighting arrangement of the slipper during daytime or lighted situations. A light dependant resistor connected as the lower resistor in a voltage divider network served as the light sensor for the slippers. Nominal levels of sunlight or overhead lighting resulted in the ldr's resistance increasing to a level which resulted in a logic “high” across the ldr. The output of the ldr acts as the input to 2 nand gate inverters which pass a logic “high” signal to pin 4 of the microcontroller each time the light intensity is at a nominal level. When the microcontroller senses a logic “high” on pin 4 inhibition of all slipper action will immediately take place (Fled=off, logo leds=off) as the slipper are being used during the daytime or an overhead light has been activated.
 Alternatively the same arrangement included with the footwear or slipper may be incorporated into an plush toy or doll.
 Referring to the accompanying drawings, and especially to FIG. 5A, there is illustrated a slipper 10A. This has a sole 12A and an upper 14A of generally conventional format. At the toe of the sole 12A is a transparent or translucent section 16A for the emission of light generated by a lighting system incorporated into the slipper.
 As illustrated in FIG. 5B, the lighting system includes a bank of light emitting diodes (LEDs) 18A at the toe of the slipper. The sole also accommodates an electric battery 20A and control circuit 22A and an on/off switch 24A. The slipper includes a pressure switch 26A that is incorporated in the toe end of the slipper at a position to be compressed to a closed position by the ball of the foot of a wearer. A photo-diode 28A at the toe of the slipper is actuated by ambient light levels above a predetermined minimum. The sole also includes a microphone 30A.
 An electrical schematic is illustrated in FIG. 5C. As shown, the various components of the lighting system are connected to the control circuit 22A. The control circuit includes a time delay actuated by the pressure switch 26A to close and remain closed for a selected period after the pressure switch 26A has been closed. This time delay closes the circuit to the LEDs 18A and minimises any flickering of the LEDs 18A as the wearer is walking. The manual switch 24A is in the illustrated embodiment a pushbutton override switch that turns off the system. The photoelectric switch also opens the LED circuit in high ambient light conditions. The control circuit includes a sound chip responsive to detection of a sharp sound by the microphone 30A to initiate operation of a flasher for flashing the LEDs for a short time so that the slippers can be located in the dark.
 In addition to beaming an interchangeable image onto a wall or other solid surface in dim/dark lighting conditions, this device is embedded in the footwear and enables the footwear to communicate audibly via a voice chip (coupled to the microcontroller via an output bus) with other footwear of the same make and model within a range of several feet by sending a signal and causing other nearby footwear to perform a desired verbal response. The other footwear is capable of responding to either the initiator footwear or to yet another pair of slippers/runners/etc., and to recognise the gender of the wearer and to interface appropriately.
 The mechanism that controls the audio sequences is housed in the footwear enabling it to transmit and receive wireless signals between other footwear. The information will be transferred via infrared (IR) signals. An IR emitting driver produces a signal which is received by an IR detector from similar nearby footwear.
 A microcontroller unit receives and processes the information by creating a signal that enables the IR emitter to send a message from footwear A to footwear B. the microcontroller of footwear B receives the activation signal, interprets the signal from footwear A and responds appropriately with a pre-recorded phrase. It must recognise the signal as either an initiating signal or an audio response-inducing signal. It determines the selection of appropriate responses based on the gender of footwear A and causes an interactive audio sequence to be performed. Footwear A remains in a holding loop, waiting for the response from footwear B. it then responds with a pre-set number of responses until the end of the interaction.
 While one embodiment of the present invention has been described in the foregoing, it is to be understood that other embodiments are possible within the scope of the invention. The invention is to be considered limited solely by the scope of the appended claims.
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|Cooperative Classification||A43B3/001, A43B3/0005|
|European Classification||A43B3/00E, A43B3/00E10|