(19)
(11)EP 3 371 007 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
09.09.2020 Bulletin 2020/37

(21)Application number: 16861688.6

(22)Date of filing:  02.11.2016
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
B60R 7/04(2006.01)
B60R 11/02(2006.01)
F16M 13/02(2006.01)
B60R 7/08(2006.01)
B60N 3/00(2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/IB2016/001911
(87)International publication number:
WO 2017/077398 (11.05.2017 Gazette  2017/19)

(54)

VEHICLE ENTERTAINMENT CENTER ASSEMBLY WITH HANGER

UNTERHALTUNGSCENTERANORDNUNG MIT AUFHÄNGER FÜR FAHRZEUG

ENSEMBLE CENTRE DE DIVERTISSEMENT POUR VÉHICULE À ÉLÉMENT DE SUSPENSION


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 02.11.2015 US 201562249933 P
25.08.2016 US 201662379586 P

(43)Date of publication of application:
12.09.2018 Bulletin 2018/37

(73)Proprietor: NSV Group FZCO
Dubai (AE)

(72)Inventor:
  • Harris, Victor
    Dubai (AE)

(74)Representative: McDonough, Jonathan 
Hepworth Browne 7 Wragley House
Valley Road Hebden Bridge West Yorkshire HX7 7BN
Valley Road Hebden Bridge West Yorkshire HX7 7BN (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
WO-A1-2015/077834
US-A1- 2012 018 471
US-A1- 2014 015 289
US-A1- 2015 115 009
DE-A1-102006 055 495
US-A1- 2012 018 471
US-A1- 2014 077 576
US-B1- 6 702 604
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    TECHNICAL FIELD



    [0001] The present disclosure relates to a vehicle entertainment center assembly.

    BACKGROUND



    [0002] Electronic devices, such as smart phones, tablets, personal digital assistants (PDAs), global position systems (GPS), and the like are widely used by passengers of vehicles. Some of these electronic devices provide the benefit of portability, allowing the passengers to bring the device with them, for use in the vehicle, while also allowing the passengers to take the device with them as they exit the vehicle. Other electronic devices can be integrated into the vehicle.

    [0003] US 2012/018471A1 discloses a mounting system for a vehicle seat having a headrest mounted thereto. The mounting system includes a vehicle engaging member having first second slots, the slots engaging dual posts of the headrest mount and terminating in a ball. A holder is provided that has a socket complementary to the ball. The holder has at least three securement points for a touch screen video display device to be retained therein.

    SUMMARY



    [0004] The present disclosure provides an accessory assembly according to claim 1.

    [0005] In one embodiment is at least one slot formed in each of the first and second shoulder portions and disposed proximate the central portion to receive the insert therein. In another embodiment is the channel defined in the insert and sized to cooperate with the at least one slot in the first and second shoulder portions of the hanger.

    [0006] The detailed description and the drawings or Figures are supportive and descriptive of the disclosure, but the claim scope of the disclosure is defined solely by the claims. While some of the best modes and other embodiments for carrying out the claims have been described in detail, various alternative designs and embodiments exist for practicing the disclosure defined in the appended claims.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0007] 

    FIGURE 1 is a schematic illustration in front view of an embodiment of a vehicle entertainment center accessory assembly shown supporting a cell phone and a headphone set;

    FIGURE 2 is a schematic illustration in side view of the vehicle entertainment center accessory assembly of FIGURE 1 shown supporting the cell phone and the headphone set;

    FIGURE 3 is a schematic illustration in partially exploded and perspective view of the vehicle entertainment center accessory assembly of FIGURE 1;

    FIGURE 4 is a schematic illustration in fragmentary perspective view of a vehicle including two of the vehicle entertainment center accessory assemblies of FIGURE 1;

    FIGURE 5 is a schematic illustration in fragmentary perspective rear view of the vehicle entertainment center accessory assembly of FIGURE 1 shown supporting the cell phone;

    FIGURE 6 is a schematic illustration in fragmentary perspective front view of the vehicle entertainment center accessory assembly of FIGURE 1 shown supporting the cell phone;

    FIGURE 7 is a schematic illustration in cross-sectional view of a hanger and cell phone insert of the vehicle entertainment center accessory assembly of FIGURE 1 taken at lines 7-7 in FIGURE 1;

    FIGURE 8 is a schematic illustration in fragmentary perspective front view of the hanger and cell phone insert of FIGURE 7.

    FIGURE 9 is a schematic illustration in exploded perspective view of the hanger and insert of FIGURE 1;

    FIGURE 10 is a schematic illustration in fragmentary side view of the vehicle entertainment center accessory assembly of FIGURE 1 shown supporting the headphone set; and

    FIGURE 11 is a schematic fragmentary illustration in front view of the vehicle entertainment center accessory assembly of FIGURE 1 shown supporting the headphone set.



    [0008] Those having ordinary skill in the art will recognize that all directional references (e.g., above, below, upward, up, downward, down, top, bottom, left, right, vertical, horizontal, etc.) are used descriptively for the figures to aid the reader's understanding, and do not represent limitations (for example, to the position, orientation, or use, etc.) on the scope of the disclosure, as defined by the appended claims.

    [0009] Referring to the Figures, wherein like numerals indicate like or corresponding parts throughout the several views, Figure 1 shows a front view of an embodiment of a vehicle entertainment center accessory assembly (VECAA) 10 shown supporting an object 12 such as a cell phone or other portable electronic device and a headphone set 14. As used herein "front" and "rear" as used to describe the VECAA 10 are considered relative to the position of the VECAA 10 when mounted in the vehicle 30 of Figure 4.

    [0010] The VECAA 10 includes an electronic display device 16 that includes a housing 17 that supports a screen 18 (best shown in Figures 4 and 5). The VECAA also includes a hanger 20 with an insert 22, and a headphone support 24. The housing 17 of the electronic display device 16 includes a front surface 36 and an opposing rear surface that receives and supports the screen 18 thereon. As will be described in greater detail below, the front and rear surfaces of the housing 17 cooperate to define and form an upper surface therebetween.

    [0011] As best shown in Figure 4, the VECAA 10 is configured to be mounted to a seat assembly 26 in a passenger compartment 28 of a vehicle 30 so that the display screen 18 generally faces rearward and is exposed to view to a vehicle passenger seated in a seat rearward of the seat assembly 26. The seat assembly 26 may include a seat bottom adjustably connected to a lower portion of the passenger compartment 28 and a seat back 26B having a lower end adjustably connected to and positionable relative to the seat bottom. Figure 4 shows two VECAAs 10, one mounted to each of a driver's seat assembly 26 and a front passenger seat assembly 26. The seat assemblies 26 each include a respective headrest 26A that is operatively connected an upper end of the seat back 26B.

    [0012] With reference to Figures 2 and 6, the VECAA 10 includes a mounting structure 32 extending from the front surface 36 of the housing 17 secured to mounting features 34 on the front side or front surface 36 of the electronic display device 16. The mounting structure 32 includes headrest post openings 38 through which the headrest posts of the headrest 26A may extend so that the mounting structure 32 is mounted to the seat back 26B of the seat assembly 26. Other fastener openings 40 may receive fasteners used to mount the VECAA 10 to the seat assembly 26. Alternatively, the mounting features 34 on the housing 17 of the electronic display device 16 may allow the electronic display device 16 to be easily removable from the mounting structure 32, for example, such as to remove the electronic display device 16 from the vehicle 30 if desired, while the mounting structure 32 remains mounted to the seat assembly 26.

    [0013] With reference to Figure 3, the hanger 20 mounts to the front side 36 of the electronic display device 16. More specifically, the hanger 20 includes a plurality of fastener openings 42 that align with corresponding fastener openings 44 extending into the housing 17 of the electronic display device 16. Fasteners (not shown) extend through the aligned openings 42, 44 to mount the hanger 20 to the front side 36. A cover 45 may be provided to cover the openings 42. The cover 45 may clip or otherwise secure to the hanger 20.

    [0014] When mounted as described, the hanger includes a central portion 50 and at least one shoulder portion 46 extending from the central portion 50. As shown in the Figures, the at least one shoulder portion 46 includes first and second shoulders 46 of the hanger 20 that extend from opposing ends of the central portion 50 and behind and at least partially above and laterally outward of the electronic display device 16, as best shown in Figure 1. The hanger 20 is thus offset from the screen 18 and does not block any portion of the screen 18 to provide a pleasurable viewing experience. This also allows an article of clothing (not shown) to be hung on the shoulders 46 of the hanger 20 without interfering with the electronic display device 16. By way of non-limiting example, the clothing may be a coat, a shirt, a suit jacket, etc., that can be hung on the hanger 20.

    [0015] The hanger 20 is incorporated and integrated in the VECAA 10 by mounting and securing the hanger to the housing 17 of the display device 16, as described herein, provides space savings and an aesthetic pleasing appearance inside the passenger compartment 28 of the vehicle 30 and eliminates the need to have a separate hanger in another location in the vehicle. The hanger 20 is disposed between the electronic display device 16 and the seat assembly 26 when mounted to the seat assembly 16 as shown in Figure 4, which may allow the clothing to fit generally between the electronic display device 16 and the seat assembly 26 in some instances so that the screen 18 is not covered by the clothing. Alternatively, clothing hanging on the hanger 20 may partially or completely cover the screen 18.

    [0016] With reference to Figures 5-8, the hanger 20 has a central portion 50 that defines a recessed cavity 52 that opens generally upward when the VECAA 10 is installed in the vehicle 30 of Figure 4. Opposing sidewalls 53 extend at fore and aft sides of the cavity 52 between the first and second shoulder portions 46 to define the cavity 52. The first and second shoulder portions 46 of the hanger 20 further define at least one slot 54 that extend through the hanger 20 between the shoulders 46 and disposed proximate the central portion 50. Moreover, the shoulders 46 have a plurality of elongated ribs 56 extending along their lengths. The ribs 56 strengthen the shoulders 46 while affording a reduction in mass in comparison to shoulders of an entirely solid section of the thickness of the ribs 56. As shown in Figure 9, a lower portion of the shoulders 46 also include ribs 56.

    [0017] The VECAA 10 includes an insert 22 that is configured to be received within and removably connected to the recessed cavity 52 so that it lines the inner surface 55 of the hanger 20 in the cavity 52. As best shown in Figures 7 and 8, the insert 22 has a central portion 61 with protrusions 62 that align with openings 64 in the central portion 50 of the hanger 20 and may be inserted into the openings 64 to secure the insert 22 to the hanger 20. Figure 8 shows arrows A indicating a direction of insertion of the insert 22.

    [0018] The insert 22 may be a compliant material, such as rubber. The compliant material allows the protrusions 62 to yield when being inserted into the openings 64 so that the insert 22 is interference fit to the hanger 20. Additional protrusions 65 of the insert 22, best shown in Figure 9, align with openings 66 in the hanger 20 to secure shoulders 67 of the insert 22 to the hanger 20 above the slots 54. The compliant material of the insert 22 also allows the insert 22 to prevent slip of an object (such as cell phone 12 in Figure 1) placed in the cavity 52 and supported on the insert 22. The insert 22 thus in effect grips the phone 12 to prevent movement of the phone 12 relative to the hanger 20, protecting the phone 12 and preventing rattling noise of the phone 12 against the hanger 20.

    [0019] The insert 22 defines a channel 74 between the central portion 61 and the shoulders 67. Channel 74 aligns with the slots 54 of the hanger 20 when the insert 22 is secured to the hanger 20. The aligning slots 54 and channel 74 enable an object such as the phone 12 to extend through the aligned slots 54 and channel 74 into a space 76 bounded by the hanger 20 as shown in Figure 1. Cell phones 12 of various sizes can be supported on the combined hanger 20 and insert 22 in part due to the greater width afforded by the open slots 54 and channel 74 in comparison to the width of the cavity 52 alone. Moreover, the space 76 reduces the mass of the hanger 20 in comparison to a hanger of solid material filling the space 76.

    [0020] As best shown in Figure 4, when the cell phone 12 is supported by the hanger 20 and insert 22, a screen 78 of the cell phone 12 is visible to a rear seat occupant simultaneously with the screen 18. Control buttons and ports disposed along the outer periphery of the cell phone 12 are also exposed.

    [0021] Figures 3, 10, and 11 best show the headphone support 24. The headphone support 24 has fastener openings 80 that align with openings 82 in the housing 17 to receive fasteners by which the headphone support 24 is secured to the housing 17. The headphone support 24 incudes a hook 84 that is configured to be disposed below a lower extremity 86 of the housing 17 shown in Figure 2. The hook 84 forms a generally U-shaped or C-shaped opening 88 that faces rearward (i.e., toward a rear seat passenger). The hook 84 has an arm 90 that is disposed generally horizontally to support an object placed into the opening 88, such as the headphone set 14. Because the opening 88 faces rearward, the headphone set 14 is easily placed on and removed from the hook 84. The hook 84 may be a material of suitable strength to support the headphone set 14, and may provide suitable surface friction to minimize sliding of the headphone set 14 relative to the hook 84.

    [0022] In other embodiments, the hanger 20 and the electronic display device 16 can include and can attach to one another via fasteners, openings, holes, slots, grooves, clips, tabs, snaps, friction or interference fit features, adhesive, welding, soldering, etc. In certain embodiments, the hanger 20 and the electronic display device 16 can be formed as one piece.

    [0023] While the best modes and other embodiments for carrying out the disclosure have been described in detail, those familiar with the art to which this disclosure relates will recognize various alternative designs and embodiments for practicing the disclosure within the scope of the appended claims. Furthermore, the embodiments shown in the drawings or the characteristics of various embodiments mentioned in the present description are not necessarily to be understood as embodiments independent of each other. Rather, it is possible that each of the characteristics described in one of the examples of an embodiment can be combined with one or a plurality of other desired characteristics from other embodiments, resulting in other embodiments not described in words or by reference to the drawings. Accordingly, such other embodiments fall within the framework of the scope of the appended claims.


    Claims

    1. An accessory assembly (10) comprising:

    a housing (17) having a front surface (36) and an opposing rear surface;

    a screen (18) disposed on the rear surface of the housing (17);

    a hanger (20) cooperating with the housing (17) including a central portion (50) and first and second shoulder portions (46) extending from opposing ends of the central portion (50), wherein the central portion (50) includes a cavity (52) at least partially formed therein between opposing sidewalls (53) extending between the first and second shoulder portions (46) of the hanger (20); and

    an insert (22) removably connected to the cavity (52) in the central portion (50) of the hanger (20),

    characterised in that the insert (22) defines a channel (74) configured to receive and releasably engage an object therein such that the object is at least partially exposed above the screen (18) when positioned in the insert (22).


     
    2. The accessory assembly (10) as claimed in claim 1 wherein each of the first and second shoulder portions (46) define at least one slot (54) therein disposed proximate the central portion (50) of the hanger (20).
     
    3. The accessory assembly (10) as claimed in claim 2 wherein the insert (22) defines at least one channel (74) sized to cooperate with the at least one slot (54) in the first and second shoulder portions (46) of the hanger (20).
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Zubehör-Anordnung (10) umfassend:

    ein Gehäuse (17) mit einer vorderen Fläche (36) und einer gegenüberliegenden hinteren Fläche;

    einen Bildschirm (18), der auf der hinteren Fläche des Gehäuses (17) angeordnet ist;

    einen Aufhänger (20), der mit dem Gehäuse (17) kooperiert und einen zentralen Abschnitt (50) und einen ersten und einen zweiten Schulterabschnitt (46), die sich von gegenüberliegenden Enden des zentralen Abschnitts (50) erstrecken, aufweist, wobei der zentrale Abschnitt (50) eine Kavität (52) aufweist, die darin mindestens partiell eingeformt ist und sich zwischen gegenüberliegenden Seitenwänden (53), die sich zwischen den ersten und dem zweiten Schulterabschnitten (46) des Aufhängers (20) erstrecken; und

    einen Einsatz (22), der in der Kavität (52), mit dem zentralen Abschnitt (50) des Aufhängers (20) entfernbar verbunden ist,

    dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass der Einsatz (22) eine Nut (74) definiert, die konfiguriert ist, um ein Objekt darin aufzunehmen und lösbar in Eingriff zu bringen, derart, dass das Objekt mindestens teilweise oberhalb des Bildschirms (18) freigelegt ist, wenn dieses in dem Einsatz (22) positioniert ist.


     
    2. Zubehör-Anordnung (10) nach Anspruch 1, wobei jeder der ersten und zweiten Schulterabschnitte (46) mindestens eine Aussparung (54) definieren, die nahe dem Mittelabschnitt (50) des Aufhängers (20) angeordnet ist.
     
    3. Zubehör-Anordnung (10) nach Anspruch 2, wobei der Einsatz (22) mindestens eine Nut (74) definiert, die dimensioniert ist, um mit der mindestens einen Aussparung (54) in den ersten und zweiten Schulterabschnitten (46) des Aufhängers (20) zusammenzuwirken.
     


    Revendications

    1. Ensemble à accessoire (10) comprenant :

    un logement (17) présentant une surface avant (36) et une surface arrière opposée ;

    un écran (18) disposé sur la surface arrière du logement (17) ;

    une suspente (20) coopérant avec le logement (17) comportant une partie centrale (50) et des première et deuxième parties à épaule (46) s'étendant depuis des extrémités opposées de la partie centrale (50), selon lequel la partie centrale (50) comporte une cavité (52) formée au moins pour partie dans la partie centrale entre des parois latérales opposées (53) s'étendant entre les première et deuxième parties à épaule (46) de la suspente (20) ; et

    un insert (22) connecté de manière détachable à la cavité (52) dans la partie centrale (50) de la suspente (20) ;

    caractérisé en ce que l'insert (22) définit un conduit (74) configuré pour recevoir et s'engager de manière détachable avec un objet dans celui-ci de sorte que l'objet est au moins partiellement exposé au-dessus de l'écran (18) lorsqu'il est positionné dans l'insert (22).


     
    2. Ensemble à accessoire (10) selon la revendication 1, selon lequel chacune des première et deuxième parties à épaule (46) définit au moins une fente (54) dans celles-ci disposée à proximité de la partie centrale (50) de la suspente (20).
     
    3. Ensemble à accessoire (10) selon la revendication 2, selon lequel l'insert (22) définit au moins un conduit (74) dimensionné pour coopérer avec la au moins une fente (54) dans les première et deuxième parties à épaule (46) de la suspente (20) .
     




    Drawing



































    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description