Patent application title: MUSICAL BABY HAT WITH PORTABLE DIGITAL AUDIO PLAYER
Clayre Cardi (Radnor, PA, US)
IPC8 Class: AA42B100FI
Class name: Apparel head coverings flapped
Publication date: 2013-03-28
Patent application number: 20130074245
A portable digital audio player and hat system can include a volume
limiting mechanism, or means for limiting volume. The digital audio play
may be integrated in or with apparel such as a hat. The hat may include
speakers that are located within or on the hat. The hat may be sized or
configured for use by a child or infant.
1. A portable music system comprising a portable music device; and a hat
configured to hold the portable music device, wherein the hat comprises a
pair of earflaps configured to hold a pair of earphones, respectively, of
the portable music device.
2. The system of claim 1, wherein the earphones are connected to the portable music device by respective wires.
3. The system of claim 1, wherein the hat further comprises a pocket configured to hold the portable music device.
4. The system of claim 1, wherein the portable music device is a digital audio device configured to play digital audio files.
5. The system of claim 1, wherein the hat is configured for wearing by an infant.
6. The system of claim 1, wherein the hat is configured for wearing by a child.
7. A portable music system comprising portable music means; and a hat configured to hold the portable music means, wherein the hat comprises a pair of earflaps configured to hold a pair of earphones or speakers, respectively, of the portable music means.
8. The system of claim 7, wherein the earphones or speakers are connected to the portable music means by respective wires.
9. The system of claim 7, wherein the hat further comprises a pocket configured to hold the portable music means.
10. The system of claim 7, wherein the portable music means is a digital audio device configured to play digital audio files.
11. The system of claim 7, wherein the hat is configured for wearing by an infant.
12. The system of claim 7, wherein the hat is configured for wearing by a child.
 This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Applications Ser. No. 61/343,503 filed on 30 Apr. 2010, the entire contents of which are incorporated herein by reference.
 There are many common portable musical devices, e.g., iPods and MP3 Players, used by the general public on a daily basis. Some portable musical devices have been used with hat designs which have earphones built into the hats. Other portable musical devices have relied on a wireless receiver to receive and play music. The earphones used for these devices typically connect to a digital audio player by way of a wire, which hangs from the hat. These devices, such as the Apple iPod or other common MP3 player, typically have speakers that sit within one's earlobe. Most of these devices, are used by children over the age of eight years old.
 Such musical devices may be less than ideal, however, and possibly dangerous, when used by children. They are at least two very significant reasons for this. One reason is that there has not been an effective way to prevent the music from becoming too loud for the infant/child. This problem can be exacerbated by the fact that most head phones are designed to be universal, meaning that they typically connect to any/all compatible audio players.
 There is much concern about the effect of iPods and other MP3 players. Hearing loss is related to the volume and duration of sound. With these devices, music is blared directly into the ears, the volume is often high, and the devices hold thousands of songs that are listened to for long periods of time. Hearing specialists have reporting seeing teens with signs of noise-induced hearing loss that would not be expected until middle age. If you listen for more than one hour, the volume should be turned down below 60%. Maximum sound levels of CD players and iPods are estimated to be between 100 and 115 decibels.
 Studies have shown that children after the age of six can form early signs of hearing loss due to loud noises. The following have been reported for unsafe levels of sound exposure:
 (1) at 110 decibels or louder: regular exposure of more than one minute risks permanent hearing loss;
 (2) at 100 decibels: no more than 15 minutes of unprotected exposure is recommended; and
 (3) at 85 decibels: prolonged exposure to any noise above 85 decibels can cause gradual hearing loss.
 Some manufacturers or makers of portable musical devices have provided menu settings with the devices so that a user may manually adjust the volume of the device. Such a solution, while possible sufficient for use with adults users, allows for the possibility of the device being re-adjusted in a way unbeknown to the initial user to a higher or unsafe sound setting, and then used by a child or infant at the unsafe sound setting. Such solution also fails to mitigate any choking hazard.
 Another very important reason is that the wire(s) from the earphone may be unsafe for use by young children and infants because they present a significant amount of loose wire in which a child or infant's neck may become entangled. Thus, these kinds of audio players and headphones can pose a serious potential for choking if used by children or infants.
 A portable musical audio device or player can include a volume limiting mechanism, or means for limiting volume. The audio player may be integrated in or with apparel. Exemplary embodiments include a system with a hat. The hat may include speakers that are located within or on the hat. Exemplary embodiments include a hat configured for use by a child or infant.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 The drawings disclose illustrative embodiments. They do not set forth all embodiments. Other embodiments may be used in addition or instead. Details that may be apparent or unnecessary may be omitted to save space or for more effective illustration. Conversely, some embodiments may be practiced without all of the details that are disclosed. When the same numeral appears in different drawings, it refers to the same or like components or steps.
 Aspects of the disclosure may be more fully understood from the following description when read together with the accompanying drawings, which are to be regarded as illustrative in nature, and not as limiting. The drawings are not necessarily to scale, emphasis instead being placed on the principles of the disclosure. In the drawings:
 FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of an example of a hat showing the ear flaps, speakers and wires, in accordance with the present disclosure;
 FIG. 2 is a back perspective of the example of FIG. 1, showing a pocket and the portable digital audio player, in accordance with the present disclosure; and
 FIG. 3 is a diagram depicting a front view of a portable digital music player, in accordance with the present disclosure.
 While certain embodiments are depicted in the drawings, one skilled in the art will appreciate that the embodiments depicted are illustrative and that variations of those shown, as well as other embodiments described herein, may be envisioned and practiced within the scope of the present disclosure.
 Aspects of the present disclosure are directed to portable musical or music devices. Such portable musical or music devices may also be referred to as portable music means.
 An aspect of the present disclosure is directed to a portable digital audio player can include a volume limiting mechanism, or means for limiting volume.
 Another aspect of the present disclosure is directed to a portable musical device that can be integrated in or with apparel. Exemplary embodiments include a hat or cap. The hat may include speakers that are located within or on the hat. Exemplary embodiments include a hat configured for use by a child or infant.
 FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of an example of a hat and a portable musical device, in accordance with the present disclosure. As shown in FIG. 1, the hat 100 can include ear flaps 101. The hat 100 can include speakers, headphones, or other audio output means 102.
 FIG. 2 is a back perspective of the hat 100 of FIG. 1, showing a pocket and the portable musical device, e.g., a portable digital audio player, in accordance with the present disclosure. FIG. 2 shows an inner hat liner or lining 104 that can be used to keep the wires 103 out of the way of the user. In this way, by the presence of lining 104, an infant/child may be prevented from accessing or taking the wires 103 from the hat 100. As is further shown in FIG. 2, a pocket 105 may be present on the outside or of or within the hat 100 for holding the portable musical device 106, e.g., digital audio player such as an Apple iPod or MP3 player. The wires 103 may pass through to the back of the hat 100 where they can attach to the portable digital music player 106. The hat 100 and portable musical device 106 can form a system that is particularly well-suited for use by children or infants.
 In exemplary, but not necessarily all embodiments, the speakers 102 may be located, respectively, within pockets or flaps of the ear flaps 101. Accordingly, the flaps may create a buffer for the ears of a user, e.g., an infant or child, from the speakers 102. In exemplary embodiments, the ear flaps 101 of the hat 100 may be made of or with the same material as the hat 100, e.g., cotton, nylon, or the like. In exemplary embodiments, the speakers 102 in the hat 100 may be relatively small, e.g., adapted to the ear of a child or infant.
 In exemplary embodiments, a zipper or other resealable closing means, e.g., Velcro®, may be used for the lining 104 and/or pocket 105.
 In exemplary embodiments, the speakers 102 will not be able to be adjusted louder than a designed decibel level, so as to not damage an infant/child's ear drums, when a infant or child is wearing the hat. The speakers 102 may have a volume limiting device, attenuation device, or circuit, e.g., device 115, integrated within or connected to them that can function to limit the output of the speakers 102 to a desired limit, e.g., to a maximum of 85 dB, or other such level, e.g., as specified by the Children's Hearing Institute. For example, in some embodiments, an attenuation device such as Mack's ® Ear Saver made available by McKeon Products, Inc., 25460 Guenther, Warren, Mich. 48091, may be connected in line between each of the speakers 102 and the portable digital music player 106.
 A volume limiting device, attenuation device, or circuit or other volume limiting means, 115, may in addition or in the alternative be integrated with or connected to the portable musical device. Examples of a suitable volume limiting circuits are described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,895,290, the entire contents of which are incorporated herein by reference.
 FIG. 3 shows an example of a portable musical device 300 in the form of a portable digital audio player 300. The portable digital audio player 300 can include a volume control 307, a power switch 308, a lock/unlock button 309, and a screen 310. The portable digital audio player 300 can include other features as well.
 Portable musical device 300 may be any suitable device that plays digital format music files, e.g., MP3 files. Examples include, but are not limited to the following: flash memory players such as Apple iPod Nano, Microsoft Zune; hard disk players such as the Apple iPod Classic; cell phones that can play music; and, satellite radio receivers that are configured to play music, such as pocket-sized XM and/or Sirius radio receivers, and the like. In exemplary embodiments, an Apple iPod Nano may be used as a portable musical device. In exemplary embodiments, a portable musical device in the form of a portable digital audio player is used with a system formed with a hat.
 A portable digital audio player, according to the present disclosure, may be particularly well-configured to be safe for use by children, e.g., between the ages of zero and 8 years of age. Thus, portable musical devices of the present disclosure (e.g., a Musical Baby Hat With Portable Digital Audio Player) can provide a functional yet fashionable way to enhance an infant/child's learning curve before they are able to partake in traditional learning activities.
 While the foregoing description has been provided in the context that the speakers on the portable musical device, e.g., digital audio player, are wired to the device so as to not allow other musical devices to be connected and used in the hat, other embodiments are within the scope of the present disclosure. For example, in other embodiments, the speakers may be wireless (e.g., Bluetooth, or the like) and sit in the ear pockets of the hat, without requiring wired connections to the portable musical device.
 Exemplary embodiments (sometimes referred to herein as a "Musical Baby Hat With Portable Digital Audio Player") can provide a portable digital audio player that may be transportable from hat to hat; thus opening the door to many different hat designs both for fashion and for weather. The hats may be available in many sizes and designs for seasonal wear. Other embodiments of this hat design may include, but are not limited to, baseball caps, visors, knit hats, and other designs of winter weather hats.
 Exemplary embodiments can provide a portable digital audio player with which parents will be able to download different audio content, e.g., songs from CDs and from, e.g., websites directed to child development and learning. These downloads will not be limited to songs. In fact, a major benefit of portable digital audio players according to the present disclosure is that an infant/child may be introduced to more information and learning during their growth, which can advance a child's learning and speaking capabilities. Parents may be able to provide early learning to infants and children by downloading audio content such as any of the following:
 (1) child specific noises and sounds, songs, storybook readings, and languages,
 (2) autism specific needs, parent recordable stories, all entertainment audio for children; and/or
 (3) other researched and tested audio that is proven to increase a child's learning.
 A Musical Baby Hat With Portable Digital Audio Player can have many uses in addition to just the design of the hat itself. For example, a valuable functionality of a Musical Baby Hat with is that parents and educators may be able to reach the minds of infants prior to them being able to fully communicate. There have been numerous studies on the effectiveness of early childhood learning (e.g., years zero-8) and the early stages of adapting to language. The Musical Baby Hat with Portable Digital Audio Player may be used for educational purposes such as, but not limited to, language development, speech development, counting, spelling, musical development, voice recognition, etc. A Musical Baby Hat with Portable Digital Audio Player may also be used for enjoyment purposes such as, but not limited to, songs and sing a longs, music, noises, stories, etc. Parents may be able to record their own voices, thus providing early voice recognition.
 Another benefit to a Musical Baby Hat with Portable Digital Audio Player is the (1) the ability to decrease an infant/child's tendency to cry due to being preoccupied with the sounds coming from their hat and (2) the ability to be able to take an infant to a public place, e.g., a restaurant or on an airplane, and have them remain quiet because of the distraction of the music/stories coming from the Musical Baby Hat with Portable Digital Audio Player.
 A Musical Baby Hat with Portable Digital Audio Player, according to the present disclosure, may be used to facilitate development of children in early learning stages. Embodiments of may be used to notice early signs of mental disability in children; and used in a preventative manner for disabled children. The application of hat/audio player systems of the present disclosure may be used for the elderly or others, as well.
 The components, steps, processes, methods, structure, features, benefits and advantages that have been discussed are merely illustrative. None of them, nor the discussions relating to them, are intended to limit the scope of protection in any way. Numerous other embodiments are also contemplated. These include embodiments that have fewer, additional, and/or different components, steps, features, objects, benefits and advantages. These also include embodiments in which the components and/or steps are arranged and/or ordered differently.
 For example, while portable music devices or means described herein have been described in the context of playing MP3 digital audio files, music devices playing other audio format files are included within the scope of the present disclosure. Example of such audio file formats, include but are not limited to: WAV, MPEG-4, MPEg-2, and the like. It is contemplated that the present disclosure will have increased utility as new file format are developed.
 Unless otherwise stated, all measurements, values, ratings, positions, magnitudes, sizes, and other specifications that are set forth in this specification, including in the claims that follow, are approximate, not exact. They are intended to have a reasonable range that is consistent with the functions to which they relate and with what is customary in the art to which they pertain. All articles, patents, patent applications, specifications, and other publications which have been cited or presented in this disclosure are hereby incorporated herein by reference.
Patent applications in class Flapped
Patent applications in all subclasses Flapped