|United States Patent
November 7, 1978
Heart novelty and relaxation device
This heart novelty and relaxation device has a heart-shaped housing that
contains a speaker and circuitry for producing a slow heartbeat sound
which has a relaxing effect on a listener. The housing is assembled from
two molded plastic conformal sides having integral complementary
stanchions that mate to hold the sides together along a median plane. The
circuitry is mounted on a board which also supports an on-off switch
having a flat arm that pivots in the median plane. A portion of the switch
arm projects unobtrusively from the housing through a slot at the
interface between the sides to facilitate external control of the device.
Gross; Sam (P.O. Box 1323, Hollywood, CA 91604)
January 14, 1977|
|Current U.S. Class:
||600/28; 446/397 |
||A61M 021/00; A61B 019/00|
|Field of Search:
200/11 DA,164 A
References Cited [Referenced By]
U.S. Patent Documents
|3570473||Mar., 1971||Konvalin et al.||128/422.
|Foreign Patent Documents|
Lancaster; D., TTL Cookbook, Chapter 4, H. W. Sams Co., Indianapolis, 1976,
Neilson; G., Dupont Magazine, May-Jun. 1977, v. 71, No. 3, pp. 5-7.
Primary Examiner: Michell; Robert W.
Assistant Examiner: Jaworski; Francis J.
Attorney, Agent or Firm: Spensley, Horn & Lubitz
Intending to claim all novel, useful and unobvious features, shown or
described, the inventor claims:
1. A heart novelty and relaxation device comprising:
a molded plastic housing of heart shape, said housing having two conformal
sides separated along a median plane and adapted for press-together
a speaker within said housing,
an electrical circuit within said housing for providing to said speaker a
signal to simulate the sound of the human heartbeat at a slow pulse rate,
an on-off switch for said circuit, said switch being mounted within said
housing and having a flat control arm extending unobtrusively from said
housing through a thin longitudinal slot formed along said median plane,
said electrical circuit is mounted on a circuit board situated adjacent
said median plane, said switch arm consisting of a flat strip of metal
lying in said median plane and pivotally mounted to said circuit board by
a conductive pivot member extending through said metal strip and said
circuit board, said switch also having a spring metal contact fixedly
mounted to said circuit board, said switch arm pivoting about said pivot
member in said median plane into engagement with said spring metal contact
to close said switch via an electrical path including said pivot member,
said switch arm and contact.
2. A heart novelty and relaxation device according to claim 1 wherein said
two housing sides include integrally molded, complementary mating
stanchions, the stanchions of one housing side being matingly received by
the complementary stanchions of the other housing side to accomplish said
3. A heart novelty and relaxation device according to claim 2 wherein said
electrical circuit comprises a free running multivibrator that produces a
single rectangular wave signal causing said speaker to produce two sound
beats per cycle, one at each transition of said rectangular wave signal,
the duty cycle of said rectangular wave signal being selected so that the
sound beats resemble both the systolic and diastolic components of a human
heartbeat, at a pulse rate lower than about 72 beats per minute.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to a heart novelty and relaxation device
including a heart-shaped housing containing circuitry for producing a
sound simulating that of the human heartbeat at a slow rate.
2. Description of the Prior Art
The sound of a heart is recorded and played in many hospital nurseries. It
recreates the sound of the mother's heart as heard by the child within the
womb, and pacifies the infant. Adults, too, are calmed and relaxed by
listening to a heartbeat sound, particularly at a slow rate Such a slow
heartbeat sound becomes a relaxant, a focus for meditation and an aid for
In the past, the use of a buzzer packaged in a casing has been used for
soothing infants. Such an infant pacifying device is disclosed in the U.S.
Pat. No. 2,932,821 to Horton. It employs a buzzer to produce an audible
hum accompanied by mild vibration of the casing. The casing itself has a
rounded dome-like shape that is free of protuberances.
An object of the present invention is to provide a relaxation device which
produces a slow heartbeat sound. A further object is to provide such a
device in a heart-shaped package in which the heart shape, the eternal
symbol of love, complements the soothing heart sound.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
These and other objectives are achieved by providing a heart novelty and
relaxation device having a heart shaped molded plastic case containing a
speaker and circuitry for producing a slow heartbeat sound. An on-off
switch has a flat control arm that extends unobtrusively from the housing
through a thin slot formed along the median plane thereof.
The circuitry advantageously comprises a free running multivibrator that
provides a rectangular wave signal to the speaker. The repetition rate and
duty cycle of this signal are selected so that the produced sound
resembles the systolic and diastolic components of a human heartbeat at a
pulse rate lower than the "normal" 72 beats per minute.
The housing advantageously is molded in two pieces. These form two
conformal sides of the heart, separated along the median plane. The two
sides include complementary mating stanchions that hold the sides
together. The on-off switch is mounted on a circuit board within the
housing, and includes a flat metal arm which is pivotally mounted to the
board along the median plane. The arm serves both as an electrical member
of the switch, and as the externally projecting control.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
A detailed description of the invention will be made with reference to the
accompanying drawings wherein like numerals designate corresponding parts
in the several figures.
FIG. 1 is a pictorial view of a heart novelty and relaxation device in
accordance with the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the interior of one of the two conformal sides of
the housing for the device of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a plan view of the interior of the other housing side, showing
the speaker, circuit board and battery components.
FIG. 4 is an electrical schematic diagram of the circuitry for producing a
slow heartbeat sound.
FIG. 5 is a waveshape of the signal supplied to the speaker by the
circuitry of FIG. 4.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
The following detailed description is of the best presently contemplated
mode of carrying out the invention. This description if not to be taken in
a limiting sense, but is made merely for the purpose of illustrating the
general principles of the invention since the scope of the invention is
best defined by the appended claims.
The inventive heart novelty and relaxation device 10 is shown in FIG. 1.
The device comprises a three dimensional heart-shaped housing 11 having a
set of holes 12 through which a slow heartbeat sound emerges when a switch
13 is turned on.
The housing 11 advantageously is molded in two pieces 11a, 11b (FIGS. 2 and
3 respectively) which comprise two conformal sides of the heart-shaped
housing 11, separated along the median plane. The side 11b includes a set
of integrally molded stanchions 14 that mate within a complementary set of
cylindrical stanchions 15 integrally formed in the side 11a. Press-fit or
snap-together assembly of the two sides 11a, 11b is facilitated by the
mating stanchions 14, 15.
Housed within the device 10, behind the openings 12, is a speaker 16 (FIG.
3). The speaker 16 is driven by an electrical circuit 17 (FIG. 4) the
components of which are mounted on a circuit board 18. Advantageously, the
upper surface of the circuit board 18 is situated in the median plane that
separates the two sides 11a, 11b. This permits a very simplified
construction for the switch 13.
As seen in FIG. 3, the switch 13 includes a flat metal arm 19 which is
pivotally attached to the circuit board 18 as by means of a grommet 20.
The arm 19 lies in the median plane, and is free to pivot just above the
edge 11c of the housing side 11b. When the housing 11 is assembled, the
end 19a of the arm 19 projects unobtrusively from the device 10 through a
slot 11d formed at the edge 11e of the other housing side 11a. The other
component of the switch 13 is a spring metal contact 21. To turn the
device 10 on, the arm 19 is pivoted under the contact 21, as shown in
solid in FIG. 3. To turn the device off, the arm 19 is swung away from the
contact 21, as shown in phantom in FIG. 3.
Referring to FIG. 4, the circuit 17 utilizes an integrated circuit timer 18
such as that sold commercially by Signetics and others as type NE 555.
When connected as shown in FIG. 4, the timer 18 operates as a free running
multivibrator having a duty cycle and repetition rate established by the
values of a pair of resistors 19, 20 and a capacitor 21. The output
rectangular wave signal 22 (FIG. 5) is supplied to the speaker 16 via a
capacitor 23. A battery 24, (FIG. 3) powers the circuit 17 and is held in
place by a resilient pad 25.
In accordance with the present invention, the values of the resistors 19,
20 and the capacitor 21 are selected so that the rectangular wave signal
22 has a repetition rate that is less than the "normal" human heart rate
of about 72 beats per minute. A particularly relaxing sound is obtained
with a pulse rate on the order of from about 60 to 65 beats per minute.
The speaker 16 produces a pulse sound at each transition 22a, 22b of the
rectangular wave signal 22. Preferably, the duty cycle of this rectangular
wave 22 is selected so that the two sound pulses produced at each cycle
simulate the systolic and diastolic components of a human heartbeat. In
this manner, the sound produced by the device 10 is relaxing and has a
calming effect to the listener. Thus, the device 10 can be used as a
"drugless tranquilizer", as a focus for meditation, to sooth a baby, or as
an aid to an insomniac.
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