FIELD OF THE INVENTION
This invention pertains generally to a protective eyewear for divers or swimmers that is visible under low light conditions or in the dark, and more particularly to a dive mask, and swimming goggles that glow in the dark.
Diving masks and goggles are used by swimmers, snorkelers, and divers to protect their eyes and enhance visibility under water. Traditional diving and swimming eyewear may include a mask with a lens that is securable to the user's face, and may also have a snorkel tube for diving or swimming close to the surface of the water. The snorkel tube is typically attachable to or is otherwise integrated with the mask. While traditional diving masks and swim goggles improve the vision of divers and swimmers when under water, these diving masks and swim goggles do not increase the visibility of the user to others. Visibility conditions under water and at the surface of the water are often less than optimal, especially at night. Water generally reflects and/or refracts light at the surface and may also be dirty or murky, further obscuring the diver or swimmer from an observer or dive/swim partner. Additionally, even with a dive light, the visibility of the diver or swimmer to others at night or at depth is greatly reduced.
Poor visibility conditions make swimming or diving in water a dangerous activity. Many divers dive with a partner and/or have a companion remaining at the surface for safety. Additionally, many divers and swimmers use dive lights to increase visibility while under water. However, a dive light is only effective if pointed directly at the person under water from a close distance. Similarly, surface lights generally mostly reflect off of the water surface significantly limiting the penetration of light into the water. Furthermore, these lights may fail or malfunction during a dive or swim.
Therefore, any diving or swimming equipment that enhances the visibility of the diver or swimmer to others would be advantageous. The proposed invention allows a dive or swim partner or companion to better visualize the diver or swimmer in or under water under low-light, dark or other poor visibility conditions. Traditional dive gear and aquatic eyewear do not have a built in enhanced visibility component. This limitation may hinder the ability of a companion or rescuer to easily locate the diver or swimmer under emergency or even ordinary situations. The improved ability of a companion to visualize a diver or swimmer while in the water enhances the diver's or swimmer's safety and increases the likelihood of the companion or rescuer of visualizing the diver or swimmer when in or under the water.
The following presents a simplified summary in order to provide a basic understanding of some aspects of the disclosed invention. This summary is not an extensive overview, and it is not intended to identify key/critical elements or to delineate the scope thereof. Its sole purpose is to present some concepts in a simplified form as a prelude to the more detailed description that is presented later.
Accordingly, the present invention overcomes the limitations of the prior art by providing a unique and useful glow in the dark protective aquatic eyewear that magnifies the visibility of a user when in or under water especially under poor visibility conditions such as after dark. In one embodiment, the subject matter disclosed and claimed herein, in one aspect thereof, comprises a protective aquatic eyewear visible under low light conditions under water. Preferably, the protective aquatic eyewear comprises at least one glow in the dark element that is photoluminescent following a sufficient exposure to light. The protective aquatic eyewear may further comprise a snorkel tube that glows in the dark as well.
The protective aquatic eyewear may comprise a protective face mask for protecting the user's face while in the water and for enhancing the user's ability to see under water. Additionally, the glow in the dark element emits visible light allowing a companion, diving, or swimming buddy to better see the diver or swimmer especially under low light conditions or when there is poor visibility in the water. Furthermore, the glow in the dark element is rechargeable following sufficient exposure to a recharging source such as sunlight. The protective face mask improves the safety of the diver by allowing a companion to see where the diver is located at all times.
In another embodiment, the glow in the dark protective eyewear comprises a swimming goggle for protecting the user's eyes while in or under water. The swimming goggle comprises at least one glow in the dark element that is photoluminescent following a sufficient exposure to light. The swimming goggle improves the safety of a swimmer by allowing a companion to see where the swimmer is located at all times.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
To the accomplishment of the foregoing and related ends, certain illustrative aspects are described herein in connection with the following description and the annexed drawings. These aspects are indicative of the various ways in which the principles disclosed herein can be practiced and all aspects and equivalents thereof are intended to be within the scope of the claimed subject matter. Other advantages and novel features will become apparent from the following detailed description when considered in conjunction with the drawings.
FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of a protective eyewear in accordance with the disclosed architecture.
FIG. 2 illustrates a perspective view of the protective eyewear used as a diving mask and a snorkel in accordance with the disclosed architecture.
FIG. 3 illustrates a perspective view of the protective eyewear used as a swimming goggle in accordance with the disclosed architecture.
Reference is now made to the drawings, wherein like reference numerals are used to refer to like elements throughout. In the following description, for purposes of explanation, numerous specific details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding thereof. It may be evident, however, that the novel embodiments can be practiced without these specific details. In other instances, well known structures and devices are shown in block diagram form in order to facilitate a description thereof. The intention is to cover all modifications, equivalents, and alternatives falling within the spirit and scope of the claimed subject matter. The invention relates generally to a glow in the dark aquatic protective eyewear for enhancing the visibility of a user to others while in or under water under low light or other conditions where there is less than ideal visibility.
The invention relates generally to a photoluminescent protective face mask or swimming goggle for making a wearer more visible in or under water under less than optimal visibility conditions. Referring initially to the drawings, FIG. 1 illustrates a protective eyewear 100 for use when diving or swimming, such as a diving or snorkel face mask. The protective eyewear 100 is usable by divers, swimmers, snorkelers, and the like, or by anyone desiring eye protection and increased visibility to others while in or under water.
The protective eyewear 100 comprises a body 102 and a lens 112 integrated into the body 102. Typically, the body 102 is manufactured from a rubber or elastomeric material, such as but not limited to aluminum, silflex, poly vinyl chloride, plastic, rubber, silicone, neoprene, nylon laminate, and the like that is molded so as to snugly conform to a human face preventing water from penetrating a seal created between the body 102 and the face so that a portion of the face around a user's eyes remains relatively dry. This allows the user to maintain better visibility under water.
The body 102 comprises an inner surface (not shown) and an outer surface 104, wherein at least a portion of the outer surface 104 is visible under low light conditions, such as at night or on a cloudy day. While the protective eyewear 100 is typically a diving mask or a swimming goggle, any protective eyewear useable in the water such as, but not limited to a diving face piece, a self contained breathing apparatus face mask, a re-breather mask, a supplied air face piece, a snorkeling mask, and the like as is known in the art are contemplated by the inventor as well.
Furthermore, as the outer surface 104 is generally visible under low light conditions or in the dark, at least a portion of the outer surface 104 comprises at least one glow in the dark element 106. The at least one glow in the dark element 106 emits visible light following a sufficient exposure to a light source. For example, leaving the protective eyewear 100 out in sunlight for a few hours is generally sufficient to recharge the at least one glow in the dark element 106. The luminosity of the at least one glow in the dark element 106 is generally dependent on the chemical composition of the glow in the dark material, the length of exposure to the light source, and lumen or radiation output of the light source.
The body 102 may be coated, layered, or impregnated with a photoluminescent material such as, but not limited to phosphors, europium activated strontium aluminate, copper or silver activated zinc sulfide, and the like to produce the photo luminescence. However, these materials are not intended as a limitation as there are a wide variety of other photoluminescent materials known to those of skill in the art that may be used as well. Alternatively, the at least one glow in the dark element 106 may comprise an attachable phosphorescent panel, decal, patch, decorative design, and the like of any shape or configuration. Attachment of the at least one glow in the dark element 106 to the body 102 may then be accomplished by sewing, radio frequency welding, adhesive, and the like.
While phosphor based photoluminescent materials are preferred materials to generate the glow in the dark property, chemiluminescent materials and fluorescent materials may be used as well. As such, a combination of different glow in the dark materials may be beneficial as different materials have different glow time periods and may emit a plurality of different colors. This may be advantageous as different colors may have better visibility in a variety of environmental conditions. For example, one color may be more visible in murky water, whereas a different color may be more visible in clear water. Similarly, the protective eyewear 100 may further comprise a reflective element (not shown) in conjunction with the at least one glow in the dark element 106 for increasing visibility of the protective eyewear 100 under different environmental conditions such as moonlight.
In a preferred embodiment as illustrated in FIG. 2, the protective eyewear 100 is a diving mask wherein at least a portion of the outer surface 104 of the body 102 is covered, lined, or coated with the phosphorescent compound so that the body 102 glows in the dark following sufficient exposure to the recharging source such as sunlight. The body 102 further comprises a mask frame 108 and a mask skirt 110. The mask frame 108 holds the lens 112 in place within the body 102 of the protective eyewear 100. The mask skirt 110 helps provide a tight seal between the user's face and the body 102 to keep water out of the user's eyes.
The protective eyewear 100 further comprises a securing strap 114 for securing the body 102 around the user's face. As with the body 102, the securing strap 114 may also be coated or impregnated with a glow in the dark material as discussed supra so that at least a portion of the securing strap 114 has glow in the dark properties. The securing strap 114 may comprise an adjustment buckle 116 for adjusting a length of the securing strap 114 to ensure a snug fit around the user's face, and a strap keeper 118 for keeping excess strapping material secure to the protective eyewear 100.
The protective eyewear 100 may further comprise a snorkel tube 120 secured to or for use in conjunction with the diving mask. The snorkel tube 120 may comprise a mouthpiece 122, a snorkel securing strap 124, a tube 126, and an anti-splash valve 128. Similarly, the snorkel tube 120 or any portion thereof may be coated or impregnated with the glow in the dark material as discussed supra so that at least a portion of the snorkel tube 120 has glow in the dark properties.
In another preferred embodiment as illustrated in FIG. 3, a protective eyewear 200 is a swimming goggle comprising a body 202, a pair of lenses 212 integrated into the body 202, and a securing strap 214. The securing strap 214 is adjustably attached to the body 202 for securing the body 202 to a user's head. As in the previous embodiment, the body 202 comprises an outer surface 204 with at least one glow in the dark element 206. Similarly, the securing strap 214 may comprise at least one glow in the dark element 206 as well. The at least one glow in the dark element 206 may comprise any of the photoluminescent, chemiluminescent, or fluorescent materials as described supra.
Other variations are within the spirit of the present invention. Thus, while the invention is susceptible to various modifications and alternative constructions, a certain illustrated embodiment thereof is shown in the drawings and has been described above in detail. It should be understood, however, that there is no intention to limit the invention to the specific form or forms disclosed, but on the contrary, the intention is to cover all modifications, alternative constructions, and equivalents falling within the spirit and scope of the invention, as defined in the appended claims.
The use of the terms “a” and “an” and “the” and similar referents in the context of describing the invention (especially in the context of the following claims) are to be construed to cover both the singular and the plural, unless otherwise indicated herein or clearly contradicted by context. The terms “comprising,” “having,” “including,” and “containing” are to be construed as open-ended terms (i.e., meaning “including, but not limited to,”) unless otherwise noted. The term “connected” is to be construed as partly or wholly contained within, attached to, or joined together, even if there is something intervening. Recitation of ranges of values herein are merely intended to serve as a shorthand method of referring individually to each separate value falling within the range, unless otherwise indicated herein, and each separate value is incorporated into the specification as if it were individually recited herein. All methods described herein can be performed in any suitable order unless otherwise indicated herein or otherwise clearly contradicted by context. The use of any and all examples, or exemplary language (e.g., “such as”) provided herein, is intended merely to better illuminate embodiments of the invention and does not pose a limitation on the scope of the invention unless otherwise claimed. No language in the specification should be construed as indicating any non-claimed element as essential to the practice of the invention.
Preferred embodiments of this invention are described herein. Variations of those preferred embodiments may become apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art upon reading the foregoing description. The inventor expects skilled artisans to employ such variations as appropriate, and the inventor intends for the invention to be practiced otherwise than as specifically described herein. Accordingly, this invention includes all modifications and equivalents of the subject matter recited in the claims appended hereto as permitted by applicable law. Moreover, any combination of the above-described elements in all possible variations thereof is encompassed by the invention unless otherwise indicated herein or otherwise clearly contradicted by context.