6/13/08

Nokia patents portable electronic device with double acting hinge arrangement


Abstract
A hand-held portable electronic device including a housing having a first housing section and a second housing section; electronic circuitry in the housing; and a Jacob's Ladder flipping hinge arrangement connecting the first and second housing sections to each other.

Description
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001]1. Field of the Invention

[0002]The invention relates to a hinge arrangement for a portable electronic device and, more particularly, to a double acting hinge arrangement.

[0003]2. Brief Description of Prior Developments

[0004]A Jacob's Ladder is a folk toy consisting of blocks of wood held together by strings or ribbons. When the ladder is held at one end, blocks appear to cascade down the strings. However, this effect is a visual illusion which is the result of one block after another flipping over. A Jacob's Ladder is usually constructed of six wood blocks. Each block is connected to the adjacent blocks by a Jacob's Ladder flipping hinge arrangement which depends on a counterintuitive arrangement of interlaced ribbons which allow each block to act as if hinged to the next one at either of its two ends. The same mechanism is used in the 1980s toy Rubik's Magic but with plastic strings run diagonally across squares, with the result that the squares can hinge along either of two adjacent sides.

[0005]Portable electronic devices, such as mobile telephones for example, have been known to have a flip type of configuration, such as a clam-shell design for example. The cover of the telephone is flipped open about 165 degrees from a closed position. This is often called a flip phone. U.S. Patent Publication No. 2004/0212956, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety, discloses a mobile terminal with a hinge that allows two housing sections to flip about 360 degrees relative to each other. It is known to use electrical flat flexible cable through a hinge of a flip phone as illustrated in U.S. Patent Publication No. 2004/0212956 to electrically connect components in the two housing sections. It is also known to provide mobile telephones with other functionalities, such as a camera, or a music player, or a game player for example.

[0006]Usually, a multi-functionality product is either a camera, a phone, etc., one at a time. However, the controls for these different functionalities are visible at the same time, such as controls for a camera functionality and controls for a phone functionality for example. This can confuse users.

[0007]There is a desire to provide a new type of portable electronic device which can be reconfigured into different types of form factor configurations and avoid the confusion noted above.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0008]In accordance with one aspect of the invention, a hand-held portable electronic device is provided including a housing having a first housing section and a second housing section; electronic circuitry in the housing; and a Jacob's Ladder flipping hinge arrangement connecting the first and second housing sections to each other. In alternate embodiments the hand-held portable electronic device could have more than two housings.

[0009]In accordance with another aspect of the invention, a hand-held portable electronic device is provided comprising a first housing section having electronic circuitry; a second housing section; and a double acting hinge arrangement connecting the second housing section to the first housing section. The double acting hinge arrangement. comprises a ribbon mechanically connecting the first and second housing sections to each other.

[0010]In accordance with another aspect of the invention, a hand-held portable electronic device is provided comprising a housing comprising a first housing section and a second housing section; electronic circuitry in the housing; and at least three ribbons mechanically connecting the first and second housing sections to each other. At least one of the ribbons comprises an electrical flat flexible cable connected to the electronic circuitry. The ribbons allow the first and second housing sections to be flipped about 360 degrees relative to each other at two spaced hinge locations between a first form factor operational configuration and a second form factor operational configuration. Thus, the first and second housing sections can be flipped about 720 degrees relative to each other; 360 degrees at each spaced hinge location. In an alternate embodiment an electrical cable connection might not be provided; such as with an optical connection between the electronics in the housing sections.

[0011]In accordance with another aspect of the invention, a method of reconfiguring a hand-held portable electronic device is provided comprising flipping a first housing section of a housing about 360 degrees relative to a second housing section of the housing at a first end of the housing from a first form factor operation position to an intermediate position; and flipping the first housing section relative to the second housing section at a second end of the housing about 360 degrees from the intermediate position to a second form factor operational position.

[0012]In accordance with another aspect of the invention, a method of assembling a hand-held portable electronic device is provided comprising connecting a first housing section to a second housing section by a first ribbon; and connecting a second ribbon and a third ribbon to the first and second housing sections on opposite sides of the first ribbon, wherein the first ribbon is located on opposite major sides of the first and second housing sections than the second and third ribbons.

0 comments:

Post a Comment