Browse Prior Art Database

Inflatable Internal Computer Structure

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000117263D
Original Publication Date: 1996-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-31
Document File: 4 page(s) / 191K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Baker, R: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Disclosed is a user-adjustable internal support and packaging structure for portable and handheld computers. The three major components of this structure are an elastic, inflatable bladder with an internal pump and valve, a lightweight frame to which the bladder attaches, and a puncture-resistant external skin.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 38% of the total text.

Inflatable Internal Computer Structure

      Disclosed is a user-adjustable internal support and packaging
structure for portable and handheld computers.  The three major
components of this structure are an elastic, inflatable bladder with
an internal pump and valve, a lightweight frame to which the bladder
attaches, and a puncture-resistant external skin.

      Fig. 1 is an exploded isometric view of a self-contained
handheld computing device 10 incorporating a first version of this
packaging structure.  Computing platform 10 includes a circuit board
12 having key modules 14 and a display screen module 16.  Covers 18,
19 are fastened to a lightweight frame 20, which, by itself, could
not withstand the attachment of many internal components or
significant external shock loadings.  An inflatable bladder 22 holds
the circuit board 12 in place, with key modules 14 and display screen
module 16 extending through mating holes 24 in top cover 19.

      This bladder 22 includes an assortment of inflatable structures
designed to match the electronic subassemblies of a particular unit,
such as outward-extending tabs 26 which are folded upward and inward
to provide support for the circuit board 12 from above as well as
from below.  Alternately, further advantage may be taken of the
flexibility of the bladder, with portions of the bladder being folded
over several times to provide several cushioning layers in specific
locations.  Within each inflatable section, optional silicon rubber
posts (not shown) may be used to restrict deflation of the bladder if
it is punctured, or if a leak develops.  The frame 20 is configured
as a space frame having pre-determined directions in which stresses
are applied, particularly by the bladder 22.  The bladder 22 has
elastic sections that pre-stress the frame against shock.  Selected
portions of the bladder 22 may be metallized to facilitate the
conduction of heat from internal components to external surfaces for
dissipation.

      The bladder 22 further includes a pump and valve assembly 28,
with which the user can inflate or partially deflate the entire
package based on his expected usage.  For example a unit carried by a
meter reader for data collection needs protection against being
dropped from a height of three to five feet.  The pump in assembly 28
is used to inflate the bladder, increasing the shock protection
provided for internal components.  A valve in assembly 28 is used to
reduce the pressure within the bladder, modestly reducing the size of
the package.  The valve is also used to deflate the bladder to
facilitate the removal or replacement of internal components.  The
cover panels 18, 19 slide into or mate with frame 20 using flexible
attachment means (not shown).  While these cover panels, being quite
thin, are supported from within, being stressed by the inflated
bladder 22, these panels aid in the distribution of shock loads
throughout the device 10.

      The proc...