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Container with Self-Timer

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000132447D
Publication Date: 2005-Dec-16
Document File: 7 page(s) / 37K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Related People

Richard Tanzer: AUTHOR

Abstract

Many materials are intended to be used within a short time (seconds to hours) after being removed from the container in which they were sold. Consumers rarely use accurate timers when using products and they often ignore or misestimate the elapsed time. As a result, products may not meet consumer expectations. To mitigate this problem, a timer built into a container or container cover is proposed. The timer is activated by removing the cover on the container or by removing material from the container. When the predetermined time has elapsed, a signal is produced to alert the consumer, and the consumer is motivated to take some specific action.

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Container with Self-Timer Richard Tanzer Kimberly-Clark Corporation

Neenah, WI 54915

Summary:

  Many materials are intended to be used within a short time (seconds to hours) after being removed from the container in which they were sold. For example, many adhesives have an optimum "open" time - the surface treated with the adhesive should be brought into contact with the other surface before the open time expires. Other products, such as a mouth wash should be used for a certain duration to ensure effectiveness. In the case of a pregnancy test, the consumer is instructed, after urinating on the test strip, to wait for a certain amount of time for the visual signal to develop. In any of these examples a hurried or an anxious consumer is likely to not accurately gauge time when conducting the test.

  Consumers rarely use accurate timers when using products and they often ignore or misestimate the elapsed time. As a result, products may not meet consumer expectations.

  To mitigate this problem, a timer built into a container or container cover is proposed. The timer is activated by removing the cover on the container or by removing material from the container. When the predetermined time has elapsed, a signal is produced to alert the consumer, and the consumer is motivated to take some specific action. In the examples above, the specific actions are:

o contact the adhesive coated surface with the other surface and clamp them together;

o spit out the mouth wash; and

o read the test strip.

Description:

  There are two related aspects to this concept: the device that includes a timer, and the process of using the device. We first describe the process of using the device in general terms, then briefly describe the device itself, followed by more detailed discussions.

Process (general description):

  A consumer opens (or reopens) a package and removes material. The act of opening the package or removing the material, or putting the material in/on an applicator starts a timer.

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  The timer may be preset for a particular duration. Alternatively, the timer may be programmed for a certain duration by the consumer or provider (pharmacist or care giver, for example). In other embodiments the timer may be automatically set by ambient conditions (temperature, for example).

  After the established duration has elapsed, a signal is communicated to the consumer. The signal is typically visual (a light or a color change) or a sound; it may also be tactile (perhaps heat or vibration) or electronic (perhaps detectable by a radio or a computer). The consumer perceives the signal and responds accordingly. The response can be anything related to using the material, e.g.:

o rinse out the hair conditioner;

o spit out the mouth wash;

o read the indicator strip or meter;

o wipe off the excess lotion; or

o pour the batter into the frying pan.

Device (general description):

  The device includes a container for holding a material, the material, and associated covers...