Wireless entertainment system for a vehicle

Wireless entertainment system for a vehicle
US 20030043972A1
(19) United States
(12) Patent Application Publication (10) Pub. No.: US 2003/0043972 A1
(43) Pub. Date:
Burnham et al.
(54) WIRELESS ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM FOR
(52)
Mar. 6, 2003
US. Cl. ......................................... .. 379/56.3; 455/575
A VEHICLE
(76) Inventors: Robert J. Burnham, Novi, MI (US);
Mike Mayer, Dexter, MI (US)
(57)
ABSTRACT
Correspondence Address:
Steven L. Oberholtzer
BRINKS HOFER GILSON & LIONE
P.O. Box 10395
An entertainment system for a passenger compartment of a
Chicago, IL 60610 (US)
source adapted to illuminate the passenger compartment and
vehicle, including a lamp assembly mountable Within the
passenger compartment of the vehicle and having a light
a transmitter connectable to an audio source and adapted to
(21) Appl. No.:
09/941,313
receive information from the audio source and to transmit
(22) Filed:
Aug. 29, 2001
signals containing the information Within the passenger
Publication Classi?cation
(51)
Int. Cl.7 ................................................... .. H04B 10/00
compartment of the vehicle, and at least one pair of Wireless
headphones equipped With a sensor, Which is capable of
receiving said signals, and adapted to convert to the signals
into sound.
'27.
Patent Application Publication
IO
Mar. 6, 2003 Sheet 1 0f 2
US 2003/0043972 A1
Patent Application Publication
TO
VEHICLE
WIRING
Mar. 6, 2003 Sheet 2 0f 2
US 2003/0043972 A1
Mar. 6, 2003
US 2003/0043972 A1
WIRELESS ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM FOR A
VEHICLE
source 24 may be activated and deactivated by any other
suitable means, such as motion detection, sound detection,
TECHNICAL FIELD
conventional incandescent bulb. HoWever, any other suit
able device for producing light, such as an LED device, may
or remote control. The light source 24 is preferably a
[0001]
This invention relates generally to entertainment
systems for use in a vehicle, and more particularly to an
entertainment system involving the use of Wireless head
be used as the light source 24. The light source 24 is
preferably connected to a poWer source 26, as shoWn in FIG.
Since the advent of the car radio, it has been
1, Which delivers the poWer required for the light source 24
to emit light Within the passenger compartment 14 of the
vehicle 12. Preferably, the poWer source 26 is the battery or
alternator of the vehicle 12. Alternatively, an independent
battery pack, a solar panel, or any other suitable poWer
common practice to listen to the radio While driving cars. In
the early years, car audio systems Were AM radios that
entertainment system 10. In the preferred embodiment, the
offered very feW listening choices. HoWever, in recent years,
car audio technology has made dramatic advances and the
listening choices noW seem endless. Most modern day
Wiring 28. The connection betWeen these tWo devices,
hoWever, depends on the types of devices used for the light
phones.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
[0002]
generating device may be used as the poWer source 26 of the
light source 24 is connected to the poWer source 26 by
vehicles alloW the occupants a choice of listening to an AM
radio, a FM radio, a cassette player, a MP3 player, or a CD
source 24 and the poWer source 26. Thus, any suitable
player. In fact, it is becoming increasingly common to ?nd
televisions, VCRs, DVD players, and video game systems
installed in vehicles. While these technological advances
have been aimed at maXimiZing the traveling pleasure of
the connection betWeen the light source 24 and the poWer
children (typically in the backseat), the traveling pleasure of
parents has been neglected. The sounds of a radio talk shoW
intended to entertain an entire family have been replaced
With the clamor of pop music, cartoons, and video games.
There is a need for an entertainment system for use in a
vehicle, Which is able to entertain those passengers inter
ested in being entertained Without annoying others.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
[0003] FIG. 1 is a schematic side vieW of the entertain
ment system of the preferred embodiment of the invention
located in the interior of a vehicle.
device capable of transferring poWer may be used to provide
source 26.
[0008] As shoWn in FIG. 2, the second major element
found Within the lamp assembly 16 is the transmitter 18. The
function of the transmitter 18 is to convert information being
received from the audio source into signals and to transmit
those signals Within the passenger compartment of the
vehicle. Once transmitted Within the passenger compartment
of the vehicle, the signals may be received by the Wireless
headphones and converted into sound for the listening
pleasure of an occupant of the vehicle. The transmitter 18 is
preferably an infrared transmitter adapted to transmit infra
red signals. The infrared transmitter functions by receiving
information from the audio source via Wiring 28 and con
verting that information into infrared signals that the trans
mitter then transmits Within the passenger compartment of
the vehicle. Because the use of infrared devices requires
[0004] FIG. 2 is a prospective vieW of a lamp assembly of
the preferred embodiment of the invention.
mounted on the ceiling or headliner of the passenger com
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE
INVENTION
partment of a vehicle, is a preferred place to locate the lamp
assembly 16. Alternatively, the transmitter 18 may be
adapted to transmit supersonic signals or any other suitable
[0005] The folloWing description of the preferred embodi
type of signal. The transmitter 18 is preferably adapted to
transmit digital signals, but the transmitter 18 may alterna
ment of the invention and the tWo preferred methods of
supplying the invention are not intended to limit the scope
of this invention, but rather to enable any person skilled in
line-of-sight connections, an interior lamp, Which is usually
tively be adapted to transmit analog signals, analog/digital
signals, or any other suitable type of signal. Preferably, the
the art of entertainment systems to make and use this
transmitter 18 is a conventional LED device. HoWever, any
invention.
other suitable device for transmitting signals may be used as
the transmitter 18.
[0009] As shoWn in FIG. 1, the audio source 20 functions
to provide the transmitter With information that may even
[0006]
As shoWn in FIG. 1, the invention is an entertain
ment system 10, Which is comprised of a lamp assembly 16,
an audio source 20, and Wireless headphones 22. The
entertainment system enables persons Within the passenger
compartment 14 of the vehicle 12 to listen to the audio
source 20 via the Wireless headphones 22 Without bothering
or annoying the driver of the vehicle 12. In addition, the
lamp assembly 16 of the entertainment system 10 is capable
of illuminating the passenger compartment 14 of the vehicle
12.
tually be converted into sound by the Wireless headphones
22. The audio source 20 is preferably a conventional radio,
cassette player, or CD player. HoWever, the audio source 20
may alternatively be a conventional television, VCR, DVD
player, MP3 player, or any other suitable device for trans
ferring information capable of being converted into sound.
The audio source 20 may be a preexisting device in the
[0007] As shoWn in FIG. 2, the lamp assembly 16
vehicle, Which primarily functions to provide multiple
speakers (not shoWn) With sound signals. In this manner, a
includes a light source 24 and at least one transmitter 18. The
preexisting device may be integrated into the entertainment
function of the light source 24 is to illuminate the passenger
system; therefore, the audio source 20 does not have to,
compartment of the vehicle. The light source 24 is prefer
although it may, be specially designed for the entertainment
ably activated and deactivated by pressing a button (not
shoWn) on the lamp assembly 16. Alternatively, the light
system 10. As discussed above, the audio source 20 is
preferably connected to the transmitter 18 by Wiring 28.
Mar. 6, 2003
US 2003/0043972 A1
Alternatively, any other suitable method of enabling the
consumer. Alternatively, an auto parts vender, an entertain
ment systems vender, or any other suitable individual may
transfer of information from the audio source 20 to the
transmitter 18, such as ?ber optics, may be used, such as an
perform the tasks of removing the eXisting ?xture and
optical ?ber or a radio frequency (RF) transmitter/receiver.
mounting the lamp assembly.
[0010] Wiring 28 is preferably used both to connect the
[0014]
poWer source 26 to the light source and to connect the audio
ing an eXisting ?Xture, and mounting a lamp assembly in
place of the removed ?Xture, this method may also require
Wiring to be provided, the Wiring to be installed, and the
source 20 to the transmitter. In the ?rst con?guration dis
cussed above, the purpose of the Wiring 28 is to transfer the
poWer generated by the poWer source 26 to the light source,
so that light may be emitted Within the passenger compart
ment 14 of the vehicle 12. In the second con?guration
discussed above, the function of the Wiring 28 is to transfer
the information generated by the audio source 20 to the
transmitter, so that the information may be transmitted
Within the passenger compartment 14 of the vehicle 12 in the
form of signals. The Wiring 28 is preferably made of
conventional materials and using conventional methods.
[0011] As discussed above, the function of the Wireless
headphones 22 is to receive the signals being transmitted by
the transmitter and to convert those signals into sound. The
Wireless headphones 22 are preferably conventional Wireless
headphones. Similar to the audio source 20, the Wireless
headphones 22 may, but need not, be designed speci?cally
for the entertainment system 10. The Wireless headphones
In addition to supplying a lamp assembly, remov
transmitter to be connected to the audio source by the
Wiring. Preferably, the Wiring Will be supplied to an auto
motive parts vender. Consumers Will be able to purchase the
Wiring along With the lamp assembly. Alternatively, the
Wiring may be supplied to any suitable vender. Installing the
Wiring and connecting the transmitter to the audio device
Will preferably be done by the consumer. HoWever, these
tasks may be performed by any suitable individual. In
addition to the steps mentioned above, other steps, such as
receiving orders from customers, may be included.
[0015]
As any person skilled in the art of entertainment
systems Will recogniZe from the previous detailed descrip
tion and from the ?gures and claims, modi?cations and
changes can be made to the preferred embodiment of the
invention Without departing from the scope of this invention
de?ned in the folloWing claims.
22 are connected to the transmitter by Way of a sensor
located Within the Wireless headphones 22. While the Wire
less headphones 22 are not physically connected to the
transmitter, the sensor that is located Within the Wireless
headphones 22 is able to receive signals being transmitted
Within the passenger compartment 14 of the vehicle 12 by
the transmitter, thereby connecting the Wireless headphones
22 and the transmitter. As discussed above, the connection
betWeen the Wireless headphones 22 and the transmitter is
preferably achieved using infrared signals that are transmit
ted by the transmitter and received by the Wireless head
phones 22. HoWever, any suitable method for achieving this
We claim:
1. An entertainment system for a passenger compartment
of a vehicle, comprising: a lamp assembly mountable Within
the passenger compartment of the vehicle and having a light
source connectable to a poWer source and adapted to illu
minate the passenger compartment, and a transmitter con
nectable to an audio source and adapted to receive informa
tion from said audio source and to transmit signals
containing the information Within the passenger compart
connection betWeen the tWo devices may be used.
ment of the vehicle.
2. An entertainment system for a passenger compartment
of a vehicle as claimed in claim 1, Wherein said transmitter
[0012] The ?rst preferred method of supplying the enter
is an LED transmitter.
tainment system to consumers entails supplying a vehicle
3. An entertainment system for a passenger compartment
of a vehicle as claimed in claim 1, Wherein said transmitter
manufacturer With the lamp assembly, Which is to be
installed With the Wiring connected to the audio source of the
vehicle as they are manufactured and supplying consumers
ing the transmitter and the light source Will be an element
is an infrared transmitter adapted to transmit infrared sig
nals.
4. An entertainment system for a passenger compartment
of a vehicle as claimed in claim 1, Wherein said signals are
that is supplied and installed by the manufacturer of the
digital signals.
vehicle. The Wireless headphones, on the other hand, are
preferably sold directly to the consumer as a separate item,
5. An entertainment system for a passenger compartment
of a vehicle as claimed in claim 1, further comprising Wiring
connecting said transmitter to said audio source.
6. An entertainment system for a passenger compartment
of a vehicle, comprising:
With the Wireless headphones. The lamp assembly compris
not as part of the vehicle being purchased. HoWever, the
Wireless headphones may alternatively be sold With the
purchase of the vehicle. In addition to the steps mentioned
above, other steps, such as receiving orders from customers,
may be included.
[0013] The second preferred method of supplying the
entertainment system to consumers involves supplying the
lamp assembly, removing an eXisting ?Xture from the pas
senger compartment of the vehicle, and mounting the lamp
assembly in place of the removed ?Xture. The lamp assem
bly Will preferably be supplied to auto parts venders. Alter
natively, the lamp assembly may be supplied to the con
a lamp assembly mountable Within the passenger com
partment of the vehicle and having a light source
connectable to a poWer source and adapted to illumi
nate the passenger compartment and a transmitter con
nectable to an audio source and adapted to receive
information from said audio source and to transmit
signals containing the information Within the passenger
compartment of the vehicle; and
sumers themselves, entertainment system venders, or any
at least one pair of Wireless headphones equipped With a
other suitable vender. Removing the eXisting ?Xture and
sensor, Which is capable of receiving said signals, and
mounting the lamp assembly Will preferably be done by the
adapted to convert to said signals into sound.
Mar. 6, 2003
US 2003/0043972 A1
7. An entertainment system for a passenger compartment
of a vehicle as claimed in claim 6, Wherein said transmitter
15. A method of supplying an entertainment system for a
passenger compartment of a vehicle as claimed in claim 11,
is an LED transmitter.
further comprising the acts of providing Wiring, installing
the Wiring in the vehicle, and connecting the transmitter and
8. An entertainment system for a passenger compartment
of a vehicle as claimed in claim 6, Wherein said transmitter
is an infrared transmitter adapted to transmit infrared sig
nals.
9. An entertainment system for a passenger compartment
of a vehicle as claimed in claim 6, Wherein said signals are
digital signals and said audio source or said lamp assembly
contains an A/D converter.
10. An entertainment system for a passenger compartment
of a vehicle as claimed in claim 6, further comprising Wiring
connecting said transmitter to said audio source.
11. A method of supplying an entertainment system for a
passenger compartment of a vehicle, comprising:
supplying a vehicle manufacturer With a lamp assembly
mountable Within the passenger compartment of the
vehicle and having a light source connectable to a
poWer source and adapted to illuminate the passenger
compartment and a transmitter connectable to an audio
source and adapted to receive information from said
audio source and to transmit signals containing the
information Within the passenger compartment of the
vehicle; and
supplying consumers With Wireless headphones equipped
With a sensor, Which is capable of receiving signals, and
adapted to convert said signals into sound.
12. A method of supplying an entertainment system for a
passenger compartment of a vehicle as claimed in claim 11,
Wherein said transmitter is an LED transmitter.
13. An entertainment system for a passenger compartment
of a vehicle as claimed in claim 11, Wherein said transmitter
is an infrared transmitter adapted to transmit infrared signals
and said sensor is an infrared sensor adapted to convert
the audio source With the Wiring.
16. A method of supplying an entertainment system for a
passenger compartment of a vehicle, comprising the folloW
ing steps:
providing a lamp assembly mountable Within the passen
ger compartment of the vehicle and having a light
source connectable to a poWer source and adapted to
illuminate the passenger compartment and a transmitter
connectable to an audio source and adapted to receive
information from said audio source and to transmit
signals containing the information Within the passenger
compartment of the vehicle;
removing an eXisting ?xture from the passenger compart
ment of the vehicle; and
mounting said lamp assembly to the passenger compart
ment of the vehicle.
17. A method of supplying an entertainment system for a
passenger compartment of a vehicle as claimed in claim 16,
Wherein said transmitter is an LED transmitter.
18. A method of supplying an entertainment system for a
passenger compartment of a vehicle as claimed in claim 16,
Wherein said transmitter is an infrared transmitter adapted to
transmit infrared signals.
19. A method of supplying consumers With an entertain
ment system for a passenger compartment of a vehicle as
claimed in claim 16, Wherein said signals are digital signals
and said audio source or said lamp assembly contains anA/D
converter.
20. A method of supplying consumers With an entertain
ment system for a passenger compartment of a vehicle as
infrared signals into sound.
claimed in claim 16, further comprising the acts of providing
14. A method of supplying an entertainment system for a
passenger compartment of a vehicle as claimed in claim 11,
Wiring, installing the Wiring in the vehicle, and connecting
Wherein said signals are digital signals and said audio source
or said lamp assembly contains an A/D converter.
the transmitter and the audio source With the Wiring.
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