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United States Patent Application 20170095050
Kind Code A1
Dineen; Kristine M. April 6, 2017

Multiple Purpose Hair Dryer

Abstract

A multiple purpose hair dryer is disclosed. The multiple purpose hair dryer may provide hot or cold air that circulates through a top portion and a bottom portion of an elongated head. The multiple purpose hair dryer may include a plurality of upward bristles and a plurality of downward bristles that intersect alongside each other when the top portion and the bottom portion are clamped together producing a round-brush effect.


Inventors: Dineen; Kristine M.; (Suffield, CT)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

Dineen; Kristine M.

Suffield

CT

US
Family ID: 1000002367151
Appl. No.: 15/382586
Filed: December 16, 2016


Related U.S. Patent Documents

Application NumberFiling DatePatent Number
14078550Nov 13, 2013
15382586

Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: A45D 20/12 20130101
International Class: A45D 20/12 20060101 A45D020/12

Claims



1. A hair dryer, comprising: a housing having a front side that defines an arm opening with a first height and a first width, a back side, a side wall having a second height and a first length, and defining an inner volume; a fan located within the inner volume; an electric motor in mechanical communication with the fan; a heating element in air flow communication with the fan; a first elongated arm substantially extending from the front side and having a first top surface and a first bottom surface; and a second elongated arm substantially extending from the front side and having a second top surface and a second bottom surface; wherein the first bottom surface and the second top surface are substantially opposed, and wherein the first bottom surface defines at least one opening in air flow communication with the fan.

2. The hair dryer according to claim 1, further wherein the first elongated arm is rotatably connected to the housing.

3. The hair dryer according to claim 1, further wherein the second elongated arm is rotatably connected to the housing.

4. The hair dryer according to claim 1, further wherein the heating element is located within the inner volume.

5. The hair dryer according to claim 1, further wherein the first elongated arm comprises a plurality of bristles extending substantially away from the first bottom surface.

6. The hair dryer according to claim 1, further wherein the second elongated arm comprises a plurality of bristles extending substantially away from the second top surface.

7. The hair dryer according to claim 1, further wherein the first elongated arm comprises a first plurality of bristles extending substantially away from the first bottom surface, and the second elongated arm comprises a second plurality of bristles extending substantially away from the second top surface.

8. The hair dryer according to claim 1, further wherein the first elongated arm comprises a first plurality of bristles extending substantially away from the first bottom surface, and the second elongated arm comprises a second plurality of bristles extending substantially away from the second top surface, and further wherein at least some of the first plurality of bristles at least partially intersects at least some of the second plurality of bristles at an obtuse enclosed angle when the hair dryer is in a closed configuration.

9. The hair dryer according to claim 1, further wherein the first bottom surface is substantially convex.

10. The hair dryer according to claim 1, further wherein the first bottom surface is substantially concave.

11. The hair dryer according to claim 1, further comprising an offset distance between the first bottom surface and the second top surface, and wherein the first bottom surface is substantially concave and the second top surface is substantially convex.

12. The hair dryer according to claim 1, further wherein the first elongated arm defines a plurality of air flow paths in air flow communication with the fan.

13. The hair dryer according to claim 1, further wherein the side wall defines an opening for a switch which is substantially proximal to the front side.

14. The hair dryer according to claim 13, further having a center of gravity, wherein the center of gravity is located within the internal volume and proximal to the front side.

15. The hair dryer according to claim 1, further wherein electrical power can be supplied to the electric motor separate from providing electrical power to the heating element.

16. The hair dryer according to claim 1, further wherein the side wall defines at least one air inlet opening.

17. The hair dryer according to claim 1, further wherein the housing further comprises a back wall, and wherein the back wall defines at least one air inlet opening.

18. The hair dryer according to claim 1, further wherein the back side is substantially curved.

19. The hair dryer according to claim 1, further wherein the first top surface and the second bottom surface are offset at the front side by a distance that is substantially equal to the first height.

20. A hair dryer, comprising: a housing having a front side that defines an arm opening with a first height and a first width, a back side, a side wall having a second height and a first length, and defining an inner volume; a fan located within the inner volume; an electric motor in mechanical communication with the fan; a heating element in air flow communication with the fan; a first elongated arm substantially extending from the front side and having a first top surface and a first bottom surface; and a second elongated arm substantially extending from the front side and having a second top surface and a second bottom surface; wherein the first bottom surface and the second top surface are substantially opposed, the first bottom surface defines a first plurality of openings in air flow communication with the fan, the second top surface defines a second plurality of openings in air flow communication with the fan, the second elongated arm is rotatably connected to the housing, the heating element is located within the inner volume, the first elongated arm comprises a first plurality of bristles extending substantially away from the first bottom surface, the second elongated arm comprises a second plurality of bristles extending substantially away from the second top surface, the first bottom surface is substantially concave, the second top surface is substantially convex, at least some of the first plurality of bristles at least partially intersects at least some of the second plurality of bristles at an obtuse enclosed angle when the hair dryer is in a closed configuration, and the side wall defines an opening for a switch which is substantially proximal to the front side.
Description



[0001] This application claims the priority of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/078,550 filed on Nov. 13, 2013, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein in its entirety.

BACKGROUND

[0002] The present disclosure relates generally to a hair dryer. More particularly, the present disclosure relates to a multiple purpose hair dryer.

[0003] Currently users may hold a blow dryer in one hand and a brush in the other hand while trying to style hair. The multiple purpose hair dryer is a convenient, portable and compact tool that allows a user to experience salon-quality results at home, without having to wrestle with multiple accessories and without needing a separate flat iron, which may damage hair. Made of safe, durable, heat-resistant material, the multiple purpose hair dryer features approximately half inch boar bristles disposed on the top and bottom brush sections. The bristles intersect closely alongside each other when the brush sections are clamped together, for an effective, efficient round-brush effect. Hot or cold airflow runs through both brushes, which leaves each section of hair looking smooth, shiny and silky, from the roots all the way down to the ends. The multiple purpose hair dryer also features a spring-loaded hinge for ease of use, a swivel power cord and an easy-to-clean vent, which also helps prevent overheating. The multiple purpose hair dryer is an indispensable, hassle-free styling tool that saves time and effort.

SUMMARY

[0004] The present invention is a hair dryer. More specifically, the present invention is a multiple purpose hair dryer.

[0005] The present invention is a multiple purpose hair dryer which includes a housing having a first half and a second half, an electric motor contained within the housing, a blower fan contained within the housing, the blower fan is in-mechanical communication with the electric motor, and a slidable on and off switch coupled to the housing, the on and off switch includes a raised vertical tab that is pushed to slide the on and off switch from an on position to an off position or an off position to an on position. The present invention may also include a cross-bar coupled to the on and off switch, the cross-bar to assist activating or shutting-off the electric motor, a swivel cord coupled to the housing, the swivel cord in electrical communication with the electric motor, the swivel cord to provide electrical power to the electric motor and the swivel cord swivels in any direction to allow the multiple purpose hair dryer to move in any direction, a heating element contained within the housing, the heating element provides heat to air from the blower fan, the heating element is powered by the electric motor and an elongated head coupled to the housing, the elongated head receiving blown hot air from the blower fan or cold air, the elongated head includes a top portion and a bottom portion, the top portion includes a plurality of downward bristles and a plurality of vents and the bottom portion includes a plurality of upward bristles and a plurality of vents and a plurality of screws fastening the first half the housing and the second half of the housing together.

[0006] It is an object of the present invention to provide a multiple purpose hair dryer that may be utilized with one hand and is lightweight to simultaneously blow dry and style hair for professional-salon results, even when utilized at home.

[0007] It is an object of the present invention to provide a multiple purpose hair dryer that results in quicker and easier styling while eliminating having to hold a blow dryer in one hand and a hairbrush in the other hand.

[0008] It is an object of the present invention to provide a multiple purpose hair dryer that provides a round-brush effect from a pair of sets of bristles that intersect alongside each other when top and bottom brush sections are clamped together. The "round-brush effect" is an effect on hair which is typically associated with the use of a round brush, and may include effects such as lifting the hair, increasing hair volume, and curling hair.

[0009] It is an object of the present invention to provide a multiple purpose hair dryer that provides hot or cold air that circulates through a top section and a bottom section.

[0010] It is an object of the present invention to provide a multiple purpose hair dryer that results in less damage to hair compared to utilizing a flat iron.

[0011] It is an object of the present invention to provide a multiple purpose hair dryer that leaves hair with a silky shine while smoothing out hair cuticles.

[0012] It is an object of the present invention to provide a multiple purpose hair dryer that provides a spring-loaded hinge similar to a conventional flat iron that provides comfort and ease of use, even for users with limited hand mobility, such as users with carpal tunnel syndrome.

[0013] It is an object of the present invention to provide a multiple purpose hair dryer that provides a swivel cord that prevents a power cable from tangling and easy handling during the styling process. It is understood that other types of electrical cords may be used without deviating from the spirit and intent of the invention.

[0014] It is an object of the present invention to provide a multiple purpose hair dryer that has a sleek and compact design that measures no more than thirteen inches long while a top section and a bottom section remain closed when not in use. It is understood, however, that other configurations of other lengths may be used without deviating from the spirit and intent of the invention.

[0015] It is an object of the present invention to provide a multiple purpose hair dryer that has a plurality of versatile applications and may be utilized in a professional salon or at home.

[0016] In one embodiment, the multiple purpose hair dryer includes a housing which has at least one opening defined by a front face of the housing as well as two elongated arms extending away from the front face of the housing. The housing may be substantially disc shaped, substantially cylindrical, substantially rectangular, or any number of other shapes or combinations thereof. In one embodiment, the back face of the housing is substantially curved. The housing defines an internal volume which contains a fan. The fan is in mechanical communication with an electric motor, such as a DC motor. One common type of DC motor runs on 12V direct current, though other types of motors may also be used. In other embodiments, more than one fan may be used in the multiple purpose hair dryer, whether all are in the inner volume of the housing, or some are within one or more of the elongated arms.

[0017] A heating element may be contained within the inner volume of the housing and be in air flow communication with the fan. In other embodiments, the heating element may be contained in one or both of the arms. The heating element may be any of a number of known designs, such as an arrangement of nichrome wires, and may also function as a resistor, dropping voltage down from the AC current of the power supply to a current which can be used by the motor, such as 12V DC. More than one heating element may also be used. The heating element may also be in one or both of the arms and in air flow communication with at least one fan. A planar heating element may also be used to heat passing air, such as a ceramic plate.

[0018] The two arms include a top arm and a bottom arm. In one embodiment, the top surface of the top arm and the bottom surface of the bottom arm are substantially equal in distance, at the point where they meet the front face of the housing, to the height of the front of the housing. In an alternate embodiment, they may instead be substantially equal to the height of the opening in the front of the housing.

[0019] In one embodiment, the bottom surface of the top arm and the top surface of the bottom arm are substantially opposed. One of the arms, such as the bottom arm, may be rotatably connected to the housing, whether directly or indirectly, such as through a bracket or other support structure. If either arm is not rotatably connected to the housing, it may be unitary with the housing. In one embodiment, both arms may be rotatably connected to the housing. At least the bottom surface of the top arm, or the top surface of the bottom arm, or both, define at least one opening which is in air flow communication with the fan. Air propelled by the fan is directed into at least one of the arms, where it flows out through at least one opening and may blow onto hair which is passed between the two arms.

[0020] In a preferred embodiment, at least one of the arms includes a plurality of bristles which extend away from the arm generally towards the other arm, though the bristles may extend at an angle that is not perpendicular to the other arm. In a further preferred embodiment, both arms include pluralities of bristles, where one set of bristles extends from the bottom surface of the top arm, and another set of bristles extends from the top surface of the bottom arm. The two pluralities of bristles may extend towards each other in a parallel or collinear arrangement, or at least some of them may be offset at an angle from the other bristles, such as to create an obtuse internal angle between at least some of the bristles extending from the top arm and at least some of the bristles extending from the bottom arm.

[0021] In a further preferred embodiment, either the bottom surface of the top arm or the top surface of the bottom arm is substantially convex. This may be a full semi-circle, or may just be part of an arc. The surface of the other arm that is opposite the convex surface may be planar, or it may also be convex. In another embodiment, the surface of the other arm that is opposite the convex surface is concave. The concavity of the concave surface may match the convexity of the convex surface, may be offset from it, or may be different, such as being smaller and shallower. Different surfaces may create different effects on hair.

[0022] In one embodiment, one or both arms may contain internal air flow paths that are in air flow communication with the fan. This can allow for keeping a more consistent pressure, flow, and temperature if there are multiple air flow openings in an arm. It can also be designed so as to reduce air flow turbulence within the arm. Different configurations of air flow paths are possible, and can be optimized to air flow, temperature, and motor or fan needs.

[0023] It is desirable for the multiple purpose hair dryer to be able to be operated using a single hand. The side wall of the housing may include an opening for a switch or button, preferably close to the front of the housing, so that it can be manipulated while holding the multiple purpose hair dryer by the arms, squeezing the arms together. The switch or button can turn the dryer on or off, go between high or low speed, high or low heat, go between hot or cool air, or combinations of the above. The functions described above may also be split between more than one switch or button.

[0024] It is similarly preferable that the multiple purpose hair dryer have a center of gravity which is located within the housing, but is at least substantially proximal to the front end of the housing. Most current hair dryers involve a handle which is offset from the center of gravity, causing torque and significant strain on the user. This is especially of concern to those who use a dryer for long periods of time, or who may suffer from joint or muscle problems. Most two-armed hair styling tools have the center of gravity within the prongs. However, by locating the center of gravity just above the user's hand and within the housing, but axial with the length of the arms, a user can feel more in control of the weight of the multiple purpose hair dryer while also reducing torque and strain on joints and muscles.

[0025] In another embodiment of the device, power can be supplied to the electric motor without being supplied to the heating element. In this way, cool or ambient temperature air can be propelled by the fan to the arms.

[0026] In one embodiment, the housing has at least one air inlet in a side wall to supply external air to the fan, which draws it in through the opening. In an alternate embodiment, the back of the housing has at least one air inlet to supply external air to the fan.

[0027] It is to be understood that the above mentioned features and the features yet to be explained hereinafter can be used not only in the respectively mentioned combinations but also in other combinations or alone without departing from the context of the present invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0028] The invention is now disclosed in detail with reference to exemplary embodiments shown in the accompanying drawings, where:

[0029] FIG. illustrates a side perspective view of a multiple purpose hair dryer, in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

[0030] FIG. 2 illustrates a side perspective view of a multiple purpose hair dryer, in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

[0031] FIG. 3 illustrates a side exploded perspective view of a multiple purpose hair dryer, in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

[0032] FIG. 4 illustrates a front view of a multiple purpose hair dryer, in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

[0033] FIG. 5 illustrates an overhead view of a multiple purpose hair dryer, in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

[0034] FIG. 6 illustrates a side perspective view of a heating element, in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

[0035] FIG. 7 illustrates an overhead view of a top portion of an elongated head, in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

[0036] FIG. 8 illustrates an overhead perspective view of a bottom portion of an elongated head, in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

[0037] FIG. 9 illustrates an overhead view of an on and off switch in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

[0038] FIG. 10 shows a front isometric view of an alternate embodiment of the multiple purpose hair dryer of the present disclosure in a closed configuration;

[0039] FIG. 11 shows a left side view of the embodiment of the multiple purpose hair dryer of FIG. 10;

[0040] FIG. 12 shows a front view of the embodiment of the multiple purpose hair dryer of FIG. 10;

[0041] FIG. 13 shows a front isometric view of the embodiment of the multiple purpose hair dryer of FIG. 10 in an open configuration;

[0042] FIG. 14 shows a left side view of the embodiment of the multiple purpose hair dryer of FIG. 10 in an open configuration;

[0043] FIG. 15 shows a front view of the embodiment of the multiple purpose hair dryer of FIG. 10 in an open configuration;

[0044] FIG. 16 shows a left side view of an alternate embodiment of the multiple purpose hair dryer of the present disclosure in a closed configuration;

[0045] FIG. 17 shows a front view of the embodiment of the multiple purpose hair dryer of FIG. 16;

[0046] FIG. 18 shows a front isometric view of an alternate embodiment of the multiple purpose hair dryer of the present disclosure without bristles shown and in a closed configuration;

[0047] FIG. 19 shows a front isometric view of another alternate embodiment of the multiple purpose hair dryer of the present disclosure without bristles shown and in a closed configuration;

[0048] FIG. 20 shows a front isometric view of another alternate embodiment of the multiple purpose hair dryer of the present disclosure without bristles shown and in a closed configuration;

[0049] FIG. 21 shows a left side view of the embodiment of the multiple purpose hair dryer of FIG. 20;

[0050] FIG. 22 shows a front view of the embodiment of the multiple purpose hair dryer of FIG. 20;

[0051] FIG. 23 shows a front isometric view of the embodiment of the multiple purpose hair dryer of FIG. 20 in an open configuration;

[0052] FIG. 24 shows a front isometric view of another alternate embodiment of the multiple purpose hair dryer of the present disclosure without bristles shown and in a closed configuration;

[0053] FIG. 25 shows a front isometric view of the embodiment of the multiple purpose hair dryer of FIG. 24 in an open configuration;

[0054] FIG. 26 shows a front isometric view of another alternate embodiment of the multiple purpose hair dryer of the present disclosure without bristles shown and in a closed configuration;

[0055] FIG. 27 shows a front isometric view of the embodiment of the multiple purpose hair dryer of FIG. 26 in an open configuration;

[0056] FIG. 28 shows a front isometric view of another alternate embodiment of the multiple purpose hair dryer of the present disclosure without bristles shown and in a closed configuration;

[0057] FIG. 29 shows a left side view of the embodiment of the multiple purpose hair dryer of FIG. 28;

[0058] FIG. 30 shows a front isometric view of the embodiment of the multiple purpose hair dryer of FIG. 28 in an open configuration;

[0059] FIG. 31 shows a left side view of an embodiment of arm of the multiple purpose hair dryer of the present disclosure;

[0060] FIG. 32 shows a front isometric section view of an embodiment of an arm of the multiple purpose hair dryer of the present disclosure;

[0061] FIG. 33 shows a left side section view of the embodiment of an arm of the multiple purpose hair dryer of FIG. 32;

[0062] FIG. 34 shows a rear view of the embodiment of an arm of the multiple purpose hair dryer of FIG. 32;

[0063] FIG. 35 shows a front isometric section view of an alternate embodiment of an arm of the multiple purpose hair dryer of the present disclosure;

[0064] FIG. 36 shows a left side section view of the embodiment of an arm of the multiple purpose hair dryer of FIG. 35;

[0065] FIG. 37 shows a rear view of the embodiment of an arm of the multiple purpose hair dryer of FIG. 35;

[0066] FIG. 38 shows a front isometric view of an alternate embodiment of the multiple purpose hair dryer of the present disclosure without bristles;

[0067] FIG. 39 shows a front isometric view of another alternate embodiment of the multiple purpose hair dryer of the present disclosure without bristles;

[0068] FIG. 40 shows a front isometric exploded view of the embodiment of the multiple purpose hair dryer of FIG. 39 without bristles;

[0069] FIG. 41 shows a front isometric view of another alternate embodiment of the multiple purpose hair dryer of the present disclosure without bristles;

[0070] FIG. 42 shows a rear isometric view of the embodiment of the multiple purpose hair dryer of FIG. 41;

[0071] FIG. 43 shows a left side partial section view of an alternate embodiment of the multiple purpose hair dryer of the present disclosure without bristles;

[0072] FIG. 44 shows a left side partial section view of another alternated embodiment of the multiple purpose hair dryer of the present disclosure without bristles;

[0073] FIG. 45 shows a front isometric view of an alternate embodiment of the multiple purpose hair dryer of the present disclosure without bristles;

[0074] FIG. 46 shows a front isometric view of another alternate embodiment of the multiple purpose hair dryer of the present disclosure without bristles;

[0075] FIG. 47 shows a front isometric exploded view of the embodiment of the multiple purpose hair dryer of FIG. 46 without bristles;

[0076] FIG. 48 shows a front isometric view of an alternate embodiment of the multiple purpose hair dryer of the present disclosure without bristles;

[0077] FIG. 49 shows a rear isometric view of the embodiment of the multiple purpose hair dryer of FIG. 48 without bristles;

[0078] FIG. 50 shows a rear isometric view of an alternate embodiment of the multiple purpose hair dryer of the present disclosure without bristles;

[0079] FIG. 51 shows a rear isometric view of another alternate embodiment of the multiple purpose hair dryer of the present disclosure without bristles;

[0080] FIG. 52 shows a rear isometric view of another alternate embodiment of the multiple purpose hair dryer of the present disclosure without bristles; and

[0081] FIG. 53 shows a rear isometric view of another alternate embodiment of the multiple purpose hair dryer of the present disclosure without bristles.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0082] Exemplary embodiments of the disclosure are illustrated in the Figures and are explained in the following description in more detail, wherein identical reference numbers refer to identical, or similar, or functionally identical components.

[0083] Various aspects of the illustrative embodiments will be described using terms commonly employed by those skilled in the art to convey the substance of their work to others skilled in the art. However, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that the present invention may be practiced with only some of the described aspects. For purposes of explanation, specific numbers, materials and configurations are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of the illustrative embodiments. However, it will be apparent to one skilled in the art that the present invention may be practiced without the specific details. In other instances, well-known features are omitted or simplified in order not to obscure the illustrative embodiments.

[0084] Various operations will be described as multiple discrete operations, in turn, in a manner that is most helpful in understanding the present invention however the order of description should not be construed as to imply that these operations are necessarily order dependent. In particular, these operations need not be performed in the order of presentation.

[0085] The phrase "in one embodiment" is used repeatedly. The phrase generally does not refer to the same embodiment, however, it may. The terms "comprising", "having" and "including" are synonymous, unless the context dictates otherwise.

[0086] FIG. 1 illustrates a side perspective view of a multiple purpose hair dryer 100, in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. The multiple purpose hair dryer 100 illustrated in FIG. 1 is in an open position that may receive and treat hair.

[0087] FIG. 2 illustrates a side perspective view of a multiple purpose hair dryer 200, in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. The multiple purpose hair dryer 200 illustrated in FIG. 2 is in a closed position that may not be capable of receiving and treating hair.

[0088] FIG. 3 illustrates a side exploded perspective view of a multiple purpose hair dryer 300, in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. The multiple purpose hair dryer 300 may include a housing 310, an electric motor 320, a blower fan 330, an on and off switch 340, one or more brackets 350, a swivel cord 360, a heating element 370, an elongated head 380 and a plurality of fasteners 390. A cross-bar may also be connected or actuated by the on and off switch 340.

[0089] The housing 310 may include a first half 310A and a second half 310B. The electric motor 320 may conduct power to the multiple purpose hair dryer 300. The housing 310 may include a first half 310A and a second half 310B. The housing 310 may be made of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene or ABS or other suitable material. The electric motor 320 may also be contained within the housing 310. The blower fan 330 may also produce relatively hot air that may be blown by the blower fan 330 or blow cold air. The blower fan 330 may be contained within the housing 310. The blower fan 330 may be in mechanical communication with the electric motor 320 wherein the electric motor 320 provides mechanical power to the blower fan 330. The blower fan 330 may be made of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene or ABS or other suitable material. The on and off switch 340 may be a slidable on and off switch 342 that may be slid from an on position to an off position or an off position to an on position. The on and off switch 340 may be slidably coupled to the housing 310. The on and off switch 340 may turn-on or shut-off the electric motor 320. The on and off switch 340 may be made of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene or ABS or other suitable material. The cross-bar 350 may be coupled to the on and off switch 340 to assist activating or shutting-off the electric motor 320. The cross-bar-350 may be made of steel or other suitable material. The swivel cord 360 may be coupled to the housing 310 or other suitable location of the multiple purpose hair dryer 300. The swivel cord 360 may provide electrical power to the electric motor 320 which provides mechanical power to the blower fan 330. The swivel cord 360 may swivel in any direction to allow the multiple purpose hair dryer 300 to move in any direction. The heating element 370 may provide heat to air from the blower fan 330. The heating element 370 may be contained within the housing 310. The heating element 370 may also be connected to the swivel cord 360, conducting electricity to the electric motor 320. The heating element 370 may function as a resistor and may drop voltage from the swivel cord 360 and a power supply before power is transferred to the electric motor 320, such as to 12V DC from an AC power supply. The elongated head 380 may be coupled to the housing 310. The elongated head 380 may include a top portion 382 and a bottom portion 384. The fasteners 390 may fasten the first half 310A and a second half 3106 of the housing 310 together or to one or more brackets 350. The fasteners 390 may be a plurality of screws 390A or other suitable types of fasteners such as bolts and rivets (not shown). The fasteners 390 may be made of steel or other suitable material.

[0090] FIG. 4 illustrates a front view of a multiple purpose hair dryer 400, in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. The multiple purpose hair dryer 400 illustrated in FIG. 4 is in a closed position. FIG. 5 illustrates an overhead view of a multiple purpose hair dryer 500, in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. The multiple purpose hair dryer 500 illustrated in FIG. 5 is in a closed position.

[0091] FIG. 6 illustrates a side perspective view of a heating element 600, in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. The heating element 600 may have a diamond shape 600A or other suitable shape. The heating element 600 may have a plurality of heating coils 610 on each side. The heating coils 610 may generate heat that may be blown by the blower fan (FIG. 3, 330) into the elongated head (FIG. 3, 380). The heating element 600 may be powered by the electric motor (FIG. 3, 320). The heating element 600 may also receive power from the swivel cord 360 and conduct it to the electric motor 320.

[0092] FIG. 7 illustrates an overhead view of a top portion 702 of an elongated head 700, in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

[0093] The top portion 702 may include a plurality of downward bristles 704 and a plurality of vents 706. The downward bristles 704 may be in a vertical configuration or other suitable configuration. The downward bristles 704 may be made of boar type bristles or other suitable material. The vents 706 may allow heated air blown from the blower fan (FIG. 3, 330) to be expelled out of the top portion 702 onto a user's hair. The top portion 702 may be made of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene or ABS or other suitable material.

[0094] FIG. 8 illustrates an overhead perspective view of a bottom portion 802 of an elongated head 800, in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

[0095] The bottom portion 802 may include a plurality of upward bristles 804 and a plurality of vents 806. The upward bristles 804 may be in a vertical configuration or other suitable configuration. The upward bristles 804 and the downward bristles (FIG. 7, 704) intersect alongside each other when the top portion 702 and the bottom portion 802 are clamped together producing a round-brush effect. The upward bristles 804 may be made of boar type bristles or other suitable material. The vents 806 allow heated air blown from the blower fan (FIG. 3, 330) to be expelled out of the bottom portion 802 onto a user's hair. The bottom portion 802 may be made of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene or ABS or other suitable material.

[0096] FIG. 9 illustrates an overhead view of an on and off switch 900, in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

[0097] The on and off switch 900 may include a raised vertical tab 910. The raised vertical tab 910 may be pushed to slide the on and off switch 910 from an on position to an off position or an off position to an on position.

[0098] FIG. 10 shows a front isometric view of an exemplary embodiment of the multiple purpose hair dryer 1100 in a closed configuration. The hair dryer 1100 includes a housing 1159, an upper arm 1110, and a lower arm 1120. The dryer 1100 may also include a power cord 1160, which may be of a swivel variety or may be substantially fixed. The power cord 1160 may be substantially cylindrical, linear, rectangular, coiled, or any other known configuration of power cord. The power cord 1160 may be located in various positions along the housing 1150, such as to keep the power cord 1160 out of the way of the user, or to keep it close to the user's hand to better control any forces applied to the power cord 1160 while pulling on or otherwise using the dryer 1100. The housing may also include a switch 1165 for turning the dryer 1100 off or on, for changing the dryer 1100 from a high setting of blowing or heat to a low setting of blowing or heat, or to switch between the dryer 1100 blowing hot or cold or room temperature air. A single switch 1165 may be used to change the settings of the dryer 1100 between some or all of these functions, or more than one switch 1165 may be used, with different switches 1165 performing different functions. The switch 1165 may be slidably coupled to the housing 1150, or may be actuated through other means, such as being pushed in to turn a function on or turn it off. The dryer 1100 may also include one or more markings or features 1157 to indicate when a function of the dryer 1100 has been selected or is active. In a preferred embodiment, the switch 1165 is located substantially proximate to at least one of the top arm 1110 or bottom arm 1120, enabling one-handed use of the dryer 1100.

[0099] The dryer 1100 may include bottom bristles 1125 coupled to the lower arm 1120. The dryer 1100 may also include top bristles 1115 coupled to the upper arm 1110. The dryer 1100 may be configured so as to include both top bristles 1115 and bottom bristles 1125, only one of the two, or neither. The top bristles 1115 or bottom bristles 1125 may also be of different lengths. The top bristles 1115 and bottom bristles 1125 may be configured substantially vertically, or may be configured substantially radially. Different configurations, lengths, and quantities of top bristles 1115 and bottom bristles 1125 may be implemented so as to achieve desired effects on hair, such as a round brush effect or shining effect. The housing 1150 may include one or more air intake holes 1170.

[0100] It is understood that any one of the bottom bristles 1125, the top bristles 1115, the lower arm 1120, or the upper arm 1115, or any combination thereof, may be removably coupled to each other or to the housing 1150. It is also understood that the dryer 1100 may include a battery, which may be removable and may be contained in any one of the components of the dryer 1100, and thus the dryer 1100 may not require a power cord 1160.

[0101] FIG. 11 shows a left side view of the dryer 1100. FIG. 12 shows a front view of the dryer 1100, showing a substantially radial configuration of both top bristles 1115 and bottom bristles 1125. The angle of the top bristles 1115 and bottom bristles 1125, as well as their lengths and amount of overlap or crossing may be varied to achieve desired effects on hair.

[0102] FIG. 13 shows the dryer 1100 in a substantially open configuration, with an open angle between the upper arm 1110 and the lower arm 1120. In a preferred embodiment, the lower arm 1120 is opposite at least one switch 1165 and opens rotationally away from the upper arm 1110. However, it is understood that one or both of the upper arm 1110 and the lower arm 1120 may rotate relative to the housing 1150. It is also understood that one or both of the upper arm 1110 and the lower arm 1120 may move translationally relative to the housing 1150.

[0103] FIG. 14 shows a left side view of the dryer 1100 in an open configuration. FIG. 15 shows a front view of the dryer 1100 in an open configuration.

[0104] FIG. 16 shows a right side view of an alternate embodiment of the dryer 1200. The bottom bristles 1120 are shown longer than the top bristles 1215. Arm air vents 1230 are shown in the lower arm 1120, though it is understood that either the lower arm 1120, the upper arm 1110, or both may include one or more air vents 1230. FIG. 17 shows a front view of the dryer 1200.

[0105] FIG. 18 shows a front isometric view of an alternate embodiment of the dryer 1300 in a closed configuration. Neither the bottom bristles 1125 nor the top bristles 1115 are shown, in the interest of clarity. Air vents 1230 are shown along a substantially up-facing surface of the lower arm 1120. Some other embodiments hereafter are depicted without bristles, though it is understood that top bristles, bottom bristles, or both may be included.

[0106] FIG. 19 shows a front isometric view of another alternate embodiment of the dryer 1400 in a closed configuration. Either the upper arm 1410, the lower arm 1420, or both, may include one or more chamfered surfaces 1427 so as to minimize the risk of pinching the fingers or hand of the user or hair when the dryer 1400 is closed. It is understood that other shapes and structures, or a minimum separation between the upper arm 1410 and the lower arm 1420, may also be implemented to minimize pinching.

[0107] FIG. 20 shows a front isometric view of another alternate embodiment of the dryer 1500 in a closed configuration. In this embodiment, either the upper arm 1510, the lower arm 1520, or both, may include one or more curved surfaces 1527 to minimize pinching. The dryer 1500 may also include a separation between the upper arm 1510 and the lower arm 1520, to further minimize pinching. FIG. 21 shows a left side view of the dryer 1500. FIG. 22 shows a front view of the dryer 1500. FIG. 23 shows a front isometric view of the dryer 1500 in an open configuration.

[0108] FIG. 24 shows a front isometric view of another alternate embodiment of the dryer 1600 in a closed configuration. In this embodiment, either the upper arm 1610, the lower arm 1620, or both, may include a substantially recessed surface 1627 to minimize pinching. It is understood that the recessed surface 1627 may extend substantially lengthwise along either the upper arm 1610 or the lower arm 1620, or may only extend partially across one or both sides of either the upper arm 1610 or the lower arm 1620, or both. FIG. 25 shows a front isometric view of the dryer 1600 in an open configuration.

[0109] FIG. 26 shows a front isometric view of another alternate embodiment of the dryer 1700, in a closed configuration. The upper arm 1710, the lower arm 1720, or both, may include a partially recessed surface 1727 to minimize pinching. Either the upper arm 1710, the lower arm 1720, or both, may also include other features or elements to minimize pinching. FIG. 27 shows a front isometric view of the dryer 1700 in an open configuration.

[0110] FIG. 28 shows a front isometric view of another alternate embodiment of the dryer 1800 in a closed configuration. The upper arm 1810, the lower arm 1820, or both, may include cross-wise slots 1830 to vent air. It is understood that different configurations of venting, or combinations of different configurations of venting, may be used to achieve a desired effect on hair as well as to maintain a proper balance between heating and cooling of hair. FIG. 29 shows a left side view of the hair dryer 1800 in a closed configuration. It is understood that varying the depth and exposure of the cross-wise slots 1830 may be used to achieve desired effects. FIG. 30 shows a front isometric view of the dryer 1800 in an open configuration.

[0111] FIG. 31 shows a left side view of an arm 1116 which includes a feature, such as a surface, which functions as a backstop 1118. The backstop may contact a surface or element internal to the housing 1150 prior to the arm 1116 fully contacting an opposing arm, such as during rotational closing. This may be used to prevent pinching by itself or in combination with one or more of the other features mentioned to prevent pinching. The arm 1116 includes a rotational feature 1117 which functions as a pivot, though it is understood that other features may also be used.

[0112] FIG. 32 shows a front isometric sectional view of an arm 2116. The arm 2116 includes one or more internal air flow paths 2118, which may be separated by one or more flow dividers 2219. The air flow paths 2118 may be configured so as to more evenly distribute air propelled by the fan to multiple air vents 1230, or to prevent turbulence. FIG. 33 shows a left side sectional view of the arm 2116. FIG. 34 shows a rear view of the arm 2116.

[0113] FIG. 35 shows a front isometric sectional view of an arm 2216. The arm 2216 includes an alternate configuration of air flow paths 2218 and flow dividers 2219. FIG. 36 shows a left side sectional view of arm 2216. FIG. 37 shows a rear view of the arm 2216. It is understood that different configurations of air flow paths 2218 and flow dividers 2219 may be used in one or both arms so as to achieve a desired air flow effect and a desired effect on hair.

[0114] FIG. 38 shows a front isometric view of an alternate embodiment of the dryer 1900 in a closed configuration. The housing 1950 of the dryer 1900 may include one or more air intake holes 1970 in a substantially circular configuration.

[0115] FIG. 39 shows a front isometric view of another alternate embodiment of the dryer 2100 in a closed configuration. The housing 2150 of the dryer 2100 may include one or more air intake slots 2170, such as along one or more sides of the housing 2150.

[0116] FIG. 40 shows a front isometric exploded view of the dryer 2200. The dryer may include a first portion of the housing 2251 and a second portion of the housing 2252. The first portion of the housing 2251 and the second portion of the housing 2251 may be substantially symmetrical and may enclose internal dryer 2200 components in a clamshell configuration. Other configurations or non-symmetrical components may be preferable depending on features and manufacturing techniques, such as molding. Either the first portion of the housing 2251, the second portion of the housing 2252, or both, may include one or more air intake openings 2270. The first portion of the housing 2251 and the second portion of the housing 2252 may be fastened to each other directly, such as through the use of screws or other fasteners, or may be attached to each another through snap-fit or press-fit features. The first portion of the housing 2251 and the second portion of the housing 2252 may also attach to one or more brackets 350 or to other components.

[0117] A first portion of the upper arm 2210A and a second portion of the upper arm 22108 may attach to each other. One or both of the first portion of the upper arm 2210A and the second portion of the upper arm 22108 may couple directly to a bracket 350 or to one or both of the first portion of the housing 2251 and the second portion of the housing 2251. A first portion of the lower arm 2220A and a second portion of the lower arm 22208 may attach to each other. One or both of the first portion of the lower arm 2220A and the second portion of the lower arm 2220B may couple directly to a bracket 350 or to one or both of the first portion of the housing 2251 and the second portion of the housing 2251. Either arm may be coupled to the housing so as to prevent rotation. One or both arms may be coupled to the housing so as to allow motion relative to the housing, such as rotational motion, such as through a rotational feature 2231. Relative motion of the arms may to minimized, or a closed relative state between the arms may be created, through the use of leaf springs 2241. It is understood that other spring-like features or elements may also be used, such as one or more torsion springs or compression springs.

[0118] The dryer 2200 may include one or more heating elements 2280, and may also include a centrifugal fan 2290. The heating element 2280 may be at least partially surrounded, such as circumferentially, by a funnel or other structure (not shown) to minimize heating of the housing or arms. The fan 2290 may be used to draw in air from one or both sides and propel it to the front of the dryer 2200. The fan 2290 may be mechanically connected to a motor 2285.

[0119] FIG. 41 shows a front isometric view of a dryer 2300 in a closed configuration. The use of a cross-flow fan (not shown) inside of the dryer 2300 may be used to draw air in from the rear of the dryer 2300 and propel it to the front of the dryer 2300. FIG. 42 shows a rear isometric view of the dryer 2300 in a closed configuration. The dryer may include one or more rear air inlets 2370. If the dryer 2300 includes a cross-flow fan, it may be desirable to have one or more air inlets along only an upper or only a lower portion of the rear of the dryer 2300.

[0120] FIG. 43 shows a left side partial sectional view of an embodiment of the dryer 2400. The dryer 2400 includes two fans 2490 which each may draw in air from the rear of the dryer 2400, such as through one or more air intake openings 2470, and propel air towards the front of the dryer 2400, such as across the heating element 2280. An air flow separator 2419 may be used to direct air flow to one or both arms of the dryer 2400. It should be understood that different quantities or combinations of fans 2490 and heating elements 2280 may be used, such as one or two fans 2490 and one or two heating elements 2280. It should also be understood that it may be desirable to have one fan 2490 be part of an air flow path that includes the heating element 2280, and another fan 2490 that is not part of an air flow path that includes the heating element 2280. In this way, distinct hot and cool air paths can be configured within the dryer 2400.

[0121] FIG. 44 shows a left side partial sectional view of an alternate embodiment of the dryer 2500. In this embodiment, the orientation of the one or more heating elements 2280 and the one or more fans 2490 may be reversed, so that air drawn in by the one or more fans 2490 must first pass through one or more heating elements 2280.

[0122] FIG. 45 shows a front isometric view of an embodiment of the dryer 2600 which is substantially rectangular in cross-section. The dryer 2600 may include a first housing portion 2651 and a second housing portion 2652, which may be substantially symmetrical. It should be understood that other separations of the housing into components, and other shapes of housings, may be used as well without deviation from the intent or inventiveness of this disclosure. It may also be desired to have a housing which is substantially rectangular in cross-section, such as an elongated cube.

[0123] FIG. 46 shows a front isometric view of an embodiment of the dryer 2700 in a closed configuration. The dryer 2700 may include a first housing portion 2751 and a second housing portion 2752 which attach to create a substantially cylindrical shape.

[0124] FIG. 47 shows a front isometric exploded view of an embodiment of the dryer 2700. The dryer 2700 may include one or more rotational features 2731. The dryer 2700 may also include a fan 2790 which is in a substantially linear orientation with a heating element 2280, permitting air to be drawn in from the rear of the dryer 2700 and propelled towards the front of the dryer 2700.

[0125] FIG. 48 shows a front isometric view of an embodiment of the dryer 2800. The dryer 2800 may include a front portion of the housing 2853 and a rear portion of the housing 2854. The front portion of the housing 2853 and the rear portion of the housing 2854 may be attached by means of fasteners, by means of a snap-fit or press-fit, or the rear portion of the housing 2854 may thread onto or into the front portion of the housing 2853.

[0126] FIG. 49 shows a rear isometric view of an embodiment of the dryer 2800. The dryer 2800 may include a first portion of the housing 2853 and a second portion of the housing 2854. The housing may also include a recessed air flow inlet 2870, such as at the rear of the dryer 2800.

[0127] FIG. 50 shows a rear isometric view of an alternate embodiment of the dryer 2900. The dryer 2900 may include a mesh 2970 or other similar structure to minimize particulate entrance into the air flow path within the dryer 2900. It should be understood that a mesh 2970 or other similar structure may be used with any embodiments of this disclosure.

[0128] FIG. 51 shows a rear isometric view of another alternate embodiment of the dryer 3100. The dryer 3100 may include one or more air intake slots 3170.

[0129] FIG. 52 shows a rear isometric view of another alternate embodiment of the dryer 3200. The dryer 3200 may include one or more air intake openings 3270, which may also be grouped in a substantially circular pattern.

[0130] FIG. 53 shows a rear isometric view of another alternate embodiment of the dryer 3300. The dryer 3300 may include a first portion of the housing 3351 and a second portion of the housing 3352, dividing the housing substantially along a midline. The dryer 3300 may also include a rear portion of the housing 3354. The rear portion of the housing 3354 may be attached through the use of fasteners, a snap-fit, a press-fit, or may thread onto one or both of the first portion of the housing 3351 and the second portion of the housing 3352. The rear portion of the housing 3354 may be attached so as to hold the first portion of the housing 3351 and the second portion of the housing 3352 secured together, thus reducing the need for fasteners or complicated connection features.

[0131] While the present invention has been related in terms of the foregoing embodiments, those skilled in the art will recognize that the invention is not limited to the embodiments described. The present invention can be practiced with modification and alteration within the spirit and scope of the appended claims. Thus, the description is to be regarded as illustrative instead of restrictive on the present invention. Accordingly, various modifications, adaptations and alternatives may occur to one skilled in the art without departing from the spirit of the invention and scope of the claimed coverage.

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