There’s a lot of ways we manage to stay warm and enjoy outside activities despite the cold, snow and ice that winter brings, but the following five patents may bring you some warmth and even some fun on wintry days. In no particular order, here are our five favorite cold weather patents.
Note: This article is part of an ongoing series detailing some of the Inventors Eye staff’s favorite patents. For each article the writer selects her five favorite patents under a given theme. This list is from USPTO social media specialist Elizabeth Chu
Portable hand held automobile windshield deicer
U.S. Patent Number 6,654,550
Spending a lot of time outside in the cold, trying to remove a layer of ice from your car’s windshield and windows can be an unenjoyable and very time-consuming task. While many of the first deicer patents were for large, stationary apparatuses that removed ice from airplanes, the inventors of U.S. patent 6,654,550 have literally put the ability to de-ice in the palm of one’s hand. The portable hand held automobile windshield deicer allows one to get out of the cold and sit inside their car as they watch layers of ice quickly melt away.
Removable cleat for snowshoe
U.S. Patent Number 6,247,253
In the winter when ice or snow covers streets and sidewalks, a walk that typically presents no danger can become a treacherous task. Slipping on ice or snow has been the cause of many injuries, such as broken or fractured bones and serious back or head injuries. Removable cleats provides traction to ordinary shoes to aid with conquering ice-covered pavements. By providing a sense of safety, removable cleats can calm fears of having a slip and fall and get people up and outside to enjoy beautiful outdoor winter scenery.
Disposable body warmer and heat generating material therefor
U.S. Patent Number 4,925,743
Sometimes although there are frigid conditions, we still have to go outdoors and brave freezing temperatures to walk the dog, catch a bus, or run an important errand. Thick wool socks and gloves can add warmth to our feet and hands but sometimes those garments alone just don’t keep our toes and fingers warm enough. In an effort to avoid getting frostbite, it’s important to keep our extremities as warm as possible. Disposable body warmers are convenient, lightweight and can be easily slipped into our socks, gloves and even coat pockets to add warmth. Thanks to body warmers we can feel comfortable as we move about outdoors in freezing temperatures.
U.S. Patent Number 5,810,376
Snow has covered the ground, most transportation is halted, schools are closed, and employees are excused from work. One option for getting outdoors and having some fun is to go sledding. Sledding is a favorite winter outdoor activity for many children and adults. While most see sledding as a fun thing to do and not a form of serious exercise, one form of sledding has been involved in competitive sports for decades. In 1939, the bobsledding event was included in the first Winter Olympic Games. Sleds are also used to aid with saving lives. In the Swiss Alps sleds are used by rescue teams to get those that have sustained injuries transported out of the mountains and in Alaska sleds powered by teams of canines allow for transporting supplies across terrain not accessible by automobiles.
Electric seat heater
U.S. Patent Number 6,093,910
Have you ever experienced getting into an automobile and having to sit on a very cold car seat? Despite a comfortable design, if a car seat is cold it is uncomfortable. Inventions for heating seats in vehicles have come a long way; from a heating pad that is affixed to a car seat to a car seat that has a built in heater. The advancement of heated car seats has taken place while considering the impacts on safety, comfort and affordability. Thanks to inventions like 6,093,910, although someone may not have the luxury of storing their automobile in a heated facility when it’s cold outside, they may be able to afford an automobile equipped with heated seats that allow for a comfortable ride despite the temperature outside.
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