Apple patent is for simplifying pairing of wireless accessories, host devices
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Apple patent is for simplifying pairing of wireless accessories, host devices

Apple wants to make it easier to pair wireless accessories with host devices, per a patent (number 7,813,715) that has appeared at the US Patent & Trademark Office. The invention relates to wireless devices and, more particularly, to pairing wireless devices for authorized data exchange.

Techniques that facilitate pairing of wireless accessory devices with wireless host devices are disclosed. Advantageously, the improved techniques permit pairing of wireless devices without requiring user entry of pin codes. In one embodiment, a wireless accessory device, such as a headset or earphone, can be paired with a wireless host device, such as a mobile phone or media player. The inventors are Chris McKillop and Chris Wiebe.

Here's Apple's summary of the invention: "The invention pertains to improved techniques that facilitate pairing of wireless accessory devices with wireless host devices. Advantageously, the improved techniques permit pairing of wireless devices without requiring user entry of pin codes.

"In one embodiment, a wireless accessory device is a headset or earphone and a wireless host device is an audio output device, such as a mobile phone or media player. The media player can be a portable media player, a docking station for a portable media player, a dedicated media appliance, or a computer having media playback capabilities.

"The invention can be implemented in numerous ways, including as a method, system, device, apparatus, or computer readable medium. Several embodiments of the invention are discussed below.

"As a method for pairing a wireless electronic accessory device with a wireless host device, one embodiment of the invention includes at least the acts of: receiving a request to initiate pairing of the wireless host device with the wireless electronic accessory device, where the manufacturer of the wireless host device is different than the manufacturer of the wireless electronic accessory device; obtaining a potential pin code for the wireless accessory device from an electronic data storage device within the wireless host device; attempting to pair the wireless host device with the wireless electronic accessory device using the potential pin code; and completing the pairing of the wireless host device with the wireless electronic accessory device when the potential pin code matches the pin code required by the wireless electronic accessory device.

"As a method for pairing a wireless electronic accessory device with a wireless host device, another embodiment of the invention includes at least the acts of: receiving a request to initiate pairing of the wireless host device with the wireless electronic accessory device; obtaining a set of potential pin codes for the wireless accessory device from an electronic data storage device; attempting to pair the wireless host device with the wireless electronic accessory device using one of the potential pin codes; repeating the attempting using another one of the potential pin codes when the one of the potential pin codes being used does not match the pin code required by the wireless electronic accessory device; and completing the pairing of the wireless host device with the wireless electronic accessory device when the one of the potential pin codes being used matches the pin code required by the wireless electronic accessory device.

"As a computer readable medium including computer program code for pairing a wireless electronic accessory device with a wireless host device, one embodiment of the invention includes at least: computer program code for receiving a request to initiate pairing of the wireless host device with the wireless electronic accessory device; computer program code for obtaining a set of potential pin codes for the wireless accessory device from an electronic data storage device; computer program code for attempting to pair the wireless host device with the wireless electronic accessory device using one of the potential pin codes and repeating the attempting using another one of the potential pin codes when the one of the potential pin codes being used does not match the pin code expected by the wireless electronic accessory device; and computer program code for completing the pairing of the wireless host device with the wireless electronic accessory device when the one of the potential pin codes being used matches the pin code expected by the wireless electronic accessory device.

"As a portable electronic device, one embodiment of the invention includes at least: a memory for storing data and executable computing code; a controller for operating the portable electronic device including executing the executable computing code; and a pin code database storing a plurality of potential pin codes for wireless companion devices of a plurality of different manufacturers. The executable computing code can perform pairing operations as well as other operations."

 
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