updated 12:30 pm EDT, Thu March 20, 2008
Apple wired pairing patent
Alongside projection technology, another Apple invention revealed today by the US Patent and Trademark Office centers on the concept of wireless pairing. The patent notes that while many wireless devices -- namely those equipped with Bluetooth, like the iPhone -- require manual pairing to avoid interfering with others, the process itself can be somewhat cumbersome. This involves entering a PIN code, which must first be discovered in a manual, and then entered on an interface which is not always easy to use.
Under Apple's scheme, users would be able to exchange a PIN code between devices using a wired link. This could involve a USB or FireWire cable, and peripherals including but not limited to computers, phones, media players, printers and headsets. In theory, this would let users quickly pair a device like an iPhone to a Mac or PC, and after the first instance abandon the wired connection for proper wireless use, thanks to auto-configuring software.