Automated pairing of wireless accessories with host devices

Automated pairing of wireless accessories with host devices
US007813715B2
(12) Ulllted States Patent
(10) Patent N0.:
McKillop et al.
(54)
US 7,813,715 B2
(45) Date of Patent:
Oct. 12, 2010
AUTOMATED PAIRING OF WIRELESS
4,317,126 A
ACCESSORIES WITH HOST DEVICES
4,371,188 A
2/1983 Hull
4,371,945 A
2/1983 Karr et a1.
4,375,674 A
3/19g3 Thornton
4,386,345 A
5/1983 Narveson et a1.
(75) Inventors: Chris McKillop, La IIonda, CA (US);
Chm Wlebe, CuPemnO, CA (Us)
_
_
2/1982 Gragg, Jr.
4,423,630 A
1/1984
(73) Ass1gnee. Apple Inc., Cupertmo, CA (US)
4,434,801 A
3/l984 Jiminez et a1‘
(*)
4’45l’849 A
4’5l6’110 A
4,516,865 A
5/1984 Fuhrer
5/1985 OYermyer
5/1985 HlCleO
4,578,769 A
3/1986 Frederick
Notice:
Subject to any disclaimer, the term of this
patent is extended or adjusted under 35
days~
Morrison
(21) App1.No.: 11/513,616
(22)
Filed:
Aug. 30, 2006
_
(65)
Prior Publication Data
US 2008/0057890 A1
Mar. 6, 2008
(51)
Int. Cl.
H04W 88/02
(52)
(58)
US. Cl. ..................................... .. 455/410; 455/411
Field of Classi?cation Search ............... .. 455/410,
(Cont1nued)
FOREIGN PATENT DOCUMENTS
DE
(Continued)
455/411, 414.2, 415, 421, 556.2, 557, 41.2,
711/162’ 709/248’ 725/62’ I393’48J/g’2S3A7ig/88Z2SS'2629’
OTHER PUBLICATIONS
Parf13.1S earc hRepo IT an MIlVlalOIl
_t t_ t0 PBy F ees dae
t dAPI‘. 8 , 2008_lIl
PCT Application No. PCT/US2007/012033.
See application ?le for complete search history.
References Cited
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(Continued)
Primary ExamineriDiane MiZrahi
(74) Attorney, Agent, or FirmiBeyer LaW Group LLP
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
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(56)
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ABSTRACT
Techniques that facilitate pairing of Wireless accessory
devices With Wireless host devices are disclosed. Advanta
geously, 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.
28 Claims, 7 Drawing Sheets
YE
US 7,813,715 B2
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1 1/683,391 .
US. Patent
0a. 12, 2010
Sheet 1 017
US 7,813,715 B2
104
100
Z
\
WIRELESS
‘ ACCESSORY
,/
LOCAL
WIRELESS
NETWORK
‘/
WIRELESS
ACCESSORY "\1 102
DEVICE
FIG. 1
DEVICE
106
US. Patent
0a. 12, 2010
Sheet 2 017
US 7,813,715 B2
200 \
214
REMOTE
SERVER
212
CLIENT
COMPUTING
DEVICE
208
206
210
LOCAL
WIRELESS
NETWORK
\ \ ‘ ‘A
WIRELESS
HOST
DEVICE
WIRELESS
ACCESSORY
DEVICE
202
204
FIG. 2
US. Patent
0a. 12, 2010
US 7,813,715 B2
Sheet 3 0f 7
f 300
ACCESSORY DEVICE
308
310 NJ USER INPUT DEVICE
Z
MEMORY
/\/302
CONTROLLER
TRANSCEIVER
BATTERY /\/ 306
l
I
316M"
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
l
I
I
HOST DEVICE
V
TRANSCEIVER
MEMORY
320 r\_./ CONTROLLER
324 f\-/
OPERATING SYSTEM
Z322
APPLICATION PROGRAM(S)
USER
INPUT
DEVICE
PIN CODE
DATABASE
OUTPUT
DEVICE
Z330
8328
FIG. 3
(332
US. Patent
0a. 12, 2010
Sheet 4 017
US 7,813,715 B2
400
PLACE WIRELESS DEVICE
\J 402
TO BE PAIRED IN PAIRING MODE
NAVIGATE uSER INTERFACE (Ul)
OF WIRELESS HOST DEVICE
TO REQUEST PAIRING WITH
N 404
ANOTHER WIRELESS DEVICE
DISCOVER AVAILABLE WIRELESS
DEVICES IN VICINITY
406
DISPLAY THE DISCOVERED
AVAILABLE WIRELESS DEVICES
\1 408
ON THE UI
410
NO
YES
PAIR THE WIRELESS HoST DEVICE
WITH THE SELECTED WIRELESS DEVICE
FIG. 4
N
412
US. Patent
Oct. 12, 2010
US 7,813,715 B2
Sheet 5 0f 7
500
/
502
PAIRING
REQUEST
?
OBTAIN SET OF POTENTIAL PIN CODES
FOR WIRELESS ACCESSORY DEVICE
N 504
>
SELECT (NEXT) POTENTIAL PIN CODE
SEND PAIRING REQUEST
'\/ 506
508
N510
SUCCESSFUL
PAIRING
?
MORE
POTENTIAL
PIN CODES
?
STORE LINK KEY FOR USE
WITH WIRELESS ACCESSORY
DEVICE
512
FIG. 5A
US. Patent
0a. 12, 2010
Sheet 6 017
@
516 N PROMPT USER TO ENTER PIN CODE
518
PIN
CODE
ENTERED
?
YES
520 "\J SEND PAIRING REQUEST
522
SUCCESSFUL
PAIRING
FIG. 5B
US 7,813,715 B2
US. Patent
0a. 12, 2010
Sheet 7 017
US 7,813,715 B2
600
/
602
CONNECTION
TO WIRELESS
ACCESSORY
DEVICE
DESIRED
?
604
LINK KEY
FOR USE WITH
WIRELESS
ACCESSORY
DEVICE
?
606
2
CONNECTION NOT
AVAILABLE
CONNECT TO WIRELESS ACCESSORY
608 N
DEVICE USING KNOWN LINK KEY
—>
TRANSFER DATA ovER
WIRELESS LINK
CLOSE
CONNECTION
614 ’\
N
61°
612
CLOSE CONNECTION
k
@
FIG. 6
US 7,813,715 B2
1
2
AUTOMATED PAIRING OF WIRELESS
ACCESSORIES WITH HOST DEVICES
devices. Advantageously, the improved techniques permit
pairing of Wireless devices Without requiring user entry of pin
codes.
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED
APPLICATIONS
In one embodiment, a Wireless accessory device is a head
set or earphone and a Wireless host device is an audio output
device, such as a mobile phone or media player. The media
This application is related to: (i) US. patent application
Ser. No. 11/245,937, ?led Oct. 7, 2005, and entitled “TECH
NIQUES FOR PAIRING REMOTE CONTROLLERS
player can be a portable media player, a docking station for a
portable media player, a dedicated media appliance, or a
WITH HOST DEVICES”, Which is hereby incorporated by
reference herein; and (i) US. patent application Ser. No.
The invention can be implemented in numerous Ways,
including as a method, system, device, apparatus, or com
computer having media playback capabilities.
11/513,692, ?led concurrently, and entitled “PAIRING OF
puter readable medium. Several embodiments of the inven
WIRELESS DEVICES USINGA WIRED MEDIUM”.
tion are discussed beloW.
As a method for pairing a Wireless electronic accessory
device With a Wireless host device, one embodiment of the
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
invention includes at least the acts of: receiving a request to
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to Wireless devices and, more
particularly, to pairing Wireless devices for authorized data
exchange.
2. Description of the Related Art
Traditionally, headphones or earphones are connected to
an audio output device, such as a mobile phone, through a
Wired connection. The Wired connection can, hoWever, in
many cases be cumbersome or annoying to the user. Hence, in
recent times, Wireless headsets or earphones have been devel
20
tronic accessory device using the potential pin code; and
25
oped. Typically, these Wireless devices utiliZe Bluetooth tech
nology in order to Wirelessly transmit data betWeen the head
set or earphone and the mobile phone. As a result, there is no
need for a Wired connection betWeen the headset or earphones
and the media player.
30
Unfortunately, hoWever, before the Wireless headset or ear
phone can operate in a Wireless manner With a mobile phone,
the Wireless headset or earphone must be paired to operate
With the mobile phone. Pairing is a process that is used to
associate a headset or earphone With a particular mobile
priate recipient device. Pairing, hoWever, requires that a pin
one of the potential pin codes; repeating the attempting using
another one of the potential pin codes When the one of the
40
potential pin codes being used matches the pin code required
45
50
Thus, there is a need for improved techniques to facilitate
pairing of Wireless headsets or earphones With mobile audio
devices.
55
60
65
tate pairing of Wireless accessory devices With Wireless host
puter 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
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The invention pertains to improved techniques that facili
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; com
because a proprietary exchange of information can facilitate
pairing.
by the Wireless electronic accessory device.
As a computer readable medium including computer pro
gram 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
audio devices may also not offer a user interface that supports
ease of entry of a pin code. Still further, users often do not
of different manufacturers, a mobile audio device manufac
turer has no control over the type of headset or earphones that
a user might desire to pair With their mobile audio device. In
limited cases, such as When the manufacturer of the mobile
audio device is the same as the manufacturer of the headset or
earphones, it is possible that a user need not enter a pin code
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
mobile phones, portable music players, etc.). The mobile
knoW the appropriate pin code to be utiliZed.
Moreover, given that a mobile audio device can Wirelessly
pair With headsets or earphones associated With a large range
data storage device; attempting to pair the Wireless host
device With the Wireless electronic accessory device using
or earphone. Entering of a pin code is sometimes problematic
bersome given the small scale of mobile audio devices (e.g.,
accessory device.
As a method for pairing a Wireless electronic accessory
device With a Wireless ho st device, another embodiment of the
invention includes at least the acts of: receiving a request to
codes for the Wireless accessory device from an electronic
35
code be entered in order to pair a mobile phone With a headset
for a user. For example, often mobile audio devices are small
handheld devices and the entering of a pin code can be cum
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
initiate pairing of the Wireless host device With the Wireless
electronic accessory device; obtaining a set of potential pin
phone, and vice versa. The pairing provides for secure data
transfer betWeen the devices, typically through use of encryp
tion. Thus, the pairing helps ensure that the data being trans
ferred is not only secured but also transferred to the appro
initiate pairing of the Wireless host device With the Wireless
electronic accessory device, Where the manufacturer of the
Wireless ho st 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; attempt
ing to pair the Wireless host device With the Wireless elec
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
US 7,813,715 B2
4
3
computing code; and a pin code database storing a plurality of
potential pin codes for Wireless companion devices of a plu
rality of different manufacturers. The executable computing
In order for the Wireless host device 102 to be able to
transmit or receive data to or from the Wireless accessory
device 104, the Wireless accessory device 104 needs to be
paired With the Wireless host device 102. Pairing is a process
that is used to associate the Wireless accessory device 104
With the Wireless host device 102. The pairing ensures that the
data being transferred is not only secured but also transferred
code can perform pairing operations as Well as other opera
tions.
Other aspects and advantages of the invention Will become
apparent from the folloWing detailed description taken in
conjunction With the accompanying draWings Which illus
trate, by Way of example, the principles of the invention.
to the appropriate recipient device.
In general, the pairing of these devices can be performed in
a substantially automated manner. As discussed in greater
detail beloW, the Wireless host device 102 Will receive infor
mation about the Wireless accessory device 104. Then, in
order to pair the devices together, the Wireless host device 102
can determine one or more potential (i.e., likely) pin codes
associated With the Wireless accessory device 104. Then, the
Wireless host device 102 can attempt to pair itself With the
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The invention Will be readily understood by the folloWing
detailed description in conjunction With the accompanying
draWings, Wherein like reference numerals designate like
structural elements, and in Which:
FIG. 1 is a diagram of a Wireless inter-device communica
tion system according to one embodiment of the invention.
FIG. 2 is a diagram of an inter-device communication
system according to another embodiment of the invention.
FIG. 3 is a diagram of a Wireless control system according
Wireless accessory device 104 using the one or more potential
20
the user of the Wireless host device 102 to enter a pin code. In
the event that none of the potential pin codes attempted is the
required pin code for the Wireless accessory device 104, the
to one embodiment of the invention.
FIG. 4 is a How diagram of a pairing initiation process
according to one embodiment of the invention.
FIGS. 5A and 5B are How diagrams of a device pairing
process according to one embodiment of the invention.
FIG. 6 is a How diagram of Wireless data transfer betWeen
user of the Wireless host device 102 can still thereafter be
25
less accessory device 104 are able to exchange data in a
substantially secure manner.
In one embodiment, the pin code is used to establish a link
30
key that is utiliZed by both the Wireless host device 102 and
the Wireless accessory device 104 When encrypting data to be
exchanged betWeen these devices. Each of the devices is also
able to decrypt any received encrypted data.
35
system 200 according to another embodiment of the inven
40
tion. The inter-device communication system 200 includes a
Wireless host device 202 and a Wireless accessory device 204.
The Wireless host device 202 and the Wireless accessory
device 204 can exchange data through a local Wireless net
Work 206. In one embodiment, the local Wireless netWork 206
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
The invention pertains to improved techniques that facili
tate pairing of Wireless accessory devices With Wireless host
devices. Advantageously, the improved techniques permit
FIG. 2 is a diagram of an inter-device communication
pairing of Wireless devices Without requiring user entry of pin
codes.
In one embodiment, a Wireless accessory device is a head
set or earphone and a Wireless host device is an audio output
device, such as a mobile phone or media player. The media
is a Bluetooth netWork (i.e., short-range Wireless netWork).
player can be a portable media player, a docking station for a
portable media player, a dedicated media appliance, or a
Similar to that noted above With respect to FIG. 1, the Wireless
host device 202 and the Wireless accessory device 204 must
computer having media playback capabilities.
Embodiments of this aspect of the invention are discussed
beloW With reference to FIGS. 1-6. HoWever, those skilled in
?rst be paired before data is permitted to be exchanged in a
45
secure manner through the local Wireless netWork 206. As
noted above, the Wireless host device 202 is able to acquire
one or more potential pin codes and then attempt to pair With
the art Will readily appreciate that the detailed description
given herein With respect to these ?gures is for explanatory
purposes as the invention extends beyond these limited
embodiments.
FIG. 1 is a diagram of a Wireless inter-device communica
tion system 100 according to one embodiment of the inven
tion. The Wireless inter-device communication system 100
prompted to enter the required pin code. Once the pairing has
been established, the Wireless host device 102 and the Wire
a Wireless host device and a Wireless accessory device that
have been successfully paired.
pin codes. Assuming that one of the potential pin codes is the
actual pin code required by the Wireless accessory device 104,
the pairing process is able to be completed Without requiring
the Wireless accessory device 204 using those potential pin
codes. In most cases, one of the potential pin codes Will be the
50
actual required pin code by the Wireless accessory device 204
so that the pairing Will successfully complete.
The inter-device communication system 200 also includes
a client computing device 208. The client computing device
is, for example, a personal computer. The client computing
includes a Wireless host device 102 and a Wireless accessory
device 104. As an example, the Wireless host device 102 can
55 device can connect to the Wireless host device 202 over a
pertain to a portable media device having Wireless capability,
cable 210. The cable 210 is, for example, a USB cable or a
and the Wireless accessory device 104 can pertain to a Wire
FireWire cable. Alternatively, the client computing device 208
less headset With Wireless capability. The Wireless inter-de
can Wirelessly connect to the Wireless host device 202
vice communication system 100 also includes a local Wireless
netWork 106. The local Wireless netWork 106 can be estab
lished by or betWeen the Wireless host device 102 and the
Wireless accessory device 104. The Wireless host device 102
and the Wireless accessory device 104 include circuitry to
through the local Wireless netWork 206. The client computing
60
can also couple to the data netWork 212.
The Wireless host device 202 can receive data pertaining to
support transmission and reception of data via the local Wire
less netWork 106. In one embodiment, the local Wireless
netWork 106 is a Bluetooth netWork (i.e., short-range Wireless
netWork).
device 208 can also couple to a data netWork 212. The data
netWork 212 can be a local area netWork, a Wide area netWork,
or a global netWork, such as the Internet. A remote server 214
65
potential pin codes from the client computing device 208,
either via the cable 210 or via the local Wireless netWork 206.
The client computing device 208 can, in turn, receive data
US 7,813,715 B2
5
6
regarding potential pin codes from the remote server 214 via
paired, the accessory device 302 is responsive to only the host
the data network 212. As such, the remote server 214 can
device 304. Hence, if there are other host devices in the
provide potential pin codes to a Wide range of client comput
ing devices 208 via the data netWork 212. These various client
computing devices 208 can then provide the potential pin
vicinity of the accessory device 302, the accessory device 302
understands to ignore Wireless communications from such
other host devices. In contrast, When unpaired, the accessory
device 302 can be responsive to any compatible host devices
in the vicinity. The host device 304 can also be paired With
codes to Wireless host devices 202 that are associated With the
client computing devices 208. In this manner, Wireless host
devices 202 are able to receive updated pin codes from the
more than one accessory device.
Additional details are discussed beloW for the operations
associated With pairing accessory devices to host devices.
remote server 214, Which can be useful to support future
Wireless accessory devices.
FIG. 3 is a diagram of a Wireless control system 300
according to one embodiment of the invention. The Wireless
When paired, a user of the accessory device 302 can interact
With the one or more application programs 326 operating on
control system 300 includes an accessory device 302 and a
host device 304. As an example, the accessory device 302 can
the host device 304. For example, one type of application
program 326 is a media player program capable of playing
represent the Wireless accessory device 104 illustrated in FIG.
1 or the Wireless accessory device 204 illustrated in FIG. 2,
and the host device 304 can represent the Wireless host device
102 illustrated in FIG. 1 or the Wireless host device 202
illustrated in FIG. 2.
The accessory device 302 is a loW poWer device and thus
can be poWered by a battery 306. The accessory device 302
digital media assets stored in the memory 322 or some other
memory accessible by the host device 304. Hence, the user of
the accessory device 302 can interact With the user input
device 310 of the remote controller 302 to manipulate media
playback controls, such as volume changes, next track, pre
20
vious track, and play andpause operations associated With the
media player program. For other types of application pro
grams 326 available at the host device 304, the particular
controls or commands being provided by the accessory
device 302 to the host device 304 can vary Widely depending
also includes at least a controller 308, a user input device 310
and a memory 312. The controller 308 controls the overall
operation of the accessory device 302. The user input device
310 enables a user to interact With the accessory device 302. 25 upon the application.
As an example, the user input device 310 can include a button
The pin code database 332 can also be updated through
that enables a user to place the accessory device 302 into a
user entry of pin codes or data transmission(s) to the host
pairing mode. The memory 312 provides persistent data stor
age for various elements, including program code, identi?er
(s), data structures, etc. Still further, the accessory device 302
device 304. Through such updates to the pin code database
332, the ability to successfully pair devices can become more
30
robust and ef?cient. Moreover, the automatic pairing aspects
includes a transceiver 314. In one embodiment, the trans
of the invention can also support neWly released accessory
ceiver 314 is a radio-frequency (RF) transceiver. The trans
devices that may utilize different pin codes.
ceiver 314 can output a Wireless transmission 316. Typically,
the Wireless transmission 316 is directed toWard the host
device 304.
The host device 304 includes a receiver 318 for the Wireless
transmission 316. The host device 304 includes at least a
FIG. 4 is a How diagram of a pairing initiation process 400
according to one embodiment of the invention. The pairing
controller 320, a memory 322, an operating system 324,
application program(s) 326, an output device 328 and a user
input device 330. The controller 320 controls the overall
operation of the host device 304. The memory 322 can be
35
initiation process 400 is described With respect to a Wireless
host device that is to be paired With another Wireless device
(e.g., a Wireless accessory device). The pairing initiation pro
cess 400 is, for example, performed by the Wireless host
40
device 102 illustrated in FIG. 1 or the Wireless host device 202
illustrated in FIG. 2.
used to store persistent data, including program code (e. g., for
The pairing initiation process 400 initially places 402 a
Wireless device to be paired in a pairing mode. For example,
the operating system 324 and the application program(s)
326), identi?er(s), data structures, etc. The operating system
by physical action With respect to the Wireless accessory
324 together With the controller 320 enables the host device
304 to not only Wirelessly receive transmissions from the
a Wireless accessory device can be placed in a pairing mode
45
accessory device 302, but to also support and operate one or
more application programs 326 as Well as to utiliZe the output
device 328 and the user input device 330. The host device 304
can also include a pin code database 332. The pin code data
base 332 can store a plurality of pin codes associated With
50
device. In one example, a button can be pressed on the Wire
less accessory device to cause the Wireless accessory device
to enter a pairing mode. Next, a user interface (UI) of the
Wireless host device is navigated 404 so as to request pairing
With another Wireless device (e.g., the Wireless accessory
device). In one embodiment, the navigation 404 involves one
or more selections from a graphical user interface so that the
different manufacturers, device types, and etc. During pair
user of the Wireless host device can request that pairing be
ing, the host device can attempt to pair using one or more of
performed. Once pairing has been requested, available Wire
the pin codes stored in the pin code database 332. Although
the pin code database 332 is shoWn as a separate component,
it should be noted that the pin code database 332 can be stored
in the memory 332.
The accessory device 302 can communicate With the host
55
discovered. Typically, the discovered available Wireless
device 304 over a Wireless link 316. As a result of such
communication, the operation of the host device 304 can be
manipulated by a user of the accessory device 302. In this
embodiment, the communication is uni-directionalifrom
accessory device 302 to the host device 304. HoWever, in
other embodiments, the communication could be bi-direc
tional.
According to one aspect of the invention, the accessory
device 302 can be paired With the host device 304. When
less devices in the vicinity of the Wireless host device are
discovered 406. The discovered available Wireless devices are
then displayed 408 on the user interface. In one embodiment,
as each of the available Wireless devices is discovered, the
user interface is updated as each of the available devices is
60
devices are displayed 408 such that the user of the Wireless
host device can select one of the available Wireless devices to
be paired With. Hence, a decision 410 determines Whether a
user selection of one of the discovered available Wireless
devices has been made. When the decision 410 determines
65
that a user selection of one of the discovered available Wire
less devices has not yet been made, the pairing initiation
process 400 aWaits such a selection.
US 7,813,715 B2
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7
When the decision 518 determines that a pin code has been
entered, a pairing request is sent 520 from the Wireless host
device to the accessory device. Next, a decision 522 deter
mines Whether pairing has been successful. When the deci
sion 522 determines that pairing has not been successful, a
On the other hand, When the decision 410 determines that
a user has selected one of the discovered available Wireless
devices, the Wireless host device is paired 412 With the
selected Wireless device. Here, in order to pair the Wireless
host device With the selected Wireless device, a pairing pro
cessing is performed. The pairing processing is, for example,
decision 524 determines Whether reentry is permitted. Here,
described in FIGS. 5A and 5B Which are discussed in detail
the device pairing process 500 can limit the number of pin
code entry attempts that are permitted. The decision 524 can
beloW. After the Wireless host device has beenpaired 412 With
the selected Wireless device, the pairing initiation process 400
thus determine Whether additional pin code entry is permit
ends. Typically, the user interface of the Wireless host device
Would signal the user that the pairing has successfully com
ted. When the decision 524 determines that a retry is permit
ted, then the device pairing process 500 returns to repeat the
pleted. The selected Wireless device that has been paired With
the Wireless host device Would also exit its pairing mode.
to pair the devices using yet another pin code that is entered.
FIGS. 5A and 5B are How diagrams of a device pairing
process 500 according to one embodiment of the invention.
Alternatively, When the decision 524 determines that a retry is
not permitted, then the device pairing process 500 ends With
block 516 and subsequent blocks so that the user can attempt
The device pairing process 500 is, for example, performed by
the devices not having been paired.
the Wireless host device 102 illustrated in FIG. 1 or the Wire
less host device 202 illustrated in FIG. 2. As an example,
device pairing process 500 can be associated With the blocks
410 and 412 illustrated in FIG. 4.
On the other hand, When the decision 522 determines that
pairing has been successful folloWing user entry of a pin code,
the device pairing process 500 performs the block 514 Where
20
The device pairing process 500 begins With a pairing
request 502. When the decision 502 determines that a pairing
request has not been made, the device pairing process 500
aWaits such a request. On the other hand, When the decision
502 determines that a pairing request has been received, the
device pairing process 500 continues. In other Words, the
device pairing process 500 can be deemed invoked once pair
ing is to be performed betWeen a Wireless host device and a
Wireless accessory device. As an example, the block 410
illustrated in FIG. 4 can be associated With issuance of a
pairing process 500 ends With pairing being successful, albeit
in this case due to a user-entered pin code.
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30
ful pairing (from either a potential pin code or a manually
entered pin code). Hence, the host device can store the link
key and/or the pin code for use With the Wireless accessory
device. The storage of these keys or codes can be done in
association With netWork addresses, identi?ers, and/ or manu
facturers to facilitate subsequent retrieval of the appropriate
codes and/or keys. Indeed, since a host device can support
35
more than one Wireless accessory device, the host device can
store link keys and/orpin codes for various accessory devices.
In the event that the pairing of the ho st device and the Wireless
accessory device is lost, the pairing process can proceed (i.e.,
re-pair) on an automatic basis using a stored pin code (e.g.,
40
blocks 504-508).
In still another embodiment of the device pairing process,
the set of potential pin codes being obtained 504 in the device
When the decision 512 determines that there are more poten
tial pin codes to be attempted, the device pairing process 500
returns to repeat blocks 506-510 so that a next potential pin
In another embodiment of the device pairing process, in
addition to storing 514 the link key at block 514, the device
pairing process can store the pin code that led to the success
pairing request.
Once the decision 502 determines that a pairing request has
been received, a set of potential pin codes for the Wireless
accessory device is obtained 504. A potential pin code is then
selected 506 from the set of potential pin codes. Then, a
pairing request is sent 508 from the Wireless host device to the
Wireless accessory device. A decision 510 then determines
Whether pairing betWeen the Wireless host device and the
Wireless accessory device has been successful. When the
pairing has not been successful, a decision 512 determines
Whether there are more potential pin codes to be attempted.
a link key is stored 514 for use With data exchanges betWeen
the Wireless host device and the Wireless accessory device
that are noW paired. FolloWing the block 514, the device
45
code can be selected and attempted. On the other hand, When
the decision 510 determines that pairing has been successful,
pairing process 500 can be limited. In particular, When a
Wireless accessory device limits the number of successive
attempts to enter a correct pin code, the set of potential pin
codes to be attempted can be limited to not exceed the limit.
a link key for use With the Wireless accessory device is stored
More particularly, the number of potential pin codes to be
514. The link key is a cryptographic key that is utiliZed in data
attempted can be one less than the maximum number of
communication or data transfer With the Wireless accessory
50
device. The link key results from the pairing operation and
facilitates the secure data transfer betWeen the Wireless host
device and the Wireless accessory device that are noW paired.
FolloWing the block 514, the device pairing process 500 is
complete and ends With the pairing being successful.
Alternatively, When the decision 512 determines that there
of permitted attempts for various devices and/or manufactur
55
are no more potential pin codes, then the pairing process has
not been able to successfully complete using any of the poten
tial pin codes from the set of potential pin codes. Hence,
additional processing is performed to facilitate pairing.
60
Namely, a user of the Wireless host device is prompted 516 to
ers, and then the appropriate maximum number can be
retrieved and utiliZed to limit the number of pairing requests
using the pin code from the set of potential pin codes to be
automatically attempted. The database can be part of or sepa
rate from the pin code database 332.
Assuming that pairing has been successful betWeen a Wire
less host device and a Wireless accessory device, thereafter,
data transfer can be performed betWeen the Wireless host
device and the Wireless accessory device in a secured and
controlled manner through use of the link key that Was estab
enter a pin code. For example, the user could be prompted by
a graphical user interface to enter a pin code using a alpha
numeric keypad. A decision 518 then determines Whether a
pin code has been entered. When the decision 518 determines
that a pin code has not yet been entered, the device pairing
process 500 aWaits entry of a pin code.
attempts being permitted. Since many different Wireless
accessory device manufacturers have different limits, in one
implementation, a database can store the maximum number
lished during the pairing operation.
65
FIG. 6 is a How diagram of Wireless data transfer betWeen
a Wireless host device and a Wireless accessory device that
have been successfully paired.
US 7,813,715 B2
10
The many features and advantages of the present invention
are apparent from the Written description. Further, since
The Wireless data transfer process 600 begins With a deci
sion 602 that determines Whether a connection to the Wireless
accessory device is desired. When the decision 602 deter
mines that a connection from the Wireless host device to the
Wireless accessory device is not desired, then the Wireless
data transfer process 600 is effectively not invoked. Alterna
tively, When the decision 602 determines that a connection
betWeen the Wireless host device and the Wireless accessory
device is desired, the Wireless data transfer process 600 is
effectively invoked. In such case, a decision 602 determines
Whether the Wireless host device has a link key for use With
the Wireless accessory device. When the Wireless host device
does not have such a link key, the desired connection is not
available 606. Typically, in this case, the Wireless host device
numerous modi?cations and changes Will readily occur to
those skilled in the art, the invention should not be limited to
the exact construction and operation as illustrated and
described. Hence, all suitable modi?cations and equivalents
may be resorted to as falling Within the scope of the invention.
What is claimed is:
1. A method for securely pairing a Wireless electronic
accessory device With a Wireless portable electronic device,
said method comprising:
(a) receiving at the Wireless portable electronic device a
pairing request from the Wireless electronic accessory
device, the manufacturer of the Wireless portable elec
tronic device being different than the manufacturer of
the Wireless electronic accessory device;
(b) selecting a set of potential pin codes for the Wireless
electronic accessory device by the Wireless portable
has not been successfully paired With the Wireless accessory
device and thus does not have a link key that facilitates data
transfer With the Wireless accessory device. On the other
hand, When the decision 604 determines that the Wireless host
device does have an appropriate link key for use With the
Wireless accessory device, the Wireless host device connects
608 to the Wireless accessory device using the knoWn link key.
With the connection being established, data can then be trans
mitted over a Wireless link provided by the connection
betWeen the Wireless host device and the Wireless accessory
device. Next, a decision 612 determines Whether the connec
tion is to be closed. When the decision 612 determines that the
connection is not to be closed, data transfer over a Wireless
link can continue to be transferred 610. As an example, the
Wireless accessory device can be a headset and the Wireless
host device can be a media player or cellular phone. In either
20
?rst pairing request to the Wireless electronic accessory
device using a ?rst potential pin code in the selected set
25
second pairing request to the Wireless electronic acces
30
case, the user can use the headset to interact With the media
35
40
The invention can be implemented by softWare, hardWare
or a combination of hardWare and softWare. The invention can
also be embodied as computer readable code on a computer
second potential pin codes do not match the actual pin
code required by the Wireless electronic accessory
device.
3. The method as recited in claim 1, further comprising:
selecting the set of potential pin codes based on a device
readable medium. The computer readable medium is any data
storage device that can store data Which can thereafter be read
type or a manufacturer of the Wireless electronic acces
by a computer system. Examples of the computer readable
medium include read-only memory, random-access memory,
sory device.
4. The method as recited in claim 3 Wherein the set of
CD-ROMs, DVDs, magnetic tape, optical data storage
more of the folloWing advantages. One advantage of the
potential pin code matches the actual pin code required
by the Wireless electronic accessory device.
2. The method as recited in claim 1, further comprising:
(f) prompting a user of the Wireless portable electronic
device to enter an alternative pin code When the ?rst and
The various aspects, embodiments, implementations or
devices. The computer readable medium can also be distrib
uted over netWork-coupled computer systems so that the
computer readable code is stored and executed in a distributed
fashion.
The advantages of the invention are numerous. Different
aspects, embodiments or implementations may yield one or
sory device using a second potential pin code in the
selected set of potential pin codes When the ?rst poten
tial pin code does not match an actual pin code required
by the Wireless electronic accessory device; and
(e) receiving a response at the Wireless portable electronic
device from the Wireless electronic accessory device
con?rming successful pairing When the ?rst or second
data transfer process 600 ends.
features of the invention can be used separately or in any
combination.
of potential pin codes;
(d) sending from the Wireless portable electronic device a
player or cellular phone in a Wireless manner. Alternatively,
When the decision 612 determines that the connection should
be closed, the connection is then closed 614. Following the
block 614, as Well as folloWing the block 606, the Wireless
electronic device from an electronic data storage device
Within the Wireless portable electronic device;
(c) sending from the Wireless portable electronic device a
50
potential pin codes are selected from a plurality of pin codes
that have been pre- stored in the electronic data storage device
Within the Wireless portable electronic device.
5. The method as recited in claim 1, further comprising:
storing a plurality of potential pin codes organiZed based on a
manufacturer or a device type in a database in the electronic
55
data storage device Within the Wireless portable electronic
invention is that Wireless device can be paired Without any
need for a user enter a pin code that is often not readily
available to the user. In other Words, pairing of Wireless
device.
6. The method as recited in claim 5, further comprising:
devices can be achieved in a substantially automated manner.
base Within the Wireless portable electronic device based on a
device type or a manufacturer of the Wireless electronic
accessory device.
Another advantage of the invention is that a Wireless host
device can provide a data storage With potential pin codes that
selecting the set of potential pin codes by accessing the data
60
can be intelligently selected and attempted for pairing other
Wireless devices, such as Wireless accessory devices. Still
another advantage of the invention is that potential pin codes’
storage in the data storage of the Wireless host device can be
updated by a remote server Which can provide additional
potential codes.
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7. The method as recited in claim 1, further comprising:
storing a reference to the actual pin code in the electronic
data storage device Within the Wireless portable elec
tronic device When the ?rst of second potential pin code
matches the actual pin code required by the Wireless
electronic accessory device.
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