Apple Patent Filing Hints at Distance-Based Bluetooth Pairing

Illustration for article titled Apple Patent Filing Hints at Distance-Based Bluetooth Pairing

Like two dogs meeting for the first time, it may soon be the case that Apple wireless devices need only catch a whiff of each others' rear ends before they know everything they need to know about the other. All joking aside, Apple really did file a pair of patents recently that would let users pair wireless devices simply by bringing them together. A second patent would allow users to fill in missing address book data simply by making a request through e-mail.As AppleInsider explains, when using Bluetooth devices together, the process often involves a PIN to prevent those awkward "accidental pairings" or unwanted rogue devices from getting on the peripheral network. PINs, as you may know, are difficult if the item is tiny, as is the case with headsets. So, Apple proposes in the filing that they would solve this issue "by determining the range of the wireless link between the new device and its host." If the devices get, say, within a foot of each other and are looking for a new link, they'll automatically pair up and possibly exchange data, sans romantic music of any kind. If the devices broke their one-foot or so link, the data transfer would cease. Bluetooth-o-philes will note that this arrangement is very similar to the 2.1 spec, aka Near Field Communications. With the Apple attempt, however, any standard capable of pairing would work with the device. Apple also introduces a few other new ideas, including a wireless dock or in-car adapter for connecting a cell to a PMP or equivalent. And in other Apple-related news, the App Store changed its review policy so that only owners of each app could give it a review. Makes sense! [Apple Insider, Matt Legend]


screw that, gimme stereo bluetooth!