Apple has filed for a patent (number 20170245047) for “managing connections of a user device” such as AirPods and the upcoming HomePod. The tech giant notes that network-accessible user devices have become ubiquitous over the years, with many different manufacturers providing a plethora of different types, styles, and models.
For example, different types of such user devices may include audio players, headsets, or the like. Additionally, some of these user devices are configured with only one or sometimes only a few functionalities. What’s more, with the number of variations in type and the recent changes in technology, some of these user devices may be able to connect to multiple source devices, while others may only be able to connect to a single source device.
In some examples, the source device may be configured to provide content for presentation by the user device. As such, managing such user devices may pose challenges for developers of source and user devices.
The invention involves two source devices may be configured to maintain a data stream with one another. The data stream may enable the two source devices to identify one or more connections between each other and at least a third device. In response to receiving an event that indicates content to be provided to the third device, the data stream may be used by the source devices to configure their network connections with the third device.
Of course, Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product.