Apple wants to make it easier for multiple users to pair their devices with A/V accessories such as HomePods

This illustrates an example of a graphical user interface (GUI) for controlling playback devices.

A newly granted Apple patent (number US 11974338 B2) shows that Apple wants to simplify the process of multiple users in a home pairing their devices with A/V systems such as HomePods.

About the patent

The patent generally relates to managing media playback across networked playback devices. In it, Apple notes that wireless audio/video (A/V) devices are becoming ubiquitous. For example, wireless speaker systems are used in many homes to play music. 

Wireless streaming devices are used to play video to television sets and/or audio through connected speaker systems. Sometimes the wireless speaker systems and/or streaming devices are smart computing devices that can be configured to stream and/or receive streaming audio and video data. 

In some cases, several smart A/V devices can be placed around the home and in different configurations to provide various A/V capabilities throughout the home and/or in different rooms of the home. Apple says that better systems are needed for configuring, monitoring, and controlling these various A/V devices.

Summary of the patent

Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent: “In some implementations a system can be configured to reduce the burden of pairing user devices with playback devices. For example, all users (or user devices) who commonly operate within a particular environment (e.g., a home) can be configured as authorized users of playback devices within the particular environment. 

“When one of the authorized users pairs a user device with a playback device, all of the user devices for all authorized users can be automatically paired with the playback device as a result of the single pairing. Thus, only a single authorized user is burdened with the pairing process in order to pair all authorized users with the playback device.”

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.