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System to broadcast and receive wifi password via electric system

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000246565D
Publication Date: 2016-Jun-17
Document File: 3 page(s) / 77K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

A device is considered which allows for the protected sharing of wifi password details (among other data), building upon power brick storage technology, and powerline. Powerline is used to communicate the data between power bricks; the power brick storage facility can communicate with its connected device (e.g., wifi router, or laptop).

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System to broadcast and receive wifi password via electric system

When you bring home a new wifi-capable device (e.g., game console, smartphone, tablet), you have to enter your wifi password to get software updates, and otherwise enable features of the device.

    This can be a pain, as the user has to find their password (either written down on some paper, on the side of the router, or a simple password). The current solution is also to use a poor on-screen system (or similar) to enter the password. If a smartphone or tablet, the device usually has a keyboard (though perhaps not with more esoteric characters), but this step can be more difficult if setting up a device like a game console that connects via a TV. Typically a keyboard is presented on screen, and the user uses their TV remote to select characters.

This invention improves this substantially, providing much greater security,

while enhancing usability.

    An existing patent (disclosed by Apple Inc.) involves a system to send and receive a password or similar item into a storage system in a power brick. A small amount of memory (and perhaps a processing unit too) resides in a power brick for a laptop or other device. The power brick is connected to the device in such a manner that basic information can be transferred, in addition to power. One example is Apple's Lightning or Thunderbolt connectors, and USB-C, but equally a dual connector with power and USB can be used. At the request of the connected device, a small piece of information can be stored in the power block.

    Separately, ethernet over power (electrical) cabling exits: this allows devices connected to the same power network (e.g., in the home) to talk to each other over standard ethernet; the underlying physical network details are abstracted away in a lower network layer.

    This invention lies in the mechanism to connect these two disparate technologies in a novel manner. A wireless router can broadcast its wifi password, and other power bricks can receive it to pass it up to the connected device such that its input is not required.

    While physical security can be used, such that the wifi password could be passed in the clear in packets over powerline, in one alternative embodiment, all communication can be encrypted to ensure that even if the physical security is compromised (i.e., someone plugs a device into your home network to sniff the wifi password), this is not possible.

    The invention described is a component of the power bricks of New device and the wireless router (see Figure 1 below). Each power brick has built in powerline communication support, as well as a mechanism to transfer data from onboard storage to New device . The power bricks are connected via powerline technology, using the home power system.

Our invention thus comprises a device, built into a power brick, that:
0. Generates a pub/priv keypair, and announces the public key on the powerline network
1. Listens for wifi packets of an...