Pairing multiple audio devices to a single device via Bluetooth.
Publication Date: 2018-Nov-09
The IP.com Prior Art Database
Pairing Multiple Audio Devices to A Single Device Via Bluetooth. Problem Statement: Currently, although phones can connect to multiple devices via Bluetooth simultaneously, they can only transmit audio to one device at a time.
This is particularly a nuisance when sharing music with friends or multiple audio systems. For example, you are in a plane and you want to transmit audio to your own Bluetooth headphones and those of you friends sitting next to you. At the moment you will need two phones (i.e. two physical master devices.), a splitter or purchase one of the latest phone models to do this.
The system consists of a virtualised Bluetooth splitter. A software component over the OS would be installed that has access to audio settings and audio output management. The application outputting audio would then reroute the desired audio to the splitter.
There would be multiple virtualized devices in the splitter, which would then connect to the Bluetooth lower stack. These components (e.g. the antenna or base band layer) would be multiplexed and connected to multiple different devices. Each real audio slave (e.g. a speaker) would have 1 corresponding virtualized master to connect to, therefore you end up with multiple 1-to-1 audio pairings.
Virtualizing multiple devices in the lower levels of the Bluetooth stack, to enable the pairing of 2 or more Bluetooth Audio slaves to the same master device.
The solution would consist of an Operating System change/update or an application with full access to the phone's OS. This software would create 2 (or more, as needed) virtual resources when the user wishes to output virtual audio to more than 1 device. Each of this virtualized components will be transmitting their own individual signals, working in parallel, to their associated slave devices.
The system also contains a virtual splitter. This component receives the signal from the application outputting sound, and transmits it to all the virtual masters. Different layers of the Bluetooth stack could be virtualized to achieve multiple virtual masters. The layer in which the splitter component would be inserted into the phone will depend on what layer of the stack you'd want the virtual masters on.
An example implementation of this solution is shown on the diagram attached. In the diagram, the virtualization is happening in the middleware layer, but it can be implemented at any low level of the stack, such as the link manager within the data link layer.
The result of implementing the system would be that slave (e.g. speakers)
devices looking for master devices will discover 2-3 virtual master devices listed in the search options, all of which correspond to the same physical device. For example,
"Phone 1A, Phone 1B, Phone 1C". Each slave device has to select a different virtual master device, and all will play the same audio signal.
The system would be running passively in the background, with no virtualized layers enabled. When the user gives a command to e...