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Amazon Sidewalk Brings Your Smart Devices With You

Amazon is taking the smart home beyond the home with the launch of its Sidewalk technology.

Set to release later this year, Sidewalk is pitched as a technology that uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), the 900 MHz spectrum, and other frequencies to allow access to your smart devices even when not connected to home wi-fi.

According to Amazon, Sidewalk will provide immediate customer benefits including simplifying setup of new devices, extending devices’ low-bandwidth working ranges, and letting devices remain online and up to date even outside home wi-fi range.

“For example, with Sidewalk, you can continue to receive motion alerts from your security cameras even when your Wi-Fi goes down. Or if your Wi-Fi does not reach your smart lights at the edge of your driveway, Sidewalk will help them stay connected.

“In the future, Sidewalk will also support a range of experiences from using Sidewalk-enabled devices to help find pets or valuables, to smart security and lighting, to diagnostics for appliances and tools,” the company said.

Sidewalk will use two types of devices: Sidewalk Bridges, including select Ring Floodlight Cams and Ring Spotlight Cams as well as some Echo devices, will provide connections for Sidewalk-enabled devices – the second type – to access the network.

“Customers with a Sidewalk Bridge can contribute a small portion of their internet bandwidth, which is pooled together to create a shared network that benefits all Sidewalk-enabled devices in a community,” said Amazon.

Amazon has also addressed privacy and security concerns, saying all Sidewalk devices will use three layers of encryption, with the same strong encryption standards required for all applications and devices using the network.

“For customers who choose to pool their bandwidth with neighbors, we ensure owners of other devices cannot view data sent from your devices. Sidewalk is also built with maximum upload limits and bandwidth caps to preserve internet bandwidth for Sidewalk Bridge customers.

“Customers can also choose to turn off network support on Sidewalk Bridges without impacting the original functionality of the device,” the company said.

The first third-party Sidewalk-enabled device, made by Tile, will also launch later this year to help customers find missing items like keys, wallets, and backpacks.

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