Amazon Sidewalk: Location tracking mesh network system, launching by Amazon

Amazon Sidewalk: Location tracking mesh network system, launching by Amazon

Amazon is planning to begin a driven networking and location system following this year under the name Amazon Sidewalk.

Sidewalk will link smart home devices and different Amazon products utilizing Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), connecting beyond the range of a standard Wi-Fi network.

Intended to be performed at the scale of a neighborhood, Sidewalk would turn devices like smart floodlights and home assistants in network bridges, reaching along with security updates and commands from a central Wi-Fi hub.

In an extension of transmitting software, the signals pass Sidewalk to triangulate a device’s approximate location based on its contacts with other Sidewalk-enabled devices.

The system will be made into the Echo, and Tile has also joined the project as the first third-party platform to support the system.

Amazon intends to add Ring cameras to the network later, hinting device owners direct when Sidewalk is available to use. A full list of Sidewalk-compatible devices is available on the project page.

Related to a mesh network, adding more devices will continue Sidewalk’s scope and functionality, so Amazon must integrate Sidewalk into as many home devices as possible. As Amazon sets it on the page, “when more neighbors participate, the network becomes even stronger.”

Amazon first revealed plans for Sidewalk last year but showed more detail in a blog post and white paper on Monday.

According to the post, Sidewalk will be practiced “to simplify new device setup, extend the low-bandwidth working range of devices and help devices stay online and up-to-date even if they are outside the range of home wifi.”

Still, location-tracking functions are expected to be central to Sidewalk’s success, changing it from more conventional Wi-Fi mesh systems given by Google and Eero.

Amazon had earlier demonstrated Sidewalk using Ring Fetch devices, which clip to a pet’s collar to track them, creating a geofence and warning you when a pet strays outside the designated area.

Amazon also set out several privacy features, meant to stop unauthorized users from receiving data.

If you have an Echo on the Sidewalk network, you won’t recognize what other devices are pinging it, and a person using their Sidewalk-connected Tile (to locate their keys, for instance) won’t know what device they’re connected to. The signals themselves are also encrypted to restrict intermediaries from gathering data in transit.

Amazon is actively asking third-party device partners for the project. To describe Sidewalk’s usefulness, the company has also joined into a partnership with the American Red Cross to see if the system can be used to track blood collection supplies between distribution centers and donation points.

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