Amazon Sidewalk adds Echo and Tile support as it gears up for launch

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Following the initial announcement last year, Amazon released an update to its Sidewalk program.

James Martin / Tips Clear

Amazon Sidewalk, op Low bandwidth network first announced last year, gets some new smart devices getting ready to launch later this year.

On Monday, the tech giant announced in a blog post that later this year “many Echo devices will support Amazon Sidewalk” to “use Echo as a Bluetooth sidewalk bridge so that compatible devices can automatically connect to their router or a new one.” Connect can search for Echo devices or objects connected to Sidewalk. ”

Amazon also announced that it has partnered with tracking company Tile to create “the first Sidewalk-enabled device and third-party experience on Sidewalk that customers can use to find misplaced keys or wallets, or find a backpack.” left behind at a neighborhood picnic. ” The retail giant is also working on a trial with the American Red Cross to see if Amazon Sidewalk can help “track blood collection supplies between distribution centers and donor sites.”

Using a combination of Bluetooth Low Energy and 900 MHz radio spectrum, Amazon Sidewalk was developed to extend connectivity to smart devices, even when Wi-Fi is not available and a traditional cellular data network is not used. Devices like the Ring Floodlight Cams or Ring Spotlight Cams can be referred to as “sidewalk bridges” and provide a way for devices that are nearby that are suitable for the sidewalk to connect, even if they aren’t products that you use have.

According to Amazon, the Sidewalk Network “uses three layers of encryption to keep the data shared over the network secure,” adding that “Owners of other devices cannot view the data sent by their devices.” To protect the Internet bandwidth for users with a sidewalk bridge, there are, according to Amazon, “maximum upload limits and bandwidth restrictions in order to preserve the Internet bandwidth”. The bridge function can also be deactivated on your device so that no signal is sent.

The company will email those who own one of the ring cameras that they will participate in Sidewalk later this month. A number of older Echo devices can act as Bluetooth sidewalk bridges, with the company detailing the devices in an FAQ section on its sidewalk page.

The timing of the news comes days before Amazon announces new devices its annual September event. The Tile partnership, meanwhile, comes about as the popular tracker appears to face increasing competition from Apple, which has long been rumored to be working on it own smart tracker called AirTags.

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