Photo Credit: HelloTech
Amazon Sidewalk is a mesh network powered by Amazon products like Echo speakers and Ring cameras that seeks to keep connected devices linked even when Wi-Fi connections are not present. Amazon is now allowing additional businesses and gadgets to use Sidewalk.
Today, Amazon declared that developers and device manufacturers could now test the Sidewalk network. In addition to hardware kits that can be used to build physical devices that connect to Sidewalk, the business has developed software development kits (SDKs) for developing applications that utilize the technology.
According to its marketing, Amazon Sidewalk is a multi-purpose mesh network that can let trackers find their locations (like Apple’s Find My network) and offer sporadic internet access to gadgets that can’t connect to a Wi-Fi signal (or if your home network is down). The business claims in a FAQ section that Sidewalk can make re-connecting to your router easier, for instance if your Echo device loses its wifi connection. With a few Ring products, even if your devices lose their wifi connection, you can still receive motion alerts from your Ring Security Cams and customer service can still troubleshoot issues. Your Sidewalk-enabled products, such as Ring smart lights, pet locators, or smart locks, can also have their operating range extended by Sidewalk so they can continue to function.
Amazon Sidewalk wasn’t extensively used outside of Amazon’s own hardware goods even though it was unveiled in 2019. There have only really been relationships with Tile and Level. According to Amazon’s release, Primax’s smart door lock will use Sidewalk “to let consumers experience quick installation and access to remote status monitoring, as well as remote door lock and unlock.” Netvox is developing smart sensors for residential and commercial spaces with Sidewalk.
When many existing Amazon devices were unintentionally converted into mesh network nodes during Sidewalk’s initial rollout, which resulted in the devices utilizing more of your network’s bandwidth, this action was criticized. According to Amazon, the bandwidth available to Sidewalk bridges, which connect to your network and provide a Sidewalk signal, is 80 Kbps at all times. Moreover, Sidewalk can be fully disabled.