Amazon Sidewalk is a new feature developed by Amazon. It uses Bluetooth Low Energy for short-distance communication. It’s a low-bandwidth long-range wireless communication protocol.
Amazon Sidewalk went live on Tuesday, June 8th. It automatically activates on any Amazon device such as Echo and Ring, unless you decide to deactivate it. The purpose of this feature is to create a larger network that makes use of hundreds of devices in one area.
Compatible Devices with Amazon Sidewalk
- Ring Floodlight Cam (2019), Ring Spotlight Cam Wired (2019), Ring Spotlight Cam Mount (2019)
- Echo (3rd gen and newer)
- Echo Dot (3rd gen and newer), Echo Dot for Kids (3rd gen and newer), Echo Dot with Clock ~(3rd gen and newer)
- Echo Plus (all generations)
- Echo Show (2nd gen), Echo Show 5, 8, 10 (all generations)
- Echo Spot
- Echo Studio, Echo Input, and Echo Flex
When connected, each device will share a small amount of its owner’s network bandwidth. This works together to create an Amazon Sidewalk network. The network will only be accessible to other Amazon Sidewalk devices that are compatible. It provides them with internet access if there is no other access available.
The system works similarly to a mesh network and can provide the best connections using all devices. There are some concerns about privacy, for instance, what information Amazon can be privy to. On the other hand, Amazon has assured its customers that any data routed through the server won’t be read. It will remain encrypted and use rolling device IDs so it can’t be linked to any specific customer. However, there is still some worry about a tech giant like Amazon potentially using such a large amount of data for analytics or tracking.
If you want to opt out, Amazon Sidewalk now appears in your account settings in the latest version of the Alexa app.
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