Your Echo smart speakers may help Amazon build its Bluetooth-based 'Sidewalk' network
In context: Amazon's Sidewalk project was first announced back in the fall of 2019 as a way to improve the coverage of smart home devices in and around the homes of customers. Sidewalk piggybacks on some of your existing smart home device bandwidth using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) on the 900 MHz spectrum to help connect your own, more remote devices, as well as those of your neighbors.
In other words, Sidewalk uses existing devices to help connect a broader, mesh-like network of smart gadgets. Using a realistic example, let's say you want to install a connected lamp in your yard near the front of your driveway, but it's not in range of your home network.
Ordinarily, it would be a bit of a challenge to bypass this limitation -- you'd need to buy, say, a wi-fi extender, or come up with some other solution. With Sidewalk, though, all you need is a neighbor with the right smart gadget of their own in range.
There are other benefits to Sidewalk aside from just extending the range of smart devices: if your wi-fi ever goes down, Amazon says you could continue receiving alerts from your security cameras, so long as your neighbors aren't in the same boat, for example.
When Sidewalk launches later this year, you'll be able to access the network in one of two ways: by using a "Sidewalk Bridge," which acts as a connection node for the wider Sidewalk network. Then, Sidewalk-enabled devices can connect to the network ...
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