Amazon’s Sidewalk Is A Little Scared – NBC 7 San Diego
On Tuesday, Amazon rolled out its Sidewalk network compatible Echo devices. The network is designed to connect Amazon devices so they don’t have to depend on your internet.
“The idea is this: if one of your neighborhood networks goes down or needs more bandwidth, the idea is that it can be shared with nearby equipment that is also Sidewalk compatible. “said Scott Peterson, cell phone and smart speaker analyst at GAP Intelligence. “It’s a way to network your devices outside of your home.”
Peterson said two devices, each connected to the internet, can now talk to each other if they need help.
“In the event of a power outage, my security camera stays online and I can track burglars,” Peterson said.
Amazon products like Tile already work with the Sidewalk network. Peterson said it can help track an escaped pet, for example.
“It has those kinds of benefits, like locating lost or stolen items or even pets with the system,” Peterson said. “This is the connected city that we have seen in the future.”
But even if you don’t have any neighbors, Peterson said, the network could still help.
“We’ve all had devices outside of WiFi,” Peterson said. “Like the Echo device upstairs or the Ring camera across the house.”
While there are immediate benefits, Peterson said, the real benefit is the new network infrastructure that Amazon can use to develop new technology.
“I think this is one of those solutions to a problem that doesn’t exist but is really going to be critical to a lot of how we behave in neighborhoods in the future,” Peterson said. .
Still, some people are worried about how Amazon is rolling out Sidewalk.
“The fear about this is the lack of transparency and understanding,” Peterson said.
In a statement to NBC 7, Amazon explained how it protects people’s privacy:
Preserving customer privacy and security is fundamental to how we’ve built Amazon Sidewalk. Sidewalk is designed with multiple layers of privacy and security to keep data flowing over the network secure and to keep customers safe and in control. For example, Sidewalk Bridge owners do not receive any information about devices owned by others connected to Sidewalk, and Amazon is unable to see the content of messages sent through Sidewalk. Customers can turn Sidewalk off or on at any time using their Ring app or Alexa. Customers can learn more by visit our white paper on privacy and security.
Peterson said the sidewalk is something consumers will need to be aware of.
“This is a setting that they should actively seek out as current owners and all new owners will automatically be activated,” Peterson said.
As for the idea of a mesh network like Sidewalk, Peterson said, other companies like Apple are already doing this with its products like Airtag, which ping Apple devices you don’t even own.
“So you and 10 friends walking downtown with iPhones, that’s exactly the same as 10 friends staying in one place,” Peterson said.
You can learn more about Amazon Sidewalk and read answers to frequently asked questions. here.