Amazon Sidewalk

Amazon partnering with Tile and Level to enhance Amazon Sidewalk

Amazon Sidewalk launches June 8 with Tile as a partner

Amazon is partnering with Tile and Level to use those devices to enhance its tracking network based on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology. On 8 June 2021, Amazon is activating Sidewalk support for most Echo speakers. Ring products, Tile Bluetooth trackers, and Level’s smart locks will be among other early partners. Tile said it will begin supporting Sidewalk on 14 June 2021, allowing it to leverage Echo devices as part of Tile’s network.

The strength and number of devices on a given tracking network is key to its accuracy. That’s part of the reason why many think Apple’s tracking network will be so strong since it relies on more than 1 billion iPhones, iPads and Macs to help with lost item tracking.

Amazon’s partnership will allow it beef up its tracking network, called Sidewalk, by letting Tile and Level devices tap into the Bluetooth networks created by millions of its Echo products. Tile will start working with Amazon’s network beginning June 14.

Amazon Sidewalk is basically a mesh network running over Bluetooth that consists of Ring and Echo devices. Once a Tile comes in range of either of the two aforementioned hardware, the tracker will use Sidewalk to send its location to Tile where you in turn, the owner of the tracker, will be able to see where your lost property is.

“Tile helps millions of people every day find their things, and we’re always looking for opportunities to enhance the finding experience for our customers. To that end, working with Amazon to extend our finding network by securely connecting to Amazon Sidewalk devices like Echo smart speakers was an obvious choice,” said CJ Prober, CEO of Tile.

“Amazon Sidewalk will strengthen Tile’s finding power for our devices and Find with Tile device partners that leverage our finding technology, making it even easier to find lost or misplaced keys, wallets, or other Tiled items both inside and outside the home.”

Sidewalk rolled out late last year and is billed as a free network sharing service throughout neighborhoods that uses Echo devices as “bridges” to share a small fraction of a users’ low-bandwidth Wi-Fi with devices like Echo devices and Ring cameras.

There are two types of Sidewalk devices: Sidewalk Bridges and Sidewalk-enabled devices. Sidewalk Bridges provide connections to Sidewalk-enabled devices. Some Amazon devices, like Ring Floodlight Cams, function as bridges, providing connections to Sidewalk-enabled devices.

The whole idea is that someone’s Sidewalk Bridge can securely provide a connection to someone else’s Sidewalk-enabled device. This creates a mesh of connected devices that could allow something like an outdoor camera, which is outside of Wi-Fi range, to stay connected and communicate.

Limp said in a statement that Tile will work with Sidewalk by integrating compatible Echo devices to extend Tile’s network coverage even further, in the effort to help users securely locate misplaced keys, wallets and other items.

Amazon said Sidewalk will also strengthen Tile’s existing in-home finding experience with Alexa. Customers can say, “Alexa, find my keys” and their Tile tracker will start ringing from a coat pocket or from under the bed signaling where to find their lost item.

Amazon also said users with multiple Echo devices connected to Sidewalk will be able to find misplaced items around their homes even faster. Alexa can tell users which Echo device their Tiled item is closer to, whether it is the kitchen speaker or their bedroom speaker and the day and time it was last seen near that device.

Apple announced its Tile-like product, AirTag, last month. They work in a similar way with iOS devices like iPhones and iPads. Now, Tile will connect through a larger technology ecosystem, pitting Amazon and Apple against each other in a new front of connected devices.

Sidewalk’s second partnership with Level allows users to control their locks in the Ring and Level apps without needing to be in Bluetooth range of their mobile device. Instead of relying on their mobile device’s Bluetooth connection, a Level lock will be able to connect directly to a compatible Ring Video Doorbell Pro device using an Amazon Sidewalk Bluetooth connection shared only between their two devices.

This means that even if a user is across town, their Level lock will stay connected, creating further functionalities within the Ring app to see and speak with whomever is at the entryway and easily lock or unlock their front door. Amazon said its new smart-lock Level features are rolling out through updates in the Ring and Level apps and will be available by the end of May.

Amazon said Sidewalk is equipped with multiple layers of privacy and security and that data shared over its network is protected with three layers of encryption. It’s only accessible by the devices consumers choose, and data is automatically deleted every 24 hours to protect privacy. Consumers can choose to opt out of the feature by updating their preference in the Ring or Alexa mobile apps.

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