Having an interconnected Wi-Fi mesh system has become the standard for many of us, as we need to connect our many different smart devices around our house to satiate our hunger for constant internet connectivity. Mesh systems are great and far more reliable than traditional repeaters and Wi-Fi extenders.
Amazon is teasing a mesh system that looks to take things beyond just the confines of your own house, and rather explore the opportunity for an interconnected neighborhood instead. Titled Amazon Sidewalk, the ambitious networking and location system is design to link smart home devices and other Amazon products using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), connecting beyond the range of a standard Wi-Fi network.
Sidewalk essentially aims to turn all smart devices and home assistants into network bridges, passing along security updates and commands from a central Wi-Fi hub. All while probably pinging Amazon and giving them even more data about all the things you have.
In addition to merely just transmitting software between devices, the signals allow Sidewalk to triangulate a device’s approximate location based on its contacts with other Sidewalk-enabled devices, should they ever need to be located. Something which could work great for trying to find something, or more importantly, someone in a neighbourhood.
The sidewalk technology is expected to be built into the Amazon Echo, though the company is hoping other third-party platforms also come on-board, as there is no way this system could only work with Amazon products, although I’m pretty sure Amazon would love for everyone to go out and buy Amazon systems anyway.
As for me, as much as I like the idea of a connected smart network in neighbourhoods, I would prefer things to remain more private and if there is anything that should be made public, it should be access to fast and free internet. It will be interesting to see where Amazon goes with this technology and how it is adopted overseas to see if their “bigger” mesh systems gain traction and help to provide better connected and more secure smart neighbourhoods. And loads of ads of all the things Amazon is going to sell them along the way.
Last Updated: September 25, 2020