People who own select Echo devices will be automatically opted-in to Amazon’s Sidewalk feature when it launches on June 8.
Amazon Sidewalk, which launched on Ring devices last year, pools together a small slice of your WiFi bandwidth along with your neighbors’ so the devices can work over long distances, Amazon explained on a launch page.
“Customers with a Sidewalk Bridge (today, many Echo devices, Ring Floodlight Cams and Ring Spotlight Cams) can contribute a small portion of their internet bandwidth, which is pooled together to create a shared network that benefits all Sidewalk-enabled devices in a community,” Amazon said. “Amazon Sidewalk uses Bluetooth, the 900 MHz spectrum and other frequencies to extend coverage and provide these benefits.”
Sidewalk will allow devices to remain functional should a service outage strike the customer’s home. It means home security devices and lighting will continue to work thanks to the bandwidth shared by other Sidewalk users.
And customers can use it to help find pets or other lost valuables with Sidewalk-enabled devices.
Devices capable of supporting Sidewalk include the following:
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 (all models and generations) Echo Spot Echo Studio Echo Input Echo Flex
Users concerned about privacy can rest assured the feature is optional. Customers can disable Sidewalk on their devices. Those who remain opted-in will have their data protected by multiple layers of encryption.
“Sidewalk is designed with multiple layers of privacy and security to secure data traveling on the network and to keep customers safe and in control,” Amazon said. “For example, Sidewalk Bridge owners do not receive any information about devices owned by others connected to Sidewalk.”