Amazon has announced a new feature called Sidewalk.
When enabled, Sidewalk uses a small portion of your Internet bandwidth to provide these services to you and your neighbors. This setting will apply to all of your supported Echo and Ring devices that are linked to your Amazon account.
In essence, what this does is it uses Bluetooth running in the 900MHZ band to form an adjacency with neighbors and other Sidewalk enabled devices. In the old CB terms, we might call this a sideband connection. Amazon is using a portion of a sidewalk enabled device to create a shared network in your community. Some of the examples they use are for locating lost pets with a sensor tied to their collar. As the pet passes your neighbor’s sidewalk enabled hub you will see that on a map. Another example might be a sensor that can’t see your wifi network but might see the neighbors.
You can read more at the link below, but here is the quick and dirty from their FAQ.
How does Amazon Sidewalk work?
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 Sidewalk uses Bluetooth, the 900 MHz spectrum and other frequencies to extend coverage and provide these benefits.
What does Amazon charge for use of the network?
Amazon does not charge any fees to join Amazon Sidewalk, which uses a small portion of bandwidth from a Sidewalk Bridge’s existing internet service. Standard data rates from internet providers may apply.
How will Amazon Sidewalk impact my personal wireless bandwidth and data usage?
The maximum bandwidth of a Sidewalk Bridge to the Sidewalk server is 80Kbps, which is about 1/40th of the bandwidth used to stream a typical high definition video. Today, when you share your Bridge’s connection with Sidewalk, total monthly data used by Sidewalk, per account, is capped at 500MB, which is equivalent to streaming about 10 minutes of high definition video.
Will I know what other Sidewalk-enabled devices are connected to my Bridge?
Preserving customer privacy and security is foundational to how we’ve built Amazon Sidewalk. Information transferred over Sidewalk Bridges is encrypted and Bridge customers are not able to see that Sidewalk-enabled devices are connected to their Bridge. Customers who own Sidewalk-enabled devices will know they are connected to Sidewalk but will not be able to identify which Bridge they are connected to. For more information, visit our whitepaper here.