Several years ago Amazon unveiled the controversial Sidewalk network, designed to connect outdoor smart home tech beyond your WiFi range using Amazon Ring, Echo and other devices. Now, the company has announced that Sidewalk finally has the needed “coverage and tools” ready to make the service available to third-party developers, and will be showing it offer with a number of products at CES 2023.
Sidewalk uses not just your own Ring and Echo devices, but those from your neighbors as well. The devices on display are generally of the outdoor variety that can benefit from Sidewalk as they may not have easy WiFi access. For example, a company called New Cosmos USA will show off a natural gas sensor called DeNova Detect designed to protect homes from undetected leaks. It’ll use Sidewalk to “expand coverage for their gas alarms and eliminate network connectivity costs,” according to Amazon.
Another company called Browan will feature motion detectors, door and windows sensors, a water leak detector and a CO2 detector, all of which can send alerts using Sidewalk. Deviceroy uses Sidewalk to connect solar inverters to the internet, letting customers see how their solar equipment is operating and help them optimize efficiency. And finally, Meshify’s leak and freeze detection device can connect to the internet and alert customers of damage using a Sidewalk connection.
With its new third-party tools, Amazon is promising quick time to market and “live access to data and analytics,” to help developers track performance. However, the technology has provoked security and privacy concerns, as it uses not just your own Amazon equipment but others around you. Another issue is the Echo and Ring devices are automatically enrolled in the program, forcing you to opt out using the Amazon Alexa app.
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