Amazon says it will launch Sidewalk – a wireless protocol to keep smart devices connected even if they're far from a WiFi router – later this year. The company says Echo and Tile devices will work on the low-bandwidth, long-distance system, which would use the 900 MHz spectrum to extend WiFi networks, presumably across neighborhoods.
- The WiFi will pass through Sidewalk "Bridge" devices, such as Echo products and Ring cameras. Devices like Tile trackers would connect to nearby networks via the Bridge devices and remain online and up to date.
- Neighbors would be able to pool coverage and cover larger areas inside and outside of their homes. Customers who own Bridge devices will be able to opt out.
- Amazon says three layers of encryption will keep shared data safe. The signals themselves are also encrypted.
- You can find a list of compatible devices here.