Amazon detailed plans to deploy its Sidewalk protocol in consumer devices by the year end, revealing its Echo smart home hubs and Ring Floodlight cameras will serve as gateways in a mesh system.
The web giant explained in a blog users will soon be able to opt-in to use the devices to extend home connectivity to gadgets on the brink, or entirely outside the range, of Wi-Fi using LoRa IoT technology from Semtech.
Consumers will also be able to contribute some of their home internet bandwidth to create a shared network for the surrounding community, with Amazon stating it is exploring potential use cases for this.
In a related statement, Semtech explained the move brings LoRa into the hands of consumers, a first for a technology more traditionally employed in the enterprise and industrial sectors.
Amazon stated Tile trackers will be the first third-party edge devices on its network, and it is working with Semtech, Nordic Semiconductor, Silicon Labs and Texas Instruments on new Sidewalk-enabled chipsets. It is also collaborating with device makers on additional products covering door locks, water sensors, trackers, power tools and home appliances.
Ultimately, it aims to enable Sidewalk devices to “help find pets or valuables” along with providing “smart security and lighting” and “diagnostics for appliances and tools”.
In a whitepaper, Amazon detailed security measures for the forthcoming system, noting Sidewalk will employ three layers of encryption and the company will not be able to view the contents of packets sent over the network. Neighbours will also be prevented from viewing “data sent from your devices”.