Internet: Amazon devices connect to form a giant network

Amazon devices connect to form a giant network

Amazon’s Echo speaker. photo

© Britta Pedersen/dpa

Amazon has launched a wireless network of its devices like Echo speakers in the US. The “Sidewalk” project is intended to enable comprehensive networking of devices.

Amazon connects its devices in US households to an almost nationwide wireless network. The project called “Sidewalk” was announced a few years ago, and on Tuesday the online giant announced that it was opening up the network to external developers.

The “Sidewalk” network is created by connecting, for example, Ring-brand echo speakers or security cameras – provided the owner agrees.

Mainly thanks to the proliferation of Amazon devices in American households, over 90 percent of the US population can be reached, it said. A camera on a garage, for example, could extend the network by one kilometer, Amazon’s chief technology officer Dave Limp told Bloomberg. For the radio signal from a loudspeaker, on the other hand, it sometimes ends after a few hundred meters. There are also intermediate stations from the group that fill in the gaps.

The vast majority of owners of suitable Amazon technology in the US have made their devices part of the “Sidewalk” network, Limp told Bloomberg. In doing so, they also declare their willingness to provide part of the bandwidth in their Internet connection.

When it was announced in 2019, one idea Amazon presented was a networked collar that could be used to quickly locate a lost dog thanks to the neighborhood network. The device has not hit the market yet. Now we are talking about a package tracker or sensors for detecting water damage, for example. Devices in the “Sidewalk” network can control the servers of Amazon’s cloud division AWS for more functions. Amazon gives interested hardware developers free test devices so that they can get an idea of ​​the network coverage.


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