Tile has just gained support for Sidewalk—Amazon’s “neighborhood network” wireless standard. This new integration means Tile’s trackers now have a much larger network to work with, which makes it a more viable competitor for Apple’s similar AirTag trackers.
Sidewalk is Amazon’s new wireless standard, which Amazon hopes more smart home and IoT devices will use. The standard relies on the low bandwidth 900MHz spectrum, and has a longer reach than Bluetooth and can better pass through walls than Wi-Fi. Sidewalk also uses relatively little power as well.
Amazon wants this network to be able to extend your smarthome outside the confines of your actual home, say to your yard or driveway or so. Because 900MHz is also the same unlicensed bandwidth that walkie-talkies and cordless phones use, this becomes a semi-private Wi-Fi network. Devices like Amazon’s Echo and Ring are what creates the network, pooling a slim portion of your home internet bandwidth with that of anyone else living near you who also has the devices.
More of these network points means a larger Sidewalk network, which now also means a larger network for Tile to work off of. If you go for a jog around the neighborhood in the morning and unknowingly drop your keys, or if your dog gets out, it’ll be easier for you to locate them with these additional network points. Plus, you’ll also be able to do so with a simple “find my keys” voice command via Alexa.
Sidewalk’s extended range is a big deal for Tile, which on its own relies on short-distance Bluetooth to work. This is the same reason why it’s cool to see Level’s smart locks also gain support for Sidewalk, as they also run on Bluetooth. Now (well, later in May), Level users will be able to remotely check on and manage their lock/unlock status when they’re away from home.
Amazon noted that it is also currently working with CareBand, a company that manufactures wearables for dementia patients. With Sidewalk integration, it’ll be easier to track these wearables and provide more extensive support for their “help” button. Echo devices will soon be able to more easily set up Sidewalk, thanks to an upcoming update set for June 8.