Amazon Sidewalk: What It Means For Your Users

Development

2021-10-13T16:56:31.782Z

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Amazon Sidewalk is happening.

Amazon Sidewalk is happening. According to the company, this new service was officially launched on June 8th to US customers. Some people are weirded out. Some people are celebrating.

Regardless of whether you think Amazon’s Sidewalk is good or bad, it’s happening. And it will change how users interact with their apps and devices. It will change how smart cities are created.

So rather than focus on privacy, development, or the technical aspect, we want to focus on one thing: How will Amazon Sidewalk affect your users?

Let’s take a stroll.

What’s Sidewalk?

All connected devices have wifi/bluetooth/cellular chips that allow them to send and receive information. That’s how the internet of things works. What Sidewalk does is “reserve” 10% of the wifi allotted to every device and sharing it with other devices. Anyone within range can connect. It’s free.

It’s important to note that only Amazon devices can be used on the Sidewalk network, so things like Ring Doorbells, Echos, Fire TV and tablets, and Halo Health.

Essentially, Sidewalk is attempting to give entire communities accessible wifi.

What Does it Mean for You and Your Users?

Okay, this sounds pretty neat, but what does it mean?!

Here are the three things that Sidewalk should be able to improve over the next few years.

Always-On Connectivity

When your users leave their house and go on a walk, they’ll be always on. That means they can get notifications, product updates, and monitor information. This connectivity allows greater access to all their devices.

How this might play out: Many apps are pretty useless without wifi/cellular data. If wifi can be everywhere and free, it can open up new markets for these apps. Your users can access your app at the park via Amazon’s Fire tablet.

New Products and Services

Historically, smart devices need to be within the range of a router. With Sidewalk, that’s no longer the case. Longer-range products like sprinkler systems, mailbox sensors, trash cans, pet trackers, and gardening technology can now function outside the standard wifi range. These products can act as wifi extenders.

Similarly, set-up of these devices will be much easier (hello, grandparents). There will be no need to pair a device via Bluetooth because they will automatically connect to the Sidewalk network.

Amazon will probably be the Smart Home Leader (and maybe the smart city leader)

The strategy behind Sidewalk is for Amazon to continue to dominate in the smart home market. If Amazon customers see the benefits of one, connected network, why would they buy a non-Amazon smart home product? This sets up the next few years of market growth.

And once Amazon figures this out in neighborhoods, it easily bleeds into smart cities. Amazon could eventually “own” most of the products for smart city parking, building, utilities, and security. (If you’re a smart city company, you need to innovate).

As with most technologies, there will likely be other opportunities that emerge in the coming years. Whether you’re in IoT or make apps for one of Amazon’s devices, Sidewalk is going to force greater innovation.

If you need support for your digital product or IoT device, contact the team at Devetry. We build custom software for growing businesses.