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Amazon is opening its Amazon Sidewalk network for developer testing. The enormous network, which the company describes as "a secure, long-range, low-power" network connects billions of devices across the US. Now developers can order a complementary test kit to validate current coverage for their projects.
If you've ever used iPhone's Find My network to find an AirTag or lost AirPods, you're likely aware that it's a pretty convenient resource. Though not identical, Amazon Sidewalk is a similar network that uses compatible Echo devices and some Ring Spotlight Cams as bridges.
Also: 7 ways AirTags can simplify your life
Sidewalk is made up of a combination of small portions of each one of these bridges' internet bandwidth, which combine to create a shared network. As a result, the more people have Sidewalk bridges with the feature enabled in a region, the stronger the network will be.
Users looking to start an Amazon Sidewalk project can see an approximation of network coverage in the world through a website from Amazon and, as you can see, it's pretty large and wide-reaching.
When you get a new device compatible with the Amazon Sidewalk network, like a Tile tracker or a Ring Security Camera, you have the option to enable the Sidewalk feature in the settings. When used to find a Tile tracker for your keys, for example, you can ask Alexa where your keys are and the voice assistant can obtain the last known location as reported by a Sidewalk bridge that is near them.
Also: How to find out if an AirTag is tracking you
Opening Amazon Sidewalk to developers will let manufacturers create new low-bandwidth devices that can use the Sidewalk network and, in turn, give customers a broader choice of devices to add to their homes. Amazon announced new Sidewalk-enabled devices will be launched this year, including Netvox, OnAsset, and Primax.