Amazon Sidewalk Adds Tile, CareBand Support
Amazon has added new capabilities to Sidewalk, the network system designed to extend the reach of Amazon smart home devices. Arrangements with CareBand, Level, and Tile bring new functions and devices into the still experimental service.
Amazon Sidewalk relies on low-energy frequencies to provide access to smart home devices outside the home. Sidewalk Bridges, including some Ring cameras and other Amazon products, allow Sidewalk-enabled devices to connect to a network. Therefore someone could operate their smart home devices without losing connection when they leave their home. The most notable new partnership for Sidewalk is with wearable tech developer CareBand, which provides wristbands for people living at home with dementia to help their family and caregivers keep track of them. Amazon and CareBand are running a new pilot program via Sidewalk. The wristbands provided by CareBand are commonly used in senior living centers, but the new pilot is looking at bringing that function to people’s homes, with Sidewalk extending the reach of the tracking devices to beyond the home. Instead of a smartphone or Wi-Fi network, the CareBand can use Sidewalk to keep caregivers informed in real-time. The family of someone wearing the wristband can find them even if they get lost in the neighborhood without a phone.
“We know the value that CareBand produces from our NIH-funded research studies and senior living community deployments, but getting to the at-home community has been challenging without a strong, scalable, and secure network partner,” CareBand CEO Adam Sobol said. “I am extremely excited about the opportunity to work with Amazon and further CareBand’s mission to empower people living with dementia. It is no secret that many older adults want to age in place, and I look forward to making this a reality with CareBand and Sidewalk.”
Amazon Sidewalk’s other major partnerships include Level and Tile. Level provides smart locks for homes, but with Sidewalk enabled, people can control them from the Ring and Level apps without haveing to be close enough to use Bluetooth. Level will connect with a Ring Video Doorbell Pro instead. That way you can unlock the door for a family member even if you aren’t nearby.
Amazon has also partnered with Tile to add their devices to Sidewalk. The Bluetooth tracking of devices with Tiles will extend further, with Echo devices able to use Sidewalk to find wherever you may have left your keys or wallet. The Alexa voice assistant will gain the ability to start a Title device’s alert sound just by asking. It will be able to determine which Echo device is closest to the Tile to help you find it, and even indicate when the Title was last near a specific Echo device.
“Our long-term vision for Sidewalk is to deliver a secure, flexible network that makes devices work better for you around your home and in your community,” Amazon explained in announcing the updates. “We can’t do this alone, and we’re excited to work with more brands like Tile, Level, and CareBand to explore how better connectivity can make life easier, safer, and more convenient. We are very excited about the future, and we are just scratching the surface of possibilities for how better-connected devices can improve our lives.”
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