Amazon has sold a lot of connected devices, and now it’s putting those devices to work. Millions of Ring cameras and Echo speakers sitting in homes across the US have the potential to share a little bit of their internet bandwidth with other Amazon devices that need it. This network, made up almost entirely of consumer gadgets installed in people’s homes, is called Amazon Sidewalk. The company has been bolstering Sidewalk for years, adding device after device to this sleeper army of bandwidth-sharing speakers and cameras. Sidewalk has gotten big enough to reach 90 percent of the US population, and it’s poised to grow even bigger now that the company has opened up Sidewalk to developers. As more companies build more products that can join the Sidewalk network, the full scale of Amazon’s plan will come into focus.
This week on Gadget Lab, we talk about Amazon Sidewalk and how the company quietly built up a network that reaches nearly everyone in the US.
Read Mike’s story about the Amazon Sidewalk developer kit. Also read Amazon’s privacy and security white paper for Sidewalk. Oh and here’s how to turn off Amazon Sidewalk.
Mike recommends the social site Mastodon. Lauren recommends making almond milk with a nut bag, and not adding too much salt.
Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
How to Listen
You can always listen to this week’s podcast through the audio player on this page, but if you want to subscribe for free to get every episode, here’s how:
If you’re on an iPhone or iPad, open the app called Podcasts, or just tap this link. You can also download an app like Overcast or Pocket Casts, and search for Gadget Lab. If you use Android, you can find us in the Google Podcasts app just by tapping here. We’re on Spotify too. And in case you really need it, here’s the RSS feed.