Smart technology is all around us today. It’s in more than our phones - it’s spread throughout our homes and offices. WiFi-enabled thermostats, doorbells, security cameras, televisions, and devices like Google Home and Amazon Echo are becoming increasingly prevalent. In many ways, having the smart infrastructure in a home becomes a selling point, as these fixtures add to the value of a property and make it more attractive to buyers. But there’s a not-so-new kid on the block when it comes to smart home technology that’s set to make a big splash. It’s called Amazon Sidewalk, and you’ve likely never even heard of it.
Amazon’s Sidewalk system is ingenious in that it takes connected devices like Echo devices, Ring doorbells, Tile trackers, motion sensors, outdoor lights, and other connected devices and builds networks out of them that extend past the property they’re placed. If several homes on a single block have Ring cameras, for example, Sidewalk networks those cameras together to make all of the devices work better and more reliably. Each device contributes a small amount of its bandwidth to the overall Sidewalk network to ensure that signals to and from every device are stronger and provide users with better levels of service.
The implications are huge. Enough Ring, Echo, and other devices across a large enough neighborhood and the Sidewalk system become incredibly strong and powerful indeed. In some cases, Sidewalk can be so reliable that if one home in the network loses internet access, the smart devices at that home can still be accessed and send notifications to the homeowner by using the active internet connections elsewhere in the network. It’s a major game changer when it comes to how smart home technology works and the benefits it provides to homeowners.
In a real estate context, it’s easy to see how the features of Amazon Sidewalk can be used to help sell properties. A homeowner that’s looking to sell a property that already has a Ring light or camera installed can then make its functions a selling point, including how reliably it connects and operates thanks to Sidewalk’s network. If the property doesn’t have one of these smart devices yet, installing one offers a major perk to prospective house hunters in more ways than one. Additionally, prospective home buyers that already have an Amazon Echo can benefit from knowing that the home they’re considering has a strong network available for their Echo already in place, thanks to the other already-integrated smart devices in the home and in any homes nearby.
And yes, for those among us who have privacy concerns, Amazon Sidewalk can be turned off. This means that even if someone is not particularly enthusiastic about the ability of their smart camera, doorbell, or motion sensor to share the bandwidth of other devices on their block, there’s no need for them to worry about any possible security or privacy issues associated with Sidewalk. It’s just one more way that smart home technologies can be leveraged in a real estate context.