It'll soon be easier to find Tile tracking tags, as they'll work with Amazon's network of devices starting on June 14th. The companies announced their partnership back in September, long before Apple announced AirTags, but it's seemingly taken a while to set up the integration.
Amazon Sidewalk keeps low-power, low-bandwidth devices connected even if they're out of your typical WiFi range. It uses the 900 MHz spectrum and Bluetooth, as well as hotspots like Echo products and Ring security devices to extend the network. Sidewalk will enabled on all compatible Echo devices by default starting on June 8th, but you can opt out.
This expands on Tile's current setup, which uses phones and tablets running the Tile app and third-party devices like Xfinity set-top boxes to find missing tags. If you lose something with a Tile tag attached while you're out, and a neighbor's Echo device detects it over Bluetooth, you should find it more easily. You can use Alexa voice commands to help you locate Tile tags, too.
AirTags also tap into a massive network of devices. Apple is using more than a billion iPhones, iPads and Macs to detect AirTags and help owners find missing items. Harnessing Echo and Ring products to find tags is a timely, useful move for Tile as it faces sterner competition from Apple.
Tile isn't the only company joining Sidewalk. Level's smart locks will be integrated into the network over the next few weeks. The locks will be able to connect directly to a compatible Ring Video Doorbell Pro device, allowing you to control a lock through the Ring and Level apps even when it's outside of your mobile device's Bluetooth range.
In addition, Amazon is working with CareBand to find ways of improving the quality of life and standard of care for people who are living with dementia. A pilot program will link Sidewalk and CareBand's wearables to bolster features such as a help button, indoor and outdoor activity tracking and analysis of activity patterns.
CareBand devices don't necessarily need to connect to a smartphone or WiFi. The wearables use a low-power network tech called LoRa, which is said to offer a connectivity range of up to three miles.