A busy week for Amazon with the mega tech announcement leaving us with +15 new bits of technology no-one really needs but will buy in spades because Amazon is willing to take the hit to create its network of the home. Except the home was last year, Amazon now wants you to take Alexa outdoors thanks to earbuds, a ring, glasses and a new protocol called ‘Sidewalk’ that will enable short range tracking of things like dogs and such.
Amazon already sent out 700 test devices to households in LA to test the access points — and once you have a lot of access points, you create a network with some pretty broad coverage.
Amazon says it’ll publish the protocol so that other device makers can also integrate it into their devices.
The first product that uses Sidewalk? A dog tag, so that you’ll hopefully see fewer lost dogs on your local Nextdoor in the near future, because if your dog now leaves the perimeter, you’ll get an alert. This new tag, the Ring Fetch, will launch next year.
Amazon will soon allow US developers to utilise new inventory sensors via the Smart Home Skill API to make sure customers don’t run out of products needed for devices. Developers will earn revenue while doing this so expect some aggressive adoption pushes. The idea is simple, it’s a bit like automatic (but now discontinued) Dash Buttons but instead of pushing the the button, the connected device reports back to Amazon and orders for you. Companies can sell their own refills or components via Amazon, or get a commission for selling third-party supplies. Cha-Ching. Thanks Alexa.
Any connected device that uses a consumable – such as printers (ink), thermostats (air filters), toothbrushes (toothbrush heads), washing machines (detergent), dishwashers (detergent), or has replacement parts – such as vacuum cleaners (dust bags, brushes) – can take advantage.
You simply use inventory sensors in your smart home skill to provide consumption updates and Alexa does the rest. Alexa will let customers know when supplies used by your device are running low or parts need replacement. Customers can also set up smart reordering through Dash Replenishment so that supplies are automatically reordered before they run out. For example, thermostat developers can enable smart reordering of air filters so that their customers always breathe clean air and stay healthy.
Amazon’s blog has more details.
Amazon isn’t known for its holding back when it comes to facial recognition so leading the way on facial recognition regulations (likely before they are handed to them by the US government) makes sense. Bezos gave his first public remarks about the technology since ‘Rekognition’ came under a significant amount of public scrutiny for its use by police forces and ICE employees. CNN spoke with Bezos briefly at the tech launch on Wednesday where Bezos said very little in general.
“It’s a classic, you know, dual use kind of technology. You can have good things and you can have bad things. Our public policy team is actually working on facial recognition regulations, and it makes a lot of sense.”