Tile stickers and Apple AirTag

Todd Haselton | CNBC

Amazon is expanding its network of connected devices to incorporate technologies like Apple’s new AirTags.

Amazon announced on Friday that it is partnering with Tile, a company that makes trackers for lost items, and Level, a company that makes smart locks, to use these devices to improve its tracking network powered by Wi -Fi and bluetooth technology to use.

The strength and number of devices on a given tracking network is key to its accuracy. This is one of the reasons many believe that Apple’s tracking network will be so strong as it relies on more than 1 billion iPhones, iPads, and Macs to help track lost items.

Tile has also spoken out against Apple’s entry into the lost item tracking space, recently telling Congress that it and other app developers are “afraid” of Apple’s guidelines for third-party apps and hardware accessories.

Amazon’s partnership will improve the Sidewalk tracking network by allowing tile and level devices to access the Bluetooth networks created by millions of its Echo products. Tile will partner with the Amazon network starting June 14th.

“Sidewalk is all about the next billion things that get into the network,” said Amazon product manager Dave Limp to CNBC’s “TechCheck” on Friday. “Wi-Fi is limited, mostly to your home. It just doesn’t have the range to get into your neighborhood yard. Cellular may be the future, but it’s very expensive today. So the sidewalk shares the difference between these two and allows us to bring billions and billions of things to the edge of the network but do so in a safe way. “

Sidewalk launched late last year and is billed as a free network sharing service across the city that uses Echo devices as “bridges” to share a small portion of a user’s low-bandwidth WiFi with devices such as Echo devices and ring cameras.

Limp said in a statement that Tile will partner with Sidewalk by integrating compatible Echo devices to further expand Tile’s network coverage so users can safely find misplaced keys, wallets and other items.

According to Amazon, Sidewalk will also bolster Tile’s existing home search experience with Alexa. Customers can say: “Alexa, find my keys” and their tile tracker will ring from a coat pocket or under the bed, signaling where they can find their lost item.

And Amazon said that users with multiple Echo devices connected to Sidewalk will be able to find misplaced items in their homes even faster. Alexa can tell users which Echo device their tiled item is closer to, whether it’s the kitchen speaker or the bedroom speaker, and what day and time it was last seen near that device.

Apple announced its tile-like product AirTags last month. They work similarly with iOS devices such as iPhones and iPads. Now, Tile will connect across a larger technology ecosystem, and Amazon and Apple will compete against each other in a new front of connected devices.

Sidewalk’s second partnership with Level allows users to control their locks in the Ring and Level apps without being within Bluetooth range of their mobile device. Rather than relying on their mobile device’s Bluetooth connection, a level lock can connect directly to a compatible Ring Video Doorbell Pro device using an Amazon Sidewalk Bluetooth connection shared only between the two devices.

This means that even if a user is in town, their level lock will stay connected, creating more features in the Ring app that allow you to see and speak to anyone at the entrance, and be able to easily lock or unlock the front door.

According to Amazon, the new smart lock level functions will be introduced through updates in the ring and level apps and will be available at the end of May.

In response to privacy concerns, Amazon released a detailed whitepaper in September last year outlining the steps it is taking to ensure that pavement transfers remain private and secure.

According to Amazon, Sidewalk has multiple layers of data protection and security, and the data shared over the network is protected with three layers of encryption. It’s only accessible to the devices consumers choose, and data is automatically deleted every 24 hours to protect privacy. Consumers can disable the feature by updating their preference for the feature in the Ring or Alexa mobile apps.

– CNNBC’s Marc Gilbert contributed to this report.