Tile will tap directly into Amazon’s “Sidewalk” network of Echo products to better compete with Apple’s Find My network and AirTag.
The expected supremacy of the new AirTag tracker has been dealt a blow with news of a partnership between Amazon Sidewalk and Tile. Apple’s tracking device only hit stores a week ago but already looked as though it might come to dominate the market ahead of longstanding players like Tile. However, the tie-up with Amazon looks set to boost the functionality of the Tile’s trackers and give the AirTag more competition than was perhaps anticipated.
Tile has made tiny tracking devices that users can place in wallets and bags for years. After rumors of an Apple-made tracking device began, Tile became vocal against Apple’s efforts.
Now, Tile has partnered with Amazon to strengthen its network using Sidewalk. Instead of tapping into Apple’s Find My network of over a billion devices, Tile will resort to using the Bluetooth signal of millions of Amazon Echo devices.
Amazon Sidewalk is a new network bridge protocol that will extend the range of smart home gadgets using existing Amazon devices like Echos. The Amazon Echos act as a bridge to the network and enable devices to communicate from much further away than standard Wi-Fi allows.
Amazon made the partnership known via an announcement shared with CNBC on Friday. Amazon claims that Sidewalk is safe and secure, with data shared across the network protected by three layers of encryption.