| How will Amazon Sidewalk impact the smart home market?
| Marc Pegulu, Vice President IOT Strategy and Products, Semtech
– Marc Pegulu, Vice President IOT Strategy and Products, Semtech & Ken Sinclair
Pégulu has been Semtech’s Vice President of Internet of Things for the
Wireless and Sensing Products Group since 2019. Before this, he was
Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Wireless and
Sensing Products Group, a position he had held since June 2015. He held
the position of Vice President of Wireless and Sensing Products from
June 2014. Prior to this appointment, he held the position of Director
of Marketing and Applications. Mr. Pégulu joined the Company in March
2006 and was involved in several key technology initiatives, including
LoRa wireless and software defined modem technologies. Prior to joining
the Company, he held positions in chips and systems development at
Thomson CSF, Thales, ATMEL, and DibCom in France and China. Mr. Pégulu
holds a Master of Science degree in Electronics and Telecommunications
from Institut National Polytechnique of Grenoble, France and is a
graduate of the Executive MBA program of ESCP Europe.
will Amazon Sidewalk impact the smart home market?
Amazon Sidewalk is bringing long range, low
power to Internet of Things (IoT) solutions for smart home devices. With
support from long range, low-bandwidth connectivity, consumers have the
capabilities to extend the range of their home networks to connect both outdoor
and indoor products, including smart lights, security systems, pet trackers, sensors
for asset tracking, and a multitude of additional low cost devices needed for
smart homes and smart communities. With this extended range, mobility and low
power consumption, Sidewalk allows for the rapid deployment of a vast range of
low touch consumer IoT applications.
is it important to consider long range and low power when implementing smart
A home is more than just what lies within
its walls. It extends throughout an entire property, into the garden, to
detached structures, perimeters, and even to mobile assets. While applications
vary, consumers want dependable connectivity that works “out of the box” and doesn’t
change with range. With a plethora of smart home solutions, homeowners can
install IoT-connected sensors throughout all areas of their property, but often
experience the impact of “dead zones” that are out of reach of Wi-Fi routers,
or too far away for short range communication platforms like Bluetooth. With
long range low power technology, home owners needn’t worry about their smart
devices going “offline”.
Long range, low power technology offers a
compelling alternative to Wi-Fi or Bluetooth-based battery-operated IoT
devices. Frequently recharging or changing batteries on sensors can be
inconvenient, particularly when sensors are placed in hard to reach areas.
Worse, home security devices that drain battery power quickly can pose a risk,
failing at the very moment when they are needed. Alternative solutions like
LoRa solve these shortcomings by enabling devices which leverage extremely low
power communication capabilities to run for years on a single battery or charge, range of more than six miles.
are the incentives for consumers to move from smart home to smart neighborhood
When smart home devices extend into the
community, the long range capabilities of smart sensors enable new
possibilities for asset tracking and geofencing applications. With solutions
like Amazon Sidewalk, many devices can extend their range by up to a half mile,
in comparison to a few hundred feet with other technologies.
What’s unique about Sidewalk is that
customers will be able to access Sidewalk using two types of devices: Sidewalk
Bridges and Sidewalk-enabled devices. Sidewalk Bridges are devices that provide
connections to Sidewalk. Sidewalk-enabled devices connect to Sidewalk Bridges
to access the network. Beyond the benefits of long range, low power technology,
a home owner’s house, it also allows for new way for neighbors to support IoT
efforts that have a positive impact on their community. Consumers with a
Sidewalk Bridge can contribute a small portion of their internet bandwidth,
which is pooled together to create a shared network that benefits all
Sidewalk-enabled devices in a community.
are some specific use cases that a home owner might leverage?
low powered devices are well-suited for many common smart home applications on
the market today, such
as smart lighting, door and window sensors, motion sensors, smart locks, smart
irrigation, and more. With long range, low power
capabilities, smart home device manufacturers are able to enhance smart home
use cases by offering the following:
Improved Range and Reliability: From door locks and water sensors to smart
lights, long range can support low-bandwidth smart devices that extend well
beyond the edge of WiFi networks, giving consumers the assurance that their
devices can stay online even if their WiFi doesn’t.
- Locating Valuables: Smart sensors provide the
range and capabilities to locate what homes owners care about like their
puppy, their keys, or their daughter’s bicycle.
- Diagnostics: Long range, low power
solutions support devices like power tools and home appliances that will
allow home owners support to troubleshoot, diagnose and resolve problems
even if WiFi isn’t available.
are the biggest trends you see impacting the smart home vertical over
The smart home market is in a transition
from gimmicky applications to real world and important use cases. In what we’d
call phase one, consumers were buying products they thought were cool; now consumers
want solutions that can deliver tangible benefits. Moving forward, the smart
home market will start to see more products that can have a significant impact
to the consumer’s day to day life like door locks, outdoor lighting, pet
geo-fencing, smart metering, leak detection, connected pest traps, soil
chemistry, swimming pools, and more.
The biggest thing consumers will continue
to ask for is interoperability. With long range, low power technology in the
smart home space, consumers will have the capability to link their smart home
applications together. As the smart home market continues to grow, it will be
crucial that smart home providers to sell their products as a suite that works
all together not one off products. Over the next several years, this transition
to more interoperability solutions will go from a nice to have to a must have
in all smart home solutions.
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