Amazon announced a slew of new devices and "motherfucking" Echo features during its September event, but it also offered a glimpse at a new concept called Amazon Sidewalk, a low-energy networking standard for IoT devices outside your home. This might be useful to geofence your dog or to monitor your plants' water requirements.

The company says while protocols such as 5G, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi exist for IoT devices, they can become complicated and expensive pretty fast and only go so far. A specific network for low-cost, low-bandwidth connections is missing for devices that would measure their battery life in years, not days if they could use low-energy standards. By transmitting data on the 900MHz spectrum, Amazon Sidewalk aims to be the answer to this problem.

Amazon envisions to use this protocol for water sensors in your garden, even if they're far removed from your Wi-Fi's range, or for your mailbox, letting you know when your important letter has been delivered. Since the devices establish a peer-to-peer network and offer great range, cities should quickly be blanketed with coverage once Amazon starts offering products.

The first reference design, which you can see in the image at the beginning, is going to be the Ring Fetch. It's a dog tracker that uses Sidewalk and sends you notifications when your dog leaves a geofenced perimeter. There is no word on exact hardware specifications, battery life, or size yet, but more details will be available next year.