Amazon has confirmed it would be supporting the smart home connectivity standard Matter. In an earlier blog post, Amazon confirms support for Matter over Thread in its Echo devices and Eero Wi-Fi routers. Eero had previously confirmed its support of the standard. In the announcement, Amazon explains that it is making plans to “further expand its commitment to Matter and strengthening its smart home philosophy of flexibility, privacy, collaboration, and interoperability.”
In addition, Amazon has joined similar tech giants like Apple, Google, and Samsung on the Thread Group’s board of directors – a group it’s been a member of for the past five years. Apart from Wi-Fi, Thread is a key protocol for Matter. It offers a low power, low bandwidth, and low latency mesh network that smart home devices can take advantage of and connect to.
Amazon has confirmed that the Echo 4th gen will come with Matter over Thread support, it would also come with support for additional Echo devices. Earlier this summer, Amazon announced that Echo smart speakers would upgrade to support Matter, including most Echo and Echo Dot speakers and Echo Studio, Echo Show, Echo Plus, and Echo Flex. All Eero Pro, Eero Beacon, Eero Pro 6, and Eero 6 devices have Thread radios in and already act as Thread border routers for Thread devices to connect to. Matter support will come to all of them next year.
What those wondering what Matter is, Matter is an IP-based application protocol that was developed to establish a common language and common interaction model across smart home devices within the ecosystems. With the presence of Matter over Thread and Wi-Fi in various Echo devices, Alexa users have an opportunity to connect Matter-enabled smart home devices to their Echo smart speakers. Asides from this connection Alexa users can also control them within the Alexa app and with the Alexa voice control feature.
According to The Verge, a very good example is Amazon name-checked Eve in a list of companies it is working with around Matter. Eve, which makes smart home devices such as sensors, plugs, switches, and lighting, has previously only worked with Apple’s HomeKit, but with Matter, its products will be able to connect to Alexa and other smart home ecosystems. Amazon also mentioned Yale, Wemo, Schlage, Sengled, Netatmo, Nanoleaf, Tuya, eWeLink, and Leedarson as brands that are creating Matter over Thread devices.
One of the main smart promises Matter wishes to deliver is multi-admin control. With this, users have the ability to control any Amazon smart home device that has support for Matter using any other Matter controller. SmartThings, Google, and Apple have signified a commitment to Matter, which means that users will get more value with the ability to use other companies’ apps and voice assistants to control Amazon smart home devices, as they would like.
Although there are no Matter devices available for purchase, the standard for Matter is still in the works and being finalized. According to the Connectivity Standards Alliance, which oversees Matter, Matter-enabled smart home products should begin to roll out later in 2022.
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