Amazon now supports Matter on Echo devices – Stacey on IoT

Amazon now supports Matter on Echo devices – Stacey on IoT

Amazon says it began supporting the Matter smart home interoperability protocol over Wi-Fi on many of its Echo devices starting Monday. The online retailer said last month that it planned to introduce Matter support using Wi-Fi on lights, switches and smart plugs, but that it would wait to support more devices and Matter using the Thread radio protocol . This joins Google, which last week introduced support for Matter devices on its hubs, Nest Audio devices and its Wi-Fi routers. Unlike Amazon, Google supports Matter on Wi-Fi and Thread first, and supports a wider range of devices.

Kevin can control his Christmas tree lights connected to the Eve Energy with a Nest Hub. Image courtesy of KC Tofel

Amazon’s Matter support will launch for Android devices and on the following 17 Echo devices: Echo Dot (5th Gen), Echo Dot (5th Gen) with Clock, Echo (4th Gen), Echo Dot (3rd Gen, 2018 release), Echo Studio , Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen, 2021 release), Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen), Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen, 2021 release), Echo Show 15, Echo Dot (Gen 3 with clock), Echo Dot (Gen 4 with Clock), Echo Show 5, Echo (v3), Echo Dot Gen 4, Echo Input, Echo Flex and Echo Show 8.

Next year, Amazon will add Matter support for more devices and eventually support Thread. In an interview at the end of October with Chris DeCenzo, Chief Engineer at Amazon, he explained that the company wanted to make sure its customers had a smooth experience and that support for Thread and additional devices would happen as Amazon felt more comfortable with the end user experience. Amazon may be right to do so.

We actually tested Google’s Matter implementation with an update to Eve’s smart plug and and its Eve Motion sensor, and ran into a bit of trouble before finally getting it all working. Additionally, despite the Matter specification being finalized in October, few devices actually support Matter in the wild today. There are nearly 200 Matter-ready devices that have the technical capabilities to support Matter, but are awaiting updates that are expected to occur in the coming months. Right now, my house has three Matter controllers (from Amazon, Google, and SmartThings), but not a single endpoint.

I ordered an Eve Smart Energy Plug (which Kevin tested with Google last week) to try playing with Matter in my own home, but getting most devices in my home updated sounds like a one-for -one kind of role will be from what will happen in months. And based on the different strategies of Google, Amazon and Samsung SmartThings, it’s clear that even my controllers will have different capabilities for the near term. As for Apple and HomeKit devices, Apple said that all Matter accessories will work with the HomeKit API, but so far Matter devices do not work on Apple’s two Matter hubs based on Kevin’s testing.

For those of us who have been eagerly awaiting Matter since its initial announcement in December 2019, the wait over the next few months will likely feel excruciating, but it’s probably the right thing to do.

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