Amazon was quick to pledge support for the Matter smart home standard, and now it’s clear just when (and if) you can expect the technology to reach your household. The company has confirmed that 17 Echo devices, plugs, switches and bulbs will support Matter over WiFi in December, with 30 Echo and Eero products offering support by early next year. You’ll initially need Android to set this up (Apple only released the Matter-friendly iOS 16.1 days ago), and the focus will be on lighting. However, support for iOS, Thread and more smart home tech is also due in early 2023.
The support will extend to years-old Echo products. While we don’t yet have a full compatibility list as of this writing (we’ve asked for details), older speakers like the second-generation Echo Plus (shown here) will be included. You might not have to replace your equipment just to be sure you’re ready for Matter.
You won’t have to be too picky about which phones and apps you use. Amazon is partnering with Samsung to let you use Alexa or SmartThings to set up Matter hardware. An upcoming Alexa framework will create a simple, unified Thread network that allows control through either company’s platforms.
Accordingly, Amazon is tweaking its Works with Alexa (WWA) certifications to add Matter support. A new device that receives the WWA badge will have to support Matter. Existing hardware that gets a Matter update won’t need to go through the program again, although it will need to pass Matter certification and will still have to meet Amazon’s WWA requirements.
This still leaves you with the prospect of replacing particularly old Echo gear, and there’s a chance some of your connected home components won’t support Matter at all. However, Amazon’s compatibility plans suggest you won’t have to overhaul your entire setup.
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