Just to name a few of the supported devices, you have the fourth-generation Echo, Echo Dot (5th gen) with clock, Echo Studio, Echo Show 10 display, and the Show 15. This update will turn everything listed into a central hub allowing you to control other smart gadgets that support Matter via Android; similar to what Google has recently done. However, unlike Google, Echo devices will only be able to communicate over Wi-Fi and not Thread, according to the announcement. Amazon states it’s rolling out support to the most commonly used devices, like smart bulbs, plugs, and switches, first as a way to test things out before going to other device types. The company goes on to say it wants to ensure “customers have a seamless and high-quality experience…” during this time.
At the time of this writing, Matter is a little over two months old so there aren’t a whole lot of devices that can be controlled by the standard. You have the Festavia string lights, for example, from Philips Hue, and the Door & Window contact sensor from smart home brand Eve. Users can still control the over 30,000 devices under the Works with Alexa program, although they won’t have Matter support.
To help speed things up, Amazon has also released several development kits for other companies to use in order to facilitate further adoption of the standard like Frustration-Free Setup. This kit aims to make setting up devices “as easy for customers as opening a box and powering on a device.” Speaking of setup, Amazon is also working with Samsung to incorporate SmartThings into its own devices so you can control both smart home systems. It's unknown when the SmartThing will launch, however.
Things are pretty humble now but Amazon has big plans for the future. The goal is to ultimately release support to “100 million devices, across 30 Echo and eero devices”, according to a company representative. Early 2023 will see support for iOS so you can control Matter-enabled devices via iPhone. Support for the Thread wireless standard will also launch within that same timeframe.
We won’t have to wait too long to learn more about these devices as the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) kicks off on January 5. Amazon states it’s going to have an “Experience Area” where it will show off the latest in both Matter and smart home devices.
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Cesar Cadenas has been writing about the tech industry for several years now specializing in consumer electronics, entertainment devices, Windows, and the gaming industry. But he’s also passionate about smartphones, GPUs, and cybersecurity.