Amazon is rolling out a substantial Matter update by expanding support to more hardware, improving the compatibility between the smart home standard and Alexa.
A big part of the overall package is all the changes coming to the company’s Echo line. Starting today, the “second generation Echo, Echo Plus, and Echo Dot” speakers will upgrade into proper Matter controllers for your at-home network.
The Echo (4th Gen) now supports the Thread protocol giving it another category of gadgets to control in addition to those on Wi-Fi, Zigbee, and Bluetooth Low Energy Mesh.
Put everything together, you now have “over 100 million Echo devices across 20 models” supporting the smart home standard, according to a post on the Amazon Developer Blog. And to help out any newfound customers, the update will also allow people to “set up their Matter devices with iOS”.
The other half of the roll out involves smart home brand Eve Systems integrating its own products with Amazon’s platform.
Eve systems adopts Matter standard
First, Eve Systems devices will now support the Matter standard as well as the Thread protocol, running contrary to the brand’s previous decisions of only operating with “certain smart home systems.” Additionally, Eve products being sold on Amazon will have a Works with Alexa (WWA) badge slapped on product listings. Gadgets with the WWA certification are confirmed to work with Alexa, promising to “deliver a great experience” with the digital assistant.
The last update has Eve System is enabling Frustration Free Setup (FFS) to its Matter lineup. FFS, if you don’t know, is the Amazon's attempt at simplifying the “device setup experience”.
For example, customers can ask the tech giant to enter Wi-Fi credentials into a Fire TV at checkout. That way, when the Fire TV gets to your house, it’s already set up and all you have to do is plug it in. With regards to Eve Systems, the first batch getting this feature consists of the Eve Energy smart plug, Eve Motion, and the Eve Door & Windows smart contact sensor.
The FFS upgrade will be released later this month, running contrary to the rest of the update. And when it does, those products will work right out of the box the moment they get turned on.
Amazon states Eve Systems has plans to expand “FFS to all its Matter-enabled devices” seemingly hinting at another round, but didn’t give any further details. We asked Amazon for more information on the future release, and we will update this story if and when we hear back from the company.
In the meantime, don't forget to check out TechRadar’s list of the best cheap Amazon Echo deals for May 2023.