This article was originally published in my Oct. 7, 2022 newsletter.
The Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA) released version 1 of the Matter smart home interoperability protocol this week, and I and millions (maybe just tens of thousands) of other users are now wondering how we get access to it on our devices. Major smart home companies including Google, Amazon, Apple, Signify (makers of Philips Hue and WiZ bulbs), Samsung, and more have all provided answers, detailing both how they plan to support Matter and specifically which of their devices will support it first.
The CSA, in its release touting the new spec, said that there are over 130 products from 50 different companies that participated in its gated test events and the specification validation event over the summer. I expect those companies to be first to market with Matter updates. In the meantime, friends of mine at major companies have Matter running in their homes. So how can I start testing it out in my own home? The short answer is, I can’t.
I reached out to almost a dozen smart home vendors to find out when I might see Matter on my own devices only to get back a lot of non-specific reassurances that yes, they will support Matter and yes, they will announce something related to Matter support in the near future. For example, Assa Abloy, maker of Yale locks, said in an email, “We are working diligently to bring Yale’s Matter Smart Module to market as soon as possible. The Matter protocol is ever evolving, and we are constantly adapting based on the standard’s latest protocols and releases.”
A source of mine at Google texted me to let me know that I can sign up for a developer account, and that Matter support in its devices is still not yet generally available. But Google will let me know when it is. Amazon had a similar message provided by a spokesman. “We will start rolling out Matter to well over 100 million Echo and Eero devices across 30 different models later this year, with broad availability next year,” emailed Jeremy Bartram.
He added that Amazon has been working with a limited number of partners testing their Matter devices with Alexa, so far, but would be expanding those testing efforts to more partners. I should expect more detail on those efforts and general availability soon.
Regarding its Matter plans, a representative from Samsung SmartThings promised to be in touch “very soon.”
Comcast didn’t get back to me about its plans to update its 20 million users and their Comcast gear with Matter. Nanoleaf and Eve both reiterated their pledges to support Matter, but didn’t offer a specific time frame for when existing devices would get updates. Though Nanoleaf did say it plans to release new Matter-capable products next month.
Eve’s spokesperson said that it plants to “release a first round of updates around the time Matter is fully launching.”
After almost three years of waiting, plus recent efforts to explain how the Matter standard might disappoint users at launch, I’m eager to see what the user experience will be. But it appears that despite the launch of the certification and the fact that certified devices already exist, I will have to wait even longer before I get to experience it.