Welp, 2023 will be the year of Matter updates. Although there are already 190 devices that have (apparently) been certified so far, only a handful of them are available today. With only a few weeks left in 2022, and the initial release of the specification taking place just a month ago, it’s clear that the smart home interoperability protocol will dribble out gradually over the next few months to a year.
One big reason for this is that vendors don’t want to roll out a brand new spec only to see users run into trouble. Chris DeCenzno, a principal engineer at Amazon, explained in an interview that his company will roll out Matter over Wi-Fi first (starting with 17 Echo devices this December), both because it wants to give the Thread communication protocol time to smooth out any wrinkles in its latest release and to ensure Amazon partners can integrate their Thread network with Amazon’s Thread network in the home.
The desire to avoid a device debacle is also why Amazon is rolling out its Matter support for plugs, outlets, and switches first (also in December, with more expected next year). Amazon has a wealth of test devices in that category, while it has fewer thermostats or security sensors to test.
Amazon isn’t the only vendor rolling out releases in a graduated plan. Let’s take a look at some of the announced plans for Matter support from major vendors. I’ll post this on the site and then add to it over time.
Nanoleaf: The lighting vendor will launch a new line of Essentials light bulbs and a light strip in early 2023 that will work with Matter. It also said it would launch a new line of products that would be Matter-certified at CES 2023. Nanoleaf has previously said its Elements and Lines product lines are Matter-ready, but we don’t have a set update schedule for them yet. Its existing Essentials lines of bulbs will not be updated, so if you like those, get ready to buy the new ones in January.
Philips Hue: Signify plans to release a Matter update for its Philips Hue Bridge in the first quarter of 2023. The existing Google and Amazon integrations in the Philips Hue App will also continue to work and will be automatically updated with Matter. For Apple HomeKit, users will need to reset to connect again via Matter.
Eve: Eve may have the first Thread devices to get over-the-air (OTA) updates to Matter for existing devices. On Dec. 12, the Eve Energy, Eve Door & Window, and Eve Motion will get optional updates to Matter. Note that if you update to Matter you cannot reverse it. And next year, starting in the first quarter, all 14 Thread-enabled Eve devices will get rolling OTA updates to Matter throughout the year. Also, Eve plans to introduce its first Android app early next year. This means that for those initial Dec. 12 updates, users will need an iPhone to update to Matter. As an Eve spokesman told me via email, “We’ve collaborated tirelessly with Apple over the last year to ensure that NO functionality will be lost in the update to Matter. So, while the update to Matter is irreversible, consumers will not lose ANY features or functionality like energy monitoring for Eve Energy.”
Level Locks: All Level Locks apparently have Thread-capable radios and will be updated over an unspecified time frame, according to CTO Ken Goto’s comments to The Verge.
Schneider Electric: The company will launch a Wiser gateway box that will bridge its existing line of switches and outlets to Matter devices. It also said it would launch a Matter-compliant Square D electrical outlet. Both products have been certified but pricing and launch dates are not yet available.
Google: Google didn’t make any announcements at the CSA launch, but it has said it will update its Android and Google Home SDKs to support Matter. It also has previously said the following devices will support Matter: Nest Wifi, Nest Wifi Pro (Wi-Fi 6E), Google Home, Google Mini, Nest Mini, Nest Audio, Nest Hub (1st gen), Nest Hub (2nd gen), and the Nest Hub Max.
Amazon: Amazon has said that it would support Matter on the following 17 Echo devices at some point in December: 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 Dot (Gen 3 with Clock), Echo Dot (Gen 4 with Clock), Echo Show 5, Echo (v3), Echo Dot Gen 4, Echo Input, Echo Flex, Echo Plus (v2), and the Echo Show 8.
SmartThings: SmartThings no longer makes hardware, but people who own the SmartThings version 2 hub and the Aeotec SmartThings hub can get Matter on those devices today. SmartThings also announced partnerships with Amazon and Google, so users who want to use a digital assistant from either partner can also see their devices replicated automatically in SmartThings or vice versa.
Whirlpool: The appliance maker said it had joined the Matter working group focused on a standard for appliances, and said it would support Matter. Since the appliance device type doesn’t exist yet, I don’t expect launch dates anytime soon. I do hope Whirlpool is building in the silicon hardware it will need in its appliances for easy updates.
Assay Abloy: The company has said it will bring Matter support to its first and second-generation Assure locks through replacement modules. I don’t have an updated time frame other than Assa Abloy telling me last month that I it was “working diligently” to bring the modules to market.