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Matter bei Amazon: Updates kommen im Dezember und lassen Fragen offen

Amazon issue: Updates coming in December, leaving unanswered questions

Now that Matter has officially launched, it’s up to manufacturers to get behind the new smart home standard. Many plan to do this not only with new products, but also with those that have already been released. Amazon, among others, will support Matter broadly and with free updates.

Matter begins – step by step

At a Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA) event in Amsterdam, there are now details on the plans and upgrade schedule for the Echo speakers.

Anyone who would have expected Matter to be fully implemented and supported out of the box will be disappointed by the standard itself. Because Matter will be rolled out in multiple phases and supports different product categories in each phase. It starts with devices like lamps and lights, plugs, door locks, thermostats, window shades, sensors like motion detectors and smoke detectors, garage door controls, WLAN routers and access points, as well as TVs and streaming devices. They do not include, for example, security cameras, alarm systems, robot vacuum cleaners, household appliances and the broad field of electromobility, which will follow later. Hence the version number in the name of the standard: Matter 1.0 is now starting.

Amazon launches Matter over Wi-Fi in December

But Amazon has opted for an even slower launch. After having announced that the fourth (test) generation of Echo will also support Thread and can serve as a border router to connect other Thread components to the local network and the Internet for remote control, users still have to wait for more. Since Amazon initially starts with “Issue over Wi-Fi”, the thread will follow later. A corresponding update for devices will be released in December; Amazon has not yet announced a specific date.

17 Echo devices will initially receive an update in December, bringing the total to 30 from the current range alongside the eero routers.

Echo devices receiving a Matter update in December:
  • Echo Dot (3rd generation)
  • Echo Dot (4th generation)
  • Echo Dot (5th generation)
  • Echo Dot with clock (3rd generation)
  • Echo Dot with clock (4th generation)
  • Echo Dot with clock (5th generation)
  • Echo (3rd generation)
  • Echo (4th generation)
  • echo show 5
  • Echo Show 5 (2nd generation)
  • echo show 8
  • Echo Show 8 (2nd generation)
  • Echo Show 10 (3rd generation)
  • echo bending
  • echo input
  • Echo Plus (2nd generation)
  • EchoStudio

Amazon further restricts compatible devices

Also, initially Amazon will only support direct connection through Matter for lamps and light fixtures, plugs and light switches; other devices still can’t connect to an Echo through Matter, even with the December update. Other product categories will gradually follow, as well as iOS support, as Amazon only supports setup via Android at first. An update to add Thread and iOS support is scheduled to be released early next year.

Topic: Ensuring correct settings

Thread won’t come up right away because Amazon first wants to make sure that sharing with other Thread devices on the network works, and in particular that coordinating which device acts as a border router for connection to the local network doesn’t cause any issues. issue. Apple’s HomePod mini, for example, acts as an edge router, much like an Apple TV 4K. These independently coordinate which task is assigned to which device on the network. Amazon has yet to announce if and which other Echo speakers will support the Echo 4th Gen. Thread. Since other Echo devices also support Zigbee, an update for these devices on Thread is theoretically conceivable.

It is incomprehensible why such coordination of configuration and guarantee of functionality did not take place between manufacturers in advance, despite the fact that the standard was especially postponed. This keeps the customer in the dark about exactly which device Matter supports.

Alexa skill or matter?

The question of which way to choose for products that can be connected to Amazon and an Echo via an Alexa skill, as well as Matter, cannot yet be answered unequivocally. Because even if Matter allows direct integration and control of third-party devices, Matter does not allow sharing of user accounts. If you want to guarantee the connection to the Hue user account for a product such as a Philips Hue lamp, Matter is not an alternative at all.

However, Amazon is cooperating with Samsung SmartThings, for example, to enable integration into both services with a single setup. A SmartThings device configured with Amazon will also be available in the SmartThings account and vice versa. Here too, the prerequisite is that the SmartThings skill for Alexa is activated, since the accounts must be linked through it.

unanswered questions remain

Even at the beginning of Matter 1.0, there are still some ambiguities and unanswered questions that, however, do not relate to Amazon in particular, but to the standard itself. For example, it is still not entirely clear how old devices that are already in use by the user can be integrated into another system through Matter. Because simple device setup with QR code, as known in Apple HomeKit, requires exactly this QR code, which older devices didn’t have yet.

If you were hoping to reconcile your messy smart home with Matter as quickly as possible, you may have to wait longer than you thought, and you could still run into unforeseen roadblocks.

ComputerBase received information about this item from Amazon under NDA. The only requirement was the earliest possible publication date.