How to get Matter on your devices – Stacey on IoT

This article was originally published in my October 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 can access it on our devices. Big smart home companies like Google, Amazon, Apple, Signify (makers of Philips Hue and WiZ bulbs), Samsung and others have all provided answers, detailing how they plan to support Matter and which of their devices will support it will support first.

The CSA said in its publication promoting the new specification that there are over 130 products from 50 different companies that participated in its closed testing events and specification validation event over the summer. I expect these companies will be the first to roll out Matter updates. Meanwhile, friends of mine in large corporations have been running Matter in their homes. So how can I start testing it in my own home? The short answer is I can’t.

When will my Nanoleaf devices get Matter? Image courtesy of S. Higginbotham.

I reached out to nearly a dozen smart home vendors to find out when I might see Matter on my own devices, only to receive many unspecific assurances that they support Matter and yes, they will be announcing something Matter-related support in the near future. For example, Assa Abloy, maker of Yale locks, said in an email, “We are working tirelessly to bring Yale’s Matter Smart Module to market as quickly as possible. The Matter protocol is constantly evolving, and we are constantly adapting to the latest protocols and versions of the standard.”

A source of mine at Google texted me to say I can sign up for a developer account and that Matter support is not yet generally available on their devices. But Google will let me know when the time comes. Amazon had delivered a similar message from a spokesman. “We will begin rolling out Matter to well over 100 million Echo and Eero devices in 30 different models later this year, with broad availability over the next year,” wrote Jeremy Bartram via email.

He added that Amazon has previously worked with a limited number of partners who are testing their Matter devices with Alexa, but would be expanding that testing effort to include more partners. I should expect more details on this effort and general availability soon.

Regarding the Matter plans, a Samsung SmartThings representative promised to get in touch “very soon.”

Comcast hasn’t reached out to me about its plans to update its 20 million users and their Comcast gear with Matter. Nanoleaf and Eve both reiterated their commitments to support Matter, but didn’t offer a specific timeframe for updating existing devices. Although Nanoleaf has announced that it will launch new Matter-enabled products next month.

Eve’s rep said the plan is to “release a first round of updates around the time that Matter is fully launched.”

After nearly three years of waiting and recent efforts to explain how the Matter-Standard might disappoint users at launch, I’m curious to see what the user experience will be like. But it seems that despite the launch of certification and the fact that there are already certified devices, I still have to wait longer to experience it.

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