Amazon has promised to update “practically every plug-in Echo speaker” will be upgraded to support the Matter smart home platform. While you likely haven’t heard of Matter until now, this is a big deal.
Matter was developed by the Connectivity Standards Alliance, which is an industry body made up of some of the biggest device manufacturers on the planet – including Amazon, Apple, Google, and Samsung. These rival firms are working together to standardise hands-free voice assistant support across multiple gadgets. They’re also hoping to make it easier to connect smart home devices to your home Wi-Fi network.
At its simplest, Matter will be a seal of approval on any smart home gadgets you buy. If you spot the Matter logo on the box of a connected device – from Wi-Fi lightbulbs to robot vacuum cleaners, smart thermostats to speakers – you can be assured it’s guaranteed to work with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri.
If you decide to move from an Amazon Echo to Apple HomePod, or vice versa – all of your Matter devices will be able to transition to the new voice assistant seamlessly. As it stands, it’s possible to buy an Alexa compatible smart lightbulb that won’t work with Google Assistant or Siri, forcing to you replace working kit to use a new hands-free assistant.
Google has already voiced strong support for Matter. Going forward, its existing Nest Wi-Fi and Nest Hub Max gadgets will be able to function as Matter connection points, helping new devices to connect to the network.
During a recent Alexa Live presentation to developers, Amazon confirmed just how many of its devices will be upgraded to take advantage of the Matter standard that it helped to build with Google and Apple. Practically every single plug-in Amazon Echo speaker will support Matter going forwards.
The only speakers that will not be able to support all Matter devices are the first-generation Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Tap – which only launched in the United States.
“The Matter mark will serve as a seal of approval, taking the guesswork out of the purchasing process and allowing businesses and consumers alike to choose from a wider array of brands to create secure and connected homes and buildings,” the Connectivity Standards Alliance said in a statement back in May.
Amazon pledges to update ‘practically all’ Echo smart speakers with this major change