Amazon has affirmed its support for the smart home connectivity standard Matter, announcing in a blog post today that it will support Matter over Thread in its Echo devices and Eero Wi-Fi routers. Eero had previously confirmed its support of the standard. Amazon says the announcement is about “further expanding Amazon’s commitment to Matter and reinforcing its smart home philosophy of flexibility, privacy, collaboration, and interoperability.”
Additionally, Amazon has joined Apple, Google, and Samsung on the Thread Group Board of Directors — it has been a member for five years. Alongside Wi-Fi, Thread is a primary protocol for Matter. It provides a low-power, low-bandwidth, and low-latency mesh network for smart home devices to connect to.
The company confirmed that the Echo 4th gen will gain Matter over Thread support, with support for additional Echo devices coming later. Earlier this summer, Amazon said it would upgrade most of its Echo smart speakers to support Matter, including most Echo and Echo Dot speakers and every Echo Studio, Echo Show, Echo Plus, and Echo Flex. All Eero Pro, Eero Beacon, Eero Pro 6, and Eero 6 devices have Thread radios in and already act as Thread border routers for Thread devices to connect to. They will gain Matter support next year.
The 4th Gen Echo will be the first one to get Matter support
Matter is an IP-based application protocol that will establish a common language and common interaction model across smart home devices and ecosystems. With support for Matter over Thread and Wi-Fi in Echo devices, Alexa users should be able to connect any Matter-enabled smart home devices to their Echo smart speakers and control them within the Alexa app and with Alexa voice control.
For example, Amazon name-checked Eve in a list of companies it is working with around Matter. Eve, which makes smart home devices such as sensors, plugs, switches, and lighting, has previously only worked with Apple’s HomeKit, but with Matter, its products will be able to connect to Alexa and other smart home ecosystems. Amazon also mentioned Yale, Wemo, Schlage, Sengled, Netatmo, Nanoleaf, Tuya, eWeLink, and Leedarson as brands that are creating Matter over Thread devices.
One of Matter’s main promises is multi-admin control. This means you should be able to control any Amazon smart home device that supports Matter using any other Matter controller. SmartThings, Google, and Apple have all committed to Matter, so in theory, you will be able to use those companies' apps and voice assistants to control your Amazon smart home devices, should you want to.
There are no Matter devices available to buy yet, as the standard is still being finalized. But according to the Connectivity Standards Alliance, which oversees Matter, we should start seeing Matter-enabled smart home products later in 2022.