Amazon, Apple, Google, Samsung, and dozens of other firms have agreed to try to make setting up smart homes easier with Matter, a cross-platform open-source standard coming later this year. Now, Amazon has revealed the scope of its initial commitment: it will be upgrading almost every plug-in Echo smart speaker to support Matter, including most Echo and Echo Dot speakers and every Echo Studio, Echo Show, Echo Plus, and Echo Flex.
In fact, the only Echo smart speakers that won’t get upgraded to Matter are the first-gen Echo, first-gen Echo Dot and Echo Tap, a rep tells The Verge.
While the company doesn’t provide a timeline for those upgrades, the general idea is that Matter will launch by late 2021, so it shouldn’t be long until Amazon’s newest and / or more popular devices receive the capability.
A bigger question is whether any of them will work as Matter hubs. Google announced in May that in addition to upgrading its Nest devices to Matter, it would allow its devices that support the Thread protocol (like the Nest Wi-Fi, Nest Hub Max, and second-gen Nest Hub) to double as connection hubs for Matter, too, not simply as a voice assistant to control Matter gadgets. But while Amazon’s Eero routers were early to adopt Thread, Amazon’s Echo smart speakers were not.
The announcement comes as part of Amazon’s Alexa Live developer event today, where it’s revealing quite a few additional things that Alexa devs will soon be able to do. The company has a message for Matter developers: “We will soon be rolling out tools that make it easy for you to build Matter certified devices, and are ready to start testing your Matter devices now.”