Thanks to its forward planning and early adoption of Thread, smart home device maker Eve System will be among the first companies with Matter devices. It’s making a free update available to its Thread-enabled Eve Energy smart plug, Eve Door & Window sensors, and Eve Motion sensor on December 12th to support Matter. The company announced this at a Matter launch event in Amsterdam and confirmed that the rest of its Thread lineup will receive the updates over the next year. Additionally, Eve products with Matter already built in will start shipping in Q1 of 2023.
Also coming in the first half of 2023 is the company’s first-ever Android app. This will mean those with Android phones can add and control Eve devices in their smart home. Until the Eve app arrives, Android users can control Eve devices that work with Matter, but an iOS device will be needed to first onboard products to a Matter-compatible app, such as Google Home.
The upgrade to existing products will be optional because, once you update your Eve device to Matter, it cannot go back, Jerome Gackel, CEO of Eve Systems, told The Verge in an interview. Fortunately, the issue of potentially losing device functionality by upgrading to Matter has been resolved. Gackel says, in iOS 16.1, Apple added the ability to include custom device functions in Matter, allowing the Eve Energy smart plug’s energy monitoring feature to come with it into Matter. (Eve had previously said the energy monitoring feature wouldn’t be accessible when the plug was updated to Matter.)
With support for Matter, these devices — which traditionally have only worked with iPhones due to Eve’s stringent stance on privacy and decision not to use a cloud — will soon be controllable on any Matter-enabled platform or voice assistant.
The Matter upgraded Eve devices do require a Thread border router in your home, which Gackel acknowledges may be a roadblock for some. “I believe in three years from now, every home will have a Wi-Fi network and a border router,” he says. “But it is a problem today.”
Unlike Nanoleaf’s newly announced Thread products, Eve’s devices will only work on Thread, not over Bluetooth as well. (Bluetooth will only be used for commissioning.) So, if you don’t have a border router, they just won’t work.
Apple, Eero, Samsung SmartThings, and Nanoleaf all have Thread border router products available, and Amazon and Google have announced they will upgrade some of their smart speakers to be border routers soon. Gackel says they have tested their devices on all four platforms, and they work “seamlessly,” as the company demoed at IFA earlier this year.