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Philips Hue Bridge is getting updated to Matter early next year

Philips Hue Bridge is getting updated to Matter early next year

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The free software update is coming to all users by March of 2023. Developers can access the beta firmware starting today.

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Philips Hue Bridge device shown wall-mounted above a table, near a lamp.
Image: Philips Hue

The Philips Hue Bridge is now Matter certified, with a software update coming to all users by Q1 2023. The free update will make most existing and new Hue lights and accessories Matter compatible. Developers, or anyone willing to live on the edge, can access the beta firmware as of today.

News of the Hue Bridge certification first leaked via the Connectivity Standards Alliance’s Matter certification database early Thursday morning, just as the Matter launch event kicked off in Amsterdam.

Signify says that the Hue Bridge update will preserve previous settings and personalizations in the Philips Hue App, as well as Google and Amazon integrations. But Apple HomeKit users will need to reset to connect again via Matter.

Two Philips Hue devices won’t be supported: the Philips Hue Play HDMI sync box and the dial of the Philips Hue Tap Dial Switch. That’s because they’re not yet supported by the current version of the CSA’s Matter spec.

Hubs will be a reality for a long, long time

Like Aqara, Ikea, and others, Signify will be leaning heavily on its bridge for years to come in order to help Hue device owners extract maximum value from their existing smart home setups. Even though Matter promises a future without such proprietary hubs, the reality for many smart home owners is that they’ll continue to be needed for a long, long time.

Signify had previously committed to updating the Philips Hue Bridge to Matter as close to the launch of the new smart home standard as possible. And since today is Matter launch day, I’d say it fulfilled the promise, even if it’s a beta release.

Update November 3rd, 12:33PM ET: Added software update details provided by Signify.

What is Matter?

Matter is a new smart home interoperability standard that provides a common language for smart home devices to communicate locally in your home without relying on a cloud connection. It uses Wi-Fi and Thread wireless protocols and, at launch, will include smart sensors, smart lighting, smart plugs and switches, smart thermostats, connected locks, and media devices including TVs. 

All this means that if a smart home device you buy has the Matter logo on it, you should be able to set it up and use it with any Matter-compatible device and in any Matter-compatible platform. Matter-compatible devices should start to become available toward the end of this year.

Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Samsung SmartThings, and Apple Home are some of the big smart home platforms signed on to support Matter, and we expect to see updates arriving on these platforms over the coming months.