Amazon, Apple, Google, Samsung and dozens of other companies have agreed to try to make setting up smart homes easier with Matter, a cross-platform open-source standard due out later this year. Now Amazon has revealed the scope of its initial commitment: it will upgrade 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 be upgraded to Matter are the first-generation Echo, first-generation Echo Dot and Echo Tap, a representative tells us. The edge.
While the company isn’t providing a timeline for those upgrades, the general idea is that Matter will launch in late 2021, so it shouldn’t be long before Amazon’s newest and/or more popular devices get the opportunity.
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 enable its devices that support the Thread protocol (such as the Nest Wi-Fi, Nest Hub Max, and the second-generation Nest Hub) to double as connection hubs for Matter as well, not just as a voice assistant to control Matter gadgets. But while Amazon’s Eero routers used Thread early on, Amazon’s Echo speakers didn’t.
The announcement comes as part of Amazon’s Alexa Live developer event today, where it reveals quite a few additional things Alexa developers will be able to do soon. The company has a message for Matter developers: “We will soon be rolling out tools that allow you to easily build Matter-certified devices, and we are now ready to test your Matter devices.”