Matter, the open-source smart home standard that promises to unite Amazon's, Apple's, and Google's smart home platforms, is one of the most exciting developments that we're tracking in the smart home space. Now comes word that most Amazon Echo speakers will receive firmware updates enabling them to support Matter. The announcement, made during Amazon's Alexa Live developer conference today, means that almost all Alexa-powered Echo devices will be able to control Matter-enabled smart products, a development that will give the upcoming standard a major boost. All current and many legacy Echo speakers will get the Matter update, Amazon says. Indeed, only three older Echo speakers won't work with Matter: the first-generation Echo and Echo Dot speakers, as well as the Amazon Tap, a long-discontinued portable Bluetooth speaker with Alexa on board.
Thanks mostly to a carry-over of market conditions and market forces, most of the hottest tech in 2022 will be advances of the hottest tech of 2021. Thanks to the shift from forced to willing to desired remote work, work-from-home (WFH) tech will continue to expand, and smart health/fitness, bigger screen 4K and even 8K TVs, true wireless earbuds, wearables, food technologies, and software & services all will continue to be hot tech categories. But no technology trend is newer for '22, more anticipated, and more potentially impactful, than Matter. Matter is a protocol created by the Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA), formerly known the Zigbee Alliance, that would make all smart home devices, regardless of their walled ecosystem, interoperable. The concept is almost impossible to contemplate: Amazon, Apple, Google, and Samsung all deciding to play nice with each other.
As companies unveil their new smart home devices at the 2022 CES tech show, underway now in Las Vegas, much of the hype involves Matter, an open-source connectivity standard built around a shared belief that smart home devices should seamlessly integrate with other systems and be secure and reliable. If you like devices, you are probably among the 66% of households that have smart home devices, according to Deloitte. We also know you don't just stick with one company or brand, but probably have purchased from at least half a dozen different companies. That's why for any company launching a smart home device this year, having Matter support will be helpful. Not only is the protocol being developed by some of the biggest tech companies -- think Apple, Amazon and Google -- and smart home device makers, it is designed to finally fix the issues around fragmented smart home systems so that all of your devices can be easily set up and routed from one place.
It's been nearly a decade since the smart home introduced voice commands. Today, there are thousands of smart home devices, apps, services, skills and ways to add the internet to every inch of your home. In 2021, we saw small but significant updates to the smart home that set the stage for a big 2022. Here's what the next year in smart home tech could bring. Every year, we look forward to new products from major smart home brands and exciting new ideas from startups, too.
Jul 19, 2021According to the Zigbee Alliance, 2020 was a record-breaking year for Zigbee technology-based Internet of Things (IoT) devices, with more than 560 such devices certified, representing an increase of approximately 30 percent from the year prior. More than half a billion Zigbee chipsets have been sold to date, with nearly four billion expected to be shipped by 2023. In light of that growth, the Zigbee Alliance has changed its name to the Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA), in order to reflect the many related IoT technologies it represents. In addition, the organization is offering a new standard brand name, Matter, formerly known to the industry as Project Connected Home over IP (CHIP), which serves as the application layer for IoT technology. The newly developed Matter mark provide a seal of approval, the Alliance reports, assuring users that any object built on this standard will be compatible, reliable and secure.