Google announced on Wednesday at its I/O 2022 convention that it plans to finally launch Matter, its new but delayed smart home industry standard later this year, and has explained how it will work in home ecosystems. Matter, developed in collaboration with Apple, Amazon, and the Zigbee Alliance among others, will let users connect all enabled devices to Google Home and control them both locally and remotely with the Google Home app, including smart home controls on Androids and Google Assistant. Matter controllers will include the original Google Home speaker, Google Mini, Nest Mini, Nest Hub, Nest Hub Max, Nest Audio and Nest Wifi. Devices will connect using Fast Pair and will feature multiple compatible voice control systems and networking protocols, including Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri, as well as Thread. While the Fast Pair feature has previously been used for headphones and audio gear, Google announced that it will soon be able to sync lightbulbs and smart plugs with Android and Nest devices. "With Matter, there's no need to build multiple versions of a smart home device to work across different ecosystems.
Google plans to finally launch its new smart home industry standard called Matter this fall. Devices will all connect quickly and easily using Fast Pair and the platform will support a variety of voice assistants and networking protocols. Those include Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri as well as WiFi, Thread and Bluetooth LE. While Fast Pair feature has been used for headphones and audio gear, the company is working to use it for more things, including syncing lightbulbs and smart plugs with Android and Nest devices. You'll be able to scan a code with your phone to get things rolling, which should be quicker and easier than the current method for adding new gear to your arsenal.
For years we've been promised a computing future where our commands aren't tapped, typed, or swiped, but spoken. Embedded in this promise is, of course, convenience; voice computing will not only be hands-free, but totally helpful and rarely ineffective. That hasn't quite panned out. The usage of voice assistants has gone up in recent years as more smartphone and smart home customers opt into (or in some cases, accidentally "wake up") the AI living in their devices. But ask most people what they use these assistants for, and the voice-controlled future sounds almost primitive, filled with weather reports and dinner timers.
Time flies when everything is always happening, so it's totally understandable if you forgot Mother's Day is this Sunday! We can't buy you more time, but we can help you find quality deals with quick shipping so you can still get a great gift. Moms are multifaceted marvels, and we've rounded up a variety of products, ranging from headphones and ebook readers to beauty goods and kitchen gadgets. Don't forget to check out our Mother's Day Gift Ideas guide for more recommendations. Special offer for Gear readers: Get a 1-year subscription to WIRED for $5 ($25 off).
The smart home ecosystem is getting a little more integrated: Google just updated its Amazon Alexa Skill to work on its latest Nest cameras. So if you already own a variety of Nest and Alexa devices, they'll work together more seamlessly moving forward. Now, you can stream live feeds from your Nest cameras, doorbells and other devices to anything from your Amazon Fire TV to any Echo device. Amazon made a similar gesture to open up its own smart home ecosystem last month, when it announced that its doorbells and security cameras would work with Google Nest, Ring, Abode and other third-party devices. Amazon's Ring doorbell already works with Google Home and Apple Homekit.
Time flies when everything is always happening, so it's totally understandable if you forgot Mother's Day is this Sunday! We can't buy you more time, but we can help you find quality deals with quick shipping so you can still get a great gift. Moms are multifaceted marvels, and we've rounded up a variety of products, ranging from headphones and ebook readers to beauty goods and kitchen gadgets. Don't forget to check out our Mother's Day Gift Ideas guide for more recommendations. Special offer for Gear readers: Get a 1-year subscription to WIRED for $5 ($25 off). This includes unlimited access to WIRED.com and our print magazine (if you'd like).
SAVE $50: The Echo Show 15 is on sale for $199.99 as of May 3. That's its first discount to date, shaving 20% off its $249.99 Prime Day is still a few months away -- yes, we finally have a date range -- but you wouldn't know that based on all the Echo deals Amazon's been dropping lately. From a 99-cent Echo Dot to some new all-time lows for the Echo Show 8 and second-gen Echo Buds, these are the exact kinds of can't-miss markdowns the retail giant normally reserves for its annual shopping event. The trend continues with the Echo Show 15, a huge new 15.6-inch smart display that Amazon just put on sale for the first time since its release last winter. As of May 3, you can get one for only $199.99 -- that's 20% off its suggested retail price of $249.99 (and a $50 savings). Designed to sit on a countertop or be mounted on a wall, the Echo Show 15 is the smart home version of a quadruple threat: It has a customizable Alexa interface with calendars, to-do lists, recipes, and a cool Sticky Notes widget, which effectively turns it into a household bulletin board.
A huge reason behind Sonos' success is the company's adaptability. Whenever a new audio streaming service comes along -- and as the industry evolves and pushes new formats like lossless and Dolby Atmos spatial audio -- Sonos is always right there trying to support what's new. For voice assistants, Sonos offers both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant on its smart speakers. And the company also widely supports Apple's AirPlay 2 across its current product lineup. That's all on top of the whole-home audio platform that Sonos has built its brand on. But to stay so nimble and adaptable, Sonos constantly needs to be looking forward and have some sense of what's coming down the technology pike.
Designing a smart home doesn't have to cost a fortune. With smart plugs, you can control just about any appliance with a few taps on your smartphones (or even with your voice). These affordable, internet-connected devices are easy to install and are one of the fastest ways to bring modern technology and automation into your home. Plus, smart plugs can help you monitor your energy usage and save money on your power bills. Below, we've created a list of six of today's best smart plugs, including options that integrate with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit.
When it comes to setting timers or getting traffic updates, nothing beats the convenience of a smart speaker. If you haven't got one already, right now is a good day to buy. Amazon is selling the fourth-generation Echo Dot for $28. In our review of the Echo Dot, we gave it four out of five stars. We liked its improved audio and revamped design.