Amazon says Matter will make Alexa smarter – The Verge

Amazon wants every smart home device to work with its Alexa ecosystem, and it says Matter is key to achieving that goal. “We really believe in ambient intelligence — an environment where your devices are woven together by artificial intelligence so they can offer far more than any device could do on its own,” Marja Koopmans, director of Alexa smart home, told The Verge in an interview.

“Matter brings interoperability, and interoperability between all of those devices in the home is essential to realizing [our] vision of ambient intelligence.” The more devices can talk to each other, the more “experiences” platforms can build with them. For example, “If I leave home and I forget to turn off the lights or adjust my thermostat, Alexa will do that for me, including locking the doors,” says Koopmans.

Matter is a new standard coming to a smart home near you later this year. It will allow connected devices to communicate using existing IP-based wireless protocols Thread and Wi-Fi. It’s not a smart home platform like Apple HomeKit, Google Home, or Amazon’s Alexa. So, you will still need to choose one of these platforms to run your Matter-enabled devices, but you aren’t limited to one.

Amazon is embracing Matter because it will allow any device to work on its smart home platform

Apple, Amazon, Google, and Samsung are embracing Matter because it will allow any device to work on their smart home platforms, regardless of who made it, and without requiring any special platform-specific programming on the developer’s part. If it works with Matter, it will just work — at least, for the device categories Matter will initially support: smart lighting, plugs, locks, sensors, thermostats, shades / blinds, and Wi-Fi routers.

Of course, that means those devices “just work” on their competitors’ platforms, too. You’ll be able to add devices to multiple platforms at once and then control them with any Matter controller. A Matter controller can be a smart display or speaker, a voice assistant, or a smartphone app. As an example, this means if you add a Matter device using Alexa, you will also be able to control it with Apple’s HomeKit or Google Home.

But the theory is that with an even playing field, each platform believes it can offer the best “experience” for the customer. And if they don’t, you can switch all your Matter devices over to another platform — without hours of tedious effort — and test drive that one.

We should start seeing Matter devices later this year; they will be identifiable by the Matter logo.

Image: NXP

Can we have more Matter devices, please?

For all this to work, there need to be a lot of Matter devices. At its Alexa Live Developer Event this week, Amazon announced a slew of tools and features to help developers to build Matter devices, much as Google did at I/O, Apple at WWDC, and Samsung at SDC. And these tools will help developers build Matter-enabled devices that work with every platform, not just …….



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