Last year, Google began rolling out support for Matter to its smart home hardware. At that time, Amazon wasn’t ready to switch on its own hardware. But this scenario is changing now as Matter support becomes available for some of Amazon’s smart home products.
As the company confirms that it has passed 100 million Matter-enabled Echo smart speakers, Amazon has released a new update for Matter-compatible Alexa devices. Previously, you had to use an Android phone and Wi-Fi to configure Matter devices with Amazon Alexa. But right now, Amazon is releasing a significant upgrade that will enable you to set up devices that support Thread in addition to those that can be used with an iOS phone.
In a blog post, Amazon stated that “We enabled second generation Echo, Echo Plus, and Echo Dot devices to be updated as Matter controllers, plus Echo (4th Gen) as a Thread border router. That means, Echo (4th Gen) customers can now expand their smart homes with Matter-enabled Thread devices in addition to WiFi, Zigbee, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Mesh, and Matter-enabled WiFi devices.”
As a result, you’ll be able to use more products within the Amazon Alexa ecosystem, including Eve smart plugs, which rely on Thread for connectivity rather than Wi-Fi. It also implies that you wouldn’t need an Internet connection for these devices to communicate with one another.
There is still room for improvement. Despite today’s upgrade, Alexa still doesn’t support bridges in Thread, which may restrict the range of devices you can add to the platform. However, this will eventually have full support.