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Matter Is “Stuffed” AS Big Brands Pull Back

Serious questions are being asked re the roll out of Matter and Matter enabled devices with some observers claiming that the home automation platform is in trouble.

At CES Matter partners Google and Samsung both pushed the Philips Hue lighting system as a key Matter enabled product that will work on their home automation offering, the only problem is that Signify, the parent company of Philips Hue, has announced that it won’t be making its system Matter compatible in Q1 2023.

At CES they claimed that their 2023 offering would be Matter 1.0 certified.

Signify intends to make its Hue bridges rather than its bulbs Matter devices, and the plan was to have this done via a firmware update.

A Signify statement reads: “For the launch of Matter, we are working together with many partners in the smart home industry. With Philips Hue, we always focus on convincing quality to meet our customers’ expectations. Therefore, we will take a little more time than originally planned for the Philips Hue Bridge software update before making it available to all consumers. We will inform you as soon as we have a concrete date for the release of the Matter software update.”

Some observers who are working on upgrading products and cloud-based services to Matter are now are claiming that Matter is not up to the standards that their users would accept.

Key Matter partner Amazon was the first big brand to, put the boot in when it said Matter over Thread wasn’t ready at launch, there’s a big issue between iOS and non-Apple platforms.

Recently Belkin said that they were pulling the plug on the development of Matter related products.

Writing on specialist home automation web site Ambient in the UK, Paul Lamkin claimed that “Matter is a mess”.

While he claimed that Matter needs more “breathing space” to get it right he said that five months on from the rollout of Matter 1.0, everything is a bit of a mess.

That hymn sheet has been scribbled on, folded, torn and parts tossed away, and we’ve now got a situation where all the major players are still singing the Matter song, but in their own key, at different times and often with vastly different words.Matter was exciting because it was supposed to make the smart home a simpler place.

Matter is complicated however the complications were meant to be eliminated before they reached the consumer.

If a smart home device that consumers buy has the Matter sticker on the box then it was just meant to work.

No hubs, no extra apps, no hassle.

But that is far from the case as Matter stands now.

First there was the messy launch.

When the tech world turned its attention to the Matter 1.0 announcement in Amsterdam last November, it expected to see the big players proudly exclaiming that Matter was ready and that a bunch of new devices would be hitting the shops with that stick-man-bikini-bottoms logo on the box.

This has not happened with brands such as Brilliant Lighting in Australia questioning the fees that Matter marketing are demanding to use their Matter logo.

Laser Corporation is already claiming that their products are Matter certified and have already shown Matter certified products to retailers.

Chris DeCenzo, Amazon’s Senior Principal Engineer, told The Ambient  that Amazon didn’t feel that Thread was ready to play its part in a major smart home ecosystem.

“The whole decision around Thread is there’s more tooling required and there’s more integration between us and the other partners needed for us to make sure that this is a smooth experience for customers,” DeCenzo explained.

In August last year Michele Turner, senior director of the Google Smart Home Ecosystem. said that she was not clear on why Matter was initially delayed, with speculation mounting that the under-pressure Matter management team rushed the release in November with the code not “Fit for purpose”.

As for Apple Matter integration, even if you do get some Matter devices singing and dancing within your Apple Home you might find you won’t be getting everything you hoped for though.

Take for example those new Matter Nanoleaf smart lights, you won’t be able to use Apple’s Adaptive Lighting features as you can with the older, non-Matter, Nanoleaf smart lights.

Adaptive Lighting is HomeKit only for now.

On the Google-side, native Android apps won’t connect to your Apple Matter controllers like a HomePod or an Apple TV.

Samsung, with SmartThings, is performing slightly better here but it’s also far from the “flawless” experience we were hoping for.

SmartThings, like Alexa, doesn’t allow for Matter bridging devices at the moment, meaning platforms like Hue won’t be compatible.

Matter management have not commented for this story.



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