Matter could settle the worst thing about HomeKit
Among smart home platforms, Apple’s HomeKit is probably my third favorite, behind Alexa and SmartThings. With HomeKit, you can create a surprising number of smart routines to make your different smart home devices work with each other, much more than with Google Home, in fact.
However, there’s a problem with Apple’s smart home platform: there just aren’t enough things that work with HomeKit. This point was highlighted with the announcement at CES 2022 of the Eve outdoor cam and the Wemo smart video doorbell. They are respectively the second outdoor video camera and the third video doorbell that work with HomeKit Secure Video. And they’re both very expensive – $ 249 each. Meanwhile, if you want one of the best video doorbells that work with Alexa, you can spend as little as $ 49.
At least the news is better for HomeKit on the smart lock front. With the announcement of the news Schlage Encoder Plus, there are now four HomeKit compatible smart locks.
The same goes for other categories of smart homes: smart switches, smart plugs, smart thermostats – there is very little to choose from for homeowners who rely on HomeKit, and what there is not necessarily the right one. better or requires another device. Want to use the Nest Learning Thermostat with HomeKit? You will need to use the Starling Home Hub as a workaround.
There is hope on the horizon, however. Among the many announcements made by the ETUC was support for Matter, the new smart home protocol that should make devices work more smoothly with any smart home platform, HomeKit included. Here are some of the big names who either announced products or pledged their support for Matter at CES.
- Xfinity’s new Advanced Wi-Fi 6 Gateway, which will be available in the coming months, will act as a Matter hub, providing an instant upgrade to the thousands of people who use Comcast for their internet service.
- Sengled, who launched a light strip as well as a slightly creepy light bulb that can follow you when you sleep, also said he plans to support the new standard.
- Cync’s New Smart Thermostat, Security Camera and Smart Lights to Support Matter
- Wemo’s line of smart plugs will work with Matter – but to be fair, Wemo already works with HomeKit.
- Schlage’s aforementioned smart lock – which won a Tom’s Guide CES 2022 award – will also work with Matter.
- Arlo, which finally announced its DIY home security system, has joined the Matter Alliance.
Equally significantly, Amazon announced additional developer support for Matter devices, including “frustration-free setup” for those devices. While this has been around since 2018 and is used for all Alexa smart speakers, it is now being expanded to include Matter products. It also adds a feature that will allow Alexa to connect to Matter devices through the cloud or over a local network – handy if your internet connection goes down, but you still want to control your smart home devices.
While the latter has nothing to do with HomeKit, Amazon’s commitment to Matter could be a bigger incentive for other smart home device makers to update their products to support the standard – which is one more step towards making them compatible with HomeKit as well.
These weren’t the only things announced at CES 2022; be sure to check out all of the Tom’s Guide CES 2022 Awards winners.