Will I need a dedicated hub for my Matter Smart Home?

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Amazon

Matter-based smart homes are just around the corner, and you might be wondering if this means the old new standard, the new core cycle is about to come into force. There will still be a center, but you may not even notice it’s there.

Matter is moving the smart home beyond downtown

If you’ve been in the smart home game for a while, you’re more than familiar with the smart home hub model.

Hubs serve as a way to control your smart home equipment and as gateways for smart home devices to communicate with the rest of your network and the Internet in general.

In some cases, a hub is just for a particular ecosystem. You need the Philips Hue Hub, for example, to link all your Philips Hue smart lights and accessories for cool effects, like syncing your lights with your PC or using the Hue Sync Box for real-time colorful ambient lighting while you watch TV.

In other cases, the hubs are not restricted by the ecosystem and serve to link multiple products from multiple vendors, such as the Aeotec Smart Home SmartThings Hub. Due to the versatility of these Swiss Army Knife hubs, it has historically been fairly easy to argue that a proper smart home needs such a hub.

For really serious smart home enthusiasts with very diverse smart home ecosystems (and older smart home hardware in the mix), it’s likely to remain true that a dedicated smart home hub will remain a necessity.

But the Smart Home Matter protocol is moving the smart home market into a hubless existence where consumers are no longer forced to search for a dedicated hub for their smart homes unless some compelling use case pushes them to do so.

In the Matter home, you’re free to mix and match your hardware, your devices, and even the software interface you use to control them all.

Manufacturers are incorporating centers of matter into their products

It’s not entirely true to say that there is no hub in Matter’s smart home universe. In effect, thread edge routers serve the function of a hub.

The key difference, which is consumer-friendly and bodes well for widespread adoption of the Matter standard, is that Thread edge routers are built into a myriad of devices that people are already buying on their own merits, and not because they are actively looking for a Matter hub.

Companies like Amazon, Google, Apple, and Nanoleaf are actively building Matter smart home hubs, or Matter controllers, into various products like smart home speakers, Wi-Fi routers, and smart lights. In fact, you may already have a Matter controller in your home right now and not even realize it.

Amazon Echo (4th generation)

This sneaky little sphere isn’t just a speaker dock and voice assistant, it’s also a Matter smart home hub.

All of Amazon’s eero mesh routers, Wi-Fi 6 and above, have a built-in Matter hub, including the eero Beacon, eero 6, eero Pro, and eero Pro 6. The 4th-gen Echo speaker is also a Thread edge router, so if you bought one recently, you’re ready to Matter.

Google has a similar variety of smart router and speaker offerings. Nest Wi-Fi routers will work as Matter hubs, as will the second-gen Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max.

Apple’s second-generation Apple TV 4K has a built-in hub, as does the HomePod Mini.

While different smart lighting companies have signed up to support Matter, Philips Hue Hub will be updated to support Matter, but it won’t be a thread edge router, Nanoleaf has jumped in first with Matter hubs built into its elements, shapes and lines of light. Panels.

These are just examples of products that are already Matter ready and will be supported from day one. As time goes on, we will continue to see Matter controllers integrated into consumer smart home products, offering a seamless way to bring Matter into your home, without the need to purchase a separate hub.