Followed by two Matter-over-Thread sensors and a new multi-protocol Hub M3 — Aqara is on the way to having 160 Matter-compatible devices.
Aqara just lifted the veil on its smart home roadmap at the Matter launch event in Amsterdam. It starts with a free software update in December for the Hub M2 to make many of Aqara’s existing Zigbee devices Matter compatible. That will be followed by the release of Aqara’s first two Matter-over-Thread devices in early 2023 and a new multi-protocol hub coming sometime in the future.
Starting in December, the maker of low-cost smart home devices will issue an over-the-air update to the Aqara Hub M2 to make over 40 of Aqara’s existing Zigbee devices Matter compatible when attached to the hub. That list will eventually expand to support more than 160 of the company’s Zigbee devices. Aqara’s other hubs, including the Hub M1S/M1S Gen 2, Hub E1, Camera Hub G3, and Camera Hub G2H Pro, will be made Matter compatible in “the following months,” according to Aqara.
Once the hub is updated, any Aqara Zigbee device attached to the M2 can be used in any Matter ecosystem. It’s the same approach Ikea is taking to making its existing smart home devices Matter compliant with an update to the new Dirigera hub coming early next year. Frankly, it’s the fastest way to Matter compatibility for most companies and means that hubs will still be required on Matter networks for anyone already invested in lots of Zigbee devices.
What is Matter?
Matter is a new smart home interoperability standard that provides a common language for smart home devices to communicate locally in your home without relying on a cloud connection. It uses Wi-Fi and Thread wireless protocols and, at launch, will include smart sensors, smart lighting, smart plugs and switches, smart thermostats, connected locks, and media devices including TVs.
All this means that if a smart home device you buy has the Matter logo on it, you should be able to set it up and use it with any Matter-compatible device and in any Matter-compatible platform. Matter-compatible devices should start to become available toward the end of this year.
Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Samsung SmartThings, and Apple Home are some of the big smart home platforms signed on to support Matter, and we expect to see updates arriving on these platforms over the coming months.
In addition to making old devices Matter compatible, Aqara’s also announcing more details on its first Matter-over-Thread devices teased at CES back in January. The Thread-based Door and Window Sensor P2 and the Motion and Light Sensor P2 are set to be released in early 2023. Aqara says it will eventually release an array of new Thread-based devices, including “various smart sensors, dimmer switches, smart plugs, and lights.”
One future device is the Hub M3, a “next-gen smart home hub with multi-protocol support,” according to Aqara. The M3 is designed to bridge existing Aqara Zigbee devices to Matter while serving as a Thread border router and Matter controller to connect and manage Thread and Matter-compatible devices. Support for third-party Matter devices is also coming to the Aqara Home app.
Here’s the list of Aqara’s existing Zigbee devices that will be Matter compatible after the M2 Hub is updated in December: