One of the largest cable network operators and Internet providers in the USA was an early advocate of the upcoming smart home standard matter. Comcast was already part of the manufacturer’s initiative when it was still called Connected Home over IP (CHIP). That could now pay off for the U.S. company’s customers: Comcast has announced a new edition of its xFi gateway for this year. The combination of Internet modem and WLAN router is supposed to work with the latest Wi-Fi standard 6E, hence the name xFi Advanced Wi-Fi 6E (link).
At the same time, the router can serve as a gateway for smart home devices. In addition to the Zigbee 3.0 wireless protocol, which is part of Comcast’s own Xfinity platform, the matter standard joins the party. So far, Xfinity only works with selected products, including LED lamps from Sengled, Philips Hue, smart locks from August and Yale, or thermostats from Ecobee and Honeywell.
matter opens the door for a variety of compatible products that are likely to hit the market in the coming months – and years. In addition to devices that connect via WLAN or LAN cable, there are also those that use the Thread wireless protocol. To reach them, all that’s needed is a border router installed in the home. Since this function will soon be integrated into many devices as standard, Comcast probably doesn’t think it’s necessary to equip the gateway itself with Thread.
The company’s customers are to receive the xFi Advanced Wi-Fi on a rental basis like the previous model. The subscription costs 14 US dollars per month. Even though the router and its services are only available on the U.S. market and are not relevant for international buyers: It shows that matter could permanently change private smart home installation. Ideally, it will be there at some point simply because you have bought a new device – without having to think much about the technology.
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