Amazon announces its long-awaited software update for the Thread wireless protocol. This gives the 4th generation Echo the ability to connect directly wirelessly to Matter products. According to the company’s developer blog (link), the software update has already begun in the US.
The Echo 4 as Border Router
The number of supported wireless standards in the Amazon universe has thus increased to four: Alongside Wi-Fi, Zigbee and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), Thread is now also available. The Echo 4 acts as a Border Router that brings Thread products into the home IP network via its Wi-Fi connection.
Companies like Eve Systems must have been eagerly awaiting this update. After all, it expands their potential customer base by many millions of households that already have an Echo 4 at home. Until now, Thread products like Eve Energy, Eve Motion, and Eve Door & Window could only be paired with three of four Matter ecosystems: Apple Home, Google Home, and SmartThings. Now Amazon is completing the cloverleaf.
So it seems obvious that Eve Systems also supports other features of the Amazon ecosystem that go beyond the Matter standard. For example, Eve plans to offer “Frustration Free Setup” (FFS) for all of its products in the future – a service from Amazon.com in which devices purchased online are already digitally linked with the Echo at home before delivery. They connect immediately after unpacking and powering up, eliminating the usual initial setup with code and a smartphone.
With the current three Matter-enabled Eve products, this is already possible today. Read more on FFS in German at digitalzimmer.de: Was ist Amazon’s Frustration Free Setup? Eve’s participation in the developer program “Works with Alexa” (WWA) should also ensure particularly smooth operation.
New: the Alexa app for iOS
Together with Thread, Amazon is also fulfilling another promise: Matter products – Thread and Wi-Fi – can now also be set up in the Alexa app for iOS. Until now, this was only possible with the Android version of the program. And last, but not least, the number of Echo models that can serve as controler for Matter devices is being expanded. New additions to the existing 17 products are the second generations of Echo, Echo Plus, and Echo Dot.
However, to install Thread devices in Amazon’s smart home system, an Echo 4 is required at home. The other Echo models do not act as border routers, which means they cannot establish a wireless connection to Eve & Co.
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