Philips Hue: Matter support coming in September

Official support for the Matter standard in the Philips Hue lighting system is just around the corner. During the second half of September, the Hue app is expected to receive a software update that will unlock Matter for all users. So far, only beta test participants have been able to benefit from the new function. The official launch was postponed by the manufacturer Signify – originally scheduled for the first quarter of 2023 – with the explanation that more time was needed to meet customer expectations.

“It took a little longer than expected to find all the bugs that can arise between the different Matter integrations,” explains George Yianni, Head of Technology Philips Hue at Signify. “This requires many parties to work together and test their software against each other over and over again. We’re launching now because we think we’ve reached a level where it can add real value to the consumers homes.”

Matter for all Hue products

Users of the Hue Bridge can integrate their products into Matter systems after the update – “all the way back to the first lamps we sold in 2012,” Yianni says. This means that a large ecosystem with lots of installed devices is available under Matter at a stroke. Where individual software solutions for Alexa, Google, HomeKit & Co. were necessary in the past, the cross-manufacturer smart home standard will be sufficient in the future.

A switch is possible at any time, even retrospectively. According to Yianni, it works easiest with Amazon and Google: „Both have ensured that their platforms recognize when an already connected Hue bridge is newly added as a Matter product“. They then remove the previous integration via Alexa Skill or Google Action and replace it with the new Matter connection. Apple Home reacts less intelligently: Those who already use a Hue bridge under HomeKit, and switch to Matter, will see all products appear a second time in the Home app. The Homekit entries must then be deleted manually and automations created again.

On the fourth major platform, SmartThings from Samsung, the question has not yet been raised, because SmartThings does not support Matter Bridges at the moment – and thus no Hue bridge in Matter mode. However, a Hue system can be connected to Samsung TVs or a SmartThings hub via the classic software interface – until Samsung delivers the announced bridge support.

Update: According to a post on the SmartThings forum (link), Samsung began rolling out a software update for the system’s hubs on August 21, 2023. It is supposed to be completed by September 6, 2023, and include support for Matter Bridges among other improvements. This means that all four major platforms would then be ready for the use of the Hue Bridge in the new smart home standard.

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