Aside from the usual tech revealed at IFA, like televisions and new laptops, another product showcased this year was cause for awe. This consisted of demo stations by the smart home accessory company Eve, which showed their Homekit-enabled smart plugs working with Homekit-incompatible devices like an Alexa speaker and a Google Nest Hub — all talking to each other courtesy of Matter.
We have covered “Matter” here before, and it is basically a smart home industry standard that will be leveraging the next-gen connectivity protocol called “Thread.” This new standard was developed in collaboration with Amazon, Apple, Samsung SmartThings, and Zigbee as a way to reduce fragmentation and achieve interoperability among smart home devices. Eve is the first company I have seen showing a working demo of Matter and announced an Android app coming soon. The folks over at The Verge were present for this demonstration and stated the following regarding the experience:
On the Google table, there was both a Thread-enabled second-generation Nest Hub and a Google Pixel 6 Pro running the Google Home app. First, Felber told the Nest Hub, “Ok Google, turn on my lights.” The instant the Google smart display recognized the command, the Eve Energy smart plug behind it clicked on the attached light bulb. The smart display had sent a signal to the smart plug over Thread to turn it on, thanks to Matter.Source: The Verge
The Matter project proves that amazing things can happen when tech giants put their heads together and collaborate. Matter was originally supposed to be released in late 2020 but has been delayed several times and is now scheduled for fall 2022. Unfortunately, we are now in September, and we still haven’t seen any products announced that will leverage this technology. Also, according to The Verge, the demo at IFA had issues when it came to running it from an Android phone. Based on this, I think a Fall 2022 launch is unlikely, but I would love to be surprised and see some product launches in October alongside the Pixel 7 and Pixel Watch.