This is HUGE. (Note that it is likely that Google Assistant and Siri will offer something similar, but no details yet.)
Stacey on IOT is reporting that many Echo devices (but not 1st generation) will support LOCAL (no internet connection required) control of Matter-compatible devices, which should mean faster, more reliable voice controls.
Amazon already offers this for zigbee devices connected directly to an Echo device with a zigbee hub inside (I use this in my own home for a few light switches). but this would be a huge expansion. Here’s the explanation of what’s currently available:
Stacey also speculates that the new feature would mean local voice control of anything connected to a smartthings hub since smartthings has announced future matter support. But since Samsung has not yet given any detail on what that “matter support” will mean, I’m a little more cautious on this one. It’s possible, but I don’t think guaranteed yet. It might only that devices which are made that are compatible by their own manufacturers will be able to connect to a smartthings hub, not that smartthings would expose Devices which are not otherwise matter comparable to the voice assistants. We just have to wait on the details for that.
Anyway, this is really good news even if it’s the limited version.
DeCenzo explains, “Alexa has many many systems connected to it through the cloud and our priority has been on ensuring they can mix and match. What Matter will do is it lets us have a local plane of control and connectivity.” He stressed that the cloud will always be a “vital piece” of the Alexa experience.
If you’re not yet familiar with Matter (formerly “project chip“), see the following discussion: