Marja Koopmans has spent her career putting together the building blocks for a smart home where devices as diverse as smart speakers, plugs, lights, vacuum cleaners, thermostats and TVs talk to each other; perform tasks and assignments; and make life easier and more efficient for their owners.
It’s no surprise that Koopmans, who serves as Amazon’s director of health and smart home, lives in a smart home, and that Amazon built many of the devices she owns. However, she is quick to point out that no single company can achieve the “home that works for you” vision on its own.
Amazon embodies that vision. “It’s not an easy job, stitching together these different experiences with all these different devices and brands, but we think that’s what’s best for customers. That’s why we do the hard work,” said Koopmans . “We deliver more value to customers faster by working together.”
That’s why Amazon became a founding member and important participant of Matter, a smart home standard that aims to make smart home devices from different brands work together.
Matter began rolling out to devices across the smart home industry last month, and at a launch celebration in Amsterdam, Amazon announced plans to bring Matter to Amazon devices, as well as important Matter partnerships with other device makers. The new standard has the potential to resolve several issues faced by smart home customers and developers.
More compatibility, less hassle
Matter aims to reduce the need for device makers to build different versions of their products for different smart home systems. This could allow them to focus more on innovating on behalf of customers and less on making sure their devices can connect properly to different systems, which is frustrating for many customers today.
No customer wants to buy a smart device, only to find out that it is not compatible with their preferred smart home system. Content can help resolve compatibility issues so customers can focus on finding and purchasing the products and features they need.
The idea is that when customers buy a Content Compatible device, they will have the confidence that it will work with the smart home devices and systems they already have in their homes.
Ensuring a quality experience
While Matter is a very exciting development, it takes time to implement this standard in Amazon’s more than 100 million devices, Koopmans said. That’s why she emphasized that Amazon will focus on delivering a quality customer experience starting with Matter over Wi-Fi for select Echo devices and Amazon’s Plugs, Switches, and Smart Bulbs with Android setup this year, before expanding to systems more operating, smart. home products, and devices of the future.
Customers can mix and match more than 30,000 devices with the Works with Alexa (WWA) badge, giving them confidence that the device has been tested and certified to work with Alexa. These devices use a wide variety of wireless protocols including WiFi, Zigbee, and Bluetooth Low Energy. Matter will soon join them.
Along with the Matter announcement, Amazon introduced a new one WWA certification requirements for Matter devices. They will help support innovation and choice, and improve the reliability and functionality of connected devices. Read the full Matter update from Koopmans.
The promise of the smart home
Ben Wood, principal analyst and CMO at CCS Insight, said the news reports that Amazon is making it easier for device makers to build products that work together and simpler for consumers to create smart homes with products that are useful in their daily lives. “The Matter standard sees the industry share a goal of enabling a more seamless experience, which if successful will fuel the next wave of growth in smart home technology,” said Wood.
“By working together across the industry, I think we are better able to deliver better value to customers and deliver on the promise of the smart home.” Koopmans said. “The smart home should be one that saves you time, effort and energy and helps you feel more secure and connected. By working to ensure convenient and more consistent compatibility between smart home devices from many brands, Matter is a big step in Amazon’s journey to deliver on that promise.”