The Schlage Encode Plus, the popular smart lock with Home Key functionality, will not be upgraded to support Matter. Schlage told The edge that this is due to several factors, including changes in specifications since the product was manufactured. It also confirmed that none of its current smart locks will support Matter. Instead, Schlage plans to introduce a new Matter-enabled smart lock in the future, but didn’t provide a timeline for a release.
When the Encode Plus launched at CES 2022, Schlage said the $330 threaded smart lock should have the hardware onboard to support Matter. “But we still don’t know where those tech specs will end up,” said Donald Beene, senior product manager at Allegion (parent company of Schlage). The edge in January. Looks like they’ve landed too far for the Plus.
Wire is an important pillar of Matter. It was initially thought that newer Thread products would have an easy upgrade path to Matter. However, as Matter has evolved over the past three years, it has undergone significant changes.
“The Matter standard continued to evolve after the initial release of Encode Plus earlier this year, despite the product having Thread on board,” Dave Perozzi, general manager, Schlage Residential Solutions and Allegion Home, said in a statement. The edge. “From a technical and user experience point of view, it became clear that introducing a new Matter-enabled product rather than updating our current product range would ultimately deliver the best results for our customers.”
Perozzi went on to say that while Schlage is still actively involved with Matter, “it will take time to move beyond walled landscape architecture.” He said the different speeds at which the Big Tech platforms are adopting Matter and changes in SDKs and in how its “partners adapt and change products” was one of the factors that led them to decide to work on a new lock to bring Matter. to support.
Amazon is probably one of those tech partners that Schlage refers to. Schlage’s locks work closely with Amazon products, including integrations with Ring and Amazon Key. Amazon announced earlier this month that it wouldn’t enable Thread on its Matter controllers until next year, using Matter over Wi-Fi instead. It also initially only supports smart plugs, switches, and lights, not door locks.
What is matter?
Matter is a new smart home interoperability standard that provides a common language for smart home devices to communicate locally in your home without relying on a cloud connection. It uses wireless Wi-Fi and Thread protocols and will include smart sensors, smart lighting, smart plugs and switches, smart thermostats, connected locks and media devices, including TVs, at launch.
All of this means that if a smart home device you buy has the Matter logo on it, you should be able to set it up and use it with any Matter-compatible device and on any Matter-compatible platform. Matter-compatible devices should be available by the end of this year.
Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Samsung SmartThings, and Apple Home are some of the major smart home platforms signed up to support Matter, and we expect to see updates on these platforms in the coming months.
Both Yale and Level Home have announced upgrade paths for existing locks, leaving only Schlage’s current customers out of luck. Schlage’s Encode Plus has been hard to find in stock since launch, which Schlage told The edge in August was due to supply chain restrictions.
Schlage isn’t the only company ahead of the Matter spec with Thread-enabled hardware. Both Nanoleaf and Belkin Wemo have Thread products that they said don’t work with Matter.
Nanoleaf’s Essentials line of Thread-enabled A19 bulbs and light strips, which launched in 2020, cannot be upgraded to the new standard, according to CEO Gimmy Chu as they require a new chip. Instead, the company will launch new Matter-over-Thread versions in early 2023.
Belkin Wemo released three products this year that work over Thread, and none of them will work with Matter. Their smart dimmer switch, smart plug and scene controller only work with HomeKit over Thread, not Matter over Thread. “When Matter launches later this year, we will introduce new switches/dimmers that support Matter over Thread,” said Cassie Pineda, senior global communications manager at Belkin. The edge in August.
“Some devices may have enough flash or RAM to support the current Matter implementation, while others may not.”
I asked the Thread Group what had changed that made it more difficult for existing products to upgrade to Matter. “While we can’t comment specifically on products, one element to consider as part of the upgrade is Matter’s increased memory requirements. Some devices may have enough flash or RAM to support the current Matter implementation, while others may not,” said Jonathan Hui, VP of technology at the Thread Group. The edge in an email.
Although Matter is officially here, you can’t buy Matter devices yet. But they are coming soon. If you’re considering buying smart home products that support Matter, my advice is not to buy Thread-compatible products available today unless the company guarantees to upgrade the device. So far, only a handful of device manufacturers have committed to this in existing products, including Eve Systems, which says the entire Thread line will be updated starting next month and into 2023.