Belkin Abandoning the Matter Smart Home Standard: What This Means for Consumers

Is Matter’s Vision of an Interoperable Smart Home at Risk?

Matter is the next-generation smart home protocol that aims to bring together all your smart home devices, regardless of their manufacturer or the platform they support. The standard promises interoperability between devices and enables them to work offline without requiring constant internet access. Matter was launched in November 2022, two years after its initial promised date and has been off to a promising start, backed by nearly all major brands. However, its promise has encountered a significant obstacle as Belkin’s smart home brand Wemo has decided to stop development on all Matter-compatible accessories.

In an interview with The Verge, Belkin’s Corporate Development and Global Communications head Hen Wei confirmed that the company was suspending the development of its Matter accessories for now. Belkin believes in the impact of Matter on the smart home market but wants to review its smart home accessory approach.

At CES 2022, Wemo announced updated versions of almost all its popular smart home accessories such as smart plugs, light switches, and smart dimmers with Thread compatibility. Matter support was promised to arrive later in 2022 through a firmware update. However, with Belkin giving up on the smart home standard, Thread-compatible Wemo products may not gain Matter support.

Without Matter, you can control Wemo accessories over Thread using your iPhone, Apple Watch, Mac, or Siri only since they only support HomeKit. Thread allows these devices to operate offline without direct internet connection access and simplifies the initial setup process.

It is unclear why Belkin decided to give up on Matter, and the company may change its decision in the future. For now, this move is noteworthy. Belkin is the first company to give up on the much-hyped smart home standard. Without accessory makers’ support, Matter’s promise of a smarter and interoperable home will collapse. It remains to be seen if other companies will follow Belkin’s footsteps and abandon Matter support on their products.