Newsletter: Hue Delays Matter Support (But SwitchBot & Nanoleaf Roll It Out) & More

(This newsletter was originally sent to subscribers on 31st March 2023)

Hi I’m Tristan! Welcome to today’s Smart Home Point newsletter.

There’s a bunch of smart home news to dive into this week, covering everything from Matter project updates to Eufy being in trouble (again) – and Ring releasing a new product with a confusing name (…again)!

Oh yeah, I also pretended to be a Jedi Knight while reviewing a new product:

Me holding The Boring Lamp and pretending to be a Jedi Knight
Me holding The Boring Lamp and pretending to be a Jedi Knight

… more on that later!

News: Philips Hue Delays Their Matter Support

The smart home standard “Matter” launched in November 2022, and as an early backer, Philips Hue proudly announced that their Hue Bridge would become Matter-compatible in Q1 (Jan-Mar) of 2023.

Well, it’s now the end of Q1… and my Hue Bridge definitely isn’t Matter-compatible!

The Hue Blog reached out to Signify (the company behind Philips Hue), and Signify confirmed that this Matter update has been delayed – until some unspecified time in the future.

This is a pity because so many smart home companies (Google, Amazon, SwitchBot, Nanoleaf, Eve etc) are now Matter-compatible, so you would have hoped that Philips Hue would be leading the way here as an early adopter too.

News: Various Smart Home Sales Are Here

Jamie Siminoff the CEO of Ring
Jamie Siminoff the CEO of Ring

I have received loads of emails from smart home companies in the past week, telling me that their devices are now on sale.

This seems to be linked to Amazon rolling out an unexpected Spring Sale, where a bunch of smart tech is on offer.

Ring, Eufy, Kasa and many companies are all having sales. You can either visit their websites directly, or purchase from Amazon – everyone seems to be selling discounted smart tech right now.

News: An Interesting Article About Amazon Sidewalk

In the past few days, Amazon have announced a new developer program to expand the reach of their Sidewalk program (which is a way for smart devices to output a new Wi-Fi signal for other devices to use, potentially acting as a country-wide backup for various smart devices).

This new developer program will allow qualifying companies to get a Sidewalk hardware kit, which is basically a big Wi-Fi signal strength test kit. This will then allow companies to make their own products (from smart vacuums to TVs) Sidewalk-enabled, meaning they can output – and use – other Sidewalk signals too.

Sidewalk is a bit of a controversial program because it effectively ‘steals’ a small chunk of our paid-for Wi-Fi network, that other people can then use. The goal is good, but the fact that 90% of America’s population can now access a Sidewalk signal is also a bit creepy.

Either way, The Wired have a good write-up on Amazon Sidewalk – and the new developer program.

New Video: The Boring Lamp Review

The Boring Lamp in desk mode
The Boring Lamp in desk mode

A company called The Boring Lamp sent me their “modular, four-in-one” light to review. At first I was a bit skeptical, but it’s actually a pretty awesome product.

It can be used as a desk lamp, an ambient light, monitor light, portable light and more.

It also gave me an excuse to throw up a green screen and pretend to be a Jedi Knight, which is always good. My recent Star Wars movie & The Mandalorian binge-watching has paid off!

News: SwitchBot And Nanoleaf DO Support Matter (Unlike Hue..!)

While Philips Hue are being boring and delaying their Matter support, SwitchBot and Nanoleaf are being totally awesome and have rolled out Matter-compatible products.

(I’m not bitter than Philips Hue delayed their long-awaited Matter support, honest…)

Nanoleaf’s Essentials range of smart bulbs are now Matter-certified, and are available to pre-order – with shipping dates starting in mid-April 2023:

SwitchBot have also just released their Hub2, which will ship in the next couple of weeks:

The SwitchBot Hub2
The SwitchBot Hub2

The Hub2 supports Matter over Wi-Fi, and it contains both infrared and Bluetooth chips – meaning that all of SwitchBot’s products can connect to it.

As a result, all of SwitchBot’s products will (eventually) become Matter certified too. Noice.

Right now, only the SwitchBot Curtains and Blinds products are Matter compatible, but other products will have Matter support as the year progresses.

I will be releasing a full YouTube video covering the Hub2 – and testing its Matter support – on April 7th.

If you’re interested in buying the Hub2, you can use discount code XM15HUB2 to get 15% off between April 1st and 10th May 2023.

You can buy it on the SwitchBot Store or on Amazon USA.

News: Ring Release Their “Battery Doorbell Plus”

Right after hitting send on the previous newsletter, Ring released a new product: their Ring Battery Doorbell Plus.

It looks like quite an interesting product, with smart alerts, head-to-toe vision, advanced motion detection and more – all for $180.

Some of these features were previously only available on Ring’s hardwired cameras, so it’s pretty neat that Ring have improved their battery tech so much that they can introduce these power-hungry features into a battery model.

I just wish that Ring had a better naming strategy. They already have a Ring Battery Doorbell 3 Plus, Ring Spotlight Cam Battery Plus and Ring Floodlight Cam Plus – so this product confuses things further.

Either way, it’s still a pretty neat product. It ships in early April 2023.

In Other News

Three other interesting smart home articles that I read recently are:

  1. Amazon Echo recordings were used to work out how a British man killed his wife. Caution: the BBC article contains graphic details of a murder, but the couple’s use of the Echo device (and the saved voice recordings) allowed the police to build up an entire timeline of exactly how/when a man killed his wife.
  2. Eufy have again been accused of transmitting data to their cloud servers, even in ‘local-only’ mode. I have mentioned in a few previous newsletters how Eufy have been in trouble for transmitting pictures and/or videos to the cloud, even for Eufy cameras that are set to only record locally. So it was unfortunately not a massive surprise to read in The Register that Eufy have been sued for doing something similar. Again.
  3. Google’s partnership with ADT has finally resulted in a new productThe Verge reports on the ADT Self Setup system, that allows people to install a DIY ADT alarm system (like you can do with Ring’s alarm system). This new ADT self-setup system will integrate with the full range of Nest products, including cameras, smart displays and their thermostats.

Wrapping Up

That’s it for today’s newsletter – thanks for reading. I was happy to see both SwitchBot and Nanoleaf make progress with their Matter support, although it’s a pity that Philips Hue are lagging behind.

I enjoyed shooting videos for The Boring Lamp and SwitchBot, and I hope you enjoy watching them too. The Boring Lamp video is already live, while the SwitchBot one will be released on April 7th.

As always, if you have any questions (or just want to say ‘hi’), please feel free to reply to this email.

I’m aiming to send the next newsletter out in a few weeks. Until then, have a good one!

– Tristan

About Tristan Perry

Tristan Perry is a software developer who is passionate about tech gadgets, DIY and housing. He has therefore loved seeing smart homes hit the mainstream. Tristan also has an academic background (in Math & Computer Science), and so he enjoys digging into the technical ways that smart home devices work.

Tristan owns close to a dozen Amazon Echo devices, way too many Philips Hue bulbs and lightstrips, a boat-load of Ring Cameras and Doorbells... and a bunch of other smart home devices too (from Reolink, Google Nest, GLEDOPTO and others).

If you have any questions, feedback or suggestions about this article, please leave a comment below. Please note that all comments go into a moderation queue (to prevent blog spam). Your comment will be manually reviewed and approved by Tristan in less than a week. Thanks!

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