Belkin’s Wemo products take a “big step back” from matter

One of the most popular smart home technology brands, Belkin’s Wemo, is officially pausing development of Matter devices. What should have been a revolution in interconnectivity and ease of access has now lost one of its greatest contributors.

Jen Wei, Belkin’s vice president of communications, told us The edge Thursday that while Matter will have a “significantly positive impact” on the smart home industry, the company decided it would take “a step back” from allowing access to Matter for its future devices. Matter needed to enable users with many internet-connected home devices from different brands to synchronize them more easily with each other, simplifying installation, management and security.

Created by the industry group Connectivity Standards Alliance, Matter essentially enables a Wi-Fi, Bluetooth LE and Thread specification and SDK, enabling quick and easy adoption by brands. Matter originally had an expected release date of Summer 2021but delay upon delay led to one winter 2022 debut.

Still, it was hoped that regardless of a device’s origin, be it from Google, Amazon, Apple, Samsung, Signify or Wemo, it would be easy to set up new devices in a connected home. Google promotes the standardand in December the company started allowing users to pair their Android and Nest devices with Matter.

Gizmodo contacted Belkin, but we didn’t immediately hear back. Wei told The Verge that Wemo is waiting to make Matter devices until the company can find a way to “differentiate” its devices from other devices on the market. Some Wemo devices already use Threadlike his popular (and personal Gizmodo favorite) smart plug product. Belkin did promised last year it would update its switches, dimmers and smart plug devices once Matter was in place, but there’s little hope for new Belkin Matter updates.

There were 280 other companies that had signed on to the Matter standard, and with big tech companies like Google apparently excited about interconnectivity, it’s hard to say how big of a blow Belkin’s decision will take. Gizmodo has reached out to the CSA for comment, and we’ll update the story when we hear more.

Of course, there would always be a long way before we saw most of these smart home devices become fully interconnected. Many legacy devices remain incompatible with Matter, and in the year it took the CSA to fully release the standard, the industry was clearly unsettled. It may be some time before we find out how many other companies also don’t want to participate and prefer to play with themselves.

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