The launch of the Matter smart home standard has hit a few speed bumps along, and it’s just been dealt another blow. As reported by The Verge, Belkin’s Wemo smart home brand has made the decision to “pause development of Matter smart home devices.”
Wemo abandons its plans to adopt Matter (for now)
Wemo makes some of the most popular smart home accessories on the market, ranging from smart plugs to smart switches, smart doorbells, light bulbs, and more. The company had previously promised to bring Matter support to its full range of accessories.
Jen Wei, Belkin’s communications vice president, told The Verge that the company has chosen to “take a big step back, regroup, and rethink” its smart home roadmap.
In an email exchange, Jen Wei, Vice President of Global Communications and Corporate Development at Belkin, confirmed that, while the company remains convinced that “Matter will have a significantly positive impact on the smart home industry,” it has decided to “take a big step back, regroup, and rethink’’ its approach to the smart home. Wei went on to write that Wemo will bring new Matter products to market when it can find a way to differentiate them.
The Verge summarizes it aptly: “It seems like Wemo might be concerned its smart home gear is becoming commoditized.”
Belkin’s statement sounds as if it’s not opposed to revisiting Matter support in the future. This decision, however, is a blow to users deep in the Wemo ecosystem who were hoping to easily transition into the Matter ecosystem.
In many ways, this is history repeating itself. Way back in March 2016, Belkin canceled its plans to add HomeKit to its Wemo smart home accessories, after previously promising support. It eventually flip-flopped again, but it wasn’t until 2018 that HomeKit support actually started rolling out for Wemo accessories.