The reason the business won’t upgrade its Encode Plus smart lock to Matter is because of the new smart home standard’s rapid adoption and revisions. It intends to introduce a brand-new smart lock that supports Matter in the future.
The popular Home Key-enabled smart lock Schlage Encode Plus won’t receive an update to support Matter. This is due to a number of things, including changes in the spec after the product was built, according to Schlage, who spoke with The Verge. Additionally, it declared that none of its current smart locks will work with Matter. Schlage did not offer a release date for the new Matter-enabled smart lock, but it intends to release it in the future.
Schlage stated that the $330 Thread-enabled smart lock Encode Plus should have the necessary technology to support Matter when it first debuted at CES 2022. But Donald Beene, senior product manager for Allegion, the parent company of Schlage, stated to The Verge in January, “We still don’t know where those tech requirements will fall.” They seem to have landed too far away for the Plus.
A crucial supporter of Matter is Thread. At first, it was believed that upgrading from newer Thread products to Matter would be simple. But over the past three years, Matter has changed significantly as it has grown.
Despite Thread being a part of the product, Dave Perozzi, general manager of Schlage Residential Solutions and Allegion Home, told The Verge that “the Matter standard continued to evolve” after Encode Plus’ initial release earlier this year. The introduction of a new, specifically designed Matter-enabled product rather than an update to our current product lineup would ultimately yield the best results for our customers, according to technical and user experience considerations.
Schlage is still actively working with Matter, but Perozzi continued, “getting beyond walled garden structures will take time.” He claimed that among the reasons they chose to work on a new lock to support Matter were the various rates at which the Big Tech platforms are embracing Matter, changes in SDKs, and how its “partners are adapting and changing products.”
One of those IT partners Schlage is presumably alluding to is Amazon. A number of Amazon products, such as Ring and Amazon Key, are integrated with Schlage’s locks. Amazon stated earlier this month that Matter over Wi-Fi would be the default setting going forward and that Thread wouldn’t be enabled on Matter controllers until next year. Additionally, it initially only supports smart switches, bulbs, and plugs, not door locks.
Only current Schlage customers remain without upgrade options after both Yale and Level Home provided upgrade channels for existing locks. Since its release, Schlage’s Encode Plus has been hard to find in stock; in an August interview with The Verge, Schlage explained that supply chain issues were to blame.
Schlage is not the only business that has developed Thread-enabled hardware in advance of the Matter specification. Thread products from Nanoleaf and Belkin Wemo, respectively, have been declared incompatible with Matter.
According to CEO Gimmy Chu, Nanoleaf’s Essentials range of Thread-enabled A19 bulbs and light strips, which debuted in 2020, cannot be upgraded to the new standard since they need a new chip. Instead, in early 2023, the corporation will release fresh Matter-over-Thread iterations.
CEO Gimmy Chu claims that the Thread-enabled A19 bulbs and light strips from Nanoleaf’s Essentials line, which arrived in 2020, cannot be converted to the new standard because they require a new chip. Instead, the company will introduce new Matter-over-Thread iterations in the first half of 2023.