Home Automation Week in Review

Report Type: 
Week In Review

Belkin Pauses On Matter

Consumer electronics brand Belkin will pause its support for Matter according to The Verge.  The brand stated in an interview that it will “take a big step back, regroup, and rethink” its product strategy before supporting the specification any further.  Belkin’s CES 2022 exhibition showcased several products and accessories it announced would be Matter compatible once the specification was ready.  At issue is product differentiation as the technology (which allows devices from multiple brands and technology platforms to connect) could open doors for lesser known, (lower priced) brands to gain market share.

The NPD Take:

  • While the absence of one brand should not spell the demise of Matter, Belkin’s concerns are valid in a growing Home Automation market.  Matter’s goal of taking friction out of the Home Automation shopping and installation process is a win for consumers, however device ecosystems hold their own value, with differentiated features amid a brand/technology experience as users access the device. 
  • The entrance of interoperability and fast set up features across multiple brands of devices will likely redirect some consumer sales away from larger, pricier brands.

Aqara Releases a Video Doorbell

Aqara recently announced the release of their first smart doorbell, the G4. The 1080p doorbell features compatibility with Apple Home, Alexa, and Google home automation platforms.  Matter support is expected via an OTA update.  The doorbell is also equipped with on-device AI for facial recognition and alerts.  Aqara’s G4 is available now in North America and Europe and via Aqara’s website.

The NPD Take:

  • Smart Doorbell sales have been strong so far in 2023 so it makes sense Aqara added the product to their line up.  Aqara offers free cloud storage for up to 7 days of footage which should appeal to consumers looking to avoid a monthly fee, however it is unclear how long the brand will maintain this feature- as other companies have reneged on their subscription free models. 
  • Particularly interesting is Aqara’s on-device storage option which will help keep data and footage out of the cloud and in users’ hands. 
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