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SwitchBot's Matter-compatible smart home hub is finally available for purchase

If you have more than one SwitchBot device, the new SwitchBot Hub 2 brings Matter-standard interoperability into your smart home.
Written by Maria Diaz, Staff Writer
Reviewed by Emery Wright
SwitchBot Hub 2
Maria Diaz/ZDNET

Matter, the new smart home connectivity standard, is stretched thin as different manufacturers work to find ways of supporting it. SwitchBot, the company with the little robot that turns on your light switches, just made its new Hub 2 available for purchase with, you guessed it, Matter support. 

The SwitchBot Hub 2 is an unassuming little device with a display that shows the current room temperature and humidity. It connects different Bluetooth SwitchBot devices to the cloud to enable things like controlling them remotely from the SwitchBot app on your mobile device, setting automations, and more. It also has two buttons you can program to control different SwitchBot devices, like a plug or the SwitchBot Curtain.

Most smart home hubs are plastic devices that sit on a shelf and have no other purpose aside from connecting other smart home devices, so it is nice to see SwitchBot make a hub with other functionalities, buttons, and a temperature display. But the Matter support is what makes this device special.

Also: The SwitchBot Blind Tilt is the simplest way to automate existing blinds

With Matter, you can add Matter-enabled SwitchBot devices to other apps like Apple HomeKit, SmartThings, and Google Home to use them from just that app. 

SwitchBot Hub 2
Maria Diaz/ZDNET

Making things smart and interoperable is SwitchBot's thing. Before Matter support, most SwitchBot devices could only be controlled with the SwitchBot app. If you use Google, HomeKit, or SmartThings as your smart home automation system, you couldn't just add your SwitchBot devices to any of these three apps. As a HomeKit user with a lot of SwitchBot devices that I can't add to my Apple Home app, I'm forced to use both apps to control different devices.

Also: The best smart thermostats

If, like most of us, you'd rather use just one app for all of your smart home devices, you'd be restricted to only buying devices that are compatible with your smart home system. In my case, I'd only be able to buy HomeKit-compatible devices (think of the "Works with" labels you see on smart home devices at the store). 

Not only that, if you did buy devices that were incompatible with your home automation system, as many are incompatible with HomeKit, you'd be unable to run automations between the compatible and incompatible devices. 

SwitchBot Hub 2

Adding the SwitchBot Hub 2 to the SwitchBot app.

Maria Diaz/ZDNET

Now that Matter has become the new language of smart home devices, the new Hub 2 with Matter makes it possible to add SwitchBot devices to any smart home system. 

This means I can control my SwitchBot Curtain through HomeKit and, eventually, many more devices when the current beta status advances.

Also: How to enable the hidden temperature sensor in your HomePod Mini

SwitchBot's distinctive approach to the smart home market has been largely due to its focus on retrofitting existing devices, fixtures, and appliances in your home to make them smart at a lower cost than it would take to replace them. This is true with the SwitchBot Curtain, the Blind Tilt, the Bot, and even the smart lock.

The new SwitchBot Hub 2, which retails for $70, likely makes the most sense for someone with multiple SwitchBot devices that they want to integrate and control with a smart home automation system other than SwitchBot. In time, it'll probably become the only SwitchBot Hub available, so anyone that purchases it to connect their Bluetooth devices to the cloud will also have the added benefit of a Matter hub.

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