Matter, The New Standard For The Smart Home Is A Reality

Matter, The New Standard For The Smart Home Is A Reality

Version 1.0 of the Matter standard is coming. A step forward towards interoperability between IoT devices of different ecosystems through an open protocol

The Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA) announced in Amsterdam the protocol specifications destined to revolutionize the smart home and the interoperability of connected devices and presented the first products to adopt it. From smart sockets to lighting, from locks to weather devices, from window curtains to security sensors. In the future, Matter will be extended to other product categories and brands.

The new Matter standard should resolve the current confusion arising from the presence on the market of too many technical measures for the smart home, as it is supported by the most relevant companies in the sector: from Apple and Google to Samsung, Amazon, Ikea, and Philips, as well as other small producers of IoT devices for home automation.

Smart Home: What It Is And What It Is Used For Matter

The Matter was born in 2019 as Project CHIP (Connected Home over IP), starting from the efforts of companies such as Amazon, Apple, and Google. The goal was to create a standard for connected objects in the intelligent home allowing manufacturers to develop safe, reliable, and interoperable solutions.

Version 1.0 of the Matter standard is a significant step forward to simplify the use of intelligent objects, from purchase to installation to control, whatever the system used. It is based on a mix of radio standards: Thread, Wi-Fi, and Ethernet protocols for data transport and Bluetooth LE to add devices to the network (commissioning).

Matter promises reliable and secure connectivity as it creates connections between multiple objects, simplifies development for manufacturers, and increases compatibility for consumers.

Unlike Amazon or Google systems, communication with Matter takes place locally and does not require a deviation via the cloud. Matter unifies the configuration of intelligent home devices and, in fact, simplifies it. The connected objects communicate their presence and characteristics to the home automation systems (via BT) and allow a simple combination common to the other controllers in the house.

First Products Compatible With Matter

In version 1.0, Matter is limited to a few product categories, such as lamps, switches, or thermostats. At a later stage, cameras, robot vacuums, and other sensors will also be compatible with the standard. However, it is not clear when. 

Google has announced that all Nest series devices will be compatible with Matter later this year, varying degrees depending on the hardware installed. Android smartphones will soon be, too, thanks to the Google Play Services update.

Currently, 190 products have received certification or are in testing pending certification.

In the wake of Google, Amazon will make 30 models compatible between Echo and Eero for about 100 million devices. The first 17 models are expected to be updated later this year, including the Echo line of smart speakers, the third and fourth generation Echo, and the new Echo Dots and Echo Shows.

Samsung, Ikea, and Philips promise updates to support Matter, at least where possible. Not everyone has the hardware to support Matter via a simple software update. For devices such as light bulbs or locks, it is still possible to use hubs as a bridge solution to integrate them into a Matter network, waiting to bring the next generations of hardware to market.

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