Matter has undoubtedly gotten a lot of attention in the Internet of Things arena since its announcement in late 2019. The Connectivity Standards Alliance is looking to make Matter the new connectivity standard for smart homes.
Since smart devices and hubs started appearing on the market, the lack of compatibility among brands and devices has been a big problem. Right now, you have to choose your home automation systems carefully or you might not find enough compatible devices, and you may have to juggle multiple apps to control your home.
The CSA aims to change that by developing Matter. A standard could diminish interoperability woes and erase the need for the tinkering involved in connecting incompatible devices to an automation system.
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Matter is a new open-source IP-based connectivity standard for smart home technology. It was announced as a joint project called CHIP (Connected Home over Internet Protocol) by the Zigbee Alliance, made up of Apple, Google, Amazon, and many other companies. It will run on Wi-Fi and Thread network layers and use Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) for commissioning.
Matter should let you add a Blink camera natively into your Apple HomeKit ecosystem, for example, with extensive support across technologies and manufacturers.
So instead of devices having a list of all the supported home assistants they can work with, many will simply come with a Matter logo.
Apple’s Corey Wang, a producer in Human Interface Design, mentioned Matter during Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC 2022), pointing out the need to have more compatibility across brands in smart home devices for a truly connected home. Google said its smart hubs that currently have Thread built in will double as Matter hubs, adopting the technology when it’s available. Amazon announced in 2021 that almost all Echo devices will support Matter.
At the end of the day, Matter should simplify the smart home business for both manufacturers and consumers. It would be pretty sweet not to have to worry about which brand works with which or which devices support which assistant when choosing a video doorbell or a security camera, and just choose the brands you like.
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The big question is when Matter will become available. The new standard in smart home connectivity was supposed to launch before the end of 2021. We’re past the halfway mark of 2022 and still discussing smart home bridges. But the CSA has committed to a launch in the fall of this year.