Smart Home

Explained: What is Matter, the new standard for smart home IoT devices

The Connectivity Standard Alliance (CSA), which creates and evolves universal open standards for Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices, on November 3 announced Matter. It is a new protocol created to have a common standard for the interoperability of Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The idea of Matter was first discussed in 2019, and now there are more than 200 member companies – including Apple, Google, Samsung, Ikea – backing the new standard. Here is everything to know about Matter.

Matter: What is it

Matter is a universal connectivity standard to make the use of smart home devices and IoTs simpler. It is an open source protocol, which allows users to connect different smart home devices and mobile apps with each other. Products incorporating the Matter standard will feature a unique logo, signifying interoperability with certified Matter products from any manufacturer.

Matter: Why is it needed

Smart home devices manufactured by different companies do not necessarily work together. A smart home assistance from one brand may not work with the smart bulb from a particular brand, which means you cannot switch on your smart lights using voice command.

This leaves customers with two choices, either opt for a smart home product that individually works best for their needs but not necessarily together, or they can buy all the smart home products from a particular brand, so that all devices work together in an ecosystem. For instance, Apple HomeKit products.

However, Matter can solve all the above problems. Matter certified products could work together seamlessly, even if they are from different brands. It means, as a consumer, you do not have to stick to one brand for all smart home devices. With Matter, you can now have Philips Hue lights work with Apple smart home products. Also, Matter allows users to control all the IoT devices from individual apps. This means, a device set up in Google Home will also appear in the Samsung SmartThings app and vice versa, so users no longer have to remember which app controls the lights and which controls the smart speakers.

Matter: How it works

Matter’s underlying network technologies are Wi-Fi and Thread. Wi-Fi enables Matter devices to interact over a high-bandwidth local network and allows smart home devices to communicate with the cloud. Thread provides an energy efficient and highly reliable mesh network within the home. It secures data in an encrypted manner and is highly stable. If one of your smart home devices stops working, the network will adjust and carry on without it.

Matter: Compatible devices

Smart home devices makers would need Matter certification to make their devices compatible. Once certified, the existing smart home devices can be upgraded with software updates. Currently, the certification is available for a variety of common smart home products, including smart light bulbs, smart plugs and switches, heating and cooling devices, window coverings and shades, door locks, media devices including TV. Other products, such as security cameras, will have to wait for the next iteration of the standard. Smartphone apps such as the Google Home app and the Apple Home app will also be supported by Matter.

Apple

Source: https://www.business-standard.com/article/technology/explained-what-is-matter-the-new-standard-for-smart-home-iot-devices-122110700526_1.html

Donovan Larsen

Donovan is a columnist and associate editor at the Dark News. He has written on everything from the politics to diversity issues in the workplace.

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