Smart Home

What Is Matter? The Smart Home Compatibility Standard, Explained

Many of the most popular technology brands now support Matter, a new smart home standard that’ll make connecting accessories from different companies a lot easier. For ages, consumers and government regulators have urged tech companies to develop universal connectivity standards. Their proposition is simple: if users can easily connect products from different manufacturers, they’ll have more choice in their purchasing decisions. However, tech companies are often reluctant to use universal standards. That’s because companies make more money off of proprietary connectors — Apple makes money licensing its Lightning cable to accessory makers, for example. But in a rare move, big brands worked together to create Matter.

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Matter was developed by the Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA), a coalition of 29 companies that work to create unified internet-of-things (IoT) standards. Some notable technology companies are CSA members, including Apple, Amazon, Google, and Samsung. Before Matter, smart home accessories complied with different smart home standards. There was Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Apple HomeKit, among others. Smart home accessories rarely supported all three standards, and some were exclusive to a single standard. That meant if someone used Google Home and wanted an accessory made for Apple Home, they were simply out of luck.


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Related: 10 Best Alexa-Compatible Smart Home Electronics & Accessories

Why Matter Will Make Buying Easier

Now that four of the largest smart home ecosystems support a universal standard, finding the right product is going to be a lot easier. Products that are shipped with a Matter badge or branding are guaranteed to work with other Matter devices — including smart home software from Apple, Google, Amazon, and Samsung. That means a smart light bulb with Matter compliance could work with Apple Home or Google Home, with no loss in functionality.

On a more technical level, Matter is a connectivity standard based around Internet Protocol (IP). Each product must meet a particular set of IP-based technologies in order to be Matter-certified, enabling communication across smart home devices, mobile apps, and cloud services. After viewing the Matter standards found on the company’s website, manufacturers and developers can request CSA certification in order to use Matter branding on their products.

Google and Apple both announced Matter support last year, which all but guarantees accessory makers will begin supporting the standard promptly. However, it’ll take some time for companies to make all their products compatible with Matter. For consumers, Matter streamlines the process of determining whether a smart home accessory will work in their home. Users don’t need to know the specifics of how the Matter standard works — just that it’ll increase the number of available products compatible with their smart home ecosystem of choice.

More: How To Set Up An Apple TV Or HomePod As A Home Hub

Source: Connectivity Standards Alliance

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Related: 10 Best Alexa-Compatible Smart Home Electronics & Accessories


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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