What is Matter and How Can It Transform Smart Homes

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When it arrives in 2022, Matter is hoping to offer a unified smart home platform for Apple, Samsung, Alexa, and Google products. This is everything you need to know and why this tech is important.

What Is Matter for Smart Homes?

Matter is an upcoming smart home language that allows devices in different ecosystems to communicate with each other. Your Alexa-controlled thermostat can now connect to your Google Home smart display. This means that you can use Siri to control Google products and even send Apple Homekit device commands via Alexa. Matter is a collaborative effort between professionals across a variety of industries and is the brainchild of the Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA).

Matter hopes to become the “go-to” smart home hub for all smart products. Matter is not a new gadget. It’s a software platform that improves connectivity between third-party products. Apple Homekit, Google Home, Samsung SmartThings, and Amazon Alexa have already bought into the new connectivity standard, and you can look forward to seeing the tech in their products in mid-2022.

How Matter works is a little complicated. To keep it simple, Matter will work using both standard Wi-Fi and an existing technology called Thread (which offers connectivity for battery-powered devices), while also incorporating the use of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) during the setup of specific devices. All smart devices connected to your network will be able communicate once the connection has been established.

Matter If you think Matter sounds familiar, it isn’t a new invention. First announced in 2020 as the awkwardly named, “Project Connected Home Over IP” or Project CHIP, the language has since been rebranded as Matter (which is an objectively better choice).

It doesn’t matter what it is called or how it works. It’s important to understand how it will impact their smart home setup, and make their lives easier.

How will it matter to improve your smart home?

Matter’s biggest selling point is its ability to expand your smart home ecosystem with almost every product available. Apple HomeKit users who desperately need a smart screen will be able pick up a Google Nest Hub Max to easily integrate it into their home. Siri voice commands will allow Alexa devices to perform tasks. You won’t have to search for products that are compatible with your smart home ecosystem. As long as they are Matter compatible, they will seamlessly integrate into your network.

Security should also improve with the introduction of Matter. Matter allows devices to work on their own networks without needing to be connected to the cloud. This makes it more difficult for information to reach other locations. Updates and downloads will still need a long-range connection. However, daily interactions will be limited to Thread or Wi-Fi, making them highly secure.

These Products Will Support Matter

A complete list of supported products has yet to be published, but we know that Matter is supported by many of the most well-known companies today. When the tech is released in 2022, you’ll be able to quickly identify supported devices by a “Matter” logo on their packaging.

Here’s a look at the types of smart home products that will be compatible with Matter at launch:

Home security sensors (excluding security cameras)
Thermostats, HVAC controllers
TVs and streaming devices
Wireless access points
Lightbulbs and light controllers
Garage controllers
Door deadbolts
Plugs, outlets
Blinds

Within those categories, these specific devices are expected to offer Matter support.

Amazon Alexa

Echo smart speakers (4th Gen)
Echo Studio
Echo Show 10
Echo Plus

Google

Nest smart speakers
Nest Hub Max
Nest Wi-Fi
Nest Hub (2nd Gen)

Apple Homekit

Apple TV 4K
HomePod Mini
All existing HomeKit APIs

Samsung SmartThings

According to Samsung, all current SmartThings hubs will support Matter.

Matter Isn’t Replacing Your Old Devices

Matter has been built from the ground up to be compatible with most of today’s best-selling smart devices. That means you won’t need to throw out your old smart display or thermostat just because Matter is becoming the new standard. It’s possible that your products will support Matter at launch. If they don’t, you might get support later .

You can continue using your smart home ecosystem even if it isn’t compatible with the language.

However, some experts are predicting that Matter will reduce the cost of development for smart devices–so it might be tempting to upgrade to a shiny new gadget that incorporates Matter into its software. Your best option for futureproofing your home is to buy smart devices that support Thread. It’s an underlying component in Matter.

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