Ecosystem lock-ins aren’t always bad, but the landscape for smart homes is chaotic. Alexa, Google Home, and HomeKit are just a few of the standards, brands, and platforms available today. Everyone appears to want a piece of your house, yet this technology rarely works well with one another. According to reports, the matter will soon arrive and drastically improve smart homes’ state. In this article, there is an outline of the what, the why, and hopefully, the when.
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Smart Homes: About Matter
In the field of smart homes today, various protocols, standards, and businesses each do their own thing without giving much regard to helping others. The matter is the industry’s major initiative to develop a standard and improve hardware compatibility. Earlier, people used to call it Connected Home over IP (CHIP). Additionally, Matter is accessible, so head over to its GitHub repository.
With over 170 different brands, including the most well-known, participating, Matter is genuinely a collaborative effort to unify the industry.
Matter includes Amazon, Google, Apple, Samsung, Philips, Huawei, and even Zigbee components. Along with Amazon, Google is one of the enormous propellers, and Apple promised to integrate HomeKit with Matter fully. However, it isn’t a whole new protocol; rather, it aims to be a connection standard that makes communication simpler for devices. All products from organizations supporting Matter should work together without any issues.
Support for both old and new hardware
The matter will not only apply to new hardware. It is possible to modify some existing hardware to enable Matter, but not all of it. For instance, Amazon will update its most recent Echo models. Google’s Nest products will similarly support Matter. Additionally, Samsung pledged assistance for the SmartThings ecosystem.
There is more potential for backporting Matter to existing gear because it developed as an IP-based connectivity standard. Theoretically, Matter may operate with any smart home gadget that can connect to a wireless network.
Smart Homes: How does Matter work
To link devices at first, Matter will employ Wi-Fi and the Thread protocol. Using Thread, devices communicate wirelessly and establish a mesh network. The HomePod Mini and the Google Nest Hub Max are two of the most well-known gadgets that already make use of it.
But it demonstrates how Matter is utilizing well-established technologies to facilitate operations. The matter will include Bluetooth Low Energy as well to aid with commissioning. Zigbee’s active involvement in the collaboration suggests communication plans for Matter and Zigbee.
It’s the $64,000 question. Everyone informed that Matter would arrive in the latter half of 2022. Beyond that, there is not much information available. However, one might anticipate a flurry of new items as well as upgrades for the current ones approved. As a result, future software updates can make them Matter-compatible over Wi-Fi. Also, next-generation devices with Thread support are probably still a ways off.
Therefore when Matter launches, there probably won’t be a rush of activity.
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