Formerly known as Project Connected Home over IP, Matter is a new home automation connectivity standard launched by the Connectivity Standards Alliance. The first version, Matter 1.0 was just shipped last month in October, and now at a launch event in Amsterdam, the organization announced that over 190 products were due to be certified.
Don’t be surprised if Matter gets adopted very quickly, after all the Connectivity Standards Alliance includes heavyweights like Apple, Google and Samsung. There seems to be a realization on big tech’s part, that increasing fractionalization of the smart home market into different platforms ultimately brings hurdles for the user, giving them less choices and also hurts the industry in the long term.
As services like Alexa continue driving rapid smart home adoption, Matter presents a new opportunity to further simplify development for device makers and add to the customer experience of smart home devices from a range of different companies and brands.S
As an Alliance board member, founding company and long-time contributor to Matter, we look forward to introducing this open standard to over 100 million Echo and eero devices to make it easier for customers to set up and control their Matter-certified smart home devices.
Initially, Matter will be limited to certain smart home product categories – “including lighting and electrical, HVAC controls, window coverings and shades, safety and security sensors, door locks, video players, protocol bridges, and controllers embedded in many different kinds of products.” In the future, there will also be support for categories like electrical gates, environmental quality sensors, motion sensors and more.
In the past few years, we have seen a literal arms race in the smart home industry. Big companies like Google, and Apple have opted to build their own walled gardens. But that has only increased confusion for the end buyer, for example someone with a Google Nest can only use smart home devices compatible with Google Home, and same goes with smart home solutions from other companies like Amazon and Apple.
Hopefully, Matter will be able to address this problem to a large extent. While most companies would still keep some features exclusive to their own platforms, at least Matter will enable some form of compatibility across platforms and allow different smart home devices to communicate with each other.