Discover the game-changer in the world of smart homes: Matter! If you’re wondering what it is and which top brands are backing this long-awaited standard, you’ve landed on the perfect article. Get ready to unlock the potential of seamless connectivity and revolutionize your smart home experience with Matter.
What is Matter?
Experience the power of seamless connectivity with Matter, a cutting-edge communication standard operating over IP, the backbone of the internet. This game-changing certification enables devices from different brands to effortlessly communicate and interact. In its initial version, Matter harnesses the strength of Wi-Fi and the innovative Thread mesh network, while utilizing Bluetooth Low Energy for provisioning. Excitingly, Zigbee devices, supported by the Zigbee Alliance, will soon join the Matter ecosystem, with potential future integration of Z-Wave and other smart home protocols. Embrace the future of smart home connectivity with Matter.
How does Matter work in practice?
Introducing Matter, the revolutionary communication standard designed to streamline the smart home experience. With Matter, manufacturers of smart devices can now utilize a unified communication interface, simplifying the transmission of information between different components. Say goodbye to the complexities of fragmented communication among various smart devices from different brands. Matter serves as a comprehensive platform that brings together hardware and software providers, creating a cohesive ecosystem for the smart home. Embrace the future of seamless connectivity and enjoy a truly unified smart home experience with Matter.
Unlock a world of effortless compatibility with Matter in the near future. Imagine purchasing a smart bulb with Matter support and effortlessly setting it up using popular platforms like Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, or Amazon Alexa, without the hassle of compatibility concerns. While some devices currently offer support for multiple platforms, Matter will take compatibility to new heights, expanding and simplifying platform support. Embrace the convenience of implementing new devices with ease, as Matter revolutionizes the smart home landscape. Say goodbye to compatibility headaches and embrace seamless integration across your favorite platforms.
If a product is labeled with the Matter logo, it means that it will be compatible with other products communicating through this standard, regardless of the brand. Additionally, you can control it using any of the smart home control platforms, such as Apple HomeKit, Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Samsung SmartThings, or Tuya.
Who is behind the Matter standard?
The Connectivity Standards Alliance, an international community of over 550 technology companies advocating for open standards for the Internet of Things, announced on October 4, 2022, the release of the Matter 1.0 specification and the launch of the Matter certification program. Member companies now have access to a complete program for bringing new generation products that work across brands and platforms to the market with greater privacy, security, and simplicity for consumers.
As part of the release of the Matter 1.0 standard, authorized testing laboratories have been opened for product certification, along with the availability of test suites and tools, and a complete software development kit (SDK) for open-source reference designs. All of this is aimed at quickly bringing new, innovative products to market. Additionally, members of the Connectivity Standards Alliance plan to software-update some of their products to support Matter, which is great news for users.
“What began as a mission to untangle the complexity of connectivity has resulted in Matter, a unified global protocol based on IP that will fundamentally transform the Internet of Things,” said Tobin Richardson, President and CEO of the Connectivity Standards Alliance. “This release marks the first step on the journey our community and industry are taking to make the Internet of Things simpler, more secure, and more valuable, regardless of who you are and where you live. With worldwide support from large and small companies, the release of the Matter 1.0 standard is more than just a milestone for our organization and our members.”
The board of directors of the Connectivity Standards Alliance includes executives from companies such as Amazon, Apple, ASSA ABLOY, Comcast, Google, Huawei, IKEA, Infineon Technologies AG, The Kroger Co., Latch Systems, LEEDARSON, Legrand, LG Electronics, Lutron Electronics, Midea, Nordic Semiconductor, NXP Semiconductors, OPPO, Resideo, Samsung Electronics, Schneider Electric, Signify, Silicon Labs, Somfy, STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments, Tuya, and Wulian.
What are the benefits of the Matter standard for Smart Home systems?
The smart home industry can be overwhelming and fragmented, leaving many customers perplexed. With various accessories supporting their own communication protocols like Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, or Google Assistant, it’s challenging to navigate the options. Choosing a platform becomes a daunting task, and even if you make a decision, you’re confined to a limited portion of the accessory market, potentially missing out on specific designs or desired specifications. The lack of clarity and accessibility can make the smart home experience less fulfilling.
The widespread adoption of the Matter communication standard in 2023 will bring significant benefits to both users and the smart home industry as a whole. Users will enjoy the advantages of a unified platform, where virtually every new smart home product will seamlessly work together. This eliminates the compatibility challenges often faced when integrating different accessories. With smart home devices scattered across various rooms or even outdoors, ensuring reliable communication can be a challenge. The implementation of the Matter standard may drive households to upgrade their WiFi routers to higher-quality options that support WiFi 6 or mesh systems, enhancing signal strength and reducing communication issues. Furthermore, we can expect to see WiFi routers optimized for communication with smart home devices via the Matter standard, further improving the overall user experience.
The adoption of the Matter communication standard will lead to significant resource savings for manufacturers of smart home devices. As the need for multiple platforms diminishes, manufacturers will no longer require extensive resources to support and maintain compatibility across different platforms. This streamlining of processes will allow them to focus their efforts on developing and selling more products, while reducing the need for a large support workforce. Additionally, the implementation of the Matter standard will simplify the setup process for new devices, making it remarkably easy and intuitive, even for inexperienced users. This user-friendly experience will further contribute to the widespread adoption of smart home technology.
How to set up a smart home?
Smartphones were just the beginning – today, you can control your entire home with their help. The concept of a Smart Home has moved beyond science fiction or a technological gadget for geeks and has become a reality accessible to everyone. You can build a smart home yourself, without the need for complex cable installations. And you will gain a helper that simplifies daily tasks, enhances home security, and reduces energy costs.
Users of the iOS operating system don’t necessarily need a specialized hub with ZigBee or Z-Wave communication protocols to centralize their smart home. Products that work through the Apple Home app operate on the local network – you need to be on the same Wi-Fi network as the controlled product. However, the possibility of remote control outside the local network – for example, from the other side of the world – comes into play when using a central unit such as Apple TV, Apple HomePod, or Apple iPad in HomeKit mode.
Apple HomeKit combines the control of smart appliances and components labeled “Works with Apple HomeKit” into a single application. Within the app, you can easily add additional homes and users. Apple HomeKit supports control through Apple Watch and even voice commands through Siri. The most convenient control is offered by multimedia devices like Apple TV or the smart speaker Apple HomePod.
- For local control, the need for a specialized hub is eliminated.
- Products compatible with Apple HomeKit operate on Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
- Convenient control through iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch.
- Voice control through Siri.
- Exclusive to Apple product owners.
- Utilization of automation and remote control requires a HomePod, Apple TV, or iPad as a home hub.
- Functionality available in iOS 10 and higher.
Internet of Things
Thanks to high-speed internet, the number of everyday devices and appliances that communicate with their users through the internet and send operational data to cloud services or other devices is constantly increasing. The Internet of Things represents one of the main pillars of the concept of a Smart Home.
Bluetooth represents a standard for wireless communication between two or more devices, such as a computer, smartphone, smartwatch, or even smart home components. However, its disadvantage is the limited range, which is typically a few tens of meters.
Z-Wave is one of the most widely used protocols for wireless communication between devices in a smart home. It is an open protocol, which means that devices from different manufacturers can theoretically work together. The central hub, typically a Z-Wave controller, serves as the brain of the system, while individual components are capable of relaying signals to each other, extending the range of the entire network with each additional connected device.
ZigBee, like Z-Wave, is an open protocol for wireless communication that connects various components of an automated home, such as security sensors and alarms, thermostats, locks, or cameras, to a central control unit and to each other. It is also utilized in industrial settings. Components supporting ZigBee communicate with each other using the 868 MHz or 2.4 GHz frequency bands.
“If This Then That,” which can be loosely translated as “If this happens, then that must happen,” refers to a free web platform that can connect unrelated applications and smart devices through a series of conditional actions and reactions called applets. It is also available as a mobile application for smartphones and tablets running on iOS and Android operating systems.
Smart house vs Smart home
In connection with a smart home, we may also come across the term “intelligent house” or “smart house.” Although these expressions can be considered semantically related, they do not mean the same thing. A smart home is typically a marketing term for a system of interconnected devices that you can add to your existing household at any time to enhance or simplify your life. As you will learn in this guide, it primarily includes lights, security elements, kitchen appliances, and similar devices.
Alternatively, a smart home can refer to any domestic environment that utilizes smart elements. Therefore, this term can be used to describe a home based on systems like Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and others, as well as a home within an intelligent house. While any household within an intelligent house can be called a smart home, not every house utilizing smart home devices can be labeled as an intelligent house.
Smart homes are correctly understood as a type of building that is designed to be “intelligent” from the start. It is not just a set of smart devices forming a smart household, but rather a comprehensive system that utilizes specifically prepared electrical installations, as well as architectural and engineering solutions. These components work together to make the building highly automated, controllable, and energy-efficient.
An older building can be brought closer to a smart home in a similar way to how it can be insulated. However, just as simple insulation does not achieve the energy efficiency of new passive houses, an old building with new smart elements does not offer as many possibilities as an intelligently designed house from the ground up. Nevertheless, if you want to create something like a smart home on your own, Smart Home devices are the cheapest and most practical solution you can use. You can handle the installation yourself, and thanks to wireless communication between the devices, you can avoid major construction modifications.
How to utilize scenarios and automations?
You are in a situation where you have a great understanding of your smart home and want to start utilizing it to the fullest. Scenarios and automations will help you with that. A scenario allows you to trigger multiple actions at once. Typically, this involves scenarios like “Good Morning” or “Good Night,” where your voice assistant turns on/off lights, adjusts the temperature in the living room, and turns on/off the fan. The possibilities are limitless, and you can create numerous scenarios containing a variety of commands.
Automations, as the name suggests, are designed to operate your smart home without your direct involvement. In other words, automations enable the execution of multiple actions without your conscious input, but only when certain conditions are met. For example, opening a window may trigger the heating to turn off, or opening a door may activate the lights or various security responses. The goal is to have everything important at your fingertips, command, or completely automated.
In conclusion, the introduction of the Matter communication standard is set to revolutionize the world of smart homes. With Matter, users will benefit from a unified platform that seamlessly connects and integrates smart home devices from different brands, eliminating compatibility issues and simplifying the setup process. This game-changing standard will provide a cohesive ecosystem for the smart home industry, allowing manufacturers to save resources and focus on developing innovative products. Furthermore, the widespread adoption of Matter will enhance the overall user experience by improving signal strength and optimizing communication with smart home devices. As top brands and industry leaders support the Matter standard, users can look forward to a future of effortless compatibility and a truly unified smart home experience. Whether you’re a tech enthusiast or new to smart home technology, Matter holds the key to unlocking the full potential of seamless connectivity in your home.