What is Matter?


Matter is a open-source standard unified for IoT device connectivity. It allows smart devices and platforms from different ecosystems to work together, with the potential to take the smart home experience to the next level.

The idea of a common standard between the different ecosystems has its origins in a collective initiative called Connected Home over IP (CHIP). The initiative originated in 2019, bringing together four tech industry giants-Amazon, Apple, Google, and Samsung-along with the Connectivity Standards Alliance (in translation, the Connectivity Standards Alliance, formerly known as the Zigbee Alliance). In 2021, CHIP was renamed to "Matter".

La rândul lor optimiști față de adoptarea în masă a protocolului în cadrul industriei tech, numeroase branduri s-au alăturat inițiativei. La momentul acesta, lista membrilor a trecut de 240 și include branduri precum Nuki, TP-Link, Signify, Tuya, Huawei sau Nanoleaf.

The first protocol, called Matter 1.0, is expected to launch sometime towards the end of 2022. It works through Wi-Fi and threaded network layers, adopting Bluetooth Low Energy as well. It is built on Internet Protocol (IP) and, for the sake of illustration, can be said to work as a common language between Smart Home devices, IoT platforms and cloud services-allowing them to communicate with each other, even if they are from different manufacturers.

What are the benefits of Matter?

From a consumer perspective, first and foremost, Matter will make the process of buying and using smart devices easier. Having a unified standard for connectivity between different ecosystems means more options for creating and controlling a smart home. As soon as we see the Matter logo on a device, we'll know that it can work with other devices we already have at home, from other manufacturers, if those also support Matter.

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And because Matter allows all compatible smart devices to be controlled from a single app, it can reduce the number of apps installed on our phones. With Matter, you can set your preferred app as "admin" and then control all the smart devices in your home from just that one app, even if the devices are from different manufacturers.

The devices will also be controllable by voice commands, using the assistant we prefer most, whether Google Assistant, Amazong Alexa or Siri.

From a manufacturer's perspective, an open-source connectivity protocol allows them to reduce the cost and time required to develop new IoT ecosystems. This also simplifies the process of creating new products and services, allowing manufacturers to focus more on innovation or getting the finished product out the door faster.

Once the Matter SDK is ready, manufacturers and companies involved in the development of the standard will be able to use it to integrate their products into the growing Matter ecosystem for free, without the need to pay royalties.

Which manufacturers offer compatibility with Matter?

The number of brands that offer or will offer compatibility with Matter is huge and growing. Below are some examples:

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Which devices are compatible with Matter?

Obviously, devices designed to work with Matter will be compatible, so we recommend checking the specifications of new devices you plan to buy in the future. Also, some Thread, ZigBee or Z-wave compatible devices will be able to use Matter after a firmware update or a dedicated software development kit (SDK).

Matter 1.0 will currently cover only a fraction of the smart device categories, providing support for only the most common and widely used of them, such as:

  • Smart lights
  • Smart sockets and switches
  • HVAC controllers
  • Smart locks
  • Smart blinds
  • Smart TVs
  • Smart thermostats
  • Access Points and Bridges

Other categories, such as smart cameras, will be included in the future.

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