Matter: A New Home Automation Standard

Matter: A New Home Automation Standard

Matter, an industry-wide IoT standard for wireless networks that has yet to be released. It must constitute a reliable, fluid, secure communication base for networked objects. The project was launched and announced in 2019. Matter, an IP-based (internet protocol) platform, leverages a specific suite of IP-based networking technologies, starting with Thread, Wi-Fi and Ethernet, enabling communication between smart home devices and ecosystems.


 Matter simplifies development for manufacturers and improves compatibility and ease of use for consumers. It is based on market-proven technologies donated by companies across the industry and is developed collaboratively and open source with an implementation-based approach.


Matter seeks to establish interoperability between home automation and Internet of Things (IoT) platforms from different vendors and reduce fragmentation between vendors. Amazon, Apple, Google, Comcast and the Zigbee Alliance, now known as the Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA), founded and introduced the project group.


Schneider, Huawei, NXP, Silicon Labs, and IKEA are subsequent members. Matter-compatible items and software upgrades for products that are already available are expected in fall 2022. The Matter standard is CSA-licensed, although the Matter code repository is open source under the Apache license.



How Matter Affects The Industry

Matter uses Wi-Fi or Thread for wireless communication, with Bluetooth® still present for device configuration functions. Before Matter, there was Zigbee, Z-Wave and Lora, which work with smart home devices. However, Matter builds a bridge between them all.

Some of the biggest names in the market have teamed up to introduce Matter. More than 170 companies are involved, with the best known names including Apple, Samsung, Amazon, Google and Zigbee Alliance.


Customers need to make sure that dedicated hubs can connect to the right peripherals and choose which gadgets are best for their home, depending on the assistant and ecosystem they're currently integrated into. It's like being stuck in one video game system and not being able to switch to another to play the same game.


 However, since the smart home is a friendlier battlefield than other places, these companies have opted to simplify the whole system for manufacturers and customers. Therefore, Matter aims to be an interoperable protocol with common data models that ensure smart home devices can operate in different ecosystems.


How much will matter thrive among others

The risk of cyber attacks increases as IoT connects more and more systems and devices, causing concern for users and discouraging their adoption. To overcome this challenge, matter was developed with security and privacy as primary design concepts.


Zigbee and Z-Wave, the two technologies now in vogue, connect every smart home gadget currently on the market. With Matter taking off, these two, as well as many other popular radio protocols, including Bluetooth, won't just stop pairing your gadgets. Since the Zigbee Alliance played a role in the development of Matter and, by extension, the Zigbee wireless standard, it is conceivable that these two technologies will continue to evolve side by side, connect with Matter, and eventually integrate. The future of Z-Wave is more fascinating to watch. Also, although she doesn't appear to be actively involved in the case, she is. Another wireless protocol called Thread is gearing up to certify some Matter-approved devices.


The involvement of Google, Apple, Samsung and Amazon helped Matter break through. These big smart home companies spearheaded Matter, and now that the initial enthusiasm for their involvement has faded, each describes what it means to move on. Matter aims to simplify the choice between ecosystems and new devices, but the acceptance of current gadgets will depend heavily on their hardware and manufacturer. At some point, relatively new Wi-Fi or Thread-based devices are expected to be upgraded to Matter, either through a bridge or software update. Z-Wave devices are unlikely to be upgraded individually, as IPv6 introduces significant software overhead for most products. The good news for these gadgets is that the hubs they use to communicate will likely be upgraded or linked to Matter.

November 22, 2022 — Chief Editor

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