What is Matter?

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Mighty Gadget

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Dec 8, 2023, 2:07:18 AM12/8/23
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Matter is an open-source, IP-based connectivity protocol that aims to simplify and unify the fragmented smart home ecosystem. It allows smart home devices to communicate locally without relying on the cloud or proprietary ecosystems like Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Apple HomeKit, SmartThings, etc. Matter was created by the Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA), which includes over 200 member companies like Amazon, Apple, Google, Samsung SmartThings, IKEA, and more. The goal is for Matter to become the universal language for smart home devices to interact seamlessly.

Key Benefits of Matter

  • Interoperability: Matter enables devices from different brands and ecosystems to communicate without compatibility issues. For example, your Philips Hue lights could integrate with your Nest Thermostat seamlessly.
  • Ease of setup: Adding new Matter devices is simple with automatic device discovery and onboarding. No more complicated manual configurations.
  • Secure communications: Matter uses state-of-the-art security protocols for encryption and device authentication to prevent hacking.
  • Local connectivity: Devices connect directly through your home wifi network without relying on a cloud connection for basic functionality. This improves reliability and responsiveness.
  • Future-proof: Matter is backed by leading tech companies so it will continue evolving with new smart home innovations.

Supported Ecosystems & Hubs

The main smart home platforms that will support Matter are:

  • Amazon Alexa - Amazon Echo devices will serve as Matter controllers to connect other Matter devices.
  • Apple HomeKit - HomePod Minis, Apple TVs, and HomePods will be able to control Matter devices via Apple Home.
  • Google Home - Google Nest Hubs, Nest WiFi routers and speakers will be able to discover and control Matter devices.
  • Samsung SmartThings - Selected Samsung SmartThings hubs will act as Matter controllers.

Other Matter controller options will include:

  • Wi-Fi routers - Eero, TP-Link, and Asus routers will support Matter device control.
  • Home entertainment devices - TVs, AVRs, and streaming devices from Sony, LG, Roku, and others will be able to connect Matter devices.

Supported Devices & Features

The first Matter release supports the following smart home products with basic on/off, status, and monitoring functionality:

  • Lighting
  • Window shades
  • HVAC systems
  • Security systems
  • Door locks
  • Garage door openers
  • Safety & environmental sensors
  • Electrical outlets & plugs
  • TVs & displays

Over time, additional device types will gain Matter support with added features e.g.:

  • Major appliances (refrigerators, dishwashers etc.)
  • Small kitchen appliances
  • Vacuum cleaners
  • Home fitness equipment

Setting Up Matter Devices

The overall process for setting up Matter devices will be:

  1. Check for Matter logo - Verify the device supports Matter before purchasing.
  2. Scan QR code - Scan the provided QR code during setup to authenticate and onboard the Matter device.
  3. Discover devices automatically - Your Matter controller will automatically discover the new Matter device on your home network without manual pairing.
  4. Control through your platform - You can now control the Matter device directly via your smart home platform like Alexa or Google Home.

So in essence, Matter aims to make smart home adoption frictionless for consumers while enabling exciting new integrations and use cases. Over time, Matter has the potential to finally deliver on the long-promised vision of a simplified and unified smart home.

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