FAQ | What Is “Matter,” Anyway? – iDrop News

Apple has now officially started to talk about “Matter” home automation and how Matter is going to revolutionize the Home app, with plenty of upcoming changes to how you control your smart home devices. But Apple users may have a common reaction to this news: “Wait, what’s Matter?”

The confusion is understandable. Matter is a complex, years-long project that’s gone by a few different names, and it’s not immediately apparent what it does. But this new protocol is set to be released soon, and it could single-handedly revolutionize the smart home – not just for Apple and HomeKit users, but for everyone. Let’s go over common questions about Matter to drill down to what it is and exactly why it’s so important.

What Is Matter Exactly?

Matter
is a home automation protocol, which means its software that allows smart home
devices to communicate with apps, hubs, each other – and anything else. It was
originally called Project CHIP (Project Connected Home Over IP) but was
recently re-labeled. You can’t see, manage, or purchase Matter, but this
standard is going to change the way that smart homes work – and that’s a big
deal.

Did Apple Make Matter?

It helped! The original members of the Matter project were all the biggest players in smart home devices. That included Amazon, Apple, Google, and Samsung, all of whom agreed to come together and create a common protocol they could all use. As time went on, other companies joined the effort, now called the CSA (Connectivity Standards Alliance), which currently has over 200 members.

What Difference Does Matter Make?

A
lot! In years past (and still today in most cases), smart devices were made to
work with proprietary platforms created by the manufacturer. If you had an
Ecobee Thermostat, for example, you needed the Ecobee app to control it –
sounds familiar, right? Over time, big players started creating platforms that
could handle a lot of different devices, like home security brands or Google’s
Nest line that’s controlled through the Google Home app. Then these big players
started adding third-party compatibility to their platforms. Amazon was
particularly successful at this with Alexa, which has excellent third-party
support so you can use the Alexa app to control all sorts of integrated smart
plugs, smart locks, game consoles, and more. Apple was on the other end of the
spectrum with a largely closed system that slowly branched out into compatible
HomeKit devices from Belkin, Yale, and others.

The problem was that you still needed to pick one platform as your preferred version if you wanted to keep things simple. If any of your smart devices weren’t compatible with that platform or lost compatibility later on (this happened with Google several years ago), then you were out of luck. And if you wanted a third-party device that couldn’t talk to your preferred platform, you needed to download a separate app just for it. And sometimes devices would have limited functionality if they weren’t used with their own apps.

This all led to a lot of confusion for the average consumer, and greatly limited the smart devices that people could use or wanted to use. Matter seeks to fix all that by creating a single, universal standard that allows all devices from all participating brands to talk to each other fluidly, …….

Source: https://www.idropnews.com/news/what-is-matter-anyway/190127/

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