Google announces new tools to help bring more Matter smart home devices to the market – The Verge

December 4, 2021 by No Comments

Google gave a glimpse into how the new smart home standard Matter might actually work in our smart homes today, and it’s looking pretty exciting. At its Google Smart Home Developer Summit, the company announced new tools to help developers build devices that work with both Google Home, the new connectivity standard Matter, and across any other Matter-complaint ecosystems. This means that, yes — one day, very soon — the (new) Nest Thermostat could work in the Apple Home app without the need for Home Assistant or other workarounds. And if those two can work together, well, anyone can.

Due to arrive next year, Matter is an open smart home application protocol that promises to make smart home devices talk to each other no matter who made them. It wants to take the hard work out of choosing, setting up, and integrating devices with your smart home and voice assistants.

“Matter is a very big initiative for us,” Kevin Po, Senior Product Manager at Google, told me in a briefing ahead of today’s announcements. “It will really solve that interoperability choice, that frustrating purchasing and setup experience for the user.”

At the Smart Home Summit, Google shared images of how device set-up may work with Matter-enabled devices across different apps.

Image: Google

At the event, the company doubled down on its commitment to supporting Matter and its main supporting protocol, Thread (a low-powered mesh network), across its entire ecosystem. It also revealed a new name for its smart home efforts: Google Home. While consumers have been familiar with that moniker for a while, on the backend, developers have dealt with a myriad of different services they needed to understand and pick through to figure out how to make their device work with Google Assistant and Google Nest devices.

The new Google Home brings development for device setup, automation capabilities, voice control, and Android and Google Nest devices under one umbrella. The new name is “for our entire smart home platform and developer program,” said Michele Turner, Senior Director of Product for Google’s Smart Home Ecosystem, during the event’s keynote.

A new Google Home Developer Center was also announced. A one-stop shop for developing anything smart home-related, the Developer Center introduces some new tools to help accelerate the adoption of Matter in the smart home.

A Google Home Device SDK for Matter can help developers quickly build and integrate Matter devices so they’ll be ready when the standard launches next year. This is also when Google has committed to updating its Nest and Android devices with Matter support.

Native Android Support via Google Play Services and a new Google Home Mobile SDK will bring Matter support to mobile devices and apps to help streamline smart home device set up. This should mean setting up a Matter-enabled device — such as a light bulb or smart plug — will be as simple as powering it up and opening an app (either Google Home or the manufacturer’…….



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