Matter will remove smart home pain points, says Connectivity Standards Alliance – Pocket-lint
(Pocket-lint) – When Matter was first announced in 2019 it wasn’t entirely clear how it could benefit smart home devices beyond other standards, such as Zigbee. However, the concept has been better clarified since – not least by the its founder, the Connectivity Standards Alliance.
It is an industry-wide standard that basically ensures smart home products talk to each other more capably over Wi-Fi or Thread – enabling a user to buy devices from different manufacturers but have them seasmlessly integrated into his, her or their connected home. And it is finally almost here, with Matter-enabled products on the brink of release.
Pocket-lint recently spoke with the CEO of the CSA, Tobin Richardson, for the Pocket-lint Podcast. He explained to us the reason why the Matter standard was created and, importantly, how it will benefit home consumers: “We’re looking to get different ecosystems to work together – trying to get these light bulbs to work with those light bulbs, for example – and… the faster you can do that, the better because that’s an actual real pain point [for consumers],” he said.
“Companies are delivering really interesting, really good consumer experiences, but they’re limited to their own ecosystem of devices and products.
“It not only creates pain and confusion for consumers, it creates overheads and complexity for the product developers, which then goes right back to the consumers. And so, coming to this kind of common ground, the highest common denominator we can deliver in terms of interoperability, then these companies can focus on building a better light bulb, building a better connected experience, not just focusing on making sure that these products actually just talk to each other. That’s really the the task in front of us.”
Over 170 brands have signed up to comply with the new Matter standard, including Samsung with its SmartThings platform, Apple, Amazon, Google and the Zigbee Alliance. It should effectively mean you can but a smart speaker, light bulb or even connected fridge and each will immediately see and talk to one another without you having to jump through the amount of hoops you do today.
However, Richardson doesn’t think you should hold off from purchasing smart home products that aren’t Matter-enabled right now. After all, it could be a while before the market is awash with compatible devices. But the good news is that many available devices could be updated to be Matter compatible down the line: “We’re looking at a couple of new thermostats for our house. We’ll be getting a couple that aren’t Matter enabled, as it’s not out just yet,” he revealed.
“And we know that some of those, if they are Wi-Fi based, will be updated. A lot of this will be worked out by the companies themselves.”
You can listen to the entire interview with the Connectivity Standards Alliance on the Pocket-lint Podcast episode 137 available now.
Writing by Rik Henderson.
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