The news: Our most recent forecast shows that smart home device adoption has been growing steadily, both in devices we already consider familiar and in the introduction of new product categories. In 2021, 41.9% of US households will use a smart home device, expanding to 48.4% by 2025.
The problem: Integration and interoperability have been the main challenges holding back the seamless smart home, where all devices communicate without hindrance. This standardization of IoT devices has been a challenge with competing conventions emerging in different parts of the world and among different stakeholders.
Why it’s worth watching: Now, companies like Google, Apple, Amazon, and Samsung are joining forces with more than 200 companies to champion a new standard that promises to solve smart home interoperability.
- Matter, an open-sourced connectivity standard, allows all the devices in a home to communicate with each other locally by leveraging things like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Ethernet, and Thread, without the need for a cloud service or component.
- Matter differs from previous smart home consolidation efforts in that it actually has wide-ranging industry support. In addition to the bigger players, smaller participants like Roku, Ecobee, Wyze, and iRobot are also part of the effort.
The big takeaway: We may finally be seeing progress in smart home device standardization, a necessary step to achieve the seamlessly integrated smart home.
If Matter’s communication protocol delivers within the next few years, device manufacturers can place their full attention on the next challenges in driving user adoption, privacy, and security.