After several delays, the Matter smart home standard is finally here. The Matter 1.0 specification has been released, and a product certification program has been launched by the Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA). Device manufacturers are now free to use the technology, which aims to eliminate the compatibility and connection issues that plague existing hardware. To put it another way, you should be able to focus more on using your connected home than on setting it up.
The technology makes use of WiFi, Bluetooth LE, and Thread’s intelligent home-oriented mesh networking. In an ideal world, it would provide a combination of fast, ubiquitous connections and a low-power, “self-healing” grid that becomes more reliable as it grows. Matter also promises enhanced security and compatibility with voice assistants such as Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri.
Matter devices may take some time to arrive in stores. However, many major technology companies, including Amazon, Apple, Google, LG, Samsung (via SmartThings), and Signify, have already endorsed the standard (Philips Hue). Some people will be faster than others. Google has already announced a new Nest WiFi Pro router and a redesigned Home app to support the technology from the start.
Even after several years of development, the 1.0 spec is not guaranteed to solve all problems. The CSA stated unequivocally that this is an “initial release.” Nonetheless, it may alleviate some stress associated with shopping for smart home products such as light bulbs and doorbells. Rather than investing in a specific ecosystem, you can reasonably assume that any Matter-capable device will work — allowing you to focus on purchasing what is best for your needs.