Your smart home devices could soon be playing with each other


The Connectivity Standards Alliance this week released Matter 1.0, a new connectivity standard that aims to seamlessly connect smart home products.

The open-source global standard promises to allow web-connected devices from different manufacturers to communicate simply and securely.

“What began as a mission to unravel the complexities of connectivity has culminated in Matter, a unique, global IP-based protocol that will fundamentally change the IoT,” said Tobin Richardson, President and CEO of the Connectivity Standards Alliance, in a press release.(Opens in a new window).

Matter promises to help manufacturers more easily create devices compatible with Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, Google Assistant and other smart home and voice services, in hopes of fostering interoperability between devices regardless of either the brand.

“This release is the first step in a journey our community and industry are on to make IoT simpler, more secure, and more valuable no matter who you are or where you live,” said Richardson. “With the global support of companies large and small, [the] The release of Matter 1.0 is more than a milestone for our organization and our members; it’s a celebration of what’s possible.”

Matter 1.0 launches with eight authorized testing labs for companies planning to purchase. For its initial release, Matter will work over Ethernet, Wi-Fi, and the Thread network protocol using Bluetooth Low Energy, with support for a handful of common smart home products like lights and electricity, home controls, and more. HVAC, window coverings and blinds, safety and security sensors, door locks, media devices and bridges.

In terms of security, Matter relies on distributed ledger technology and public key infrastructure to validate the certification and provenance of devices, ensuring that users connect authentic, certified and up-to-date devices to their homes and their networks.

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Matter was born out of the Connected Home Over IP (Project CHIP) project, launched in 2019 by Amazon, Apple, Google and other major players in the smart home space in collaboration with the Zigbee Alliance. The latter has since changed its name to Connectivity Standards Alliance and rebranded Project CHIP as Matter. More than 280 companies participated in the development, including Amazon, Belkin Wemo, Comcast, Ikea, GE Lighting, Google, LG Electronics, Nanoleaf, Philips Hue, Samsung SmartThings and Texas Instruments.

Many existing smart home products will soon get support for Matter via software updates, although support varies by vendor and device, not all of which will be able to receive the refresh. Google said Tuesday that Matter “will be available by default on billions of Android devices” later this year. And at WWDC, Apple announced plans to add Matter support to iOS 16 this fall.

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