Matter Smart Home Standard officially launches with support for 190 devices
Most smart homes are still surprisingly dumb, but there’s a new technology that could change that. The Matter standard, a collaboration between more than 300 companies, ended last month, and now the first devices are ready to make Matter a reality. The Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA) which oversees Matter held an event to talk about the lights, thermostats, sensors and other smart home gadgets you can now get with Matter support.
The biggest problem with setting up smart home devices is that most manufacturers have their own apps, and not all connect to the same platforms. For example, you can get light bulbs that work fine with Alexa, but they may not talk to Google Assistant, SmartThings, or HomeKit. Matter aims to fix that by bringing together Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Thread connectivity under one umbrella. That means a Matter-certified device will be able to talk to all your Matter-enabled platforms. You can choose the app (or apps) you want to use to manage them.
According to the CSA, there are more than 190 devices already certified for Matter. Some of them are already available, but most will be launched in the next few months. If you have a Philips Hue bridge, it is one of the first devices with Matter certification. An update will roll out soon that upgrades the bridge and its connected bulbs to work with Matter. If you have an Amazon Echo device, you’ll soon have Matter support in your home. Amazon says it’s adding support for Matter to 17 Echo devices this year, but first for Wi-Fi. Next year, Amazon will unlock wired support for Matter on select Echo devices, as well as its Eero mesh routers. We also know that Google is updating most of its Nest and Google Home hardware with Matter support.
Since the release of the Matter 1.0 standard, 20 new companies have joined the project, and the number may increase as more device types become available. Right now, Matter works on simpler smart home gadgets like light bulbs and smart locks. CSA has already confirmed that next year will bring product categories such as cameras and robotic vacuum cleaners. At the event, CSA president Tobin Richardson confirmed that Matter will also be coming to garage door controllers, air quality sensors, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and motion sensors.
While it’s nice to see that CSA managed nearly 200 Matter device certifications out of the gate, it’s still a small part of the smart home ecosystem. It will take time for Matter-certified devices to displace older, cheaper gadgets that don’t speak Matter’s language, so you’ll need to keep an eye out for the Matter logo if you want to take advantage. The CSA also has a website that lists Matter-certified devices — but it’s mostly light bulbs right now and lacks many of the products mentioned at the event.