Starting next year, consumers will be able to buy smart home devices – such as thermostats, lighting systems and kitchen appliances – that can talk to each other through a new connectivity standard called Matter.
why it matters: The interoperability of home appliances has long been a distant dream, but the big boys like Amazon, Google, and Apple have cobbled together matter, It is expected that it will become a common brand name governing the Internet of Things (IoT).
how it works: Sometime in 2022, companies will start selling Matter-branded products that (ideally) work together seamlessly and securely — from Siri and Alexa to your TV controls, home alarm systems and even more. That integrating everything up to your pet-tracking device.
- One possible scenario is that the customer will purchase a base unit as a hub for all the mater-connected devices, then control everything through a single app.
- More than 200 companies have signed up to support Matter, which is overseen by a group called the Connectivity Standards Alliance.
I cool part: Once you start adding devices to your mater system, the system will begin to recognize patterns, and “ambient computingThis will include, enabling your content to make predictions and suggest ways to make your life easier:
- The light that turns on when you drive home: The lights in your driveway and living room will know that you usually get home at 6:30 a.m.—partly because they work with your smart door lock—and ask if you’d like that before you arrive. They turn on by themselves.
- More from Your Home Security System 411: “A customer is away from their home, their smoke detector goes off, and they can see if their pet is indoors or out,” says Don Young, executive vice president and COO of home security company ADT.
- Your plumbing’s sensors can detect leaks or other problems by: “Anomalies in normal behavior – such as consistent [water] Flow occurs between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. when the owner is usually away from home—trigger an installed automatic shutoff valve to shut down,” Young says.
- Forgotten Hot Stovetop: Smart plugs and appliances, smoke and temperature detectors, etc. will all communicate. “The predictive safety aspect says: A stove is on, no one is home, no human movement is detected in the house—let’s turn that stove off automatically for the customer,” Young says.
yes but: This Halcyon Vision has long been an industry pipe dream, and who knows if it will come true – this time too.
- The Connectivity Standards Coalition, or CSA, was known until May As the Zigbee Alliance, a longstanding initiative to develop open, global standards for wireless technology. (And Matter — previously scheduled for launch in 2020 and 2021 — was previously known as CHIP, or Project Connected Home over IP.)
- Most consumers haven’t caught the IoT fever yet. “New research from Parks Associates indicates that just 36% of US broadband households have a smart home device, a percentage that drops if all homes are matched,” CNET Report.
- “Among people with smart home technology, most have only a few devices, no the utopian array that was foreseen by Microsoft and Bill Gates nearly two decades ago.”
On the other end: Tobin Richardson, president and CEO of the Connectivity Standards Alliance, told Nerdshala: “I’ve never seen this level of commitment and energy in the realm of standards to date”.
- “You know, there are over 2,000 engineers involved in our effort, and it’s really unique.”
Be smart: There are other obvious concerns regarding the privacy and security issue, And regulators are just starting to sniff out those issues.
- Richardson explains: “We don’t have any data – we’re just building a standard by which all these devices connect and talk to each other.”
- “Privacy is really going to come down to the relationship between seller and consumer.”
- ADT’s Young says: “None of this is Big Brother — it’s all with the consent of the customer.”
Bottom-line: Matter holds promise to combat “app fatigue” that results from uneven systems working in silos – and to make our homes more efficient and helpful.
- “It solves the problem you get when you start putting in the smart home stuff,” says Aaron Emgh, CEO of Brilliant, which creates a smart home system that can range from your lighting and sound system to your video doorbell and baby monitor. Till controls everything.
- With the advent of Matter, rival firms can compete on something other than proprietary standards: “We don’t think integration should be a form of competitive differentiation,” Emgh says.