• Roxanne Zhong

Matter, the Future of Smart Homes

At the end of 2019, Amazon, Apple, Google, Comcast and the Zigbee Alliance, which have concentrated their efforts in the field of smart home, jointly established a group called "Connected Home Over IP"(CHIP) to develop and formulate a set of smart homes based on the IP protocol. The connection standard simplifies the process of transferring information between devices and strengthens the protection of privacy and security. This week, they released the new connection standard named Matter. At the same time, the name CHIP will fade out of sight and Matter will be used uniformly as the brand name.

As expected, the first device supporting Matter will be released at the end of 2021. Many companies have expressed their opinions and promised to follow up, which means that we will see all kinds of smart home products with the Matter logo everywhere soon. Matter, as a new connection standard for smart homes, provides a unified connection protocol based on IP. With Matter, smart door locks, smart speakers, smart kettles, air conditioners, TVs, curtains, lights... can interact more smoothly in our homes, thereby providing better practicability and experience of household products.

The birth of Matter stems from the commitment of many smart home giants. The giants realized that there was an urgent need to establish a standard that could be compatible with different home appliances and break the deadlock between their respective lands. Therefore, at the beginning of the CHIP project, Amazon, Apple, and Google promised that devices using the CHIP protocol will be compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple's HomeKit ecosystem. Now the official release of Matter has become a microcosm of the smart home field, heralding the future of the Internet of Things.

Matter's operating mechanism

In the process of Matter's advancement, the giants showed full sincerity.

First, each participating company agrees to change its connection agreement so that devices from other companies and even competitors can be plug-and-play. Secondly, to promote the implementation of the new standard, the giants have taken out their own "household treasures": Google's Thread and Weave protocols, Apple's HomeKit technology, Amazon's Alexa technology and Zigbee's Dotdot technology. They have all become the foundation of CHIP, which makes Matter not starting from scratch, but standing directly on the shoulders of giants. The following are several key features considered at the beginning of the design of Matter:

- Convenience: Products can provide a simplified connection experience for users.

- Interoperability: Devices of multiple brands can work together to provide greater compatibility.

- Reliability: Products can bring a consistent and responsive local connection experience.

- Security: Devices can maintain a secure connection, providing developers and users with a powerful and streamlined secure connection experience.

- Flexibility: Users can easily set up and control multiple devices in the ecosystem.

Matter's timeline

Affected by the epidemic, Matter, which was originally planned to be launched at the end of 2020 has come late. It can be predicted that the follow-up development of Matter has a higher probability to continue as planned. Matter will begin formal equipment certification in the second half of 2021, giving priority to equipment connected using Wi-Fi, Thread and Ethernet. For equipment certification and security considerations, Matter will also introduce blockchain technology.

Before the release of Matter, the CHIP project already had 3 working groups, 180 member companies, and more than 1,700 active companies to provide extensive support.

The spokesperson of the project reminded me that Matter devices will use Wi-Fi in high-bandwidth applications and Thread in low-bandwidth applications. The standard will also use Bluetooth low energy technology for device configuration. It is Matter's important mission to help the smart home market enter the explosive period. Now it’s estimated that by 2022, the scale of the smart home market will exceed $53 billion.

The first batch of Matter products, including smart lights and controllers, air conditioners and thermostats, door locks, security, curtains, gateways, and other products, will be launched at the end of 2021.

The launching of Matter will for sure take the future of smart homes to a more standardized and wider track. Would you be interested in making your home with Matter-standard products?


The Connectivity Standards Alliance Unveils Matter, Formerly Known as Project CHIP/Connectivity Standards Alliance

The Zigbee Alliance Rebrands as Connectivity Standards Alliance/Connectivity Standards Alliance

The Future of IoT is Now: Project Connected Home over IP/Connectivity Standards Alliance

Project CHIP gets a new name and so does the Zigbee Alliance/STACEY HIGGINBOTHAM/staceyoniot.com

18 views0 comments