A white woman's hands hold a phone near a smart bulb. One hand taps the settings in the app.

The major companies that make smart home technology and software have agreed on an open-source standard. This standard is known as “Matter.” “Matter” promises to simplify how smart home devices work.

The use of “Matter” is expected to fix big problems with reliability, speed, and connectivity, among other things. That’s because, in simple terms, “Matter” is an application technology that will work locally without the cloud, giving smart home devices a much longer life span.

For example, you might have a smart light bulb that works just fine, but if the manufacturer goes out of business, and the smart light bulb does not run on “Matter,” you may not be able to use it any longer. “Matter” runs upon a networking technology called “Thread.” “Thread” is a wireless standard like Zigbee and Z-Wave that allows your smart home devices to talk to each other.

“Thread” simplifies the connections and set-up of your smart home devices. It does this without the need for expensive hubs or go-between services. If the device uses “Matter,” you can keep using it with no problem because the connection is local. In other words, “Thread” provides a reliable mesh capability in your home so even if your internet connection goes down, your smart home devices will continue to work. “Thread” also guarantees tighter security, and will work with voice assistants such as Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri.

“Matter” will use “Thread” for low-bandwidth devices. High bandwidth needs, such as streaming video from a security camera, will require an internet connection. “Matter” is being developed by major companies such as Amazon, Apple, Google, Samsung, in order to ensure interoperability. It’s significant that these major companies work together because it will further streamline the process of assembling a smart home blueprint and simplify the integration of devices from different manufacturers, thereby improving the user’s experience.

We encourage you to learn more about the Matter 1.0 specification in the Wireless Tech RERC’s October 2022 Newsletter.

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