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The “Matter” smart home standard should connect previously incompatible components

The “Matter” smart home standard should connect previously incompatible components

For some time now, the eyes of the intelligent world have been focused on “Matter”: the connection standard is meant to allow cross-platform control of components that are integrated into the home network via WLAN, wireless Thread or Ethernet. . A device that was previously only compatible with Apple’s HomeKit, then listens to Google Assistant, for example, without having to register in the Google Cloud.

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More from c't magazine

More from c't magazine

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The start originally planned for the fall of 2021 has been postponed to the summer of 2022. But at least about 60 devices are currently in the certification phase with the head of the Connectivity Standard Alliance (CSA), as its director, Jon Harros, said in the margin an organized press event. by producer Eve. Aqara, Eve, Nanoleaf, Philips Hue, Wiz and Yale have so far made declarations of intent to have suitable devices in stores for the beginning of Matter. Then there are Amazon, Apple, Google and Samsung, which are also among the initiators of the Matter standard.

However, Harro’s expectations have been lowered that all 60 components mentioned will actually be available in stores at the Matter premiere. The main argument against this is that the devices are in very different stages of development. However, Aqara and Philips Hue also want to have ZigBee gateways certified for Matter. If this happens, dozens of ZigBee components already available would be compatible with Matter in one go.

According to the CSA, categories of “four to five” accessories are expected to be launched on the market, including smart lamps, sensors, adapter sockets and heating thermostats. It is enough for the basic scenarios of the smart home. Manufacturer Eve offered a taste of the practical experience with a demonstration of the product in front of specialized journalists. A Google voice command turned on a table lamp using an Eve socket, another command asked the room temperature from an Eve weather sensor. Voice commands were processed and sent by a Google Nest Hub 2. The Smart Display was changed locally by wire with accessories. Also, Eve does not have its own cloud and cannot be connected to Google technology in this way. Google Assistant, on the other hand, always needs an internet connection to process voice commands. Orders could only be given in English during the demonstration and sometimes did not lead to the desired success until after two or three attempts. However, it was still an experimental firmware.

During the demonstration, a cloudless socket and weather sensor from Eve were connected to a Nest Hub 2 via Matter and then controlled with Google voice commands – although Eve’s devices themselves are only compatible with HomeKit.

The fact that something didn’t work at all in this early stage fuels the hope that Matter can actually simplify the often laborious search for compatible accessories and satisfy the desire for less reliance on cloud-to-cloud connections than previous transmission standards for Smart Home. . However, many are still unclear – such as what role Matter will play in cross-platform automation and remote access. For many of the companies involved, the proposed bridge is a very thick board due to its own brand operating logic.

Given this major construction site, it is not uncommon to need a slightly longer start and that many manufacturers are still waiting until the specifications are set. Therefore, a large number of interoperable components can only be expected if the start of the Matter in the summer is successful from the company’s point of view.

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