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The material revolutionizes home automation: what it is, how it works and why it’s important

Everyone was in the process of buying a home connected device and was wondering: “sWill it be compatible with other smart product services that I own?“. The connected home is awesomeIn addition to the ability to control all devices via voice commands or using a smartphone. But today the issue of product compatibility is a real problem. Some of them have limited compatibility and it is not at all obvious that you will be able to make the purchase light.

Often problems arise later during setup or use. It is precisely in these cases that Matter is cited as the long-awaited solution, one that could put an end to this kind of inconvenience. Matter 1.0 will be officially revealed on November 3, 2022 And the promises to be the solution we’ve all been waiting for. But what is the substance exactly? How was it born and how will it change our habits in the smart home?

why does it matter

The problem of managing connected devices goes back many years. It was already there in the beginning and those who approached this sector will be immediately remembered Difficulty configuring and managing various devices, But above all the impossibility of getting them to talk to each other.

This happened because until now there were many communication and management protocols. Sure remember Zigbee, but also Z-Wave and more. The real problem is that each of these protocols originates as Service that seeks to impose itself on othersAs in the free market, with producers put before the choice. Incorporating them all leads to higher costs, and integrating only part of them reduces costs but also compatibility.

Thus, the dream of a connected and easy-to-configure home is moving away. Not only is the configuration not affordable for everyone, but also the management and above all costs.

voice assistant role

Those who started dealing with connected devices before 2018 remember well how complicated it is. Dozens of apps, all different, sometimes different apps for devices of the same company or slightly different models. Chaos prevailed. Voice assistants, above all else Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, to facilitate its use. We all remember the amazement of the first Amazon Echo Plus with built-in Zigbee, which allowed you to add Philips Hue bulbs without going through a smartphone.

However, the compatibility issue remains: for everything to work, the admin center and the device must be compatible. It could be the light bulb, but the robot vacuum may not complete this specific standard.


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2019: It’s Beginning

Matter was born in 2019 as CHIP, abbreviation stands for Connected Home Over IP, or Home Over IP. The goal is simple: Create a standard that anyone can use and easily integrate. In this way, manufacturers no longer have to spend resources to make their devices compatible with one protocol or another, but can use the Matter protocol, focusing instead on developing more efficient and above all useful products.

In fact, Matter is an open source standard developed by more than 200 companies using technologies already available and certified by CSA (Connectivity Standards Alliance) before Zigbee-Alliance, which includes some of the leading technology companies, such as Ikea, SmartThings, Amazon, Google, Huawei, Apple, to name a few.

The creation and development of Matter represents a revolution in the field of home automation that coincides with the official announcement of Matter 1.0, which we talked about in this article.

How does it matter

The matter takes on some operating logic for connected devices that we know very well. Material device configuration will be required Wi-Fi and compatible controllerwhich could be your smartphone, tablet, or router theme. However, the device can be configured more easily as Matter Protocol integrates the management system without the frustration we’ve seen with Amazon Echo speakers.

Translate this means that it will be enough to connect the device to the power source (light bulb or smart socket, robotic vacuum cleaner, coffee machine, blinds) and give a voice command to our smart speaker that will add it and make it work. At this point, we can control it either with our voice or from the app we use as a hub in the smartphone or tablet, which can be Alexa, Google Home, Samsung SmartThings to give examples.

The process was made much simpler than what was said, leaving the user free to purchase any device knowing that it will work without complications.

Thread: the core of the material

Everything is very nice, but how does Matter manage the connection of all devices? Uses Thread, a radio protocol created by Nest and other companies starting in 2014. Thread has several advantages over other radio protocols currently in use.

it’s faster: This means greater hardware response to different inputs. The door and window alarm will indicate that it is activated in just a split second, compared to approximately the current second. This leads to more reliability and responsiveness for smart devices that haven’t always worked as well as they should in the past.

Created specifically for the needs of the smart home. In fact, it is not just an integration, but a specially created communication system. It’s not an adaptive thing, which only partially solves a problem, but a tailor-made suit, which takes the shape of exactly who the wearer is, i.e. us and our home.

It is more reliable: Any disconnection of the admin center does not deactivate the network, which, on the other hand, is able to arrange itself independently with a sufficient number of connected devices.

Retroactive question?

This is one of the more complex questions to answer. At the moment, there are no definitive answers, as it depends on the will of the manufacturer whether Matter will be integrated with the old concept devices or not. Amazon, for example, announced its support But the answer is not very clear, as the new protocol may lead many to abandon old devices and focus on new lines that are more attractive from a commercial point of view and may be in higher demand.

In short, it’s the usual problem: Is it worth updating devices that a few people use when you can target a larger market? On the other hand, there is also a hardware issue. In fact, Matter uses Wi-Fi to manage various devices and also thread management. And while many devices integrate Wi-Fi, but also a processor powerful enough to handle Matter, Thread cannot be upgraded because it will have to be integrated across devices. Many Amazon and Google devices are already integrating the newly developed radio protocol.


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When will the matter come?

The issue is already here, or almost. In fact, Google has updated the Home app to not only make it more usable visually, but above all to integrate Matter and to make controlling the device easier.

Then there is the last Nest Wifi Pro, already on sale in the Google Storeor advertiser Smart HUB Ikea Dirigera, which we told you about in this article. It seems clear that all devices intended for the smart home that will arrive in the future, namely after November 3, the official launch date of Matter, will be compatible with the new standard.


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the future? transition

So we are facing a historical change in terms of connected devices. If today they are passionate about a few and some, either for costs or for the skills to use and form, then we expect in the future Great simplification and lower costs.

As always when such an important new technology is announced, it is trending towards Transitional period. Doubts still abound. What will happen to older protocols and devices? Will the material be reliable from a security point of view? The only sure answer at the moment is that those who intend to build a system for smart devices inside their homes will have to wait, or else the risk is finding products that may not meet the new standard.

On the other hand, there is no need to worry for those who already have a bunch of smart devices. Old systems will not be replaced and abandoned overnight, but only initially side by side. So there is no fear that old products may stop working overnight, but they will continue to work as always.

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