Matter: The Interoperability Protocol That Isn’t Working
Is Matter the Answer to the Lack of Communication Between Smart Home Devices?
According to Statista, it’s estimated that over 68% of homes in the U.S. will have smart devices by 2027. That’s a remarkable statistic considering this technology started growing in popularity only about 20 years ago. And, as with all new technologies, problems emerged.
The more smart home devices, the more problems. While some devices communicate with each other, most users require several apps to achieve their ideal settings. Soon, managing their lighting, shades, thermostat, door locks, security cameras, and speakers can be more of a headache than it's worth.
That’s why Matter was developed. It’s an interoperability protocol designed to reduce the headaches caused by the lack of communication between smart home devices. Theoretically, it enables individual connected devices to work together, no matter the manufacturer.
Again, as with most new technology, the promise of ease is overrated.
The Big Three Enter the Home Automation Market
In 2014, Apple entered the smart home market with the Apple HomeKit. It’s designed to allow homeowners to remotely control compatible devices, like lights, thermostats, door locks, security cameras, and more. This was followed closely by Amazon Echo, and two years later, Google released its Google Home smart speaker.
During this time, the “Big Three” had extremely low adoption of their home automation platforms. So, they joined forces and came up with a platform called Matter.
Matter Is Born
Project Connected Home Over IP (Project Chip), supported by the Big Three and other major smart home players, launched in 2019. In 2021, they changed the name to the Connectivity Standards Alliance, and Project Chip became Matter. Three years after its conception, on November 3, 2022, version 1.0 of the Matter smart home standard officially launched.
Why You Should Keep the Aspirin Bottle Handy
So, according to logic and the goal of Matter, we should have gone from three platforms to one, and our days of multiple apps and frustration should be over. Unfortunately, the reverse has occurred, and we’ve gone from three platforms to four. This is because every peripheral and IoT device manufactured will have to be updated to speak the “Matter” language.
A few manufacturers have announced that Matter support is coming. Some are saying that their products do not have enough hardware resources for the update. Other manufacturers are no longer making the IoT devices you use in your home, and those will never get Matter support.
The bottom line: It’s a bit messy right now and will probably get worse before it gets better. It should, however, eventually be a lot more ubiquitous, though it’ll take a long time.
Total Home Integration
At Total Home Technologies, we partner with Control4, the leader in smart home technology. Their open-source home automation platform connects to tens of thousands of third-party consumer devices, controlling virtually everything in your home. With one touch on a user-friendly interface, you manage your lights, climate, security, entertainment, pools, spas, gates, garage, and more. Or, let your smart home do it for you.
To learn more about our customized approach to smart home living or to schedule a complimentary consultation, contact Total Home Technologies today.