What is the Matter smart home standard and what is its importance?
What is Matter and how does it work?
Matter is a standard through which smart devices in a home can Communicate with each other. Thanks to Matter—a common platform agreed upon by all manufacturers—consumers are assured that their various smart devices can seamlessly interoperate (at least on paper). To clarify, consider this example: if your smart home lighting system has a motion sensor and Matter-certified smart bulbs, they can easily interact with each other, even if they are made by two different companies. Currently, establishing such a connection between smart devices is usually not possible, and even if a connection is established, this process will be complicated or slow.
In other words, Matter is an “application layer”. In this way, people working on the software side of smart home products use code that is compatible with other devices (in the same standard). For example, Google is preparing a software development kit for Matter mobile apps. Developers who wish to work with these open-source codes can access them on GitHub.
Although many of these codes are currently not visible to users. Command control of smart devices, starting from the Matter standard and expanding to platforms such as Apple HomeKit and finally the Home iOS application – where users can interact with it. This means that as soon as the user issues a command in the Home application, this command passes through HomeKit, then Matter, and then the Thread network and finally reaches the desired smart device at home.
In fact, the goal of the Matter standard is to simplify the smart home as much as possible, while maintaining security and reliability. That being said, whenever you see a product that supports the Matter standard, you can rest assured that you can safely use it alongside other Matter-compliant products.
What is the importance of Matter?
The Matter standard focuses on three important components: interoperability, security, and deployment.
A normal smart home needs at least 6 different applications that are dedicated to devices such as robot vacuum cleaners, smart lamps, security cameras, etc. Imagine for a moment if all of these devices could be accessed, controlled and launched from the same app through a single app. In this way, you will no longer need to install a separate application on your smartphone for each device.
In today’s environment, the importance of data protection at all times The other has increased. Day by day, more and more technologies are entering our homes; Technologies that listen to our voice and can track our location. Subsequently, consumers need reassurance to assure them that all information collected from them is kept under a secure fence. It is interesting to know, the Matter standard will establish a simple yet safe connection between devices by using security measures – including blockchain and zero trust. Also, advanced encryption and security protocols will protect users’ data and prevent unauthorized access to their data.
Currently, it is not possible to provide a single opinion regarding the ease of setting up smart home devices; Some of these devices are very easy to set up (just turn it on and then access it via Thread). But on the other hand, setting up some smart devices requires a complicated process. One of the goals of the Matter standard is to simplify the setup of smart home devices. It should be noted that when Matter becomes available to users for the first time, devices such as smart locks, various types of sensors, thermostats, lamps, hubs and smart bridges, parking garage door openers, smart plugs, smart TVs and Supports the shutter curtain. Unfortunately, in the first release of Matter, things like cameras, water leak sensors, robot vacuum cleaners and household appliances are not supported, but this will be realized in the future.
Who owns Matter?
This new standard to It does not belong to a specific person, but is owned by a coalition of industry giants called the Connectivity Standards Alliance. This coalition is the same entity that previously developed the Zigbee wireless communication protocol, which has been used by products such as Philips Hue smart bulbs for years. Important members of this coalition include Amazon, Google, Huawei, Samsung and Apple pointed out. Famous component manufacturers such as NXP, Texas Instruments and more than 200 other companies also support the Matter standard.
What is the difference between Matter and Thread?
A significant part of the Matter application layer is on a network technology called made to Thread. Matter also includes other networking technologies, such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The most important feature of Thread is that in order to connect products together, it can abandon hardware hubs and instead by assigning smart home devices as border routers, it can adopt an arrangement so that these devices can play the same role as hardware hubs. perform Thread technology, like Zigbee, is a low-power mesh network, but instead of just a static hub organizing the communication, this is done by the smart devices themselves (when the time is right).
Considering that Thread is an IP (Internet Protocol) based technology, it can be expected that its communication – just like your home Wi-Fi router – is based on the sixth version of the Internet Protocol (i.e. IPv6). be done. This means that Matter compatible devices are very responsive because as soon as a command is sent through the Thread network, there is no need to review the application layer for translation. Not to mention, Zigbee sends the commands back to the application layer and this problem has caused the slowness of this protocol.
Thread-based devices are available in the market for a long time. Having said that, we can expect these devices to be compatible with the Matter standard at the right time.
When will Matter-compatible products hit the market?
The Matter standard is still in development, but final approval is expected by mid-2022. Subsequently, Matter compatible devices will enter the market by the end of 2022. It should be noted that many products were introduced to the world of technology at the CES 2022 event under the code name Matter. Thread-based products have also been made available to consumers. The mechanism of Matter and Thread is a bit complicated and beyond the scope of our discussion, but what you need to know as an end user is that Matter is a standard by which smart devices in your home can easily communicate with each other.