Amazon and Google are uniting on smart-home tech.The new standard coming this year provides a common language so all your devices can communicate with each other
If you think about smart-home gadgets at all, you probably think of energy-saving thermostats or lights that you control with an app. Most people don’t care about how they work, let alone how they might work together.
Why Apple, Amazon and Google are uniting on smart-home tech—Apple Inc., Alphabet Inc. of Google, Amazon.com Inc. And Samsung Electronics Co. has installed smart-home platforms, allowing your iPhone to turn off the lights or turn up the thermostat without Alexa. Too many additional setups. But it still means buyers have to check whether new products work with the technology they already have at home. Learn more
Compatibility issues and setup complexity have slowed people going with smart-home technology overall. A new standard called Matter aims to change that
When it launches this year, Matter will serve as a common language spoken by most new and many older smart-home products. You can buy any gadget of your choice and connect it to any app of your choice. You’ll be able to control it with your voice assistant of choice, or even use the many assistants and apps inside your home.
Even though Miter will work behind the scenes, it could mean more affordable devices that are easier to set up and even play nicely together.
Amazon and Google are uniting on smart-home tech:
Perhaps most surprising: All the big names in smart-home tech are on board, so going forward, you won’t be stuck in a walled garden. If you’re tired of Alexa and want to switch to Apple’s HomePod Mini, you can do so without buying new automatic blinds. (It’s something like the film industry ran a whole lot on VHS back in the day.)
Michelle Turner, senior director of the Google smart-home ecosystem, said, “We all really believed that this industry was not going to grow unless we addressed some of the fundamental problems affecting all of us in the industry.”
Along with the tech giants, over 220 other companies support Matter. According to ABI Research, between now and the end of the decade, vendors will ship more than 5.5 billion Matter-compatible smart-home devices.
Matter is designed to be more secure and private than other smart-home systems, as it can perform some basic tasks without sending messages to the cloud. And you probably won’t have to throw away all your old smart devices.
That doesn’t mean the companies that support Matter won’t try to shut you down in some way. Matter defines basic functionality, but advanced features will still remain tied to companies—like how AirPods work better with Apple devices. Follow me
‘So Dead Simple’
Initially, the miter will move into the door lock; sensors for speed, air quality and more; thermostats; Light; garage door openers; blind and color; smart plug; and smart TVs. More complex smart-home products, such as security cameras, robot vacuums and appliances, will not be supported at launch.
When a developer wants to add a feature to his smart-home product, he has to spend resources updating the software for each platform. With Matter, most changes will only need to be made once, so that developers can lower their prices.
Once you’ve got your Matter-compatible product home, setup will be easy—you’ll just scan a QR code to add it to your network. “The goal is for most of the tools out there—lights, plugs, switches, sensors—to make initial setup so simple that it only takes a few seconds,” Ms. Turner said.
You can give your housemates smart-home access, so you can turn on the lights with Alexa while you use Siri. And if you have a mishmash of gear in your house, you might even get it all to work together. “Right now, most people buying smart-home devices address a “singular need,” said Adam Wright, an analyst at technology research firm International Data Corp., but that may change as more are compatible with Matter.
Home devices from Google and Amazon regularly communicate with the cloud, while Apple’s HomeKit is designed to work without Internet dependencies. Smart-home commands live inside your home, which can make responses faster and more private. Matter takes a similar approach to HomeKit. If there’s an Internet shutdown, your Matter-enabled products may still work, just as your Wi-Fi printer still works when your broadband is down.
“All smart-home accessories will bring the same level of security, privacy, and ease of use that Apple customers today enjoy with HomeKit accessories,” said Apple spokeswoman Jacqueline Roy.
In the past, Eve Systems GmbH didn’t link its smart plugs and sensors with Google and Amazon because they rely on the cloud, said both Eve’s senior brand and product manager Tim. Eve did not want to be responsible for user data. With Matter, system data can live inside your home, regardless of whether you use Google or Amazon’s platforms.
Amazon and others will still use the cloud for some things. Older Alexa-enabled smart speakers can’t process commands without it, said Chris DiCenzo, a lead engineer at Amazon working on smart homes and Alexa devices, adding that the cloud is “a piece of infrastructure for many, many smart-home devices.” important component. and services today.”
All new stuff?