During your search for smart home products, you might have seen the name “Matter” used a lot. It can be hard to figure out what that means without getting sucked into a Wikipedia rabbit hole about physical sciences. Our goal is to explain what Matter is and why it’s important when you’re building your home with smart lights, security cameras, and locks.
Here Is How does Matter Work.
When your smart home gadgets talk to each other, they use Matter to do it. Consumers can be sure that their different products will work together if there is a common platform that all the manufacturers agree on. There’s at least that pitch on paper. For people who use this, this means that you can have a Matter-certified motion sensor turn on your Matter-certified smart lights even though they come from different manufacturers. Right now, that relationship between devices can be complicated or slow, if it even exists in the first place.
Those who write the software for smart home products would use code that would work with other devices that use the same standard. In this case, the Matter app software development kit is being led by Google. All the open-source code is on GitHub.
Users don’t see much of this code. There are more platforms like Apple HomeKit and the iOS app Home where people can interact. Control comes from Matter. HomeKit, Matter, Thread, and the Thread network play a role in this process. When you tap on command in your Home app, it goes through all of them.
Matter wants to make it easier to connect your home while still keeping it safe and reliable. On the surface, it should be easy to know that anything with the Matter brand on it will work well with your other Matter goods.
Who Owns Matter?
The Matter is made up of a group of big tech companies. The name of that group is the Connectivity Standards Alliance. This group is still in charge of Zigbee, a wireless communication standard that Philips Hue has used for years. Amazon, Google, Huawei, Samsung, and Apple are also part of the group. NXP, Texas Instruments, and more than 200 other companies are behind the Matter standard, which is used to communicate between different types of hardware.
Thread and Matter Are Two Different Things.
People use Thread, a networking technology, to build a lot of the things that happen in Matter. Matter also uses Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to connect to other things. Thread’s main selling point is that it doesn’t need hardware hubs to connect things. Instead, smart home devices can be used as border routers to do the same job. Zigbee is a low-power mesh network, and Thread is the same. Instead of having a single hub that coordinates communication, different devices can take over the routing role when needed.
Your Wi-Fi router talks in the same IPv6 language as this Thread, so it’s communicating with it in the same way. If a command is sent through the Thread network, Matter devices should be very quick because they won’t have to go back to the application layer to get translated again after the command is sent. Zigbee has sent commands back to the application layer in the past, which slows things down. It could change.
Devices that work with Thread are already on the market, and it’s safe to say that they will work with Matter when the time comes.
When Will Matter Products Be available?
In 2022, things are still being worked on. The certification program should be ready by then, and certified devices should be on the market in late 2022. At CES 2022, there were a lot of new things about Matter. In the meantime, you can already get your hands on some great Thread-supporting things.
The details can be a little complicated when it comes to Matter and Thread. As an end-user, all you need to know is that Matter is a certification that should make sure your smart home devices can talk to each other smoothly.