Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024

The latest iteration of Matter has arrived. Courtesy of the CSA, Matter 1.3 adds support for new energy monitoring, water management, EV charging, and home appliance technologies. It also adds support for scenes and improves on Matter’s video-casting protocol.

Matter is a universal standard that aims to remove the barriers between differing smart home ecosystems. Apple, Amazon, Google, and Samsung all support Matter. So, if a smart bulb is advertised as “Matter-enabled,” you should feel confident knowing that it will work with all smart home ecosystems and voice assistants.

While the Matter standard has some very clear merits, many products still lack Matter support. This is partially due to the high cost of Matter implementation—products may require additional internal hardware to work with Matter, and certification with the CSA costs about $10,000 per product. However, one of the bigger hurdles for Matter is its somewhat limited functionality. The original Matter 1.0 release doesn’t support energy monitoring in smart plugs, for example.

Today’s release aims to fill out some of these missing capabilities. The Matter 1.3 standard provides energy monitoring and water management features, so it’ll work with more smart plugs, chargers, rain or water-leak sensors, and smart water valves. The update also provides support for smart locks, smart blinds, thermostats, microwaves, clothes dryers, ovens, and stoves. And for homes that use multiple smart assistants, Matter 1.3 adds native support for scenes.

Finally, Matter Casting, an open protocol that’s similar to Google Cast or Apple AirPlay, can now send smart home push notifications to any screen. It also gains a unique feature that can link multiple smartphones to a smart TV app for multiplayer gaming. Unfortunately, Matter Casting hasn’t been implemented by any major streaming services (aside from Prime Video) and isn’t supported by any smart TVs or streaming sticks.

While I’m glad to see new improvements to Matter (which had a rocky start), I should point out that Apple, Google, Amazon, and other major smart home players still haven’t implemented Matter 1.2 technology in their respective products. These industry leaders need to take the Matter standard seriously if they want to attract new customers. Otherwise, the smart home world will remain a confusing, disjointed mess.

Source: CSA

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By John P.

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