Sun. Dec 10th, 2023

Matter is the growing industry standard that aims to make smart home devices easier to set up and manage. The first version arrived in October 2022, after several delays, but it wasn’t the smart home revolution that we were hoping for. Now, an update is trying to fix that.

The Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA), the group of companies developing the Matter standard, announced Matter version 1.2 today. It’s the second post-launch update to Matter, following the 1.1 update in May that added support for battery-connected sensors. The CSA said in a press release, “Matter’s roll-out has out-paced the typical adoption cycles of previous industry standards. Rather than taking years for users to replace hub hardware, software updates enable existing smart home hubs and devices to become Matter controllers. This has created a global market with up to hundreds of millions of homes ready to connect new Matter devices.”

Matter 1.2 adds support for refrigerators, room air conditioners, dishwashers, laundry washers, robotic vacuums, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, air quality sensors, air purifiers, and fans. Each device type has its own properties, settings, and notification types that can be handled by any hub devices. For example, robotic vacuums support remote start, changing the cleaning modes, status details like brush status or error reporting, and progress notifications.

Matter already worked with smart plugs, bulbs, thermostats, and most other common device types, so the latest Matter 1.2 update is closing the gap further. However, it’s still missing support for cameras and home security systems, as well as some appliances.

The rollout of Matter has been underwhelming so far, to say the least. It aimed to make more smart home devices work with more hubs (and potentially removing dedicated hubs entirely), unify smart home apps, and make setting up a new device much faster. However, the app situation is still confusing, and not all Matter hubs and apps support all the same devices. Some manufacturers have also pulled out of supporting Matter, such as Belkin.

Matter 1.2 is now available to device and app makers, but its unclear when Google, Amazon, Apple, and others will actually implement it. The CSA says it will continue bi-annual updates, with future releases adding more device types and other improvements.

Source: CSA

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By John P.

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