Matter smart home standard postponed to fall
Getting all your smart home devices to connect to each other and work together seamlessly is a frustrating exercise, especially if you want to use Amazon devices with HomeKit-enabled devices, for example. There are workarounds to make everything work seamlessly, which usually requires a bridge or hub of some sort, which becomes more annoying (and expensive). Fragmentation also makes it difficult for consumers who are not particularly tech-savvy to use the devices.
Matter, a project led by the Connectivity Standards Alliance, is a new standard designed to address this issue. Tech giants like Amazon, Apple, Google, and Samsung all support the standard, which will allow their devices to work together without using a bridge. The standard has been coming soon for some time now and was supposed to roll out this summer after a previous delay. But if you were waiting for Matter to roll out before jumping into a smart home, you’ll have to wait even longer.
According to the CSA, the standard has been pushed back. CSA marketing chief Michelle Mindala-Freeman told The Verge not to expect a launch until at least the fall.
“The finish line is in sight,” CSA said in a blog post on Thursday. “To be able to tear down IoT walled gardens, accelerate growth, and improve customer and consumer experiences, we’re confident a few more months are worth the wait.”
Google, Apple, Amazon, Samsung SmartThings and Signify, the company behind Philips Hue smart bulbs, already committed to using Matter last year. While locking consumers into a single smart home platform can be good for device sales, it becomes frustrating for users who might be completely disabled. One company might have mastered the smart light bulb, while another has the more popular doorbell. If certain companies’ devices don’t work well with others, people might buy ones that do. Matter compatible devices will be marked as such so consumers know which devices work together.
The delay was not due to technical difficulties. The CSA said this was mainly due to the growing number of companies wanting to participate. Matter, which already tests devices from 50 different companies, now has more than 200, according to Mindala-Freeman.
While not all of them will be certified as part of the Matter ecosystem by fall, the rollout will almost certainly include enough companies to, well, count.