Matter: what is it and how does it work?

The new standard in home automation Mast promises interesting results in the field of the Internet of Things and home automation. Matter is a communication protocol for IoT devices (Internet of Things) that allows devices to communicate with each other. The Matter protocol uses mesh networking technology. Mesh networks are a type of connection that allows devices to repeat the wifi signal from the router and communicate directly with each other, not just through a central hub.

Nowadays, the home automation sector, that is, the use of technologies that aim to improve the habitability and functionality of our homes with home automation and technologies, fascinates more and more, but maintains an aura of mystery, since there are different communication protocols, but the compatibility between devices still remains unknown. Fortunately, all of this with Matter should soon be a thing of the past.

For example, if we buy a new smart device, we no longer have to worry that it can’t be managed with the right app, or by a given hub or voice assistant.since the protocol will be shared by the main manufacturers of these devices in the market.

The importance of using matter

Matter home automation cover

From a business perspective, this transition is highly encouraged, as device interoperability will make life easier for customers and hopefully increase used machines. Thanks to the reduction of problems related to the interoperability of different platforms and different protocols, with the single home automation device, producers will be able to focus instead on the variety of services and functions performed.

For consumers, thanks to the great simplification at the time of configuration, on the one hand there will be less installation and device management costs, and on the other hand greater clarity and intuitiveness of use. inside of home networksthus making it possible to move on to the next stage and to introduce home automation into every home.

How Matt Works

The big problem that has arisen in the home automation market stems from the abundance of technologies used for device configuration and communication. (Wifi, Bluetooth, Zigbee, Z-wave). The producers of these technologies and associated platforms, in recent years, have pushed to be able to excel in the sector, creating ever greater competition.

But with Matter, everything changes! The open source project was born in 2019 under the name of CHIP (Home connected over IP) and promised to completely change the relationship between home appliances and IoT platforms.

Matter is backed by the Zigbee Alliance, a consortium of 200 leading IoT companies: some names including Google, Amazon, Apple, Android, Ikea, Huawei, Xiaomi, Silicon Labs, Smart Things, and many more , suggest the importance of the new protocol. In addition, they show the choice of the path of cooperation to create once and for all a standard in the field of home automation.

They have created a new, flexible, open-source communication protocol that can work on existing communication technologies such as Thread and Wi-Fi.

How Matt Works

If you want to use Matter at home, you will need a Wi-Fi access point (like a router) and a control device compatible with the Thread communication protocol (Your smartphone, tablet, smart hub, smart display and speaker like Amazon Echo and Google Nest will perform this function). The Thread protocol-enabled device will directly communicate with the various devices to be controlled (such as smart bulbs, smart plugs, etc.).

As well, thanks to the frustration-free configuration, contributed to the project by Amazon, just having a new smart device in the house, start the pairing procedure and the system will think about associating it and making it functional. All these will reduce installation costs and improve users’ lives.

The use of Thread technology

yarn technology

For Matter, it was thought to mainly use Thread technology (and secondly Wi-Fi). It is a radio protocol launched by Nest and 6 other companies in the sector already in 2014, which was designed exactly for home automation, and allows stable and fast connections.

Other technologies used before such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth were not designed exactly for this purpose and their operation has undergone a process of adaptation., which has obvious limitations: in the case of Wi-Fi, for example, maintaining a stable connection throughout the house requires a lot of energy (too much for small battery-powered devices, for example); in the case of Bluetooth, however, this suffers from obvious range limitations.

Also I smart home devices will be much more reliablethanks to some special characteristics that allow the network to self-repair in the event of a malfunction in one of its components.

The fate of other protocols after the launch of Matter

The Matter project puts on the table the interests of companies that have already started investing in the future of home automation some time ago. For this reason, it has been guaranteed that old protocols can continue to be used. It remains to be seen if older non-Matter-certified devices can be retrofitted via an update, or if the creators decide to implement it only in the next production stages.

So you can safely buy smart devices today, when Matter arrives they will continue to work as usual. Even if they are not updated by the manufacturer, they will still be supported and can work with new certified devices.

Perspectives on the home automation of tomorrow

Perspectives on the home automation of tomorrow

Thanks to the great collaboration between the different companies and to the new Matter protocol, it is legitimate to finally hope for perfect interoperability, so that this is no longer the major concern of home automation manufacturers and that they can concentrate on the proposal of new devices and functions.

In addition, easier use for consumers will give a significant advantage to the distribution of these devices, which could once again revolutionize our relationship to space. Finally, the Internet of Things could become truly mass-market, taking home automation to new and unexplored levels.