Skip to main content

Smart home fragmentation may become thing of the past thanks to Matter protocol

Building a smart home system and experiencing its multiple benefits is a tremendous feeling. From on-the-go controls and automation to real-time views of live security cameras and doorbells, your smart home can effectively go anywhere with you. The only trouble for those looking to diversify hardware is that, in typical Hatfields and McCoys fashion, product families rarely intermingle and get along. This is to say that if you’re primarily a Google Assistant-powered homestead, adding in Alexa or HomeKit devices and getting them synced with your Assistant tech can be quite a hassle. Until now, that is.

In a recent blog post, Google announced that the company’s Android and Nest divisions, along with a myriad of other smart home developers, are working together on a cross-brand protocol for smart home ecosystems that is code-named Matter. Combining proven practices and technologies built around security and seamless connectivity, Matter is intended to provide a formative cross-brand experience in the smart home, both for developers and product owners.

Google Nest Thermostat (2020)
The latest Nest Thermostat will be one of Google’s first devices updated for Matter integration. .

In the same post, Google claims that upcoming Android and Nest hardware will begin hosting Matter tech, making for faster device setup, compatibility across brands, and a wider net of control apps. A Google technology called Thread, introduced in 2014, will also begin working hand in hand with the Matter suite. Developed as a performance enhancement tool for Google’s smart tech, Thread and Matter will join forces to provide faster and stronger connections for your entire smart home system.

So, what exactly does this mean for you and your gear? By as early as year’s end, you may be able to manage multiple smart devices through a single app, essentially beinging Alexa, Assistant, HomeKit, and SmartThings hardware all under one roof. While specific settings may still need tweaking within first-party applications, a unified portal where multiple smart tech families coexist — and can exchange info seamlessly — is certainly an improvement on the an-app-for-each-brand world we’re used to. Right now, standards like IFTTT are helpful tools for getting brands to work together with current protocols, but Matter looks to negate the extraneous steps of building programming through the platform simply to get Device A to talk to Device B.

It may be some time before Matter is fully up and running (reports indicate we may be waiting until 2022), but the promise of easier hand-shaking across the smart home marketplace is an exciting mass integration to look forward to.

Editors' Recommendations

Michael Bizzaco
Michael Bizzaco has been writing about and working with consumer tech for well over a decade, writing about everything from…
Samsung SmartThings gets Matter support on iOS
The Matter logo on a colorful background.

Matter continues to make headlines as we slowly roll through 2023. In the latest news, Samsung is bringing the Matter interoperability standard to the SmartThings iOS app. As long as your iPhone and SmartThings app are up to date, you’ll be able to enjoy full Matter support for the popular smart home controller.

Companies have been eager to roll out Matter to their devices and software, with Amazon and Google launching big updates at the tail end of 2022 that brought support to hot products such as the Echo Dot and Nest Hub Max. Now, it seems Samsung is joining the club.

Read more
Samsung and Google partnership finds a shared home for SmartThings
The Google Nest Audio speaker on a table.

Matter — the interoperability protocol that will bring smart devices from different brands under a single umbrella of control — is less than a month away from its official launch. Ahead of the grand reveal, Samsung and Google have announced a partnership that adds a convenient element of interoperability to their respective smart home ecosystems.

Sounds confusing? Well, here’s the easy breakdown. Samsung, in collaboration with partner brands, sells a wide range of smart home devices, from doorbells and switches to lights and garage door openers. However, barely a few of those SmartThings gadgets worked seamlessly with Google’s Home app for controlling smart home gizmos.

Read more
Matter smart home standard is officially available
The Matter logo on a black background.

After running into a few roadblocks, Matter is officially here. Announced by the Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA), the Matter certification program is now live, allowing manufacturers to bring the tech to their products and release them on an expedited timeline.

Matter is big news in the smart home community, as it will serve as a universal framework that allows different ecosystems to interact with each other. For example, your Alexa-enabled devices will be able to use Matter to communicate with your Apple HomeKit products. Its goal is to streamline the setup process for smart home devices and build an ecosystem that’s easy to use while bringing together products and software from Samsung, Google, Apple, and over 280 other collaborators.

Read more