Google, Amazon and Apple are among the tech giants pioneering an effort to ensure smart home products share an infrastructure that’ll work across platforms.
The new Matter standard will mean those smartening up their homes won’t need to be so concerned about whether the product supports the individual protocols that underpin the major platforms. The overall goal is to boost interoperability among the best smart home devices making it into people’s domiciles.
The hope is that the standard will make it easier for third-party manufacturers to make products that support Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Google’s Assistant, as well as any emerging voice assistants. The alliance says it wants reliable and secure smart home tech that will enable devices to “work seamlessly together today and tomorrow.” It says it has support from across the industry and Samsung’s SmartThings will also be adopting the standard.
During Google I/O, the company revealed it is bringing the Matter protocol – launching later this year – to Nest and Android, with the company saying it’ll be easier and faster to set-up and pair new devices and link others. As well as that, Google is ensuring devices like the Nest Wi-Fi, Nest Hub (2nd-gen) and Nest Hub Max, as well as the thermostats and smart speakers will act as Matter ‘hubs’.
“Android will be one of the leading operating systems with built-in support for Matter, letting you quickly set up devices with Google and link your favourite Android apps,” Google wrote in a blog post this week. “You’ll only need a few taps to set up your Matter devices, and you’ll have lots of ways to instantly control them such as Matter-enabled Android apps, Google Assistant, the Google Home app, Android Power Controls and compatible Google devices. It also allows over one billion Android devices to enable simple setup and control all Matter-certified products.”
The back-end tech, previously dubbed Project CHIP, should eventually mean users don’t have to search for the indicator confirming the smart bulb, lock, thermostat or anything else works with Alexa, HomeKit, Samsung’s Smart Things or anything else. It’ll also make it easier to switch from one smart home provider to another.