In this article we'll be continuing our Matter discussions from previous posts by taking a look at all smart home brands that have announced they will support Matter.
First though, let's take a quick recap.
What Is Matter?
According to the Matter web site itself, Matter is the foundation for connected things and is an industry-unifying standard (or common language) that delivers reliable, secure connectivity and is a seal of approval that devices will work seamlessly together, today and tomorrow.
As far as we can tell, from the consumer / end-user point-of-view, you'll be able to buy products that show the Matter logo and be confident that they work out-of-the-box together without any of the dreaded compatibility issues.
How Will I Recognise A Matter Smart Home Device?
Matter support will be indicated on Smart Home devices by the inclusion of their trademarked logo which looks like three arrows pointing towards the centre. At least this looks a little better than their previous names such as "Project Chip" or "Connected Home Over Ip"!
Given the build up, hype and furore around the Matter protocol we would expect that device makers will have their marketing teams ensuring that Matter certified devices are front and centre of the Smart Home market once they hit the shelves.
What Matter Devices Can I Buy Today?
Currently, Matter is in the final stages of its development phase and none of the CSA vendors have any Matter devices available to purchase right now.
We do expect that to change over the next couple of months though, so keep checking our website if you want all the latest news on this new Smart Home Platform.
In the meantime, if you haven’t checked out the newest Zigbee and Z-Wave devices, we suggest taking a look at our latest products list. Remember, Zigbee and Z-Wave smart home devices will work with Matter via their respective hub, gateway or bridge in the future.
Which Devices Will Work With Matter?
At the 2022 CES event earlier this year there were many announcements from various Smart Home brands such as Philips Hue, Samsung SmartThings, Apple and Google all pledging their support for Matter.
These announcements outlined their plans for both new and existing products that will work with the Matter protocol upon its release.
Arlo make a range of cameras, doorbells, floodlights and security related products. They announced their intention to add Matter support to their Smart Home products.
Amazon have been on board with the Matter standard from the early stages and have released details of Matter support across their Smart Home Platforms. We're not yet sure on whether this will occur in existing Amazon Echo devices such as the Amazon Echo Dot.
Similar to Amazon, Apple already have their existing Smart Home ecosystem. Homekit has already been bringing together disparate brands under the Apple Home banner for quite some time. The Apple Homepod Mini and Apple TV featured the Thread networking protocol and recently released Beta versions of iOS are now preparing for Matter support.
Aqara have already proven that they are capable of working to standards by being one of few brands that are Homekit certified so announcing that they are on board with supporting Matter should be no surprise.
The WeMo product line from Belkin has been around for many years and has a firm footing in the Smart Home industry. Based on their announcement earlier in the year, they're already pre-empting a move to Matter compatibility by adding the Thread radio standard to their existing products.
Eve are another veteran in the manufacturer of Homekit devices and like Belkin have pre-empted the Matter revolution by implementing the Thread radio standard. This future proofs their product line and allows them to be updated to work with Matter via a simple firmware update.
Similar to Amazon, Google have been on board with Matter compatibility from the early stages and will support Matter in Android and Google Nest devices like the Google Nest Hub Max. So relax, Google Assistant and the Google Home App will be able to control all your future Matter Smart Home devices!
The Swedish home furnishings store launched into the Smart Home industry several years ago with its low cost range of Zigbee based Smart Home devices. Continuing its journey, in October, a Matter ready hub for smart products called DIRIGERA will be launched together with a new IKEA Home smart app.
Another big name in the technology world, LG has confirmed that it will be supporting Matter in their Smart Home and home appliance products. So in the future your LG Fridge and Canon Cooker will be able to talk to your Samsung Washer Dryer to let it know of the impending heavy load following the previous evenings Indian meal.
After the success of their Smart Home Weather Station, Netatmo went on to launch a wide range of security focused products including cameras, sirens and contact sensors. They've also covered heating needs with their Smart Thermostats and Smart Radiator TRVs. At the CES show in January 2022 they announced their first Matter product, a combined door and motion sensor. We expect more devices will follow once the Matter standard is formally launched.
The ubiquitous nature of the Philips Hue Smart Home product range means they're one of the most popular Home Automation device manufacturers. While they seem to have shied away from putting Matter support directly into their products, they have confirmed that they will add Matter support to the Hue Bridge via a software update in the future. Philips Hue aren't the only manufacturer to do this and we think it's going to be a common theme for those that already have extensive product ranges and installation bases out there.
While SmartThings has also announced Matter support via a software update to their Hub and claim to be testing Matter compatibility via an Early Access Program there's not been any further information from them that we can see. Given the somewhat messy deprecation of their Groovy platform and move to new LUA Edge based system, we think that Matter may well be someway off.
TP-Link / Tapo
A well respected manufacturer of network related devices, TP-Link launched a range of WiFi Smart Plugs, Smart LED Bulbs and Smart LED Strips several years ago under the product name of "kasa smart". Recently they've been transitioning their Smart Home brand over to "Tapo" and they recently announced that they will be integrating with Matter in order to "Simplify the Future of Smart Homes".
The well known lock and security device manufacturer has a bit of a spotty past when it comes to integration with Smart Home Platforms. In the UK the Z-Wave module has been their main release, while worldwide they have Zigbee and proprietary products available. While they announce support for Matter last year, there's been no further mention of the protocol. We suspect that they will support Matter only via their own Smart Hub, as opposed to directly on device.
Should I Wait For Matter Before Starting My Smart Home Journey?
If Matter is supposed to enable all devices to work seamlessly together without individual hubs and Apps, we're really struggling to see how this is going to come to fruition.
Sure, some manufacturers that are already in the hub-less camp such as Eve Systems and Nanoleaf might already be down that path, but many of the big players as mentioned above are simply saying that they will be supporting Matter via their own hubs, bridges or gateways.
If you take a typical Smart Home that has a smattering of Philips Hue bulbs, SmartThings Zigbee sensors, Amazon Echo Dot speakers and Nest Hub Max screens, then they will already have multiple hubs and Apps that are required to support those devices directly. So what does Matter change there?
A Zigbee bulb from Philips Hue isn't going to talk directly to an Eve Systems Thread based sensor or a Yale Z-Wave based lock. Matter isn't going to change that at all - you'll still need a Zigbee bridge, a Z-Wave hub and something to gateway to your Thread devices.
And presumably you already have those up and running and working together anyway, right now? So, what will Matter give you? Simplicity in setting up and configuring? Perhaps, but did you find the process of getting your current devices working particularly difficult? Aren't you already using all this disparate devices via Apple Homekit? Or perhaps you've got everything working well with your Athom Homey controller as the "commander in chief" of your Smart Home due to its multi-protocol support?
As it stands today, we don't believe anything has changed, nor will it change in the foreseeable future, likely nothing tangible over the next couple of years.
So our final word on this Matter is essentially: It don't Matter now and it probably won't Matter later, either.
At the end of the day, the end-user, the consumer, will just buy what they buy. They'll be guided by whatever "compatibility" labelling is prevalent at the time, whether that's "Works with SmartThings", "Hubitat Compatible" or "HomeKit" as it is today, or whether devices of the future have a big Matter sticker on them, or a big OCF label on them. Or something else that comes along in the next few years and is hailed as being the next game changing innovation in standards.
As always though, Vesternet will be at the forefront of Smart Home again, offering Matter Home Automation devices if and when they become available, alongside all the existing familiar Zigbee and Z-Wave devices that we currently stock!