Matter 1.0 is Officially Here to Connect a Fragmented Smart Home
The long-awaited Matter 1.0 standard has finally been released by the Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA).
Smart homes have historically been plagued by a lack of interoperability between devices. To address this issue, the Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA), along with industry leaders such as Google, Apple, and Samsung, has developed an IoT protocol focused on interoperability: Matter.
With the release of Matter 1.0, the CSA is also releasing a Matter certification program. Image courtesy of the CSA
Now, after much anticipation, the CSA has officially released its Matter 1.0 specification to the public. This first release runs over Wi-Fi, Thread, and Ethernet and uses Bluetooth Low Energy for device commissioning to support a host of smart home devices, including lighting and electrical, HVAC controls, window coverings and shades, security sensors, door locks, and media devices.
What is Matter?
In the current multi-protocol IoT ecosystem, consumers are faced with two options if they want an interoperable smart home: they must either purchase devices only within one ecosystem (e.g., Amazon Alexa suite of products) or use multiple apps and services to control all of their “interconnected” smart home devices.
Many industry experts believe the inconvenience of these two options has created a barrier to entry for consumers and limited adoption of smart home products.
IoT systems consist of diverse resources. Image used courtesy of W3C and Mouser
To address these challenges, the Connectivity Standards Alliance and a host of industry partners developed Matter. Matter is an open wireless connectivity protocol designed to create interoperability between IoT devices, specifically targeting the smart home. Developed by a consortium of 280 industry leaders, including Apple, Samsung, Google, and Amazon, Matter aims to create a local network for direct device-to-device communications in which all Matter-certified devices can operate.
Matter leverages connectivity via IP protocols. Specifically, Matter relies heavily on Wi-Fi for high-bandwidth applications and leverages Thread for low-bandwidth, ultra-low-power IoT applications by creating a mesh network within the home. Other supported protocols include ZigBee and Z-Wave.
Matter 1.0 is Released
With the release of Matter 1.0, IoT hardware designers now have a complete program to create, test, and certify Matter devices. To support this program, the CSA has announced eight authorized test labs that are now open for product certification and testing.
Matter network stack. Image used courtesy of Moore Insight and Strategy
The CSA is also releasing test harnesses and tools and publishing an open-source reference design software development kit (SDK) for designers and developers.
To address the security and privacy of smart home devices, Matter uses distributed ledger technology and public key infrastructure. These technologies validate device certification and provenance to ensure users connect authentic and up-to-date IoT products in their homes.
The CSA hopes an influx of Matter-certified devices will enable a new future for IoT devices where interoperability is the norm, decreasing the barriers to entry for the smart home and ultimately driving greater adoption of IoT in general