Connected home: Amazon, Philips Hue and others put the package on Matter, the universal home automation protocol

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Your home automation installation will undoubtedly become simpler in the coming months. A few weeks after presenting the very first version of the Matter universal protocol, the organization in charge of its development announced lots of new features, in partnership with the big names in the sector.

During a big gathering in Amsterdam, the Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA) detailed the changes that were going to occur in the marvelous universe of the connected home during the next months. In all, nearly 190 products have been announced as compatible (or soon compatible) with the Matter protocol. A drop of water in the ocean of current connected objects, but a drop of water that can make a difference given the products concerned.

Matter launch conference

Tobin Richardson, president of the CSA, was particularly well surrounded to officially launch Matter.

Amazon and Philips Hue fully into Matter

Amazon, which has never hidden its desire to become a major player in the smart home, has announced that 17 of its Echo accessories will become compatible with Matter from next December. Echo Dot speakers, Echo Show screens, and even the Echo Plus are all set to get an update that makes it easier to integrate accessories into its home automation ecosystem over the next few weeks. Unfortunately, this update will only support the Matter protocol via wifi — no Thread, the hubless protocol, at this time — and connection will need to be done via the Android app, with iOS support planned. for the next year.

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Marja Koopmans, Director of Amazon's Alexa Smart Home & Health Division, on stage

The director of Amazon’s Alexa Smart Home & Health division, Marja Koopmans, was also at the party.

For its part, Signify (the company that markets Philips Hue and Wiz products) has also announced that its Hue Bridge will become compatible with Matter by the 1st quarter of 2023. This is not entirely a surprise, since the company had already committed to supporting the protocol in 2021, but the firm still provided some details on this development. With a simple update, the overwhelming majority of Philips Hue accessories will therefore become Matter compatible, with the exception of the Dial switch and the HDMI Sync box (protocol developments should solve the problem). For those who want to get their hands dirty, it is possible to install a beta version of the software now.

Netatmo, Somfy… French people also in the front row

Similarly, Schneider Electric intends to make its Wiser equipment Matter-compatible using gateways. The current Wiser gateway should first be updated and a new one, natively compatible, will be launched afterwards. On the side of new products, we were able to find Netatmo’s Intelligent Security Sensor, on demonstration with a connected bulb for the automatic switching on of the light.

Schneider Electric took advantage of the launch of Matter to announce some new features

Schneider Electric took advantage of the launch of Matter to announce some new features.

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Overall, many demonstrations also revolved around lighting, since we also found on this launch event Nanoleaf with its new Essentials range. Others revolved around connected sockets or blinds with Eve and Somfy, but it must be recognized that the uses of Matter remain fairly basic for the time being. And that shouldn’t really change with the other new features that we can expect to see land in the coming months, simply because version 1.0 of Matter does not yet address all the connected objects on the market.

Limited beginnings for the universal protocol

However, this first version also has the heavy task of laying a solid foundation for building a lasting ecosystem, for example with multi-admin, which should facilitate pairing and access sharing. The CSA indicates that it has also done a lot of work on security, in particular by developing a unique identifier system which guarantees that each device added to the network has been certified, but much remains to be done for Matter.

We are particularly curious to discover how the integration of devices responding to commands much more complex than light bulbs or sockets will be done in third-party applications, such as surveillance cameras or robot vacuum cleaners, to which groups have already been devoted. work within the CSA. In total, nine categories are also being considered and should thus be able to join the Matter ecosystem with the next versions of the standard. Updates should occur twice a year, if CSA can stick to what it just announced.

Large household appliances and energy management solutions should also be able to integrate the Matter ecosystem afterwards.

Large household appliances and energy management solutions should also be able to integrate the Matter ecosystem afterwards.

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