all about the new home automation protocol

Photo of author
Written By tsboi team

The Best Url Shortener, QR Codes, Bio-Profile Link & File Sharing Platform.

The Matter protocol is the new standard that unifies connected objects in a home, thus greatly simplifying home automation. How does Matter work? How to use ? What connected objects are supported? We explain everything!

Matter connects all your home automation devices // Source: Frandroid

At fairs like CES or IFA, many brands have only had this word on their mouths in recent years: “Affair“. This new standard protocol is supposed to revolutionize home automation and simplify the use of all our connected objects indoors. If you have not understood anything, here you will find all the explanations to understand this new universal standard.

The home automation problem

To connect your home, there are many devices. The easiest way to start is usually to get a connected speaker (HomePod, Google Home, Amazon Echo, etc.) and connected light bulbs. From then on, the possibilities are almost endless and connected devices multiply rapidly, allowing you to create true routines that automate your daily tasks and allow you to live without touching a button in the most extreme cases.

In this jungle, many home automation protocols have emerged to allow connected objects to communicate with each other. We can mention Wi-Fi or Bluetooth that everyone knows, but also Z-Wave, ZigBee or EnOcean. And of course, all these beautiful people are usually not interoperable and cannot communicate with each other. So this requires thinking well in advance about the ecosystem you want to implement, otherwise you’ll find yourself stuck.

What is the Matter Protocol?

This is where the CHIP ( Home project connected over IP ), in 2019. This working group made up of Apple, Google, Amazon, Samsung and the ZigBee Alliance aims to simplify the home automation landscape and create a new royalty-free standard. This pattern, you will have understood, is Matter.

Since then, CHIP members have joined the ZigBee Alliance who renamed himself for the occasion as Connectivity Standards Alliance(CSA) and new players such as Ikea, Signify or Somfy, among several hundred others, have joined the initiative.

On paper, Matter will thus allow the different existing ecosystems to be linked, and thus interconnect the different devices that we have without distinction of brand. So one could imagine controlling a (thread-enabled) HomePod mini from the Google Home app, for example. A use difficult to imagine today with the partition of the different ecosystems. In addition, it does not necessarily require going through thecloudwhich in theory allows speeding up the transfer of information.

In late 2022, the CSA publishes version 1.0 of the Matter standard. The CSA plans to update it twice a year. While 2022 was the year of announcements, 2023 is expected to be the year of massive product launches.

How does Matter work?

If we talk about “protocol», this is an abuse of language. It is rather a standard based on already existing protocols, in particular the Internet Protocol (IP), only in v6. This implies that older devices that only use IPv4 will not be supported. This allows devices to communicate via Ethernet, Wi-Fi or Thread protocol and connect via Bluetooth Low Energy for easy initialization.

Unlike other protocols, Thread, and therefore Matter, does not require a hub or bridge to function. It works on a mesh network, each device acting as a node to extend its reach. In total, Thread can support up to 250 nodes per network (the number of devices in total), which opens up many possibilities for connecting your enclosure, and up to 32”routers» to expand the network.

Thread Network Example // Source: Thread Pool

To communicate with the outside world or with a smartphone (iOS and Android are supported), the network needs a “edge router», connected to the Internet and which can take various forms. We can mention, for example, the HomePod mini or the Apple TV 4K, but also the Google Nest WiFi Pro.

One of the great advantages of the Thread protocol is that it can be reformed at will to function correctly without requiring human action. So if you”router» the device fails or is removed from the network, a new device will be selected to take over this role and allow all connected devices to continue communicating.

How a Thread network works // Source: Thread Group

Adding a gateway to the network allows Matter to communicate with another network using a different protocol. This bridge can be hardware (a hub, a home automation box, etc.), but an update can be enough to make an old device compatible.

What connected objects are supported by Matter?

This increased connectivity will allow many existing devices to become Matter compatible with a simple update. Signify, for example, has already promised an upgrade to its Philips Hue bridge to make all its products compatible.

At first, only certain devices are available with Matter. Thus, we can cite connected speakers, routers and lighting, real gateways to home automation, but also openings such as blinds or locks or even thermostats. In the future, Matter should evolve to also offer robot vacuums, surveillance cameras, smoke detectors, and much more.

A list of all compatible devices is available on the CSA website.

Do you want to join a community of enthusiasts? Our Discord welcomes you, it is a place of mutual help and passion for technology.

Rate this post

Leave a Comment