The Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA) has released version 1.2 of Matter with nine more device types and improvements.
Version 1.2 is now available for device makers and platforms to build into their products. It has nine new device types, revisions and additions to existing categories, core improvements to the specification and SDK, and certification and testing tools.
The Matter 1.2 certification programme is open and members expect to bring these enhancements and device types to market later this year and into 2024 and beyond.
Since the release of Matter 1.0 a little more than a year ago, the CSA (csa-iot.org) has seen growth and progress, with over 24,600 downloads of the specification, 1214 certifications, nearly 24% growth in the number of companies who have joined the Matter Working Group, and a new alliance interoperability test facility.
Matter’s roll-out has out-paced the typical adoption cycles of previous industry standards. Rather than taking years for users to replace hub hardware, software updates enable existing smart home hubs and devices to become Matter controllers. This has created a global market with up to hundreds of millions of homes ready to connect Matter devices.
There are Matter products from popular and innovative brands across all initially supported device categories, with products and apps in users’ homes, on their smartphones and tablets, and on store shelves.
In April, Matter 1.1 brought incremental improvements and delivered on the Matter Working Group’s plan to do two releases per year. This, along with the requirement that Matter certified products offer over-the-air software updates, provides a mechanism for adding features, device types and meaningful under-the-bonnet improvements to the specification, tools, SDK and products in the market.
The nine new device types in Matter 1.2
Refrigerators: Beyond basic temperature control and monitoring, this device type is also applicable to other related devices such as deep freezers and even wine and kimchi fridges.
Room air conditioners: While HVAC and thermostats were already part of Matter 1.0, standalone room air conditioners with temperature and fan mode control are now supported.
Dishwashers: Basic functionality is included, such as remote start and progress notifications. Dishwasher alarms are also supported, covering operational errors such as water supply and drain, temperature, and door lock errors.
Laundry washers: Progress notifications, such as cycle completion, can be sent via Matter. Dryers will be supported in a future Matter release.
Robotic vacuums: Beyond the basic features such as remote start and progress notifications, there is support for key features such as cleaning modes (dry vacuum versus wet mopping) and additional status details on brush status, error reporting and charging status.
Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms: These alarms will support notifications and audio and visual alarm signalling. Additionally, there is support for alerts about battery status and end-of-life notifications. These alarms also support self-testing. Carbon monoxide alarms support concentration sensing as an additional data point.
Air quality sensors: Supported sensors can capture and report on: PM 1, PM 2.5, PM 10, CO2, NO2, VOC, CO, ozone, radon and formaldehyde. Furthermore, the addition of the air quality cluster enables Matter devices to provide AQI information based on the device’s location.
Air purifiers: Purifiers use the air quality sensor device type to provide sensing information and also include functionality from other device types such as fans (required) and thermostats (optional). Air purifiers also include consumable resource monitoring, enabling notifications on filter status; both HEPA and activated carbon filters are supported in 1.2.
Fans: Matter 1.2 includes support for fans as a separate, certifiable device type. Fans now support movements such as rock and oscillation, and new modes such as natural wind and sleep wind. Additional enhancements include the ability to change the airflow direction – forward and reverse – and step commands to change the speed of airflow.
The appliance support added in Matter 1.2 gave the Matter Working Group a starting point to build out a set of foundational features, such as temperature setting and monitoring, and status notifications, which will be applicable to nearly all appliances supported in future releases.
The Matter specification along with the SDK, testing tools and certification programme are continuing to evolve with active participation from hundreds of smart home engineers and product experts.
Core improvements to the Matter 1.2 specification include latch and bolt door locks, device appearance, device and endpoint composition, semantic tags, and generic descriptions of device operational states.
Matter 1.2 brings enhancements in the testing and certification programme that help companies bring products – hardware, software, chipsets and apps – to market faster. These improvements should benefit the wider developer community and ecosystem around Matter.
The Matter 1.2 SDK is available for new platforms providing more ways for developers to build products for Matter.
The test harness is a critical piece for ensuring the specification and its features are being implemented correctly. The harness is available via open source, making it easier for Matter developers to contribute to the tools and to ensure they are working with the latest version.
Engineers are working on future device types, features and use cases while solving technical problems and enhancing the overall experience for consumers and developers.