On the 3rd of November, members of the Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA) showcased their Matter products at a launch event in Amsterdam. IOT Insider’s Paige West spoke with Mark Benson, Head of Samsung SmartThings US to hear his thoughts on the event and the launch of Matter.
Samsung has been a key contributor to the development of Matter from the very beginning and was one of the first companies to receive Matter certification. Earlier this year, Samsung revealed TVs and Family Hub refrigerators that were selected to be updated to support Matter Controller functionality, simplifying experiences with both Samsung and third-party devices. In May 2022, SmartThings announced its Partner Early Access Programme, the next step toward a Matter-compatible ecosystem, which granted select partners a head start in testing the Matter-supporting SmartThings hub and mobile software.
In October, Samsung Electronics announced the availability of Matter functionality, allowing for seamless device control via the SmartThings app. SmartThings hubs will receive an over-the-air update and the SmartThings Android app will be updated to provide capability to control all Matter-compatible devices. Through this update, SmartThings users can control their Matter devices from a single application, instead of using multiple apps from different device manufacturers.
“It’s an exciting moment in smart home history to be able to launch Matter. It’s going to expand the market and the accessibility of smart homes to a wider variety of users, not just the ones that are early adopters, or who are really techie, but more of the general user that just wants to use smart home tech to make their lives better,” said Benson.
SmartThings supports a feature called multi-admin, which allows users to control their Matter devices from multiple platforms and apps.
Samsung and Google announced an expanded partnership to take multi-admin support to the next level, improving interoperability and offering better user experiences. SmartThings’ open platform offers one of the largest integrated ecosystems, and Matter-certified products will be rolled out across brands including Google Nest, Eve Systems, Nanoleaf, Yale, and more.
SmartThings’ Matter Controller support will begin with the second and third generations of the SmartThings Hub, as well as the Aeotec Smart Home Hub. All hubs will continue to support Zigbee, Z-Wave, and Local Area Network devices, including Wi-Fi and Ethernet, and will be upgraded over-the-network to enable support for Wi-Fi, Ethernet, and Thread-based Matter devices.
Since Matter’s release, 190 products have received certification or are in queue for testing and certification.
The transition from standards development to standards adoption is clearly accelerating, with 4,400 downloads of the new Matter specification since its release and 2,500 downloads of the Matter software development kit (SDK) from GitHub. With the launch of the Matter certification programme for both hardware and software products, there are now eight authorised test labs in 16 locations across nine countries, making it easy to bring Matter products to life.
“One of the things that makes Matter so important is that all of the major ecosystems and leading brands in the smart home have come together. This is of great benefit to the consumer – in the past, when you’ve gone to the store and you buy a smart home device, you have to look really closely at which ecosystems are supported to know if it’s going to work with your current smart home setup. Now, you can just buy a device that supports Matter and have high confidence that it will work with your existing setup,” explains Benson.
With the initial launch of Matter, a variety of popular smart home product categories are supported including lighting and electrical, HVAC controls, window coverings and shades, safety and security sensors, door locks, video players, protocol bridges, and controllers embedded in many different kinds of products.
Looking beyond the initial release, work has begun and is ongoing for new device categories. In addition to teams working on cameras, home appliances, and more advanced energy management use cases, at the event the Alliance announced the formation of new teams to work on closures (such as doors and gates), environmental quality sensors and controls, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and ambient motion and presence sensing. The Alliance called on all interested companies looking to develop connected solutions in these areas to join the Alliance and build what’s next in Matter.
“There’s a lot of excitement [at the launch event] and a lot of intrigue. There’s really so much energy in the room because people know that this is a monumental moment [in smart home history],” concludes Benson.
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