JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Connected gadgets around the home can be super-convenient. Lights that turn on automatically, doors that lock and unlock from your phone, and the list goes on and on. But making sure all those different devices work together is often an annoying struggle. But our modern connected lives are about to get a lot simpler.
You have to choose if you want to work mainly with Alexa, Google, Apple, or something different altogether. But thanks to a new home standard called Matter, that’s all changing.
“It’s going to make it a lot easier to buy devices that actually can talk to each other and work together,” said Consumer Reports Home Editor Dan Wroclawski.
The new standard was created by several tech giants like Amazon, Apple, Google, Samsung, and other companies so that consumers could choose their smart home devices based on features and price rather than compatibility with a specific system.
“The big overarching goal of the new standard is really interoperability. Getting devices to work together, getting devices to be easier to use, easier to set up, and also frankly more secure so that you know you don’t have to worry about getting hacked,” Wroclawski explained.
Another big benefit for consumers: increased competition.
“Consumers will see a lot more product options in the marketplace and that should help to lower prices and make these products more affordable,” Wroclawski added.
Right now, Matter supports a handful of smart home products like door locks, lightbulbs, thermostats, and TVs. But you can expect much more in the future, including home appliances, security cameras, and smart speakers.
So how do you know which smart home devices support Matter? For new devices, it will be very easy to tell. You should see a Matter logo on the packaging or in the user manual. For products you already own, some are being updated via software to support Matter, and for others, you’ll probably get an email or notification in the app for the devices.
Types of smart home devices that will work with Matter NOW:
- Smart plugs
- Light switches
- Door locks
- Thermostats and HVAC controllers
- Streaming video players
Types of smart home devices that will work with Matter SOON:
- Home appliances
- Security cameras
- Smart speakers
- Robotic vacuums
- Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
- Solar panels
- Electric vehicle chargers
Matter also lets you control devices via multiple smart home systems at the same time. That means you can turn on your lights from your Samsung smartphone, dim them by asking Alexa on an Amazon Echo speaker, and then turn them off from your iPad.