Matter is a new smart home network standard that’s been developed by the biggest tech companies, including Apple, Amazon, Google, Comcast, Samsung SmartThings and others. It’s meant to reduce device fragmentation, improve interoperability and enhance security.
Matter uses a combination of Wi-Fi, Thread and Ethernet to communicate between devices. That means any smart device that’s compatible with those three protocols can be part of a Matter network. Most existing smart light bulbs and switches, for instance, can be upgraded to work with Matter by connecting them to a hub that’s certified for the protocol.
Some brands are introducing entirely new devices with Matter support built in. For example, the new Google Nest Wifi and second-gen Nest Hub Max are both Thread border routers and have Matter-certified controller apps. Others, like Yale locks and Eve’s smart plugs, have made the transition by using swappable modules or adding Matter radios to their existing products. And as more brands pursue Matter certification, they’ll be able to upgrade their existing devices over-the-air.
But for now, the devices that can be bridged into Matter are pretty limited. At launch, the first Matter spec supports only a few categories of devices: smart light bulbs and switches; smart plugs; and connected locks. It won’t include advanced features like energy monitoring in smart plugs, or more complicated scene control for smart lights. matter residences