For several years, the large companies and manufacturers of smart products have tried to collaborate on what the standard should be for communication between the products. We are probably many who have heard of Zigbee, Z-wave etc. A strong alliance has been the one called Zigbee Alliance which consisted of hundreds of companies that tried to cooperate at different levels but without until now managed to agree on a common standard. To be honest, several smart products have not been particularly “smart”, but as soon as you buy two products from two different brands, problems have arisen that they can not be connected to each other. The new standard that was decided on in May this year has been given the strange (?) name Matter, and the first products according to the Matter standard will be released later this year.
In connection with the launch of the new Matter standard, the alliance has also changed its name to CSA – Connectivity Standards Alliance, which for many is more appealing because Zigbee should no longer be associated so strongly with Matter. The big companies such as Amazon, Apple, Comcast, Google and SmartThings joined the alliance already in 2019 and have been involved and been the driving force in the project called CHIP – Connected Home over IP. But above all, have one Swedish company has been the driving force behind Matter and that is IKEA. But now the name CHIP is just a memory for everything that has to do with smart products and IoT, and the new fresh cool is Matter.
The first specification of the Matter protocol will mean that they run on current technologies such as Ethernet (802.3), Wi-Fi (802.11) and Thread (802.15.4) and for simplicity would use Bluetooth Low Energy. So technologically no rocket science yet but just that all these organizations from varying sizes have come together is a big deal for the tech world.
What this means for you as a consumer is that you will probably see a lot of products in the future from eg Apple, Google, Amazon, IKEA which all will hopefully now follow the new standard and have “Matter compatibility” with the Matter logo on. All products with the Matter logo on them should be able to connect with each other just as easily, regardless of which brand is in your smart home with everything from lamps, electrical outlets, security cameras and more. If it will work in practice, we will see in the autumn then at least I will look for the Matter logo in IKEA’s and other stores’ technology shelves!