In mid-May, a consortium of major IoT providers announced their latest initiative to break down roadblocks preventing varying technologies from working nicely with one another. Competitors Google, Amazon, SmartThings, and Assa Abloy, among others, have partnered with the Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA), formerly known as the Zigbee Alliance, to develop a new interoperability standard called Matter. All told, there are more than 180 member organizations and over 1,700 member individuals participating in the development of the Matter specification.
Matter is based on IP – that is, on the same protocols as the Internet, meaning Wi-Fi and Thread devices (which work on low-power mesh networking protocols) can employ Matter to make them a part of the same network. CSA asserts that Matter will be a “leap forward” in interoperability and will seamlessly connect a wide range of smart devices, regardless of brand.
“The creation of Matter appears to be the next step in the evolution of the smart home and IoT industry,” commented Stuart Sikes, Senior Vice President at Interpret. “Most companies in the space have come to the realization that making devices play well together will accelerate consumer adoption, resulting in higher sales for all. This is a rising tide lifting all boats instead of each vendor playing the high-stakes/high risk game of ‘winner take all’.”
Interpret’s Smart Home Matrix™ reveals that nearly 60% of smart home owners did not expect their latest smart home product to work with other smart devices they owned – a reality that continues to stand in the way of widespread consumer adoption of smart home products. As Matter becomes more widespread, this perception is highly likely to change.