What's next for the Matter smart home
AppleInsider may earn an affiliate commission on purchases made through links on our site.
This week Matter finally became official with the announcement of many launch devices and additional information on the future of the unifying smart home standard.
The Connectivity Standards Alliance gathered the media in Amsterdam, revealing new information about its future roadmap and highlighting devices from many partner brands.
It included hands-on demos showing previously inoperable devices playing nice with one another. With Matter, a Google smart speaker will be able to control an Eve light switch, which was previously impossible as Eve has always been a HomeKit-exclusive brand.
This amounted to an impressive start for the emerging standard. Here's how the launch will work, when you'll be able to start using Matter products, and what the future of the standard looks like.
Announced at the media event, the CSA says more than 190 products have completed Matter certification or are in the queue to be certified. This is up from the initial 130 devices that were expected.
The CSA also touted that there were more than 4,400 downloads of the Matter specifications and 2,500 downloads of the official SDK, all signs of intense interest from both member and non-member smart home manufacturers.
Many brands have announced forthcoming firmware updates. Eve, Signify, Brilliant, Amazon, Samsung, Level, and many more plan on rolling out firmware updates to existing products, requiring no additional purchase.
Eve may be the first company to deliver a Matter accessory, with the Eve Motion and Eve Door & Window getting updated on December 12.
Other companies have opted to release new hardware products. Nanoleaf has a new Essentials line coming in early 2023 to support Matter over Thread and promised additional announcements at CES 2023.
Apple has already brought Matter support to its platforms with iOS 16.1. As soon as Matter products are updated or hit store shelves, you can add them to the Home app.
The CSA told AppleInsider that it plans to release new versions of Matter on a bi-annual basis — roughly every six months. That means the next iteration of Matter could arrive as soon as March.
These subsequent Matter updates will contain performance improvements, new functionality, and support for additional devices. The initial slate of device categories isn't huge and includes primarily device types already supported by Apple HomeKit.
New categories, though, will be more exciting. The CSA confirmed that future device categories include:
- Robot vacuums
- Wi-Fi access points
- Energy managment
- Closure sensors
- Environmental sensors & controls
- Smoke detectors
- Carbon monoxide detectors
- Ambient motion and presence sensing
All of the above device categories above have yet to be confirmed for the next iteration of Matter next year. However, HomeKit users will be excited to see new device categories, such as robo vacs and home appliances — two popular categories Apple has failed to natively support.
Between the heightened interest at launch, the full support of Apple, and a rapid release schedule for future updates, Matter is poised to reshape the smart home space even if the initial launch lacks fanfare for HomeKit users.