Launch of much-anticipated home-automation standard Matter delayed

The release date for the Matter standard has been pushed back to fall in 2022. Previously, Apple and the rest of the Connectivity Standards Alliance had hoped to launch the cross-platform home-automation standard much earlier in the year.

A primary goal is interoperability, allowing accessories to connect to HomeKit, Alexa, Google Home, etc. Matter might finally make smart homes more common… even mainstream.

Connectivity Standards Alliance: ‘If you are going to do something, do it right’

The CSA has been working on this home-automation standard for years, but it’s not coming together as quickly as planned. They hoped to have it finished in 2021, then early in 2022. On Thursday, a statement from the organization went out that says, “we will see the launch of Matter 1.0 in the fall.”

But there are advantages from the delay. “We’ll be launching with a larger pipeline of Matter-enabled devices, and a robust supply chain of development platforms for more devices to come,” says the CSA.

The industry group expects over 130 products with its new standard, in 15 device and sensor types. These will come from more than 50 companies.

And that’s not over-optimism. Companies began hyping their Matter-enable products at CES 2022 in January.

Why Matter matters

Currently, home automation is a collection of walled gardens. Apple has its own system, as does Amazon and Google.

It is up to the makers of smart home products to make devices that worked with more than one voice control system. Many chose to support just one. That means that a smart bulb designed for Amazon Alexa cannot be controlled by HomeKit unless the manufacturer adds that feature, which comes with additional complexity and cost.

The goal of the Connectivity Standards Alliance is to remove that limitation. “Matter makes it easier for device manufacturers to build devices, and to ensure they are compatible with smart home and voice services such as Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s HomeKit with Siri, Google’s Assistant, SmartThings, and others.”

The goal has wide industry backing. Apple, Amazon, Comcast, Google and many more all belong to the CSA.

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Naveen Kumar

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