Matter Smart Home Guide | The Best Smart Home Devices 2022 | Jobs Reply

Setting up a smart home is traditionally not a simple task. Gadgets like locks and smart plugs operate over specific apps and connection types (usually local mesh or Wi-Fi). And in some cases, devices are locked to work exclusively with one ecosystem, such as Logitech’s Circle View doorbell camera that only works with Apple’s HomeKit.

So there is a clear need for a way to connect all devices from the same place to make owning and operating a smart home easier. Enter Matter, a new smart home standard that streamlines the pairing and operation of smart home devices across all platforms. This expands your options, from the types of devices you can buy to the platform you use to control them. Matter’s official launch last week should make smart home adoption more attractive if you’re considering getting into the Internet of Things (IoT) – and could make your life easier if you’re already invested .

What Is Importance And How It Works

Matter is an interoperability protocol developed under the Connectivity Standards Alliance. You may not have heard of this organization, but you are certainly familiar with its members, which include the largest smart home technology manufacturers such as Amazon, Apple, Google, Samsung, and more than 400 other companies. The universal and open nature of Matter allows IoT devices to connect and interact securely regardless of who makes them. For example, while you might prefer to use an Amazon Echo to control your smart thermostat at home, a Matter-enabled device will let you control it from a competitor platform like Apple HomeKit while you’re away – all without going through an additional extensive configuration process. Currently, Matter works with lights, locks, HVAC controls, plugs, blinds and sensors. The organization plans to expand support to more complex devices such as security cameras, robot vacuums, and larger appliances.


Hunter Phenolol


Hunter Phenolol

If you’re looking to buy a smart home device, you’ll notice that both the product description and the packaging itself show the home systems it’s compatible with (as you’ll see at the bottom of the boxes in the shot above). Although some devices work across different platforms, you will have to go through the trouble of setting up the device from its own manufacturer app (the image on the left shows just one page of the many smart home apps on my phone), create an account, and then pair it with each ecosystem of your choice to be recognized. The process is cluttered and especially frustrating when you want to set up automated routines on devices across separate ecosystems. This fragmentation has to do with the way individual devices talk to each other. While your lights may connect to a mesh hub using Zigbee or Z-Wave, a smart plug may rely on Wi-Fi which eats into your bandwidth and slows down network speeds for other devices. Although less popular, some gadgets even operate locally over a Bluetooth connection.

content diagram

Courtesy Subject

Content solves this by hiring a new low-power local mesh network technology called Thread built specifically for IoT devices. Thread 802.15.4 uses radio wave technology, as well as Wi-Fi, to communicate with up to 250 devices at the same time without the need for a bridge like Zigbee or Z-Wave devices. Each device becomes a node, and they all back off from each other to extend coverage, with power sources like smart home hubs acting as Threaded Border Routers, connecting your local network to Wi-Fi for remote control. Thread is faster than Wi-Fi and acts as a universal language that connects smart devices across different platforms. Because gadgets can talk to each other locally, actions no longer need to be processed in the cloud. Without relying on the internet, requests to turn off the lights or lock a door happen much faster. Most importantly, you can still control your smart home if your network goes out.

Threading allows devices to play nice across smart home management software and eliminates the hassle of setting up the same device across different apps for automation. You can simply pair the device in your favorite home control app, and it will be recognized by other systems seamlessly. But Matter also supports Wi-Fi to connect to existing or more demanding devices – lower bandwidth gadgets like sensors and smart locks will rely on Thread, while Wi-Fi will handle the heavier demands like feed streaming security camera video.

Content Makes Building Your Smart Home More Accessible and Affordable

Enabled devices won’t stop working if their manufacturer goes out of business, make it easier to get started without downloading multiple apps, and ultimately reduce the cost of gadgets by encouraging competition. You no longer have to deal with device compatibility restrictions, so you can decide on a product based on its features or value rather than whether or not it works when you want it to. But this begs the question: Should you wait to buy Content Branded gear?

material product family

Courtesy Subject

If you haven’t already started investing in a smart home, buying new devices that are Content-certified ensures that you’ll have the latest connectivity for the next few years. On the other hand, November sees some of the sharpest discounts on smart home equipment. So, if you can find a deal on something that isn’t currently compatible with Matter, don’t limit yourself because there’s a chance it may eventually support the protocol. Many existing devices will gain Compatibility Matter through software updates (provided they support the 802.15.4 Threading protocol), and you could save some serious cash. If you’ve already finished your home or have a smart hub, Matter compatibility might not be as pressing for you.

Over 190 Devices Already Supported, With More on the Way

Within the next year, all the major home ecosystem apps and smart home hubs are set to support Matter. All Amazon Echo and Echo Show smart speakers and displays (except for the first generation Echo Dot and Echo Tap) will receive Matter via Wi-Fi support via a firmware update. The same goes for Google Nest smart speakers, routers and displays. Even some of Apple’s years-old devices will be able to connect through Matter as long as they’re running iOS 16, watchOS 16, or tvOS 16. And if you already have a universal control center panel, like this one from Brilliant, A quick check on the manufacturer’s website will tell you if it will work on Matter with the updates coming in 2023.

Show Echo 8
Amazon Echo Show 8

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Recommend Nest
Recommend Google Nest

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4K TV (Wi-Fi and Ethernet)
Apple TV 4K (Wi-Fi and Ethernet)

Now, while many of the devices you control with a slate hub are slated to be compatible with the content next year, you should double check to make sure. Some will not have the hardware to support it. That’s because these lower bandwidth devices can’t support the Thread frequency or have the onboard storage. This is done on a case by case basis for each manufacturer. To date 190 certified devices have been developed or are being produced for the Matter standard. While more is expected, this initial rollout is strong. Companies like Eve have supported the Thread protocol for some time now, so their current device range is already Content Friendly. And there are Matter versions of top-performing options from our test, like the ones below.

A19 LED Color Smart Bulb Starter Kit
Philips Hue A19 LED Color Smart Bulb Starter Kit

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Smart Energy Plug & Power Meter (2-Pack)
Eve Energy Smart Plug & Power Meter (2-Pack)
Ensure Lock 2

As Matter rolls out in full over the coming months, keep an eye out for widgets that support the standard. Choosing a Content-enabled version of a product can save you time and effort down the road. And if you haven’t started building your smart home, there’s very little time to start.

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