The upcoming release of Matter-based products has created buzz and confusion among multi-family housing operators and smart home providers and their technology and development teams.
Matter, formerly Project Connected Home over IP (CHIP), is a proprietary standard for duty-free home automation, with manufacturers only incurring certification costs.
Announced in December 2019, Matter aims to reduce fragmentation across different vendors, and achieve interoperability among smart home devices and Internet of Things (IoT) platforms from different providers.
The project group, which is now the Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA), was launched and introduced by Amazon, Apple, Google, Comcast and the Zigbee Alliance. Subsequent members include IKEA, Huawei, and Schneider.
Standard Avoids Using Multiproprietary Hubs
The standard is based on Internet Protocol (IP) and works through one or more compatible border routers, avoiding the use of multiple proprietary hubs. Content products run locally and are not dependent on an internet connection, although the standard is designed to talk to the cloud easily.
It is intended to enable cross-platform smart home devices, mobile apps, and cloud services, and defines a specific set of IP-based networking technologies for device authentication.
The project group is also expected to be joined by several other Zigbee Alliance board member companies.
Content Will Simplify Provider Efforts Smart Apt
Henry Pye, Vice President – Residential Technology Services, RealPage, said Matter could be a long-term necessity for multifamily technology as it would simplify IoT/Smart Apartment efforts.
“Theoretically, it will also allow residents to add their own devices to a multifamily IoT solution – or even more theoretically perhaps enable a resident to add unit or community smart devices to their software solution like Apple Homekit,” Pye said. .
However, there are challenges, and there will likely be delays, Pye said.
“Communities will likely need to replace older devices and network equipment, including edge devices,” he said.
It is still early; the Connectivity Standards Association has just released the first version of the WHEN standard. The second version is due in 2024.
“For developers, Matter will make IoT solutions better and easier,” said Pye.
“As with most technology, if Matter allows new combinations, it will create new functions and utilities. It is these additional capabilities that community developers, managers and owners must pursue.”
Matter’s PR creates Buzz, Confusion
Lucas Haldeman, CEO, SmartRent, leads one of around 200 companies that are part of the Matter Alliance.
“Matter has done a really good job of marketing itself, but we still don’t know if it’s as good as they say it is,” Haldeman said. “His marketing efforts have already brought the Matter concept to the minds of multifamily operators and created a buzz.”
He said he had clients and others asking about it. “In some cases, it’s from people we didn’t even think they’d know about, so it’s definitely on people’s minds. And again, because the marketing was so good, it also created some confusion in the space.”
He said that Matter is a case of Apple, Google, Amazon, and Samsung agreeing on one thing, “and that’s very rare. It’s a great concept. However, what he describes himself is plausible, but he is not yet ‘in the wild.’ “
Raw Material Products are expected in 2023
Because the first standards had just been published, Haldeman said he would expect the first Matter products to hit the market in 2023.
SmartRent hubs bring together several applications such as locks, cameras and thermostats. His hubs are already hardware agnostic, which is sort of the point with Matter, he said.
In 2023, SmartRent hubs will have Matter chips in them and should be available next year, according to Haldeman.
“They will support Matter but can work under any existing connectivity technology you have in place ie. Z-wave, Zigbee,” he said. “Upgrading an existing Hub SmartRent with a Matter chip is inexpensive. Hubs will continue to work whether they have a Matter chip or not and there would be no change to the resident experience.”
Haldeman said that Matter will likely play a more prominent role in single-family homes compared to apartments because many homeowners tend to DIY their smart home technology and will need technology like Matter in place for their solutions. once all work together.
Renters can integrate their own technology into the SmartRent Hub with the Matter chip such as lights, plugs and voice assistants, but they won’t be changing locks, thermostats, etc., so their overall rental experience won’t change, said he.
Version 2.0 of the specification is expected to include support for robotic vacuum cleaners, ambient motion and presence detection, smoke and carbon monoxide detection, environmental sensing and controls, closure sensors, energy management, Wi-Fi access points, cameras and major appliances. .