Matter 1.2 just arrived, and it's moving the smart home into innovating automations in a way we've never seen before. The smart home connectivity standard is expanding to include support for nine new smart home device types, with Matter 1.2 products to be released as early as the end of 2023.
The second Matter update encompasses robot vacuums, refrigerators, dishwashers, air quality sensors, air purifiers, laundry appliances, fans, room air conditioners, and alarms. This expands the scope of smart home automation to a more comprehensive smart home ecosystem than we have now.
Matter 1.2 goes beyond automating different brands of lights and controlling smart thermostats. Adding smart home appliances to the Matter scope means that you'd get a notification when your dishwasher cycle finishes, complete with an automation to start your laundry cycle immediately after -- all through your preferred platform, no matter if it's Google Home, SmartThings, or HomeKit.
The Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA) first launched Matter as a new smart home connectivity standard in 2022 to squash interoperability battles and help different brands work together in smart homes. The first update was made in April 2023 as Matter 1.1 and delivered incremental improvements to Matter-certified products.
The new Matter 1.2 update also includes testing and certification enhancements, as well as enhanced interoperability features like better modeling of appliances, semantic tags for consistent application rendering, and generic descriptions of the device's operational states.
Before this update, Matter support included smart home hubs, security sensors, smart locks, smart plugs, smart lights, smart switches, smart thermostats, smart blinds and shade operators, and others.
Since its launch, the CSA reports over 24,600 downloads of the specification, 1,214 certifications, and nearly 24% growth in the number of companies participating in the Matter Working Group. Part of the fast adoption of Matter support is likely due to over-the-air software updates that allow existing devices to become Matter controllers.
Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Home, and Samsung SmartThings are the most popular smart home automation systems, and all support Matter -- with the companies behind them even being involved in the inception of Matter. The latest Matter update means that you'll be able to control a new Matter-certified robot vacuum with Siri or run your dishwasher by asking Alexa.
The CSA will continue to launch two updates in 2024, like it did in 2023. As we look forward, there are still other smart home devices, like cameras and garage openers, that haven't made it to the scope of Matter. The CSA promises to continue expanding into new device types and areas in 2024.