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Latest Home Tech Invention: Better Connections

“Matter” is a buzzword for the next stage in smart homes, and 20-plus companies offer “matter” that connects diverse tech products to a single platform.

NEW YORK – At CES 2022, the tech industry’s annual mega-show, makers of smart-home products had a buzzword: “Matter.”

About two dozen companies showcased products that would be compatible with Matter, a new smart-home protocol that enables devices to work with each other across different brands and systems. Exhibitors at CES 2022 were onboard with the new standard, which is backed by big-name brands like Amazon, Apple, Google and Samsung. Matter is slated to be released this year, possibly the first half of 2022.

Matter offers an open source connectivity standard so that smart-home devices can seamlessly integrate with one another.

Amazon, for example, announced new developer tools to make it easier for Alexa partners to support Matter. Google announced Fast Pair in showing its support for Matter. Other companies like GE Lighting, LG, Mui Labs, Nanoleaf, Sengled, Samsung’s SmartThings and Belkin all showed products that will support the new standard.

Meanwhile, smart-home tech adoption continues to grow. About 66% of households have smart-home devices, according to data from Deloitte – but many consumers have multiple brands of smart-home products inside their homes instead of just one. They may have one brand of smart doorbell, for example, but a different brand for smart lighting. One may work with Alexa, while one may not. Both likely require different apps to manage.

Matter fixes the fragmented smart-home market. It’s basically the infrastructure that allows more devices to communicate with one another.

“At a fundamental level, our job is to eliminate fragmentation and help companies grow in a way that is highly valuable to consumers,” Michelle Mindala-Freeman, vice president of market for the Connectivity Standards Alliance, told TechCrunch. “Standards like Matter do that, and we believe it is a rising tide that raises all boats.”

Source: “Why it Matters Having Matter Support for Your New Smart Home Device,” TechCrunch (Jan. 5, 2022) and “Dozens of Brands Pledge Support for Matter at CES 2022,” CNET.com (Jan. 6, 2022)

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