Bulletins

The smart home standard uniting tech companies has been delayed again

Matter, an initiative meant to make all smart home devices play nice, has been postponed because so many companies are interested.

The smart home standard uniting tech companies has been delayed again
In Matter's version of the smart home, all your devices can control ... all your devices.
Photo: Dan Farrell/Unsplash

Getting all of your smart home devices to connect to each other and work seamlessly together is an exercise in frustration, especially if you want to use Amazon devices with HomeKit-compatible ones, for example. There are workarounds to make everything work seamlessly that usually require a bridge or hub of some sort, which becomes more annoying (and expensive). The fragmentation also makes it difficult for consumers who aren’t particularly tech-savvy to use the devices at all.

Matter, a project led by the Connectivity Standards Alliance, is a new standard designed to fix that problem. Tech giants like Amazon, Apple, Google and Samsung all support the standard, which will make their devices work together without the use of a bridge. The standard has been coming soon for awhile now, and was supposed to roll out this summer after a previous delay. But if you've been waiting for Matter to roll out before going all in on a smart home, you'll have to wait even longer.


According to the CSA, the standard has been pushed back. CSA marketing chief Michelle Mindala-Freeman told The Verge not to expect a launch until at least the fall.

“The finish line is in sight,” the CSA said in a Thursday blog post. “For the ability to tear down the walled gardens in IoT, accelerate growth, and improve experiences for customers and consumers, we’re certain a couple extra months will be worth the wait.”

Google, Apple, Amazon, Samsung SmartThings and Signify, the company behind Philips Hue smart bulbs, already committed to using Matter last year. While locking consumers into one smart home platform might be good for device sales, it becomes frustrating for users who might be turned off the whole smart home idea altogether. One company might have mastered the smart light bulb, while another has the most popular doorbell. If some companies' devices don't play nicely with others, people might buy ones that do. Matter-compatible devices will be branded as such so consumers know which devices work together.

The delay wasn't due to technical difficulties. The CSA said it was mainly caused by the growing number of companies that want in. Matter, which is already testing devices from 50 different companies, now has more than 200 onboard, according to Mindala-Freeman.

While they won’t all be certified as part of the Matter ecosystem by the fall, the rollout will almost certainly include enough companies to, well, matter.

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