New gadget standard will simplify connecting devices across brands
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Connected devices around the house can be super convenient. Lights that turn on automatically, doors that lock and unlock from your phone, and the list goes on and on. But making sure all those different devices work together is often an annoying struggle. But our modern connected lives are about to get a lot simpler.
You have to choose whether you want to work mainly with Alexa, Google, Apple or something else. But thanks to a new home standard called Matter, that’s all about to change.
“It’s going to make it a lot easier to buy appliances that can actually talk to each other and work together,” said Consumer Reports Home Editor Dan Wroclawski.
The new standard was created by various tech giants such as Amazon, Apple, Google, Samsung and other companies so that consumers could choose their smart home devices based on features and price rather than compatibility with a specific system.
“The big overarching goal of the new standard is really interoperability. Getting devices to work together, getting devices easier to use, easier to set up, and frankly also more secure, so you know you don’t have to worry about being hacked,” Wroclawski explained.
Another big benefit for consumers: increased competition.
“Consumers will see a lot more product options in the market and that should help lower prices and make these products more affordable,” added Wroclawski.
Right now, Matter supports a handful of smart home products like door locks, light bulbs, thermostats, and TVs. But you can expect a lot more in the future, including home appliances, security cameras and smart speakers.
So how do you know which smart home devices Matter supports? For new devices it will be very easy to tell. You should see a Matter logo on the packaging or in the user manual. For products you already own, some are being updated through software to support Matter, and for others, you’ll likely get an email or in-app notification for the devices.
Types of smart home devices that will work with Matter NOW:
Thermostats and HVAC controllers
Streaming video players
Types of smart home devices that will work with Matter COMING SOON:
Robotic vacuum cleaners
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
Electric vehicle chargers
Matter also allows you to control devices via multiple smart home systems at the same time. This means you can turn on your lights from your Samsung smartphone, dim them by asking Alexa on an Amazon Echo speaker, and then turn them off from your iPad.
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