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Building a smart home just got easier. here’s what you need to know

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It will soon be easier to buy gadgets that work with your smart home.

Hispanolist | E+ | Getty Images

Imagine asking Apple’s Siri to turn off your Amazon Fire TV. Thanks to a new standard called Matter, most smart home devices from different brands will soon work together.

Backed by the biggest names in technology including Amazon, Apple, Google and Samsung, Matter aims to solve a major pain point. Now if you want to control your lights or your thermostat or smart plug, make sure it supports Apple HomeKit or your Amazon Echo or Google Home Hub. But with Matter, you can buy light bulbs, light sensors, colored light bulbs, HVAC systems, thermostats, and more without worrying about whether they will work with the systems you have at home.

Smart home accessories with Matter connectivity.

Connectivity Standards Alliance

The first Mater devices are starting to hit the market, although most of the new devices that support it won’t be available until next year.

“Before Matters, the smart home product you purchased would only work with your specific home device, such as your Apple HomeKit, Amazon smart speaker, or your Samsung SmartThings hub,” said Michelle Mindala-Freeman, head of marketing and member services. . The Connectivity Standards Alliance is the consortium behind Matter. “Now you can say, ‘I really like that Nanoleaf colored light,’ and not worry about what smart home devices it’s compatible with, because it’s supported by Matter,” she says.

About 280 other companies are working to support Matter. In addition to those already mentioned, some of the biggest names include ADT, Assa Abloy (which makes August Home and Yale smart locks), Ecobee, Facebook, Haier (mother of GE Appliances), Hisense, Ikea, iRobot, Kwikset, LG, His including. Panasonic, Roku, Schlage, SimpliSafe, Sonos, Spotify, Tesla and Whirlpool.

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Look for logos that reflect material compatibility. “Over time, we believe the logo for Matter will become as ubiquitous as the symbol for Bluetooth or Wi-Fi,” says Mindala-Freeman.

case logo.

Connectivity Standards Alliance

The authentication process is currently underway. “Since we released the specification in October, we have certified more than 200 products, both hardware and software products, with more on the way,” says Mindala-Freeman.

Some brands are releasing firmware updates for their products that are already on the market this year. These include Eve, which makes smart plugs and sensors, as well as Wix, which makes smart light bulbs.

Does your current smart home device work with Matter?

So far, according to Consumer Reports, the Apple HomePod Mini, Apple TV 4K (2021), and Apple TV 4K (2022) WiFi + Ethernet, as well as Samsung’s V2 and V3 SmartThings Hubs act as Matter controllers. The Google Nest Hub Max and Google Nest Hub (2nd generation) smart displays, the Google Nest WiFi and WiFi Pro routers, and the Amazon Echo (4th generation) smart speakers will also support the standard.

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