Apple, Google, and Amazon Delay Launch of 'Matter' Smart Home Standard Until 2022

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MacRumors 13 August, 2021 - 12:03pm 46 views

The group says that "Matter" is complete in regards to its feature set. However, according to the blog post, it still needs to continue working on the program in which developers can apply for certification and finish the SDK for developers to use.

Several smart home accessory makers have signed onto using Matter as a standard protocol, including Amazon, ASSA ABLOY, Comcast, Espressif Systems, Eve Systems, Google, Grundfos Holding A/S, Huawei, Infineon Technologies, LEEDARSON, Legrand, Nanoleaf, and others.

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Smart home-unifying Matter protocol delayed until 2022

TechHive 14 August, 2021 - 01:00pm

We’ve been eagerly awaiting the arrival of Matter, the new, open-source, and platform-unifying standard that promises to make our various smart home devices play nicer with each other, and now comes word that we’ll have to wait a little longer.

Initially, the Connected Standards Alliance (formerly the Zigbee Alliance) had announced that we might see the first Matter-enabled smart products by the end of the year. But as Stacey Higginbotham at Stacey on IoT reports, the CSA now says that a software development kit for Matter won’t be finalized until the first half of 2022, which means the first Matter devices won’t arrive until sometime next year.

In a release announcing the delay, CSA CEO Tobin Richardson cited the “need to get it right” in terms of ensuring the upcoming Matter specification and SDK are “stable, deployable at scale, and meet market expectations for quality and interoperability.”

Richardson also blamed the “resurgence” of COVID, as well as the addition of nearly 30 more companies to the Matter group, according to Higginbotham.

Formerly known as Project CHIP, Matter is an IP-based protocol that’s compatible with Wi-Fi, ethernet, and Thread. Matter has the backing of some of the biggest names in the smart home market, including Amazon, Google, Signify (owner of the Philips Hue smart lighting brand), and Samsung’s SmartThings.

Just last month, Amazon announced that all of its current, Alexa-enabled Echo speakers and displays will support Matter, while Google had previously said its Nest speakers and displays will support Matter, too. Apple’s HomePod mini comes with its own integrated Matter radio.

Matter promises to unify the thicket of competing smart home platforms, as Matter-certified devices will be able to recognize each other and work seamlessly together across different ecosystems, including Apple’s HomeKit, Amazon’s Alexa, and Google’s Assistant-powered Nest platform.

In other words, if you buy a Matter-certified smart gadget, you (ideally) will be able to control it with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri, and it should also work with any other Matter-enabled devices you own.

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That’s a welcome prospect for anyone who’s pulled their hair out trying to make different makes and models of smart home devices work well together. For now, however, it looks like we’ll have to keep coddling our stubborn smart gadgets through the end of the year, and probably even longer.

Ben has been writing about technology and consumer electronics for more than 20 years. A PCWorld contributor since 2014, Ben joined TechHive in 2019, where he covers smart home and home entertainment products.

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Matter smart home system from Apple, Google and Amazon delayed until 2022

TechRadar 14 August, 2021 - 06:30am

Tobin Richardson, the CEO of the Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA) organization developing the tech, broke the news in a blog post. It means the first Matter-compatible hardware devices won't appear in 2021, as had originally been planned.

The hold up is related to the Software Development Kit (SDK) and device certification process – basically, the stuff that hardware makers need to work with in order to get a nice big 'works with Matter' badge on the packaging of whatever it is they're making.

The updated timeline for Matter points to the first half of 2022 as the point at which we'll see Matter-compatible devices go on sale (and current devices updated to meet the requirements of Matter). With so many big names behind it, there's no doubt that Matter will emerge as a new standard, eventually.

Several factors apparently contributed to the delay, including the addition of more manufacturers to the CSA, and of course the ongoing impact of the global pandemic we're all living through. There are now more than 200 companies involved, including Samsung and the Zigbee Alliance as well as Apple, Google and Amazon.

If you've got smart home devices set up where you live, they might already work together – perhaps you can tell your Amazon Echo to turn on a Philips Hue light, for example, or maybe you're using a standard such as Apple HomeKit to keep everything in sync together.

However, Matter is hoping to go further than just connecting everything to Alexa or HomeKit: it makes use of existing standards like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and the newer Thread protocol, and it's IP-based (which helps to simplify connections between devices and the wider internet).

In other words, while there is some interoperability in smart home devices today, Matter will take it to the next level. That will cover everything from the ease with which you can add new devices to the network, to the speed at which devices will work in sync.

Once Matter becomes established then you shouldn't have to worry about buying new smart home kit that's incompatible with what you've already got. Perhaps just as importantly, you should be able to switch from using Apple devices as your main controllers to using Google devices... or at least, that's the theory.

Via The Verge

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Smart home 'skeleton key' Matter delayed until 2022

CNET 13 August, 2021 - 02:24pm

The Matter logo represents devices from different manufacturers communicating with one another.

Smart home unification -- or at least the promise of it -- is going to have to wait. The Connectivity Standards Alliance (née Zigbee Alliance) said in a blog post Friday that the forthcoming Matter standard, formerly known as Project CHIP, won't be ready until at least 2022. It was originally slated to debut this fall.

The delay is in the release of the Matter software development kit, which is the set of tools and programs developers use to create specific applications. In the case of the Matter standard, that would include mobile apps that let you control smart home devices like smart light bulbs, outlets and doorbell cameras.

Ultimately, although the prospect of Matter-compatible devices was teased as a possibility for the winter holiday shopping season, the updated timeline isn't a major setback. The SDK is merely the first step before the standard can be integrated in smart home products, and how long that takes is up to each manufacturer.

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Google-backed 'Matter' smart home standard, first gadgets delayed into next year

9to5Google 13 August, 2021 - 01:38pm

- Aug. 13th 2021 11:38 am PT

Back in May, the Connected Home over IP (CHIP) project to create a unified standard for smart home devices was rebranded to “Matter” ahead of the first devices becoming available in late 2021. The governing Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA) announced that the launch of the Google and Apple-backed Matter has been delayed into next year.

The first devices were supposed to get certified and launch by the end of 2021. As of May — when Google and other partners started detailing support, Matter was still “on track.” This has now been delayed following “the completion of several test events and forecasting.”

The end of this year (2H 2021) is now dedicated to “ongoing SDK and certification program development.” It will also see a “pre-ballot” version of the technical spec.

By the first half of 2022, the SDK will be released, as well as the “first devices [passing] through certification, and our formal certification program opening.”

Matter previously said that the initial wave of certified devices would include: lighting and electrical (e.g., light bulbs, luminaires, controls, plugs, outlets), HVAC controls (e.g., thermostats, AC units), access controls (e.g., door locks, garage doors), safety and security (e.g., sensors, detectors, security systems), window coverings/shades, TVs, access points, bridges, and others. Meanwhile, supporters include:

Amazon, Apple, Assa Abloy (Yale), Coolkit (eWeLink), Espressif Systems, Eve Systems, Google, Infineon Technologies, Nanoleaf, Nordic Semiconductor, NXP Semiconductors, Schneider Electric, Signify (Philips Hue & WiZ), Silicon Labs, SmartThings and Texas Instruments

During I/O in May, Google said that Nest and Android will support Matter. The protocol runs on Ethernet (802.3), Wi-Fi (802.11), and Thread (802.15.4), while Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) is supported for setup.

Android would get a Fast Pair-like UI with control available from Power Controls, the Home app, and Assistant. Meanwhile, the Thread + Wi-Fi radios available on the Nest Wifi, Nest Hub Max, and 2nd-gen Nest Hub would be certified as Matter points/hubs for faster accessory connectivity.

Meanwhile, Matter will allow the latest Nest Thermostat to be controlled by other supported platforms. 

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Apple-backed 'Matter' smart home standard delayed to 2022

9to5Mac 13 August, 2021 - 12:31pm

- Aug. 13th 2021 10:31 am PT

Back in 2019, Apple announced that it was teaming up with Samsung, Amazon, Google, and the Zigbee Alliance to create a more open and secure standard for smart home accessories. Then referred to as “Connected Home over IP” and eventually rebranded to “Matter,” the launch has now been delayed until 2022.

The first Matter-compatible accessories were expected to come later this year, and Apple is laying the foundation for support in iOS 15. Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA) CEO Tobin Richardson announced the delay in a blog post today, as reported by The Verge.

While Matter itself has a “feature-complete specification,” the group still has to finish developing the SDK and the certification program by which developers will be able to get both existing and new hardware officially labeled as Matter-approved. While the original goal was to have much of that work done this year, with the first Matter-certified hardware rolling out by the end of 2021, the new timetable pushes that out to sometime vaguely in the first half of 2022.

Companies such as Philips Hue have promised to bring Matter support to their existing accessories, which could happen in early 2022. As Stacey Higginbotham points out, however, new Matter-compatible accessories aren’t likely until the second half of 2022. Higginbotham writes in her excellent newsletter:

Richardson gave several reasons why the Matter Working Group (formerly known as the Project Connected Home over IP Working Group) decided to delay the specification. They included the resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the addition of another 29 companies to the Matter membership, and the challenge of delivering a high-quality software development kit as part of the spec.

The delay is disappointing, but it isn’t a huge shock. What the folks behind Matter are trying to do is audacious. The goal is to deliver an interoperable smart home protocol that lets devices talk to each other and share their capabilities. It will help cut through the challenges of building a smart home, where consumers have to worry if their light bulb will work with Alexa or Google, or if their door locks can talk to their security sensors. All Matter-certified devices will be able to work together; consumers will be able to choose from among multiple digital assistants, hubs, and apps as suits their needs.

Ideally, once the first Matter-compatible accessories launch, everything will have been worth the wait. Apple has promised that Matter will make it easier for device manufacturers to build devices that are compatible with smart home and voice services such as Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Google’s Assistant, and others.

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Apple, Google, and Amazon Delay Launch of 'Matter' Smart Home Standard Until 2022

Ars Technica 13 August, 2021 - 08:03am

The group says that "Matter" is complete in regards to its feature set. However, according to the blog post, it still needs to continue working on the program in which developers can apply for certification and finish the SDK for developers to use.

Several smart home accessory makers have signed onto using Matter as a standard protocol, including Amazon, ASSA ABLOY, Comcast, Espressif Systems, Eve Systems, Google, Grundfos Holding A/S, Huawei, Infineon Technologies, LEEDARSON, Legrand, Nanoleaf, and others.

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New features for FaceTime calls, tools to reduce distractions, a new notifications experience, added privacy features, complete redesigns for Safari, Weather, and Maps, and more.

Updates for Safari, FaceTime, and many other apps, Universal Control to let a single mouse or trackpad control multiple devices, new Shortcuts app, machine-learning Live Text detection and Visual Lookup, and more.

Redesigned with flat edges, Apple silicon, more ports, improved display, no Touch Bar, and the return of MagSafe charging.

Rumored design changes include shorter stems like current AirPods Pro, but without advanced features like active noise cancellation.

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