Introduced in May, the Matter standard rebranded Project CHIP as a potential universal standard for everything from connected lightbulbs to smart locks, cameras and home hubs.
The Zigbee Alliance was renamed Connectivity Standards Alliance (Connectivity Standards Alliance) to reflect the expanding world of interconnected gadgets in our homes and offices. Although other organizations had already made similar attempts, the CSA had some notable supporters at the start: Amazon, Apple, Google, IKEA, Signify, SmartThings and Comcast were among the first. Later, Lutron, Somfy, NXP and ASSA ABLOY and many others joined the project.
The most appealing idea looks to be how Matter promises to be consumer-friendly. The current "zoo" of smart device manufacturers, the protocols they support and the lack of interoperability between them are out of whack.
Products with the Matter badge on their packaging, on the other hand, commit to full compatibility between themselves and with the backbone of your smart home, be it Siri, Alexa or Google Assistant.
The Matter standard was planned to be certified in late 2021, but the CSA now admits that's unrealistic. Instead, a "preliminary" version of the Matter technical specification will be prepared and should be ready in the second half of this year.
Among the reasons for the delay are the sheer number of manufacturers plugging into the initiative, as well as the difficulty in developing a truly unified standard. The authors hope to see the first devices supporting the new SDK by mid-2022.