Matter - smart home connectivity standard (formerly Project CHIP)

This is the first I’ve seen a SmartThings staff mention working on Thread integration (other than via a Thread border router via Matter, like Nanoleaf). Considering Mark is on the Board of Directors for both CSA and Thread, I suppose he would know. Would be kinda embarrassing to be on the BoD of Thread and work for a company that doesn’t directly support it :sweat_smile:

I also don’t know what to make of SmartThings press releases/relations lately for predicting what’s coming. I was pissy after SDC that their upcoming hub embedded in TVs and fridges didn’t include any IoT radios like zigbee or zwave. Well 2 months later and we now know they will sell a zigbee dongle that works with it. This was obviously in the works 2 months ago, why not mention it at the same time?!


It sounds familiar. Wasn’t this “dongle” sold with some TVs before and with the Nvidia Shield?

If it is going to be the same story, as those, then that’s going to be a big fail again for many users who would buy it, if it would be available at all.

Otherwise just think about Samsung’s idea how often you should change your TV. They will drop support for the TV in 2 years. How will that work afterward?
And how is that fits into the “we are not producing anymore hub hardware”? Now they will have a “hub” built into a TV and a dongle what has to be manufactured with the same radios what would be in a real hub… (And knowing Samsung, the dongle would work only with those TVs… In contrast with the energy management initiatives and reaching being carbon neutral, it is absolutely the opposite of producing a huge amount of e-waste in a few years time.)

And where is the WASH program nowadays?

Same idea as the shield dongle and a 2nd generation dongle that went through regulatory approvals but never made it to mark. This third generation lacks z-wave, though. Maybe it can be firmware updated to Thread? :man_shrugging:t2:

Why can’t they just make a nice USB compatible Zigbee coordinator what could be used with other devices as well? (The camera what I bought for my Samsung TV is a 1080p camera from 2017, and it works ONLY with that H series of Samsung TVs. Of course, no Skype anymore on the TV to use with it…)

This is the same story over and over again, producing e-waste endlessly, without a chance to re-purpose it.

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Daniel Wroclawski over at Consumer Reports has an excellent Matter FAQ from an end consumer point of view.

With regard to the Arlo announcement, it’s important to note that matter has not yet included any cameras: this is just Arlo saying they want to be part of deciding what any future camera standard might be.

From the CR report:

Which Types of Smart Home Devices Will Work With Matter?
At launch, Matter will support lighting products (plugs, bulbs, switches, etc.), door locks, thermostats and HVAC controllers, blinds and shades, home security sensors (such as door and window sensors, motion sensors, and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors), garage door controllers, wireless access points and bridges, and televisions and streaming video players.
Future iterations of Matter are expected to add support for home appliances, robot vacuums, and energy management products (such as solar panels, EV chargers, home battery packs). According to Chris LaPré, the CSA’s head of technology, cameras are likely to be included in a future version, thanks to camera manufacturers like Arlo, Eve, TP-Link, and Wyze joining the CSA, but no formal effort has started yet.”


Aqara may be the first major hub manufacturer (or the only, as far as I can tell) to officially support Matter bridges, with this video confirming it will expose its Zigbee devices to other Matter controllers:


Agreed. I should’ve noted Mr. Tekippe’s response was soon after Kevin, the ASSA ABLOY representative, had discussed the official Matter specification for bridging to either Z-Wave or Zigbee.

“While it does, the other technologies–like you said Z-Wave, Zigbee, Thread–they’re not going to go away. They’re not going to be abandoned or left out there on the sidewalk. We’ll continue to support them: if you’re using Z-Wave in the Pro channel now, continue to do so if that feels right for you. And, as Michelle said: that’s the key thing. Matter is not trying to leave them behind: there’s a bridge specification. If you choose, you’ll be able to have those products in the future, through a Matter-to-Zigbee or Z-Wave Bridge, continue to work. So there’s no goal here for Matter to abandon existing ecosystems or leave those types of things behind. So, it’ll take time and while it does, manufacturers such as ASSA ABLOY will be loyal to our customers, we’ll continue to support those technologies, while we evolve Matter, and help you with your future products.”

Though, you wouldn’t need a bridge for Z-Wave / Zigbee products to continue work, e.g., Samsung’s presumed angle currently by enabling two active “devices” in its Hubs: a “legacy” hub and a Matter controller.

You’re right that Samsung hasn’t stated they’ll be adding any bridges. Yet at least one person at SmartThings has noted the importance of bridging (in an official SmartThings panel discussion FWIW), so a bit of either mixed signalling or Samsung themselves don’t know what they’ll do. That is, I don’t put it past Samsung to end up throwing in the towel for bridges permanently, but it’s a slight glimmer of hope they won’t try ST-only lock-in or some convoluted a-SmartThings-bridge-yet-annoyingly-non-Matter.


Funnily enough, I’d actually initially highlighted that section because “Thread integration” had also perked my ears, but I wasn’t sure what Samsung had initially promised before, either, haha.


Good technical article about what a Matter bridge will be:


Maybe Matter is really “Skynet” LOL :rofl:

Seeing how Matter evolves and the plans to build the video/audio streaming into the standard as well, I am curious how this will end up after the sh!tshow what Sonos and Google pulled recently through a court ruling and ongoing lawsuits.

When will a company axe the standard with a patent claim?

Here I mean the group volume control and including devices that should be part of it.

Especially that Sonos is not a Matter participant:

But they are part of the Connectivity Standard Alliance. (it is hard to find it…)

It depends how you define “major,” but I think Phillips hue was the first. Their bridge will expose Hue brand Zigbee devices connected to it to other matter-compatible apps.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that both Hue and aqara already do exactly the same thing for HomeKit. They are very similar architectures in this regard.

It will be interesting to see what Lutron and Lightwave RF do.


Hue was always playing nice with other ecosystems. They do share everything. Even the new zigbee switch modules they share press events through their local API.


Somebody asked for an example of a Wi-Fi device which sometimes uses a cloud and sometimes does not.

Meross has an official cloud to cloud integration with smartthings, but runs locally without a cloud when used with Apple HomeKit. (I just verified that again this morning.) The local Wi-Fi has to be operating, but the HomeKit integration does not need an active Internet connection.

My expectation is that Meross will implement matter without a cloud requirement, but I have no idea what will happen to the smartthings integration then.


Ecobee thermostats (at least newer ones that support HomeKit), the Philips Hue bridge, and the Lutron Caseta SmartBridge all also support both local network connectivity (e.g. HomeKit) as well as remote cloud capabilities/integrations.


I don’t know about HomeKit support for any of these, but LIFX and Shelly has local control as well.

TP-Link’s Tapo products has full local control too.

The Tapo and the LIFX apps are controlling the devices on the local network, if they both connected there.

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Interestingly, Matter’s new website is up and CSA has merged the CSA <-> Matter members list. There’s now no longer a separate Matter list. So now, Sonos is listed as a member now, heh, even when the list is linked from the Matter pages.

And, my heart skipped a beat when I couldn’t find the SmartThings logo on the list any more. Turns out, SmartThings’ text logo is still there, just they didn’t add their blue five-circles-encircling-another-circle logo. :joy:


Matter, like all other tech, should have already been through an IP law review, no? For the speaker / volume control, I imagine there are other methods to achieve similar functionality or CSA just pays the needed royalties to / enters in a license agreement with Sonos. From my first look, I don’t think Sonos is living off their patents; their speakers + systems account for 94% of their revenue.

But I’m no lawyer, so I’ll leave this up to CSA to figure out. That’s one benefit: instead of a “meeting of equals” or “big company with small company”, CSA oversees the standard and notes they’re a neutral third-party (e.g., Apple gives a permissive license to only CSA and then doesn’t need to give it to Google or Amazon). And, as you note, the Matter cohort is enormous, really across the entire technology industry: it’s an ungodly number of patents that CSA can license.

To that point, CSA claims they have notable experience in developing standards (from an interview last week with the CEO of CSA), so I’d hope this aspect is nailed down. Ya never know, though: likely a lot of confidential agreements (until it comes to raining down blows in Court). For all we know, Z-Wave could get hit with the patent hammer next week…let’s hope not.

The interview above (and a few others) also responds, IIRC, to that: how do you get these companies to work together without someone bailing? Most answers revolve around nobody likes the interoperability problem from the tech side or the business / market side. The big ones all hit a ceiling in sales, below their expectations, and they realised interoperability & uncertainty was the elephant in the room.

Maybe in that interview (can’t remember now), but it had some backstory on Matter and how the idea got developed.


Ah, right, I forgot about the Philips Hue bridge, @JDRoberts! That is a great reminder. That was a real light at the end of the tunnel moment for me about Matter.


With the new Matter site, we’re inching towards more concrete details soon, I’d hope. A lot of the Matter text is copied from the earlier site and mostly everything juicy (e.g., certification) is still only Zigbee or dotdot.

They do reiterate local connectivity on the homepage, though.


Consistent and responsive local connectivity.


@Automated_House I’m not sure if you were also trying to get in touch, but SmartThings does seem particularly quiet on Z-Wave, from TechHive’s repeated emails:

The company has for the past month, however, refused to answer our repeated questions—during a live press forum as well as in emails to multiple contacts—about continued Z-Wave support.

But newcomers to the smart home scene who set about building their smart home around SmartThings will be in for a rude surprise when [ikjadoon: if or when?] they discover a whole host of erstwhile SmartThings-compatible devices don’t work with the SmartThings hub in their Samsung TV or Samsung smart appliance.


Yeah, this could get confusing. The app is decent about only showing brands that work with a hub or without depending on your environment, and I know the device API has a specific field for compatible ST hubs, so in theory the app will hide z-wave brands/devices for the new TV and fridge hubs with a zigbee dongle. But that won’t help when looking at a z-wave product on Amazon, Best Buy, in a store, etc. that says “SmartThings compatible” without the added details of only V2, V3 and Aeotec hubs being supported.


Flicking through the API docs today, I happened upon a device type I don’t remember seeing before …


That’s good news, if not quite as good as some people were hoping for. And as the article says, I think this is the first lock that’s been announced with Matter compatibility. :sunglasses:

First the good news.

Many Yale smart lock models have the radio in a removable module. The modules themselves are in different shapes and sizes depending on the exact lock model, but all the ones for one lock model look the same and you can convert, say, a lock from zwave to Zigbee just by swapping out the radio module.

Yale is now announcing that they will have a new module for some models that will work with Matter. You will have to purchase that (no price announced yet) and swap it out for your existing module, but then your Yale lock will be a Matter lock. My guess is using Thread, although I didn’t see that announced. At that point it will only work with your original system if that system supports Matter, and it’s likely it will be treated as a brand new device, so you’d have to redo any routines.

The other bad news:

Unfortunately, Assa Abloy currently has no Matter backward compatibility plans for August-branded locks.

Again, I didn’t see specifics, but I’m guessing that only applies to the round August retrofit locks, since those don’t have a replaceable radio module. I’d hope the “Yale by August” models which do have a replaceable module will be offered a Matter option, but there may be other issues that prevent that as well. We will see. :thinking:

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It is really about selling another piece of hardware then.

The Yale Linus/August smart locks, the recent ones have Wifi and Bluetooth, they could go on a way to change the firmware of the Gateway for Bluetooth locks (as it being a Wifi devices) to be Matter compatible. Or change the firmware of the Wifi locks just to be Matter compatible, as they are already HomeKit compatible.

But none of these involves extra income for Yale. So I really doubt that it would happen.

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