Matter - smart home connectivity standard (formerly Project CHIP)

Another article on this.

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Re the announcement from z-wave to go open standard, you read in articles that “it will bring down cost of z-wave devices”

Does anyone have an estimate of what a z-wave chip cost today? And how much this change could affect the prices of a z-wave device in the future?

I’m still trying to figure out how Smartthings falls into this group. Everyone is trying to go hubless with a standard. It is trying to cut out the middleman.

There’s only one source for Z wave chips right now, so the price is around $10 if you only buy one, typically around five dollars if you’re buying 1,000 or more. That’s 3 to 5 times the typical cost of a zigbee chip, even from the same manufacturer. And there are a lot of companies that make zigbee chips.

https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/silicon-labs/ZM5101A-CME3R/703-1093-1-ND/4515964

I would expect the price to eventually come down to about 1 1/2 times that of a zigbee chip. More importantly, though, many companies just won’t make something with a part that has only a single source manufacturer. Too much vulnerability. So even if the prices didn’t change, you would expect to see more adoption once it was available from multiple manufacturers. :sunglasses:

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They’re not trying to go hubless: zigbee is a major partner in the CHIP project and their devices mostly require a hub.

What the CHIP project is really trying to do is create a common profile for home automation across several communication protocols that use the same radios. So Zigbee, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi. You know how whenever somebody asks about a new Wi-Fi device and if it will work with smartthings we always have to say it just varies? Because it depends whether there’s an open API or an existing third-party integration or not.

The CHIP project will get rid of that problem because turning a lightbulb on would be the same message format for all participating devices. The device could have other fancy features that might require its own app, but you would at least be able to make the basics work with voice assistants, which is one of the big market forces driving this project. But there’s nothing in the announcement that says they’re aiming to be hubless.

Also, remember that smartthings itself is now a “hub optional“ platform. If you have one of the fancy Samsung smart TVs, some of their appliances, a SmartThings Wi-Fi camera, a Phillips hue bridge, and the new SmartThings Wi-Fi plug-in pocket socket you don’t need a hub at all to use smartthings. It’s the same app, but no hub required. :sunglasses:

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I’m trying to figure out who the “winners and losers” will be in this alliance. I can see some clear winners. Most notable (if it works properly) CONSUMERS. After Christmas, a few friends and relatives were asking me all sorts of questions about hooking up and integrating their fancy new presents. Amazon/Google/Phillps/Ecobee/etc. The faster they can make these processes “just work” the better.
If my sister can take the Google Home, Hue lights, and Ring doorbell from under the tree and get them working and communicating on a basic level without obtaining a PHD in engineering it sure would be nice.
As for losers, I’m sure there will be some. Every time the big boys get together like this, some little guys get squeezed. I just hope there’s technological room for small, new innovators to jump in the game.
We’ll see. It should be interesting.

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A couple SmartThings staff are code reviewers for CHIP :sunglasses:
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I wonder if Silicon Lab’s "Works With" conference happening today will share any new information today about these recent developments.

If CHIP is open source and Z-Wave is opening up: should we expect any top-level cooperation?

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Yes, some. But not a lot. See Stacey Higginbotham’s column (she was on one of the speaker panels for the event)

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Vaporware. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

It’s not real until you can order it from Amazon for two day delivery. :wink:

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I’m super curious to see how Samsung/SmartThings handles CHIP. There’s so many paths between “do absolutely nothing” and “activate the Thread radio in the V3 hub, get Thread certified, get CHIP certified”. I think they will do something with regards to it since they are actively involved.

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They are actively involved in the Zwave alliance and they still don’t support Central Scenes in the standard UI.

They are actively involved in the zigbee alliance and they still don’t support green power devices.

So I wouldn’t hold my breath. :nauseated_face:

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Time for a name change!

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This is it. MATTER

https://buildwithmatter.com/

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The worrying thing is they probably rejected other suggestions for the name in the process of coming up with that.

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Phillips Hue shared they’d be certifying their bulbs going back 9 years (through a Hue Bridge update) for Matter.

This all went surprisingly fast. A fresh interoperable standard from these behemoth organizations’ inception to initial certifications in less than 24 months.

Both the Google Nest Hub V2 and Apple TV 4K 6th Gen (2021) have Thread, so a positive sign that there was some planning for possible post-launch Matter certification.

Will be curious what SmartThings wants to do with the V3 // Aeotec hubs.

Apple’s HomePod mini has Thread but is currently limited to Homekit devices

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They said the existing bulbs will be updated, but it may require a new hue bridge device to use them with thread, no further details yet. So you don’t lose your investment in your existing bulbs, but you might need to buy a new “hue hub“ to get them to use thread.

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