Matter - smart home connectivity standard (formerly Project CHIP)

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Hopefully it does move the needle towards more locally controlled devices instead of cloud integrations. SmartThings and Home Assistant seem well positioned for this. I suppose HomeKit always was local. I know specifically to SmartThings, i’ll be happy to get my SwitchBot and Yale lock devices (currently using Homekit module) moved locally.

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One manufacturer concerned that Matter will commoditize smart home devices.

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Yes, Belkin clearly ran into some engineering issues. They produced a thread version of their scene controller, but then announced that it would not be updated for matter. Netatmo ran into something similar. There seems to be some heat management issues, I’m not clear on the details.

It’s disappointing from several perspectives, but this kind of thing does happen. We saw this previously with both HomeKit and HomeKit secure video where the engineering requirements were more challenging than initial wouldbe partners had expected. Hardware is hard. :thinking:

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I was a software guy my whole career, was only involved in one project many, many years ago that involved new hardware. The hardware held up the whole project.

I’m especially concerned about this:

Wei went on to write that Wemo will bring new Matter products to market when it can find a way to differentiate them. It seems like Wemo might be concerned its smart home gear is becoming commoditized.

That seems very much against the “spirit” of Matter

I don’t see it that way. From the beginning, the way they got the big guys on board was by telling them that they could still differentiate their products either through add-on features or through their own apps. The goal was just to make shopping easier for mass market consumers. That’s why Apple pushed so hard to make sure that the UI would not be standardized. And why there’s no problem if Samsung has some galaxy – only features. That’s all allowed.

So the real issue is can WeMo come up with something differentiating that will justify a premium price? Eve seems to believe that it can, as does Philips Hue. But WeMo doesn’t seem to have found its footing yet. We’ll see what happens. :thinking:

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The SwitchBot Hub 2 ($69) is now available for pre-order and makes its curtain and blind controllers compatible with Matter.

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The market will decide!

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Don’t get too excited, because a lot of the connected devices won’t be available to Matter until a later update (which sometimes means never, we just have to wait and see), but you can now order the new SwitchBot Hub 2 with Matter support through Amazon for delivery next week. Or direct from the manufacturer with an additional 10% off.

(It costs about $20 more than the previous SwitchBot hubs, but has a display for temperature and humidity plus 2 tap buttons, so there is additional value beyond the matter support.)

I like this design a lot. It follows the matter design aesthetic of having a hub combined with another device, in this case, a thermometer/hygrometer display.

US:

UK:

Manufacturer site:

And initially, only the curtain mover and blind tilt control devices will be exposed through Matter.

And of course, that will only work if the matter controller app you intend to use can handle matter Bridges. So yes with Apple Home, Alexa, and Google. Maybe not yet with SmartThings.

Eventually, SwitchBot intends to have lots of its devices available to matter through this bridge, which will be great, but not available on launch day. So again, we will just have to see what actually arrives.

Most SwitchBot devices are Bluetooth to their own hub, then the hub is Wi-Fi for integrations both local and cloud. So this would become, I think, the first Bluetooth to Wi-Fi matter bridge (rather than zigbee like Philips hue and aqara).

Anyway, it’s an interesting device, and I believe it’s the first example of a bridge coming into Apple home through matter instead of through HomeKit itself. All the other ones announced so far already had a HomeKit compatible version. So I’m really interested to see how this one works.

I have one on order since we are already using the SwitchBot curtain movers at our house, so we’ll see how it goes. :sunglasses:

edited to update: a friend points out the flic hub will also be a Bluetooth to Wi-Fi matter bridge. So I was wrong on that. But the flic hub already worked with HomeKit, so this might indeed be the first time that a bridge that didn’t work with Apple HomeKit will work with Apple home through Mattrr.

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And the temperature and humidity reading from the bridge itself🙂

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Nice article, thanks for sharing it!

I found the following two passages particularly interesting. Looks like Hue doesn’t want to be blamed (or do the customer support for) Matter failings in the various apps. :thinking:

The update, when it arrives, will bridge all of Hue’s existing lights, back to its original bulb launched in 2012, into any compatible Matter ecosystem. (The only Hue devices that won’t support Matter are the Hue Play Sync Box and Tap Dial Switch.) Gramuglia implied that the delay was in part to do with the slow rollout from other companies. “The launch of Matter is co-dependent of other players within the smart home industry,” she said.
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Amazon’s Alexa and Samsung SmartThings Matter controllers don’t support bridging yet — which means Hue’s bulbs won’t work with Matter on those platforms until they do. Additionally, neither Google nor Amazon’s smart home apps work with Matter on iOS yet, resulting in a potentially frustrating experience for users….
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The delay isn’t a disaster for Matter. Signify is not about to bail on the standard as Belkin did last week. It’s one of Matter’s earliest and most ardent supporters. But it is another illustration that Matter as a concept may be ready, but the companies working together to support it still have a long way to go.
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