Matter - smart home connectivity standard (formerly Project CHIP)

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:

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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.

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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.

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Good technical article about what a Matter bridge will be:

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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:

https://buildwithmatter.com/

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

Reliability

Consistent and responsive local connectivity.

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@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.

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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.

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

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