The Apple, Google, and Amazon-backed smart home partnership known as Project CHIP now has a new name – Matter.
After the initiative first launched back in 2019, with the Zigbee Alliance at its core, the work has now resulted in a new, formalised standard. The principle aim, though, is still the same – to help create a more interoperable and secure smart home that allows both manufacturers and users to benefit.
The move to rebrand comes ahead of the first Matter certifications – which are expected to be in late 2021 – with the new branding and logo set to feature on different devices, as seen below.
The purpose of this is for customers to quickly be able to decipher which devices work under Matter’s free-flowing system, which will initially use ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Low Energy and Thread to link things up. No longer should they have to worry about whether a smart bulb will work with a chosen smart assistant or device, then, with any device receiving a Matter certification seen as universally friendly.
Since the idea is to join all areas of the smart home together, it’s not just the big names that are backing Matter. Over 180 brands are involved with bringing specification, testing tools and certification programs to life.
And it won’t just be new devices that reap the benefits of certification, either, with the Alliance also indicating that a software update will make devices already in smart homes ready for the Matter standard.
All in all, it’s another step forward for both the Zigbee Alliance – who also announced its own rebrand to the Connectivity Standards Alliance – and the brands involved.
The aim is very simple, and a sensible one considering that no singular standard has been able to dominate the smart home market thus far, but only time will tell if the project is able to corral the big players and truly create a system whereby setup and day-to-day use is simpler, safer and more effective.