Houses are increasingly full of smart lamps, doorbells and cameras, but these devices are now suddenly receiving upgrades. New versions work with the brand new standard Matter, which should connect everything together. Is it necessary to upgrade your smart home?
“The smart home world is currently very fragmented,” says smart home expert Olaf Weijers of tech site Tweakers. “Just about every manufacturer has a smart home product with its own app, cloud service and protocol to communicate.”
This means that you have to turn off the lights in the evening with one app, control the heating with another app and view the video doorbell with yet another. Tech giants like Apple and Google have tried to solve this with their own platforms, but devices must have specific support for this.
“Matter is a new protocol that brings the communication between smart home equipment and smart home platforms to one standard,” says Weijers. “This means that equipment from different brands speaks the same language and it no longer matters to a platform which brand a lamp, vacuum cleaner or thermostat is.”
Almost all major tech companies participate in Matter. “Using an Apple HomePod in the living room and a Google Nest hub in the study is now perfectly possible. They are no longer inconsistent.”
Do you need to upgrade everything to Matter?
Do you also need to upgrade? “No,” assures Weijers. “What works now will hopefully continue to work well. Matter will not change this.” Some old devices can even receive an update, so that they can suddenly communicate with the new system.
Also remember: devices without Matter support may have to operate from their own app for years to come.
“For equipment that you replace or purchase new, it is worth considering whether Matter is supported. Especially a device that lasts a long time is more future-proof in the smart home field if it supports Matter.”
A device that works with Matter is less dependent on the manufacturer, Weijers explains. If the maker of your smart lamp ever goes bankrupt, its app will often go offline and you will no longer be able to operate it. But a Matter lamp can still be used via all kinds of Matter apps.