The Matter standard that links smart home devices is only about a year old, and now, with Matter version 1.2, a number of new device types have been added.
Since Matter isn’t a product developed by one single company, it’s useful to refresh your memory from time to time. Created based on feedback from leading technology companies like Google and Apple, the Matter standard is designed to bridge the gap between all existing smart home ecosystems. Ecosystems like Apple HomeKit and Google Home, while still completely separate systems, will be able to contain the same devices through a process in which Matter blurs the boundaries between them. If a device is “Matter compatible,” it can be used seamlessly with Google Home, Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings, etc. You can even set up these devices in multiple ecosystems without any problems.
In its current form, Matter has achieved remarkable results. There are over 1,214 certified devices on the list of compatible products since Matter 1.1. These devices, while a big step, are small devices such as lamps and sensors that can more easily communicate with each other using the standard. In Matter 1.2, the catalog of supported devices is greatly expanded.
The new Matter 1.2 specification adds a total of nine new categories. These are devices that are more complex than light bulbs and door locks and needed to be finalized in the standard. Each has complex characteristics that require complex interactions through various smart home APIs. For example, Matter 1.2 added compatibility with air quality sensors. Sensors must not only read environmental data and transmit it to specific smart home ecosystems, but also provide AQI information with the device’s location, and this should be possible in any smart home ecosystem. And robot vacuum cleaners should not only be able to turn on and off, but also be able to sense complex cleaning commands, such as what level of vacuum cleaner or mop to use. In addition, robot vacuum cleaners should be able to report error codes if they get stuck or get into other dangerous situations.
Here’s a full list of Matter’s additions in version 1.2:
- Room air conditioners
- Washing machines
- Robotic Vacuum Cleaners
- Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms
- Air Quality Sensors
- Air Purifiers
The addition of so many appliances expands the potential for Matter to be used in smart home systems in millions of households. As such, companies such as Whirlpool and Maytag plan to implement Matter 1.2 and subsequent versions in many products across these brands. It takes time for companies to implement the certification into their products, but the release of Matter 1.2 means the road is now open for these brands.
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