Danish Kapoor
Danish Kapoor

Smart home technologies continue to advance with Matter 1.3

Connection standards in the field of smart home technologies are constantly improving. Among these developments, the Matter 1.3 update stands out. Matter 1.3, announced this week by the Connectivity Standards Alliance, is starting to support more devices like ovens and stoves. Additionally, new features have been added to Matter's universal broadcast protocol by adding energy and water management features.

Compatibility between smart home devices increases with Matter 1.3

With Matter 1.3, appliances such as microwave ovens, electric stoves, range hoods and electric dryers have been added to the already supported washing machines and other major household appliances. This update increases compatibility with new energy and water management features, including EV chargers, water leak sensors, freeze detectors, rain sensors, and water valves. With the addition of these devices, Matter now supports most major appliances in your home and a variety of smart home sensors.

The fact that Matter supports such a wide range of devices can theoretically be described as a big step towards ensuring that devices from different manufacturers work with each other. For example, although Moen's Flo water valve shutoff device only works with Moen's water leak sensors, thanks to Matter such devices can work in any Matter-supported ecosystem and with other Matter devices made by any manufacturer.

However, although Matter now supports more device types and features, there are two big problems. Firstly, there are very few 1.2 devices on the market yet, and secondly, major platforms have not yet supported Matter 1.2. This situation calls into question the purpose of the smart home industry collaboration, and it becomes questionable what purpose a collaboration that cannot really be used will serve.

Energy management is at the forefront with Matter 1.3

Energy management with Matter 1.3 brings support to any Matter device that can report actual and estimated measurements such as real-time instantaneous power, voltage, current measurements, which can help automatically manage home energy usage in smart home ecosystems or energy management applications. This offers great value, especially when it comes to energy saving and management. While some platforms, such as Home Assitant and Samsung SmartThings, already offer robust energy management platforms, platforms such as Apple Home, Google Home and Amazon Alexa will need to step up their pace to stay in this fast-growing market.

On the other hand, Matter 1.3 also supports electric vehicle charging equipment, offering control features such as the ability to charge your EV up to a certain time using the cheapest/greenest energy. While there are already platforms and applications that can perform such functions, they are mostly limited to partnerships developed by companies.

These big moves with Matter 1.3 could mean more and cheaper options for managing your smart home devices. However, unless the companies that launched this smart home standard actually step up and support it appropriately, questions remain as to why others should support this standard.

What is Matter?

Matter is a new smart home connectivity standard that is secure and private, easy to install and offers broad compatibility, with the aim of providing a common language for smart home devices. It currently works over Wi-Fi, ethernet, and the low-power mesh networking protocol Thread, and supports more than 30 device types.

Danish Kapoor