Matter Residences, a New Smart Home Technology Standard

Located at Mattar Road in District 14, this new freehold condo will offer 26 units.

Smart home technology is incredibly fragmented, with different devices using different protocols and being controlled by a host of different apps and assistants (Siri, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant). Matter is a new standard that aims to reduce the number of different platforms you need in your home, while also making everything more secure and reliable.

Matter works by communicating over local networks like Wi-Fi and Ethernet, with the option of linking to your internet connection via a router for remote control or integration with other cloud-based services. It uses a protocol called Thread, which is similar to Zigbee but designed for battery-powered devices like smart lights and switches. Thread devices communicate with each other over a mesh network, so even if one device goes down the rest of the network will still continue to function. It’s a more efficient, more secure way to connect devices than traditional Bluetooth connections, which require constant pairing and use data-hungry cloud servers.

Most existing smart light bulbs, plugs, door locks, and alarm systems will be compatible with Matter when it launches. Companies that make these products may choose to add Matter support to their existing line of products by offering a new bridge or hub that’s compatible with the standard, or they may opt to update their existing apps to take advantage of the communication improvements. The only caveat is that Bluetooth-only devices that don’t rely on bridges (like Eve’s earlier security and sensor products or GE Cync’s Bluetooth mesh bulbs) won’t be upgraded to work with Matter.

Assuming the brands pursue Matter certification and upgrade their devices, the new tech should be easy to install and use. You’ll need a Matter controller to connect your home to the system, but that can be a smartphone or tablet running a compatible app. You’ll also need a Thread border router to link your home to the internet. Most of the flagship smart speakers and hubs from major platforms already have this built in, including Apple’s HomeKit-compatible HomePod Mini, HomePod 1st- and 2nd-gen, and Apple TV 4K; Google Nest Hub smart speakers and displays and their apps; and Samsung SmartThings hubs, plus some refrigerators and TVs.

Those hubs won’t be able to bridge your existing Zigbee or Z-Wave devices into Matter, though the Z-Wave Alliance and chipmaker Silicon Labs are working on solutions to do this. Similarly, your Samsung SmartThings refrigerator or TV won’t be upgraded to Matter, but you can connect them to the platform through other means, such as connecting an Android phone with SmartThings as a server. matter residences

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