In a Matter home, smart plugs and locks communicate directly with each other rather than using a hub to bridge the devices to your local network. And it’s built on existing standards like Wi-Fi and Thread, so you don’t need to swap out your router or buy new hubs to get the benefits.
The four big platforms — Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Apple HomePod, and Samsung SmartThings — all support Matter. And thanks to a feature called multi-admin, you can use any ecosystem or app that supports Matter as your home controller. You can also connect legacy Zigbee or Z-Wave devices to a hub that will bridge them to Matter. For example, the Z-Wave Alliance and chipmaker Silicon Labs are both pushing solutions to make your existing Zigbee devices Matter compatible. Signify (which owns Philips Hue) will continue to use a hub for its Zigbee lighting products but has already made its Hue Bridge Matter-compatible.
While the first incarnation of Matter doesn’t support more advanced features, such as energy monitoring for smart plugs and complicated scenes for smart bulbs, you can still access those capabilities through your home’s controller apps. And the underlying technology can be used by other companies’ devices in a Matter-compatible way, meaning those more advanced features might eventually come to other ecosystems as well.
Most of the initial devices that will work with Matter will be smart plugs and switches. But in spring 2023, Amazon will update its Echo 4th-Generation smart speakers and Eero Wi-Fi routers to add support for Matter-over-Wi-Fi, along with a number of new SmartThings thermostats, door locks, and blinds. It will also expand its Matter-over-Thread support to more of its light bulbs, plugs, and switches. matter residences