Matter is an open source technology that’s not owned by any single company and works over your local network instead of going to the cloud. This reduces the number of different apps you need to connect devices and allows automations to run across smart plugs, locks, lights and thermostats from companies that weren’t previously compatible.
What’s more, Matter devices can work with all the big four platforms: Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Samsung SmartThings. In fact, some devices will work with multiple platforms at the same time thanks to a new feature called multi-admin. You can also use voice control with Siri, Alexa or Google Assistant on any platform and you can even switch between them at will with a feature called fast pair.
While some existing devices will need a hardware upgrade to support Matter, others are able to join the party with just an over-the-air update. For example, Eve Systems is adding Thread radios to its earlier line of sensors and security products, while Yale has added Matter-compatible modules to many of its locks. Other smart home companies such as Veea, Ecovacs, Aqara and GE Cync have announced plans to add support for Matter soon.
While Matter isn’t a hub, it does require a controller to onboard devices, manage communications and facilitate remote access (when enabled). All the flagship smart speakers and hubs from the major platforms — including the Apple HomePod Mini and HomePod (1st and 2nd Gen) and the Nest Hub Max and second-gen Nest Hub — can act as a Matter controller. You’ll also find Matter controllers built into some newer Wi-Fi routers and border routers, such as the Nest Wi-Fi Pro, Nest Wi-Fi AC, TP-Link Tivo AquoS, Asus Zenbo and Asus ZenFone 3. matter residences