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Home automation standard Matter one step closer to use

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The Connectivity Standards Alliance announced Tuesday that the Matter specification for smart home devices such as: HomePod mini is now available to developers.

As part of the launch, eight authorized testing labs are open for global product certification. Alliance members with devices ready to support the standard can release or update them once certified.

Members will receive testing tools and an open source software development kit to test Matter and its network components, Wi-Fi and Thread. Members of the Alliance include companies such as Apple, Amazon, Google, Comcast and others.

“What started as a mission to unravel the complexities of connectivity has resulted in Ma8er, a single, global IP-based protocol that will fundamentally change the IoT,” said Tobin Richardson, President and CEO of the Connectivity Standards Alliance.

The Alliance says Matter is breaking new ground with security policies and processes using distributed ledger technology and Public Key Infrastructure to validate device certification and history. This technology helps people verify that they are connecting to authentic, certified smart home devices on their home network.

Matter runs over Ethernet, Wi-Fi and Thread and uses Bluetooth Low Energy to let devices talk to each other. The first release will support smart home products such as lamps, blinds, security sensors, door locks and more.

What is matter?

Apple’s HomePod mini works alongside Matter-supported Google Nest devices or Amazon Alexa devices, so people don’t have to buy additional hardware. It works with HomeKit and other connection standards instead of replacing them.

Companies are free to implement Matter in devices via Wi-Fi, Thread or Bluetooth Low Energy. Matter also supports Ethernet.

Wi-Fi allows Matter devices to communicate over a high-bandwidth local area network and smart home devices to communicate with the cloud. Thread provides an energy-efficient and reliable mesh network in the home.

Apple says Matter support will come in an update to the Home app later in 2022. Controlling Matter accessories with the Home app and Siri requires a device that acts as a hub or controller.

Apple devices that can act as hubs include HomePod, HomePod mini, Apple TV HD, and Apple TV 4K. The company has already added Matter support in the tvOS 16 release.

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