Last week, the Connectivity Standards Alliance — formerly known as the Zigbee Alliance — announced that its Matter protocol would finally arrive later this year to bring your smart home gear closer together. With Google I/O in full swing, the company delivered some more information on how its partnership with the CSA will improve your smart plugs, security cameras, and more.
Matter is designed to allow smart home gadgets to communicate with each other, regardless of manufacturer, offering improved interoperability and security. Considering just how many Nest products are on the market these days — not to mention the Google Home app for controlling dozens of devices — it’s no surprise that the company has gotten behind this movement in a big way. Google plans to support Matter across its entire hardware ecosystem, starting with existing products that you probably already own.
Once Matter launches later this year, gadgets like the Nest Hub and Nest Audio will gain support for the standard through a software update, enabling Google Assistant control for any compatible device. The newest Nest Thermostat is also becoming a Matter device, possibly allowing for temperature control through Siri and Alexa. Even Android itself will support the standard, allowing certified devices to be set up and controlled with your phone in just a few short steps.
As with any open platform, plenty of factors could prevent your gadgets from working with each other correctly. Even with Google’s announcement covering so many devices, a few are left out of this list, including any other Nest Thermostat aside from its most recent release. With so many companies aiming to work together, it’s easy to see how things could quickly fall apart, as more gadgets are sidelined and left out of Matter entirely.
Still, Google’s first steps towards the protocol seem promising. In addition to Matter support arriving this year, it’s launched a new smart home directory for exploring Assistant-compatible devices, many of which are from brands that have also joined the CSA’s initiative. You can check out the entire I/O discussion on Matter in the video above.