A Matter controller is the brains of your smart home network, managing communications, enabling automations and facilitating remote access. You don’t need a new hub to use Matter devices, though — you can also update existing smart speakers, routers and digital displays to act as controllers. Apple, Google Nest and Samsung SmartThings are among the companies already updating their flagship smart hubs and speakers to become Matter controllers.
The good news is that Matter is compatible with all the major smart home platforms, meaning you can control your smart light bulbs and other devices from your smartphone, tablet or voice assistant of choice. It’s a huge step up from previous standards that forced users into a single ecosystem.
What’s more, the Matter protocol is designed to be local to your home, meaning it has a less reliance on the cloud and will run more efficiently than other smart-home protocols. Matter will only transmit data to the cloud if you request it, and you can choose what types of information are shared with your controller.
At launch, Matter supports a small number of device categories such as smart lighting and fixtures, smart plugs and switches, thermostats and other HVAC controls, smart sensors and more. But more products are expected to support the tech as time goes by. GE Lighting, for example, is working on new appliances that will add Matter support. Likewise, Sengled is upgrading its Zigbee and Wi-Fi smart bulbs to Matter. And the company behind the iHome Smart Plug and iHome Z-Wave smart speaker has pledged to bring its products to Matter. matter residences