Smart Homes Will Get Smarter This Year

A new networking initiative will allow devices from different companies to work together

By Caitlin Finlay


Beginning this year, the devices that make a smart home smart will be more interconnected than ever. An international alliance of more than 350 companies has come together to create a new network standard that will let smart devices—such as home security systems, thermostats, and lightbulbs—work together, whether they’re produced by Apple or Google and even if one is controlled by Amazon’s Alexa and another obeys Apple’s Siri.

The new industry standard, called Matter, is a cooperative effort by the members of the Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA). The new Matter logo—three round-tipped arrows facing in towards a common point—will appear on all Matter-compatible products from CSA members. In an interview, CSA chief executive Tobin Richardson recently told the US tech news outlet CNET that he expects the Matter logo to become as common as the WiFi symbol is.

New devices with the Matter logo will be easy to set up using a simple code and will be compatible with the voice-activated smart assistants Alexa, Siri, SmartThings from Samsung, and Google Assistant. Companies planning to offer Matter-compatible devices include Apple, Amazon, Google, Ikea, SmartThings, Comcast, Huawei, and Schneider Electric. Smart home devices bearing the Matter logo will include TVs, light bulbs, electrical outlets, doorbells, door locks, thermostats, window shades, and more, allowing for a smart home with mix-and-match compatible devices from different brands.

“As these different devices become more complex networks, it’s all the more important that they’re all talking the same language,” Richardson told CNET.

Photo: iStock/Media Raw Stock.