Over the years, groups of smart home companies have come together to develop standards and protocols to help their devices work together. Consumers have wanted a simple, easy way to shop for devices to add to their smart homes. There have been success stories, but none can boast the promise and the lineup of brands supporting the Matter initiative. Because of the history of multiple standards being developed, many are skeptical about the full promise of Matter. With the release of the first complete spec, the group passed a tough test.
The next phase may also be difficult, as companies work to get their devices tested and certified to bear the Matter mark. Because of the emphasis on security and the desire to ensure that the Matter mark will not find its way to devices that don't work as promised, the manufacturers will need to maneuver through the processes required for product attestation and having a certificate of authority issued. There are already rumors and concerns that the costs of the testing and certifications and the relatively small number of providers will be a barrier to the companies that aren't fully committed.
A standard like the one Matter aims to achieve would benefit smart home consumers immensely. For one, users will be less constrained by device brand when coordinating multiple smart devices to work together. As the average number of connected devices in the home continues to increase (15.5 in 2022), Matter's importance to a seamless connected home experience will continue to grow. Currently, 37% of internet households own a smart home device according to Parks Associates consumer survey work of 10,000 internet households.
Consumers desire a simple, unified application experience that works for various products across various brands. After being shown a brief explanation of Matter, Parks Associates consumer data indicates that 68% of smart home device owners or intended owners say that Matter certification is important in choosing which smart home device to buy.
While some companies struggle with the pros and cons of jumping on board, others are moving forward. Before holiday shopping is complete, we expect plenty of announcements for device launches with Matter functionality. The most recent product announcement regarding Matter is the Yale Assure Lock 2, which is touted as Matter-compatible. iOS 16.1, which launches later this month, has also announced added support for Matter 1.0. More big names are coming soon.