Do I have what it takes to use Matter?

The new home automation standard is already a reality, with many products already compatible, and others on the starting ramp to be launched on the market. What about your current products? Do I have to buy a new central? All the answers, right here.

No more having to look at the labels of the products you buy to add to your home automation system. Matter has arrived so that all light bulbs, sockets, switches and other home automation accessories work on any platform. If you have an iPhone and your wife an Android, you can use either of the two systems to control the lights at home. If you have a HomePod in the living room and an Echo in the kitchen, you can give orders to either of them. This is great news, but for those of us who already have a good number of home automation accessories at home, what about them? Will we have to start from scratch? Not at all, most likely everything you have can continue to be used with Matter without problems.

HomePod 1st Gen and HomePod mini

Drivers for Matter and Thread Border Router

In order to use Matter, the first thing you need is a Controller. It is what HomeKit users now know as “Accessory Central”. it is the heart of your home automation network that controls automations, remote access and connects your devices to the internet (if necessary). Each of the platforms you want to use will need its own Controller, that is, if you want to use HomeKit you will need a compatible Controller (HomePod, Apple TV, etc), if you want to use Alexa you will need an Amazon Echo, etc. With a HomePod you won’t be able to use Alexa, or with an Echo you won’t be able to use Siri, that’s not how Matter works.

Matter works over WiFi, Ethernet, and Thread. The latter is the connection that is least known at the moment, but it will be one of the most used due to its low energy consumption, its speed of response and its great coverage thanks to the interconnection between devices. The Thread connection allows the accessories to be connected to each other to reach the Controller, so if you place a bulb far from the Controller nothing will happen because it can be connected to a socket that is halfway, also compatible with Thread, and reach until the.

There are Controllers that are also Thread Border Routers, that is, Thread-compatible devices can connect to it, and you don’t need anything else. But there are other drivers that are not, but that does not mean that they do not work with Matter, it will only be necessary to add a Thread Border Router so that everything works perfectly.

  • Controllers:
    • HomePod 1st Gen
    • Apple TV 4K 2022 Wi-Fi
  • Controllers + Thread Border Router:
    • HomePod Mini
    • HomePod 2nd Gen
    • Apple TV 4K 2022 Wi-Fi + Ethernet
    • Apple TV 4K 2021

If you thought your old HomePod wouldn’t work with Matter, you’re wrong., you only have to add a Thread Border Router to your home automation installation, which can be any accessory that supports it, such as any of the Nanoleaf light panels (Canvas, Shapes, Elements or Lines). that Router will be in charge of connecting by Wifi to your Controller, and the accessories compatible with Thread will be connected to the Router, and everything will work perfectly.

Nanoleaf Lines

Nanoleaf Lines

Accessories that will work with Matter

Most home automation manufacturers are betting heavily on Matter with the first products that will hit the market in the coming weeks. It’s more, We already have some products that are fully compatible with Matter, although few at the momentBut what about all the accessories we already have? Most of them will be updated over the next few weeks to be compatible.

At the moment there are no lights that are already compatible with Matter, but there are numerous updates already announced that will make the current ones compatible. Nanoleaf has been one of the companies that has been in the greatest hurry in this category announcing that its entire range of light panels (Lines, Shapes, Elements and Canvas) will be updated shortly, and as I said before, they will also serve as a Border Router. Another of our favorite brands, Twinkly, is also going to update its lights. This is in regards to what we already have on the market, because there are many things to come that will already be compatible from the moment we take them out of the box. The same happens with plugs, switches, sensors… new products will be coming out but the ones we already have will be updated to be compatible.

Bridges to be upgraded to Matter

There are many other accessories that cannot be updated because their hardware does not allow it, such as many Philips or Aqara accessories. Do not worry because this also has a solution. Just like Philips bulbs, you use them through their own bridge (Hue Bridge) or Aqara accessories using their multiple “Hubs”, with Matter it will be those bridges and hub that are updated to be compatibleand in this way the accessories that connect to them will also be.

Aqara hub G3

hardly anyone is left out

In a technological world in which we are used to being dropped at the first opportunity, it is strange to believe that Matter can be as good as they tell us. Everyone is going to work with everyone, both the new and the old. Although it seems incredible, it is a reality and it is already here.