The smart home ecosystem is becoming more and more fashionable. Or that is what is intended. The three most popular voice assistants on the market, to date, have gone it alone. With its specific protocols and compatibilities, and this entails a headache for those of us who want to have a connected home. Because voice assistants were sold to simplify our lives, but there came a time when they made it difficult for us. However, there is a detail that Everything will change from now on.
The same language to handle them all
You were going to buy a light bulb, or a thermostat, or a camera, for your voice assistant. You couldn’t buy the one you wanted. You had to look at which assistants it was compatible with, and not all products were for all attendees. Some were compatible only with Google Home, or only with Siri, or only with Alexa. Some were compatible with two of the three assistants. Some gained compatibility over time, but not just when we bought the accessory. Choosing an accessory for our voice assistant had turned into chaos.
Therefore, to solve the problem of compatibilities (and make life easier for users), came the matter protocol, which is a universal compatibility system between different voice assistants. Gone are the exclusive compatibilities between assistant and accessory. If a product supports the Mater standard, it will be compatible with any voice assistant that supports Matter. And Apple knows this.
The new HomePod is compatible with Matter
Apple is clear that, as good as the HomePod 2 sounds, it needs to be something more useful in the ecosystem of the connected home. HomePod has Siri, but until recently, not all accessories supported Siri and HomeKit: Apple had its own closed ecosystem. However, with HomePod 2, things change and Apple has opened it up to a standard connection protocol. So, you can forget to look, gadget by gadget, which one is compatible and which one is not. (And the problem is compounded when you have a mixed home automation ecosystem.)
The future of home automation involves standard compatibility between voice assistants and products. However, what about the first generation HomePod or HomePod mini? Are they compatible with Mater? Although at Apple, there is no trace of this information at the moment, the CSA (Connectivity Standards Alliance, promoter of Mater), says that “many of the smart home products are going to be updated to the Matter system via software”. In fact, many products from the Google and Amazon ecosystems, including assistants, are already compatible with Mater.
At the moment, at Apple, we have the second generation HomePod. And also, with many more connected devices, which were previously not compatible with Siri or the HomeKit system. Although Matter is the new standard, if you have devices with HomeKit you will be able to continue using them without problem. In the same way that if you already have a HomePod mini or an Apple TV, and a new HomePod, they will be able to continue interacting without any problem.