What's The Matter? Google Adopts Matter Unified Smart Home Standard With Nest, Android
Google is throwing its weight behind Matter, a new protocol that aims to simplify smart home setup and adoption through a single standard with broad industry support. That support is the key to making Matter, well, matter, and during its multi-day Google I/O developer event that is currently in progress, Google announced it is bringing Matter to its Nest and Android ecosystems.
This is potentially a big deal, as device makers push more smart gadgets into the retail space. It is a sector that is growing. According to Google, in 2016 there could be found three smart devices in the average smart home. Now five years later, that number has tripled to nine. That number will likely grow over the coming the years, and pushing a sort of unified protocol into the mix can make it far easier to add more smart devices to a home.
"It’s up to us to simplify the smart home, and to start we must change the way device makers build products. There should be one standard that simplifies selection, setup and control, and makes it easy for our partners to create products and experiences for your home," Google explains.
Google says Android will be one of the leading operating systems with built-in support for Matter. so that users can quickly and easy set up devices with Google and link their favorite Android apps. According to Google, setting things up will take just a few taps.
Once configured, Android users will have multiple ways of controlling Matter devices—Matter-enabled Android apps, Google Assistant, the Google Home app, and Android Power Controls.
Same goes for Nest products, which are embracing Matter.
"Devices with Thread built-in, like Nest Wifi, Nest Hub Max and the second-generation Nest Hub will become connection points for Matter devices, creating even stronger, faster connections across your home. All Nest displays and speakers, like the Nest Hub and Nest Mini, will be automatically updated to control Matter devices, giving you faster and more reliable experiences whether they use Wi-Fi, Thread or Ethernet," Google says.
The newest Nest Thermostat is also getting updated to support Matter, allowing it for the first time to be controlled on other platforms.
Matter was only recently known as Project CHIP, or Connected Home over IP. it is a collaborative effort between Google, Amazon, Apple, Samsung, and others, with support for various different protocols and digital assistants, including Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri.
This is exactly the kind of boost the smart home segment needs, to both deal with fragmentation and, importantly, make it a more accessible concept to consumers who may be hesitant to jump in, for fear they choose the 'wrong' ecosystem. So kudos to Google for going all-in with Matter.