The world of home automation has always been a little confusing thanks to all the competing technologies. The two big ones are Zigbee and Z-Wave, but you then also have Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and many proprietary systems from the likes of Philips Hue, Lightwave, Den Automation and others.
To make things simpler, but also more confusing, a new industry–unifying standard is being developed which is being built on proven technologies and guided by the Connectivity Standards Alliance (formerly Zigbee Alliance).
The basic idea (as far as I can tell) is that Matter will allow different communication standards to have interoperability via a royalty-free connectivity standard.
The Connectivity Standards Alliance consists of pretty much all the biggest brands in the business including Amazon, Apple, Aqara, Assay Abloy (Yale), Google, Huawei, Ikea, Schneider Electric, Signify (Philips Hue), SmartThings, Somfy, Texas Instruments and Tuya.
So it seems quite likely that this project will succeed.
Aqara have now confirmed they will support the new standard and that existing devices will be upgraded to support Matter
The first step, Aqara will integrate Matter into its existing hubs – Aqara M1S and M2 – through a software update (OTA). The updated Aqara M2 and M1S hubs will enable certain new and existing Aqara child devices to be compatible with Matter.
Full Press Release
Aqara, a provider for smart home products, today announces its commitment to Matter, a new connectivity standard for IoT devices. The Company plans to provide global consumers a variety of Matter-compatible products. As the first step, Aqara will integrate Matter into its existing hubs – Aqara M1S and M2 – through a software update (OTA). The updated Aqara M2 and M1S hubs will enable certain new and existing Aqara child devices to be compatible with Matter*.
The first Matter-compatible Aqara child devices will include the latest sensors, wall switches, and smart plugs. Integration of Matter will not disrupt current Aqara smart homes as users will continue to enjoy the same features and benefits of Aqara’s existing Zigbee devices.
Matter, previously known as Project CHIP (Connected Home over IP), is a new, open-source, and secure connectivity standard for IoT devices. Aqara shares Matter’s vision of having a unifying language for the IoT industry to improve consumers’ smart home experiences. The Company is part of the Matter community of more than 200 global companies with a common goal of increasing interoperability across IoT devices, brands and systems, and boosting adoption of the smart home worldwide.
The OTA update for the Aqara M2 and M1S hubs will be available shortly after the Matter rollout. According to the Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA), the Matter certification program and the first Matter-certified devices are expected to be available in the first half of 2022. As part of the Matter Working Group, Aqara has been actively monitoring the latest Matter developments and specifications to ensure a seamless launch next year.
* Certain Aqara products may not be compatible with Matter due to the lack of Matter support for specific device type(s).