IoT consumer products have exploded over the last decade but one thing we can all agree on is that the market is still very fragmented. Consumers have to spend a lot of their time researching each smart home platform they want to use and go all in on it.
For instance, people who might have previously bought a Ring Door Cam might feel disappointed to find out that Google home only partially supports this device. Users also have to jump through multiple hurdles on their phones when setting up accounts and connecting them to their smart home platform just to get them to work. They might even have to do this multiple times if the accounts or devices get out of sync.
This level of fragmentation or “walled gardens” has left consumers frustrated and wary of buying new smart home electronics.
This has also put a large burden on manufacturers of smart home devices, as supporting all of the different platforms is very time-consuming and adds complexity to the device’s code which usually means it’s going to be more buggy.
But there’s hope on the horizon. The biggest names in tech set their differences aside and decided to collaborate. 🤯.
Amazon, Apple, Google, Nordic Semiconductor, and Silicon Labs (and several others) came together to develop a protocol that all devices could use to communicate to each other. This standard protocol is called “Matter” (formerly CHIP - Connected Home over IP). Since our firm, Ovyl, is one of only a few Nordic Design Partners, we've been watching this space closely and evaluating the technology to see how it will impact consumer IoT. The goal of this collaboration is to develop a unified platform to make connectivity of your smart devices easy, reliable, and secure - thereby making the consumer happy and confident that what they are buying will “just work”. Furthermore Matter will also provide a single standard for device manufacturers to implement, decreasing complexity and speeding up time to market.
Not only will consumer's experiences of existing devices from big tech companies improve - this also presents a huge opportunity for new players to enter the market with new smart home and IoT products that can integrate into existing ecosystems, making mass consumer adoption of your new technology much easier. We've explored some of these ideas and are excited about the prospects for new devices managing everything from security, fitness, lifestyle, music, shopping, and more.
Creating a Matter-supported device means integrating their open-source protocol code into your device’s code and ... voila - it can communicate with all major smart home platforms. Plus, Matter supports a large number of popular chips on the market today. Whatever product you might need to make, you can have confidence that getting the device up and running will be the easiest part.
Matter even supports devices that are battery-powered! Smart home platforms or devices that are wall-powered can also be treated as a hub for all of the low-powered devices which helps reduce costs for manufacturers and consumers.
By taking care of connectivity, developers can spend more time innovating their products instead of reinventing the wheel to connect their devices to the internet.
However - the Matter spec has not been publicly released yet. It is scheduled to be released Fall of this year: https://github.com/project-chip/connectedhomeip/issues/19445#issuecomment-1152854685
If you want to learn more about Matter and how it can benefit your products and customers, reach out to us - as Nordic Design Partners we’ve stayed very in touch with Matter developments and can help you bring projects of any complexity to fruition.
To learn more about how Matter will be supported, check out these announcements from public tech companies:
Want to learn more? Want some actual nerdy details about Matter? Check out our blog post: The Engineer’s Guide To Matter