Anyone who’s invested in a smart home platform knows the frustration that comes with trying to figure out which devices work with which platforms. The problem is compounded when you try to switch from a service like Samsung’s SmartThings to Apple HomeKit. This has been a problem for years, with several companies trying to fix the problem by publishing hubs or services that would bring together devices that wouldn’t normally work. But even then, adding another app or more hardware to your setup isn’t ideal.
Project Connected Home over IP, or CHIP, is made up of a group of technology companies, large and small, who are working together on a new standard of connectivity that will make it easier to manage smart home devices on the platform of your choice, and anytime. switching to a different platform (Google to Amazon, for example), you can do so without having to buy any new hardware or add another hub to your setup.
On Tuesday, CHIP and the Zigbee Alliance announced a rebranding. The Zigbee Alliance will now pass Alliance for Connectivity Standards (CSA), a change that better reflects the organization’s approach to trying to solidify smart home connection standards, rather than appearing to be focused solely on Zigbee. CSA will continue to work on Zigbee standards and protocols, as well as Material, the new brand name of CHIP.
In addition to announcing the official name, Material also has a new logo which you’ll start to see on Matter Certified devices towards the end of this year.
The list of companies that have engaged in Matter is long, but you can see from the screenshot below that it includes the major tech companies that are interested in smart home technology, like Apple, Google and Amazon. Samsung’s SmartThings platform will also adopt the new protocol.
Even though Matter is a new standard, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have to purchase new hardware when the products become available. For example, Phillips Hue will add Matter connectivity to all of its existing bulbs – even those that are 9 years old – with a software update later this year.
At the press event, Google said it would have more to share about its plans for Matter during
, which will begin on May 18.