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OPLIN 4Cast #797: Soon, smart home devices might all work together nicely (for a change)

Posted in Internet of Things

I assiduously avoid IoT (Internet of Things) in my house. I only resigned myself to a Roomba because expecting a teen boy and two long-haired cats to clean up after themselves is apparently a ridiculous notion. The Roomba not withstanding, I don’t use IoT devices. IoT manufacturers have long been known for adding features, not security. So, I remain envious of those people with Ring doorbells and Nest thermostats, but not enough so that I want to put aside my own uneasiness. Aside from security concerns, one of the main hang-ups people have had with home IoT devices is that they don’t all play well with each other. That’s about to change…and I wonder if the new standard for these devices will chip away further at my resistance.

  • What’s the Matter? We Explain the New Smart Home Standard [Wired] “Matter promises to enable different devices and ecosystems to play nicely. Device manufacturers will comply to the Matter standard to ensure their devices are compatible with smart home and voice services such as Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Google’s Assistant, and others. For folks building a smart home, Matter should enable you to buy any device and use the voice assistant or platform you prefer to control it.”
  • Matter Is the Smart Home Standard You’ve Been Waiting For [How To Geek] “That “it just works” experience is the baseline expectation we all have when interacting with our homes, but it doesn’t usually work out quite that way with smart home tech. Instead, the last decade of smart home has been less like the ease of flipping a switch and more like the agony of getting stuck on the wrong side of the Betamax/VHS format war. Multiple times.”
  • Industry Group Pushes Back Matter Smart Home Standard Again [] “Consumer Reports wrote in January that “Some devices, such as the Schlage Encode smart lock, work with some systems (Alexa and Google Assistant) but not others. Not all ecosystems offer the same types of devices. For example, large appliances like washers and ovens are supported by Alexa, Google and SmartThings but not Apple HomeKit. And each subsequent device you purchase makes it more expensive and prohibitive if you decide to change ecosystems in the future.””
  • Matter, the upcoming smart home-unifying standard, just got delayed again [Tech Hive] “The latest delay of Matter, which leverages Wi-Fi, Thread, and Zigbee to help smart home devices in disparate ecosystems talk to each other, may be disappointing, but it’s not a surprise. Industry insiders have been privately saying they expected another hold due not only to the pandemic, but also to the difficulties in getting such a large group of companies (more than 240 are participating in the Matter working group) to push the standard forward.”

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