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Gadgets & Tech

A realistic roundup of what today’s Matter launch means for your smart home

Enlarge / Companies like Nanoleaf have products coming soon with Matter support, but your ability to actually integrate them into any system, using any phone, is still a hazy promise.

It’s not too often that there’s an international launch event for an interoperability standard with a nearly 900-page spec manual. But there are big hopes pinned to Matter, an industry-wide effort to make smart home devices easier to shop for and set up without compatibility concerns.

Companies brought their Matter-ready devices to Amsterdam overnight for the Connectivity Standards Alliance’s (CSA) Matter Launch Event. The CSA states that 190 devices have been certified for Matter since the standard was finalized in early October. Those devices include motion blinds, smart plugs, HVAC controls, door locks, lighting, hubs and gateways, and certain kinds of sensors. More device categories, including vacuums, cameras, and large appliances, are due next.

Matter’s launch video.

There were charts with smart home growth projections, talk from executives about what Matter means for the future of everything, and lots more light revelry and broad pontification. We’ll focus here on what this actually means, in the short-term, for people who might be aiming to upgrade their home setup—or avoid doing so at all costs.

So here’s what was announced today by dozens of companies in hundreds of press releases, videos, and social posts:

Matter interoperability is not going to replace "Works with Alexa" or any of the other Big Tech branding schemes any time soon.
Enlarge / Matter interoperability is not going to replace “Works with Alexa” or any of the other Big Tech branding schemes any time soon.

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