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Home automation: name changes for a coming revolution

The home automation sector is launching its revolution. By the end of the year, users will be able to purchase the first Matter compatible products, formerly CHIP, an interoperable platform between multiple connection technologies.

It is currently complicated to navigate the range of home automation devices. Several standards and connection protocols coexist there, without necessarily being able to communicate with each other. To streamline this market and help grow sales, more than 1,700 manufacturers and organizations of all sizes have come together. grouped around the CHIP (Connected over IP) standard unveiled at the end of 2019.

CHIP becomes Matter

Apple, Amazon, Google, Somfy, Eve, Comcast, ARM and just about anything in the industry working in this renamed alliance Matter. The first Matter compatible products are expected this year, others already released will benefit from an update to work on this platform: this will be the case for Hue bulbs.

The Matter protocol will be based on existing connection technologies such as Wi-Fi (802.11), Ethernet (802.3), Bluetooth LE and Thread (802.15.4), the latter being particularly promoted by Apple and Google: the HomePod mini and certain Nest devices thus act as Thread connection bridges.

For its part, the Zigbee Alliance also changes its name and becomes Connectivity Standards Alliance. It will continue to support Zigbee, an open protocol that manufacturers can adapt to their needs, and which is widely used. But the alliance will go further by facilitating cooperation and the development of standards for the Internet of Things (IoT), including Matter.

On the consumer side, all these changes are beneficial because in the long term, any home automation device can be controlled by its preferred assistant, whether it is Siri, Alexa or Google Assistant, as well as by dedicated applications.

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