Matter 1.3 boosts smart-home support

  • May 14, 2024
  • Steve Rogerson

The latest Matter specification enables energy reporting for Matter devices, and supports water and energy management, electric vehicle chargers and more major appliances.

The Connectivity Standards Alliance has announced Matter 1.3 and an SDK for device makers and platforms to integrate into their products. This release enables devices that can be more helpful to users in the kitchen and laundry room, enhance entertainment and smart home interaction on screens, and make the smart home more efficient and safer with new energy and water management support.

The addition of these device types and functionalities in Matter 1.3 enables product manufacturers and controllers to begin implementing and certifying these features into new and existing products.

To help users understand and manage their energy use, save money, and reduce their carbon footprint, Matter 1.3 has energy reporting capabilities that let any device type include the ability to report actual and estimated measurements, such as instantaneous power, voltage and current in real time, as well as its energy consumption or generation over time.

Matter 1.3’s energy features also enable energy-centric devices, the first of which is electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE). This enables EV charging equipment manufacturers to present a consumer-friendly way to control how and when they charge their vehicles. It features the ability to start or stop charging manually, adjust the charging rate, or specify how many kilometres of range to be added by a set departure time, leaving the charging station to optimise automatically the charging to happen at the cheapest and lowest carbon times.

Support for leak and freeze detectors, rain sensors, and controllable water valves provide homeowners with enhanced monitoring, management and protection over water in and around their homes.

Matter 1.3 adds support for more appliances, encompassing a range of major household devices essential to everyday living, including microwave ovens, ovens, cooktops, extractor hoods and laundry dryers.

It also offers improvements to TV functionality, including push messages and dialogue support for ambient experiences, casting initialisation enhancements, expanded interactivity options for TV apps, text and track support, and improved search functionality. Interaction with other devices in the home is also enhanced, enabling Matter devices to send notifications to TVs or other devices with screens, for instance, notifying that a robot vacuum is stuck or the laundry is done.

The update also includes features and core improvements to enhance Matter-enabled user experiences.

Scenes are now supported, providing a standards-based method for product makers and smart home platforms to set, read and activate scenes on devices. Scenes let users create a desired state for devices, rooms or their whole home, by combining settings in devices that can be triggered with one command. For example, a user can set a scene that defines a colour and brightness for each of a number of lights, and they can deploy that state synchronously across multiple lights with one command. Devices can also store what scenes they are a part of, reducing the number of individual commands needed to execute a scene transition, and improving responsiveness.

A Matter controller can now batch multiple commands into a single message when communicating with Matter devices to reduce the delay between the execution of those commands. For example, when used with a Matter bridge, batched commands can affect multiple devices allowing the bridge to provide a more synchronised experience. Common examples include reducing the popcorn effect sometimes seen in smart lighting applications.

Network commissioning now allows devices to report which wifi bands they support. Mandatory support of wifi directed scan improves setup success and enables more actionable connectivity error reporting during setup. For Thread devices, the network commissioning cluster includes attributes to communicate the devices’ Thread version and supported features.

Timestamps of events can be synchronised across devices, even if an individual device doesn’t support time synchronisation.

An extended beaconing period allows devices to beacon or advertise for longer periods, providing users with a larger time window to commission their devices for the first time.

Several clusters have undergone revisions, including basic information, channel, door lock, general diagnostics, media playback, network commissioning, power source and thermostat clusters.

New tooling eases alignment between the Matter specification and SDK functions. The tooling makes it easier to develop standardised clusters. It also promotes interoperability as the tooling is applied to eliminate inconsistencies between the technical spec and the Matter SDK, improving the consistency of implementations.

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