Matter receives first update

  • May 22, 2023
  • Steve Rogerson

The Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA) has updated the Matter smart home standard.

Last week’s release of Matter 1.1 aims to create an improved path forward for developers. The updates should make it easier for device makers and developers to get started with Matter, and to certify products they’ve developed more easily and get them to users faster. It also enhances support for battery-operated devices.

One of the benefits and differentiators of Matter is its publicly available specification and open-source SDK that allows all developers to work from a common specification and code base. It is important those tools are easy to work with, so the CSA says it has taken feedback and learning from members and early developers, and made clarifications and clean-up to the specification. This should make it easier for developers to understand and use the specification. It’s also easier for developers to contribute to the Matter specification, with better guidance for contributing support for new device types.

When it comes time for testing and certifying devices, enhancements to testing automation make it easier for device makers to pre-qualify their products and verify they will pass certification. This is also an improvement for authorised testing laboratories (ATLs) with improved automation making testing more efficient and comprehensive.

Matter 1.1 enhances support for a category of devices that apply to many smart home products and are known as intermittently connected devices (ICDs). Sometimes called sleepy devices, these are typically battery-powered devices such as contact, motion and temperature sensors as well as door locks and switches that need to conserve power for optimal operation and lifespan. The additional support reduces the likelihood a device will be reported as offline when users or platforms interact with it. These improvements mean developers should find it easier to optimise their products and create better user experiences. 

These enhancements are now included in the Matter SDK and API.

Since the release of Matter 1.0 in October 2022, there have been 18,000 downloads of the specification with 1135 products certified by the alliance. Matter’s momentum has resulted in more than 60 members joining the alliance since the specification’s release.

“These statistics demonstrate we are well on the way to the future we envision for the IoT, where Matter aims to solve problems for security, connectivity, innovation, complexity and trust,” said a CSA statement.

The alliance has also announced an interoperability testing facility (ITF) in Portland, Oregon, for Matter products. This facility provides interoperability testing services to members of the alliance developing Matter products for certification. It includes Matter controllers, hubs and end devices configured to check the most typical sets of devices and installation configurations found in residential settings.

Interop testing goes further than the specification compliance testing performed for certification purposes. It enables checking of product behaviour and user experience in real-life settings with various products, hubs and controllers across different brands, and in different network configurations, including mobile apps and controller interactions, providing feedback to device, app and platform makers.

“With this first post-launch release, our members have focused on making Matter easier to use and get products to market, and with the exciting launch of our ITF, supporting the continuous improvement of the experience users have with those products,” said the CSA statement.