What Does Google Support for Matter Smart Home Protocol Mean?

Google to use the Matter smart home protocol across all Nest devices. What does that mean for professional integrators?

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The unveiling of the new smart home protocol dubbed “Matter” means there are questions likely to arise from customers that integrators need to be ready to discuss. So what do you need to know when you get asked, “What’s the Matter?” (pun intended) along with other developments from Google and more specifically Nest.

Google laid it all out in a comprehensive blog about Matter written by Michele Turner, senior director for Google Smart Home. According to Turner, “There are nine smart devices in the average smart home — in 2016, there were only three. While this is explosive growth, the industry is still evolving. Selecting the right devices or connecting them with the ones you already have can be frustrating. It’s up to us to simplify the smart home, and to start we must change the way device makers build products. There should be one standard that simplifies selection, setup and control, and makes it easy for our partners to create products and experiences for your home.”

The goal of Matter is to become the single smart home protocol for the entire industry. As such, Google is going to use the protocol for its Android and Nest products.

“Nest is committed to making our devices connect better and respond faster,” writes Turner. “Thread, a technology we cofounded in 2014 that helps smart home devices work faster and more securely, will work in conjunction with Matter. Devices with Thread built-in, like Nest Wifi, Nest Hub Max and the second-generation Nest Hub will become connection points for Matter devices, creating even stronger, faster connections across your home.

“All Nest displays and speakers, like the Nest Hub and Nest Mini, will be automatically updated to control Matter devices, giving you faster and more reliable experiences whether they use Wi-Fi, Thread or ethernet,” adds Turner. “Plus, we’ll update the newest Nest Thermostat to support Matter – meaning for the first time it can be controlled on other platforms that have certified with Matter.”

Google is not stopping with Matter. The company has unveiled a new smart home directory for all Google Assistant-compatible devices, along with educational videos. The company has also added support for WebRTC, “an open-source communications protocol that reduces latency for an improved live video and audio streaming experience between security cameras, video doorbells, smart displays and mobile device,” says Turner.

Lastly, Google is improving Home & Away Routines, enabling automatic control of Nest cameras, Nest thermostats, smart lights, smart plugs and smart switches. The Away Routine can allow users to automatically turn on Nest cameras and turn off the lights and plugs. When the homeowner arrive back home, the Home Routine can turn off the cameras and turn on the lights. 

About the Author

Jason Knott
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Jason Knott:

Jason Knott is Chief Content Officer for Emerald's Connected Brands. Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990, serving as editor and publisher of Security Sales & Integration. He joined CE Pro in 2000 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of that brand. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He has been a member of the CEDIA Business Working Group since 2010. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California.

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GoogleGoogle NestNest