Matter 1.2 update brings the standard to fridges, ACs, and your robo-vacuum

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It’s been about a year since Matter hit the smart home scene. As we inch towards its first anniversary, the Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA), the organization behind the standard, has launched version 1.2 introducing support for nine new device types and other improvements.

Right now, the CSA is focusing on integrating household appliances including, but not limited to refrigerators, air conditioners, dishwashers, smoke alarms, plus robotic vacuums. The update would allow users to control key functions like the remote start on dishwashers or the ability to monitor the temperature of a wine fridge. What’s more, the added air quality sensor support lets the device “capture and report” any toxic gasses in the vicinity such as carbon dioxide. The full list of supporting hardware can be found on the CSA’s website.

Pending implementation

There is one important caveat to all this: there isn’t a single smart home company at the moment whose products actively support Matter version 1.2. The organization is basically laying down the foundation giving third parties the opportunity to adopt the update whenever they’re ready. The SDK (software development kit) is available for third-party developers to integrate into their devices. 

The good news is there are companies with plans to implement the update. Appliance manufacturer Whirlpool told TheVerge that it’ll roll out “Matter across all its connected products in its brands”. Robot vacuum brand Roborock said Matter support is a “top priority”. Google and Amazon will follow suit too, but as stated in the same report, it’ll be a while until we see official support for version 1.2. Both brands have a vast smart home lineup so it’ll take a long time to get every piece of hardware up to date.

New features

Besides the expansion, the CSA is adding some software features to Matter that will appear in smart home apps. Semantic Tags have been added providing a way to describe the location and function of devices in a network. In the example given, the tags can tell a homeowner what each button does on a remote control. Also, those same gadgets can broadcast their “color and finish” allowing them to stand out more in control apps.

The CSA also teased new Matter products and software patches that will launch later this fall. Then in 2024, the organization promises to roll out another pair of updates “which should add even more device types”. It’s unknown what 2024 will bring to Matter. However, it is worth mentioning that not a single camera supports the standard, so it’s possible we could finally see Matter-enabled security cameras next year. Fingers crossed.

While we’re on the topic, be sure to check out TechRadar’s list of the best home security camera for 2023.

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Matter 1.2 isn’t currently available although certain smart home brands do plan on supporting soon.