Matter 1.1: Empowering Developers and Elevating Device Capabilities
The Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA) has given its approval for the latest version of the Matter smart home standard, marking a significant step forward in the development of the standard. The CSA has committed to regularly releasing new versions of the specifications to address any errors and expand the functionality of Matter. These updates are scheduled to occur twice a year. While some may have expected major advancements and support for new product groups with the release of Matter 1.0 in October 2022, the subsequent version jump to 1.1 indicates a focus on maintenance updates and bug fixes, rather than groundbreaking innovations.
With Matter 1.1, the CSA aims to simplify the work for developers and address a specific issue related to certain Matter products appearing offline. This problem particularly affects Intermittently Connected Devices (ICDs) that connect to the network intermittently to conserve energy. Although these products are not widely available yet, the resolution of this issue is crucial for their future performance. However, despite the progress made with Matter, there are still challenges to overcome. Six months after the initial release of the smart home standard, many aspects remain unfinished. Manufacturers have implemented features such as the Multi-Admin-Mode inconsistently, leading to confusion among users and undermining the initial promise of simplified device installation. Potential buyers are left wondering where to find compatible devices and how to effectively utilize them. There are also questions surrounding the choice of Border Routers for a Thread network and discrepancies between Android and iOS compatibility. These issues primarily stem from implementation challenges faced by individual manufacturers rather than the CSA’s responsibility for the standard itself. The lack of a cohesive user experience is a concern as industry giants like Amazon, Apple, Google, and SmartThings each design their own setup and prioritize their own unique features. As a result, a seamless transition or integration between different system environments is not currently a top priority for these companies.