Matter 1.2 Update Offers More Smart Categories

Today, The CSA released an update for the Matter standard for manufacturers, bringing a slew of new categories to the smart home, albeit with some already existing in legacy platforms. A total of nine categories have been added to the existing ones, which now allows companies to deploy Matter into the following product lines;

Refrigerators (which could also include freezers)
Air Conditioners (standalone or fitted)
Washing machines (dryers will be supported later)
Robot vacuums
Smoke/CO alarms *
Air quality sensors *
Air Purifiers *
Standing fans *

* already supported in HomeKit

From the outset, it’s important to note that whilst these are supported categories, some features will still require the relevant companies’ own apps. This would especially be the case with robot vacuums, where floor mapping wouldn’t be a supported feature in Apple Home, for example.

It should also be stated that simply because your home has a robot vacuum, getting it updated to support Matter is less likely to happen unless it is a very recent model capable of supporting the relevant firmware update.

On this note, it’s almost certain that newer versions of devices you might own will be debuting next year (at CES 2024 no doubt) with Matter emblazoned everywhere.

On the subject of devices already supported in Apple HomeKit, when it comes to sensors, it would seem the will be a wider variety of them covered via Matter, like ozone, for example. Some of the air quality measurements are already covered in a general way with VOC sensors that already exist, so formaldehyde would be covered under VOCs, although it would be interesting to see that separated out from general readings.

The real boost from this update probably lies with the first four categories listed, where previously, HomeKit users had to get quite inventive when it came to being notified of the end of a washing cycle, with Aqara vibration sensors being one workaround.

It’s good news, although why cameras and video doorbells are still not mentioned, is a mystery…

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