Matter is a smart home protocol that lets devices communicate without going to the cloud (unless a device or hub talks to them). It’s designed to work alongside existing standards like Z-Wave, Zigbee and Bluetooth. Its list of partners reads like a who’s who in the industry, including Amazon, Google, Apple, Samsung, Legrand and Schneider Electric.

Unlike most smart home protocols that require a hub to function, Matter uses Wi-Fi and Ethernet, which means you don’t need one to connect devices. However, you do need a device that acts as a Matter controller for setup and communication. That can be any compatible smart speaker or display that supports both Matter and the smart voice assistant you want to use with it, such as an iPhone or iPad running iOS, Android phone or tablet running Android or Google Home app or a Samsung TV or appliance running Tizen or Bixby. Most of the company’s current smart displays and speakers — as well as its second-gen Nest Hub Max, the first-gen Nest Hub and Nest Hello video doorbell — qualify. So do some of its smart plugs and security devices.

The CSA expects many of its existing Z-Wave and Zigbee-based devices to become Matter-compatible, either via an over-the-air update or by relying on a third-party bridge that’s made Matter-certified. The same goes for some legacy Bluetooth devices that rely on their own bridges. For example, Signify, the parent company of Philips Hue, will continue to use its existing Hue Bridge and can add Matter support for its lights with an over-the-air update. matter residences

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