By now, some or many of you may have heard of the new Smart Home standard, Matter, which is supposed to finally allow all smart home devices to work with one another. The reason I’m saying “supposed to” is because it’s not there yet but well under way. A lot of companies have in the past few months officially released their Matter integrations but far from all of the members have done so.
Let’s start with why Matter is a big deal.
Imagine going to an orchestra that does not have a conductor, it would be quite chaotic where every musician would be playing differently from one another. That’s pretty much how the Smart Home has been, without a conductor dictating how everyone should be playing with each other.
Every Smart Home device has had its own list of devices that they support. Many companies, organizations and communities have tried to create “the ultimate ecosystem” such as Alexa, Google Home, HomeKit, SmartThings and ZigBee just to name a few(!).
Making products compatible with most ecosystems has been a lot of work, especially for us at Flic. We could probably say that supporting HomeKit took 6-7 years because we first had to push Apple to even implement support for button inputs. When Apple finally released support for buttons it took about a year to go through the implementation and certification process. Unfortunately HomeKit still doesn’t allow a product to dim a light.
Google Home never opened up to allowing button inputs, for some reason they just didn’t want to support physical triggers. We tried for many years but without luck.
Amazon started supporting physical triggers with their Alexa devices, we implemented it as soon as it was released and it was a very appreciated feature amongst our users.
And now Matter has become the long awaited conductor making sure that all Matter compliant devices play by the same rules no matter what system you currently use at home. All of the big companies are behind Matter and supporting it.
In other words, let’s say you are using HomeKit and have smart bulbs that are only compatible with HomeKit. Those smart bulbs are actually not possible to dim with a physical accessory via HomeKit, however once those smart bulbs release Matter support they can suddenly be dimmed thanks to Matter instead.
The same thing goes for a smart bulb that you have within your Google Home ecosystem which is not able to receive button inputs. When those smart bulbs support Matter you will be able to control them via Matter.
By making sure that a Matter compliant device (or soon to be Matter compliant device) is purchased you are future proofing your purchase. This is great news for everyone who has products from companies that are committed to Matter.
But Matter is still in its early stages, there’s a lot of improvements that will be done and a lot of features to be added and there will be for many years to come. It will probably take some time before we can fully benefit and understand how big of a deal Matter truly is but we will probably start seeing more in 2024.
Ever since we started Flic, we have been committed to not only supporting as many devices as possible but simplifying the interaction with those devices. All Flic products will receive support for Matter as a software update, even our first generation Flic which first started shipping 8 years ago will support Matter via the Flic Hubs.
How will Flic work with Matter
Going back to the orchestra example, if every device in your Smart Home is a musician then the conductor is the Matter Controller which makes sure that all devices play nice with each other. Some of the Matter Controllers out there are Alexa devices, Apple HomePod, Google Nest and SmartThings Hubs.
With Flic Twist we have created some amazing new features such as Smart Dimming, Advanced Dimming, Scene Blender and Selector that we want our users to enjoy with their Matter devices.
With that being said, our primary focus is to make a Matter Controller. In other words being the conductor of the orchestra. By being the conductor of the Smart Home we can allow Flic users to use the amazing Twist features with all Matter enabled devices.
Many of our users have been asking us why we haven’t released Matter support for Flic yet, it’s simply because the Matter protocol development and deployment has not been as quick and smooth as everyone hoped. The Matter 1.0 release was postponed 4 times and it’s understandable given how big of a project it is but this has also delayed the Matter implementation not just for Flic but for many member companies.
Our target is still to finish the Matter implementation with testing in Q4 2023 and a public release in Q1 2024. Matter will be released as a software update to all Flic Hub owners.
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