If you a lot of Samsung devices in your home, the company announced that your Galaxy smartphone, Samsung TV, and even your Samsung-made fridge can all act as controllers for smart home gadgets that will support the Matter standard. It doesn’t matter quite yet, as the new smart home standard won’t launch until 2022. But until then, you can build out your home with the Samsung SmartThings ecosystem knowing it’ll work with all the other smart home stuff.
Samsung announced support for Matter as part of its annual developer conference, and it’s not the only company on board. Google and Amazon-owned Eero recently announced they were preparing their devices to be Matter-compatible at launch, too.
“Adding Matter support into the SmartThings platform will only broaden the choices of devices to connect as Matter-enabled devices flood into the market next year,” Jaeyeon Jung, who oversees SmartThings at Samsung Electronics, said in a press release announcing the move.
SmartThings will allow you to set up and control those smart home devices. For instance, if all you had was the Samsung fridge—maybe one of those colorful new bespoke ones—you could use the SmartThings app on its giant touchscreen display to run the evening routine for your smart lights.
However, you’ll still need a border router, which acts as a bridge between the Matter devices and the internet. It’s a prerequisite for any Thread-based mesh network, and that’s what links the Matter standard. But any device with wifi and ethernet connectivity can provide this ability, and if you have a mesh router with Thread baked in like the Eero, you should be good to go. Matter also utilizes wifi, Ethernet, and Bluetooth LE.
Samsung’s SmartThings is also joining the Thread Group board of directors, where it joins companies like Apple, Google, Lutron, Qualcomm, and Yale.
There’s still so much to learn about Matter. It’s difficult to gauge how game-changing the technology will become or whether it will fix the issues with managing a smart home. Though it’s encouraging to see there’s actual work going on behind the scenes, all of this is to ensure that once Matter is live, people will want to buy more smart home gadgets because they’ll all (hopefully) work seamlessly together.