Google has outlined how it will integrate its Nest products and Android operating system with the Matter smart home communication standard.
We recently wrote about how Matter is the new name for Project CHIP, a wireless smart home communications standard that aims to help Internet-of-Things devices talk to each other.
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First of all, Google says how Matter will be supported on all of its devices with Thread, another wireless communication standard, built in. This includes the Nest Wi-Fi, Nest Hub Max and new, second-generation Next Hub smart display.
Google also says how the latest Nest Thermostat will receive an update to give it Matter support too. This means, for the first time, the thermostat can be controlled on other Matter-certified platforms – it could even mean controlling your Nest thermostat via Siri or Alexa, given Apple and Amazon are also involved with Matter. So far, it hasn't been possible to control Nest thermostats with Apple's HomeKit; hopefully with Matter this will change.
Google says Matter support will be added to these Nest devices via a software update, but doesn't give a timeline as to when that will arrive.
Interestingly, Google is also bringing Matter support to its Android smartphone operating system. Michele Turner, senior director of Google's smart home division, said: "Android will be one of the leading operating systems with built-in support for Matter, letting you quickly set up devices with Google and link your favorite Android apps."
Google says how Matter devices can be set up with just a few taps of an Android handset. Doing this will give users the ability to control their smart home devices with Matter-enabled Android apps, the Google Assistant, the Google Home app, Android Power Controls, and other compatible Google devices.
"It also allows over one billion Android devices to enable simple setup and control all Matter-certified products...The bottom line: Matter devices will work everywhere your Google smart home does." Turner added.
Ultimately, the addition of Matter to Google and Nest devices means it will be easier to set up new Matter-certified smart home devices. By the sounds of it, this will even be possible using the Android operating system natively, instead of keeping through the hoops of device manufacturer's own applications.
Matter could also lead to Thread-enabled devices that don't currently work with Android, such as Apple HomeKit-exclusive products like those from Eve, working with the Google Home ecosystem.
Like other smart home standards such as Z-Wave, Matter will act as a seal of approval to help buyers of IoT devices know that what they are buying is secure and reliable. The Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA), which is behind the Matter standard, is an organization of hundreds of companies creating and maintaining global standards for IoT devices and networks.
As well as big names like Apple, Amazon and Google, companies involved with the Matter networking standard also include Comcast, Eve, Huawei, Nanoleaf, Schlage, Signify, SmartThings and Somfy, among others.
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