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Smart home alliance from Apple, Amazon, and Google now called ‘Matter,’ first products coming this year

Back in 2019, Apple, Amazon, and Google teamed up with the Zigbee Alliance to announce the “CHIP” alliance for promoting smart home devices that work across multiple platforms. As the first devices certified by this alliance are expected to hit stores in 2021, the companies behind “CHIP” announced today that the project will have a new name: Matter.

In order to get Matter’s certification, the product needs to adopt a new royalty-free standard that makes it compatible with Amazon’s Alexa Smart Home, Apple’s HomeKit, and Google’s Weave protocols. The alliance will embrace devices such as smart light bulbs, video doorbells, door locks, smart speakers, and more.

Tobin Richardson, chief executive of Matter, told CNET that every device certified by the new alliance will have a unique logo to indicate that it works with the Apple, Amazon, and Google ecosystems. “He expects the logo to become as ‘ubiquitous’ as the Wi-Fi logo currently is,” says the report.

The Matter logo has three arrows pointing toward the center, representing the partnership of the three companies behind the alliance. Customers will see this logo on the boxes of compatible products and even on the devices themselves once they become available.

“As these different devices become more complex networks, it’s all the more important that they’re all talking the same language,” Richardson said. “That mark will be a helping hand to make sure that you can add whatever lightbulbs, whatever door locks, whatever you want to add.” Richardson made the comment in an interview ahead of a Matter press event on Tuesday.

Concept shows a smart light bulb with the Matter logo. Image: CNET

According to Michelle Mindala-Freeman, head of marketing at Matter, compatible accessories will have setup codes to let users easily pair them on any platform. The main idea of the Matter alliance is to break the barrier between smart home devices so that the user does not have to worry about which platform the accessory is compatible with.

The report says that the first Matter-certified accessories should be available later this year, but a more detailed schedule is still unclear. Developers interested in working with the Matter protocol can check out the GitHub page of the Zigbee Alliance.

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