On our most recent IoT Podcast episode, Josh called in to the voicemail hotline with a Matter question. He’s moving to a new home soon and has already packed up his smart home gear. That includes Insteon lighting products, Z-Wave devices, and a Samsung SmartThings hub. He’s wondering if he should just sell his “hodgepodge setup of all these different standards“ and get ready for Matter.
This is both the best time and the worst time for Josh to transition his smart home to new standards. Let me explain.
It’s super exciting to hear about the new Matter effort and the freedom of ecosystems that it should provide. But it’s also a bit early to jump on the Matter train from a consumer standpoint because there aren’t yet any Matter-certified products available. We expect the first of those products to appear before year-end. That’s a vague timeline and doesn’t tell Josh exactly what Matter devices he can buy within the next six months, but for now, that’s all of the official information we have.
As a result, we definitely recommend re-using some or all of the smart home gear you already have. I say “some” because if you can live without a device for a while, it may not be worth the trouble to go through the setup process again. That’s a personal choice, however.
Yes, Josh (or someone else in this situation) could certainly just not have a smart home for a while. It’s always an option to sell off or donate your connected devices and live in the dark ages for a while. I’m kidding: It wouldn’t be all that bad to be without a connected home, but it’s not something I’d want to do, personally.
One other interesting tidbit for Josh and any other SmartThings users: We checked with Samsung and their current plan is to support Matter and continue supporting current compatible devices that use the Zigbee and Z-Wave protocols. We don’t have details on exactly how that will happen, although I suspect it will be some type of add-on dongle. We’ll have to see how it plays out.
Lastly, I wanted to point out that I’ve been transitioning from Google Home to Apple HomeKit devices (with Thread support as a priority) for the past several months. The key word here is “transitioning”. I didn’t rip out all of my Google Nest displays, smart speakers, and compatible devices, mainly because I haven’t yet found HomeKit devices to replace everything.
Instead, I’ve been adding new devices one at a time to replace other devices. No, this isn’t ideal since I now have to use multiple apps and/or voice assistants to get the most out of my smart home, but I think it’s better than having limited functionality. To be honest, I’ll probably take the same approach as Matter certified devices become available in the future.
To hear Josh’s question in full, as well as our discussion on the topic, tune in to the IoT Podcast below: