Home automation is still a mess and it won’t get better anytime soon

Home automation remains a hobby of the informed technophile and the situation is not ready to improve. A standard supposed to bring all our devices together on a unified communication protocol has just been postponed until next year.

It’s always a mess in the connected home. The development, in recent years, of more and more connected objects supposed to make your daily life easier has been accompanied by a multiplication of standards. Most connected light bulbs, occupancy sensors or locks connected to the Internet use their own communication protocols and require the download of a dedicated application. As a result, it is not easy to create a home automation environment worthy of the name.

The dream of a standard that is long in coming

Unfortunately, the situation is not likely to improve quickly. The Matter project (formerly Chip), which is supposed to unify all our objects under a single protocol, has just announced that the first version of its tool will not see the light of day before the first half of 2022 at least. The first compatible gadgets were technically expected this year.

We have updated these go-to-market plans to ensure that Matter’s specification, certification and testing tools, and of course the SDK, are stable, can be deployed at scale, and meet market expectations. in terms of quality and interoperability ยป, Explains Tobin Richardson, CEO of Matter.

Matte labeled products
Matter labeled products which will have to wait until 2022 // Source: Zigbee Alliance

Supported by Apple, Google, Amazon, Ikea, Legrand or Signify (Philips Hue), the Matter standard has very big ambitions. Concretely, if the builders play along, it would be possible to make each element of your connected home interact with each other, regardless of the brand. No need to tinker with alternative solutions to make your connected outlet work with its motion sensor so that the coffee starts to flow as soon as you get out of bed. A single box would be enough for your gadgets to chat together harmoniously.

Home automation is still chaotic

Developing such a solution is a challenge. The development kit, which must allow all manufacturers to connect to the universal system, must offer an interface capable of connecting to a host of different devices that manage very diverse aspects of the home automation environment. Moreover, the Covid-19 pandemic did not help. Many companies have joined the working group in recent months, aware that the massive use of teleworking would undoubtedly push individuals to equip themselves with home automation accessories, to improve their living spaces.

It will still be necessary to check for some time which connected speaker or which home automation box each product you buy can connect to. A situation that is unlikely to encourage the public to embark on the world of home automation. You can’t imagine a phone not being able to call another, because they don’t use the same technologies. Home automation needs the appearance of a standard to really simplify and become more democratic.

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