Q2 2023 Newsletter: Letter from the Executive Director

A Look at Matter

We want to wish the CSA deep congrats on getting the Matter 1.1 protocol to market. After two decades as the sherpa of the smart home market, it’s great to see our bandwagon growing. As always, Z-Wave Alliance is deeply committed to the global smart home market, we continue to believe that cooperation between Z-Wave and Matter will be pivotal in unlocking the full potential of the smart home. Given the expansive existing install base of Z-Wave and the importance of wireless communication on the sub-GHz band, it will be Matter and Z-Wave bridging that plays a key role in connecting Matter devices to both legacy and new Z-Wave devices.

For the promise of industry-wide interoperability to be realized, the monumental number of existing devices across countless installations and large ecosystems already serving the market must be compatible with emerging ones. True interoperability requires the inclusion of the hundreds of millions of existing devices already in the market. With 4228 certified devices including Z-Wave Long Range and Z-Wave Mesh end devices and hubs from hundreds of brands, spanning multiple generations of silicon, the Z-Wave ecosystem is the largest interoperable sub-GHz catalogue of smart home devices in the market.

Both the Z-Wave Alliance and its members, many of whom are also CSA members, are completely aligned in the goal of advancing the smart home market. As Matter matures, solutions like bridges, which will serve to connect multi-protocol devices, become ever more necessary. Both organizations, and the members within, strive for interoperability.

“Having championed interoperability for the past several decades, the Z-Wave Alliance rallies behind the shared mission and stands ready to collaborate with Matter to further actualize both the promise and value of the connected home,” shared Z-Wave Alliance Executive Director Mitch Klein.

What does Matter mean for Z-Wave?

Z-Wave has long been considered the leading smart home protocol for battery life, interoperability, and performance, and will continue to be a leader in the market. Z-Wave owns more than 95% market share in the smart security market, and over 25% of the smart sensor market for the smart home. As the market continues to grow, deployment and adoption of Z-Wave will continue to flourish in both residential and commercial applications. Smart home devices that use a hub, a popular solution for both remote access and cloud control, can be “bridged” so that their connected devices can be controlled in a smart home platform. Multi-protocol hubs with Z-Wave + Matter will bring connectivity to existing and new Z-Wave devices as well as new Matter devices.

Since there are thousands of legacy and current Z-Wave devices in market, this offers consumers the greatest choice, and allows them to work with products and brands they prefer. As of May 2023, the following device categories are supported in Matter, and matter has more than >1000 devices in market that work with other Matter devices.

  • Light bulbs and light switches.
  • Plugs and outlets, locks.
  • Thermostats and other HVAC controllers
  • Blinds and shades; sensors (motion, contact)
  • Televisions and streaming video players
  • Wireless access points; and bridges.

It is important to note, the individuals will need a Matter controller for each smart home platform they use; an Apple HomePod or Apple TV for Apple Home, a Google Nest Hub for Google Home, and an Amazon device for Alexa. Every major smart home platform has updated its existing hubs and smart speakers to make them Matter controllers. Some controllers are also Thread border routers, which you will need if you add any Thread devices to your home. Looking ahead, some devices will work with Matter after a firmware update. Others won’t ever be compatible. It is best to check in with manufacturers about specific devices and future support.

Matter wants to bring interoperability but with the goal of making it easier to introduce new devices into a smart home environment and bring a common ground that allows big brands to play well with others. All the Matter-compatible devices you can buy now, plus what’s coming soon to the new smart home standard can be found in the CSA Certified Products Search that is Available here.

Interoperability has been a core tenet of the Z-Wave Alliance since inception. Through development and a robust certification program, the certified Z-Wave product ecosystem exceeds 4,200 devices across different generations of silicon that work seamlessly with each other. All of the Z-Wave Certified Devices can be found here.

What is missing? We are all anxiously awaiting a Z-Wave and Matter hub, and a certification program that synergizes across protocols to give the market the interoperability it deserves. As the long-standing smart home protocol leader for battery life, interoperability, and performance, Z-Wave is primed to leverage its legacy of innovation to continue expanding the smart home market alongside new allies. Here at the Alliance, we believe that interoperability among all platforms is critical to the long-term success of a connected world. We invite you to join in our mission.

Contact administration@z-wavealliance.org to learn about getting involved with the Z-Wave Alliance.

For more Q2 Newsletter content, check our the Member Corner here!

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