Why it MATTERs (see what i did there)

MATTER Interview with Michelle Mindala-Freeman , head of Marketing at CSA.

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For me this rasies the question; Will Hubitat become a part of/compatible with the Matter protocol?

I think they'll wait till starts to become more firmly entrenched. I think it's still going to be a number of years before manufacturers start implementing it. Obviously the crew at hubitat have more insight because of their own plans for HE and research.

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That is what I keep saying, and nobody seems to believe it. There is no incentive for all these cheap (typically Chinese) devices to switch to Matter. And nobody can change their firmware immediately, it will take some time and testing if a firmware update might magically make a device talk Matter.

Who says a manufacturer won't just wait and put out a new product instead of revising a current one? And I suspect there will be FCC or other regulatory testing with these new chips/firmwares, especially if new devices are involved.

There are many people who are banking on Matter being widespread this Fall, or even next Summer. They will be very disappointed when this doesn't happen.

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If it wasn't for the fact that the Zigbee Alliance is no more, I would feel the same way. But the fact that they have already reinvented themselves into the Connectivity Standards Alliance means that any new certified Zigbee device will be using Matter. So I do expect many new devices coming out by next summer. All of the major players in the Zigbee world really won't have a choice going forward AND it gives them a chance to have everyone upgrade their devices!

This isn't just a new protocol, Zigbee is dead - long live Matter. Unlike when Insteon tried to break in to the market, Matter has some serious backing (Google, Apple, etc.). The marketing will be crazy and every two bit device manufacture will want to get on board. And as far as the consumer is concerned, most won't know what's really going on - they will just know that it works with Google Hub or Homekit, they will be in remote control (not home automation) heaven!

Only time will tell.

Just my two cents. :grin:

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I am totally unfamiliar with the hardware requirements for Matter, however, it appears to me, that there are significant hardware requirements in terms of a chip which will support tcp/ip, zigbee, etc..
Google/Apple/Amazon really don't care - they will just markup the chips, and this will raise the cost of consumer HA significantly (IMHO). Time will tell, but this behaviour is fairly typical of these companies.
Don't you agree?

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I would temper expectations. Matter is an application layer, making a bold promise that is unproven at present. You note that about 5 min into the interview, she confirms that this is a device to ecosystem campaign. It is not an effort to make the ecosystems talk, and you can be certain that the corporations behind this don’t want that either. The data collection is their primary objective. They are not benevolent.

Think of this as a “Works with …” program like the former from Nest and Wink. Apple has already signaled that their version of Matter may not be compatible with other implementations. You can hear that type of verbiage throughout that interview and all the others I’ve heard to date as well, “It may work” “it should work”, “it is intended to…” So there you go, the incompatible universal compatibility standard is emerging. :joy:

Matter is not a communications standard, and it is not a protocol. So what you have here with Hubitat already is actually of more value. You have a private and local hub that is compatible with a large list of devices. All Matter is promising is that a consumer can buy a product with their logo and it will work with an ecosystem that is Matter compatible, instead of having to look at a compatibility list beforehand.

The connectivity standard alliance and Matter are not promising that they will support a device that has problems connecting. The bold statement that it will just work is about as a valuable as someone making the bold statement that just because a device is Z-wave or Zigbee, it will just work. This is of course false, and because Matter is unproven, those kind of statements also do not have validity. You can be certain that there is a certification fee and ongoing membership fee that companies will also need to pay in order to have that Matter logo. And you can also be certain that if for any reason it doesn’t work, the CSA are not going to help. The ball will be entirely in the manufacturer’s court just as it is now with Zigbee, Z-Wave, Bluetooth and WiFi.

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I agree. :+1:

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@JDRoberts has a thread on SmartThings community that covers a fair bit.
https://community.smartthings.com/t/matter-smart-home-connectivity-standard-formerly-project-chip/180934/82

Perhaps the most current interesting thing is that Apple is building Matter into iOS 15. And any app on iOS will be able to connect/control a Matter device that is connected via an Apple hub.

He provides this link to an interesting state of the knowns and unknowns.

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I just have zero faith in all of these companies playing nice. They have tried to hard over years now trying to keep from working together. If there is anything this is just about control, and not about helping the platform.

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To summarize, matter will make Zigbee become more like ZWAVE. No more cheap devices, just more expensive (formerly) cheap devices.

Not to mention with Google and Amazon being involved, they will likely require a cloud integration so they can mine your data.

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You realize that Zigbee certification isn't free? And that CSA is the new name for the Zigbee Alliance?

And that Zigbee isn't going away? So you'll be able to keep buying your slightly quirky almost works but at least they're cheap Zigbee devices?

And that there is no more and no less requirement for cloud connection than exists today? Google and Amazon already track all your Hubitat connected devices even if they're Z-Wave or Zigbee. In fact Matter enables more local control than exists today.

Obviously there are still a lot of unknowns. But it seems like devices will be available within less than a year. Apple seems to be getting ready for the new devices by the fall. Hopefully the project delivers on the customer benefits.

I have a dedicated hub for cloud stuff and only expose certain "hubmeshed" devices and groups to Amazon. Even if I inadvertently exposed everything (which is scarily easy to do) it would only be whatever else is on the cloud hub like my Lutron devices.

For Node-RED Alexa-cakebread nodes I am only trapping events and sending some basic commands.

I realize of course everything I do via Amazon is being recorded for datamining, monetization, and possibly manipulation.

Is there another way that they access things that I'm missing?

I don't know and I mostly don't care. I run a pi-hole and see lots of stuff getting filtered from Echo devices. Amazon doesn't have a police force so it's not clear to me how them having my information and running through algorithms to sell me more stuff has much downside. FWIW the Amazon employees I know, a couple fairly senior, all have Echos.

The companies to worry about are the cell phone companies. They sell your data more historically unscrupulously to 3rd parties that then go on to sell the data to government entities (that do have police forces) that can't legally get the data directly from the cell phone companies.

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Because I just don't know, indeed cannot know (proprietary company IP or some such) for certain what purposes my personal information is being and will be used I am always concerned. Prefer to start from a known point of no tracking and work up from there.

Apologies on "side-tracking" :wink: things.

I think it kind of depends on China / the Chinese manufacturers to some extent. If they keep making cheap stuff and we keep buying it seems like it will be hard thing to get around - after all they have their own HA hubs as well. Market will be as fragmented as it ever was.

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But it has been cheaper than Zwave. The Zwave certification is often cited as the reason for the Zwave price disparity. To be clear the Current Zwave Alliance membership and certification costs are significantly higher (for manufacturers and device developers).

I'm not the one that said the ZigBee was dead, that was further up.
I generally agree with the narrative this is a marketing scheme, lipstick on a pig as it were. Notice that CSA page links to ZIGBEE developer resources, not MATTER.

But we REALLY don't know yet what the end result or requirements will be or how they will evolve in the future as Amazon, Apple, Google, etc. have input to how the standard will mature. All we really know at this point is conceptual. As you said (and I agree), there are a lot of unknowns. But what we do know is Google and Amazon don't "Give" anything away. They will figure out a way to mine additional data out of these devices.

I don't necessarily disagree, however you are making an assumption that every one uses one or the other cloud connected service such as Google home or Alexa. If someone has only local devices without any outside cloud integrations, then they have no way to do that.

As do I. I have never been under the impression that it it wasn't. That being said I "trust" Amazon (slightly) more than Google. Most of the Cloud integrations I do have, I could easily do without. As a matter of fact I have added and removed Rachio and Ecobee, as I just don't find the need to integrate them to be that important or beneficial. The lone exception is Alexa, and truth be known "I" could do without it, but that is the only thing that keeps the WAF high. If I could find a non-cloud alternative (I'm watching mycroft), I would dump Alexa in a moment.

I tend to agree with this statement, with the caveat that everyone is still clamoring about supply chain disruptions, alleged shipping delays and heightened shipping costs, these will all tend to slow that down. It will be interesting to see how it unfolds, but I suspect the final outcome will be far different from what many are expecting today.

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This is one of the reasons i was looking for more of a Thread push instead. Open source, free, and easily built into any iot device. This would do everything I think matter would and no cloud needed

Don't be so quick to make that assumption.

You may want to read up on the (Amazon) "Ring Doorbell Camera", and its very intimate relationship with police departments. A pi-hole is a very good idea to keep tabs on "smart devices" phoning home.

Also, FYI, the police can very easily get data directly from cell-phone companies, with the latest twist being the "Reverse Search Warrant" or "GeoFence Warrant", where all phones that appeared in a certain area at a certain time are listed by the telco, due to their constant "pinging" of cell towers to find the one with the strongest signal. Clearly, the number of phones at both location (a) and location (b) is small, and can narrow down suspects if there is are specific known times and locations that can be connected with a crime.

But its not just the telcos, Google and Apple also track location, and if not disabled, this "feature" can provide your data in response to the same kind of warrant resulting in you becoming a "suspect".

All this may seem a trivial risk to the average joe, as criminals would be very likely to leave cellphones at home when committing crimes, but this same data has been used to charge protestors at legal protests, so you can see where it might all go. The short story is that "nothing to hide" is a very silly argument when it extends to tracking one's movements 24x7. As a general rule, law-abiding people still have blinds or curtains to avoid putting themselves on public display, and one need only leave a tiny penknife in their pocket in error to find out at the airport what a transgression this has become in specific contexts.

So, turn off location history, "Google Sensorvault", and never put Facebook on a phone, and use WiFi-based presence detection, preferably with keyfobs rather than cellphones, and if going to a peace march, put the phone in airplane mode before you get there.

But a pi-hole is perhaps the best defense for someone who wants to keep their at-home network traffic private, followed by use of encrypted DNS services.

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Matter talks IP on Thread, WiFi, and Bluetooth radios. They're separate but work together.

Your key word is warrant. In the past government agencies have bypassed warrant requirements via purchasing cell phone location data from 3rd party aggregators.

And don't forget to add credit card companies to the list of companies selling your information without your knowledge. Can't get out of that one easily either.

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