Thing —the future smart home standard, which will help combine the separate smart home systems of Google, Apple and Amazon into a single functional standard — has been postponed again sometime until 2022, Tobin Richardson, CEO of Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA) announced in a blog post.
While Matter itself has a “full specification of features,” the team has yet to complete the development of an SDK and certification program that will allow developers to obtain both existing and new hardware that is officially marked Matter-approved. While the original goal was to complete much of the work this year, and the first Matter-certified equipment will be commissioned by the end of 2021, the new schedule will sometimes postpone it vaguely to the first half of 2022.
We may still see some Matter updates earlier in 2022 for existing products such as Philips Hue (which has already promised comprehensive support for its smart light standard). By smart home expert Stacey HigginbothamHowever, the delay means that the first new Matter-compatible devices are likely to hit the market in the second half of 2022 at the earliest.
As Higginbotham reports, Richardson explained the delay was due to several factors, including the addition of multiple companies to Matter, the new delta variant wave of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and the simple fact that establishing a complex, multi-device connection is a difficult standard in this way.
Given the number of players and the complexity of building a system that combines smart home products not only from Apple, Google, and Amazon, but also from more than 200 different companies, it’s easy to see why the Matter team is taking things slowly. But it also means that anyone who hopes the standard will make it easier to install a smart home will have to wait at least a few months (at least) before things start to evolve.