Smart home with broader compatibility is coming, why does this Matter?

What are the benefits of a smart home?

Once set up, smart homes can help you save time as things can be automated, which in turn saves energy and money in the long term. You can also control your smart devices remotely so you know you’re always in full control, even when you’re not home.

  • Smart home technology can make your home safe, secure and energy efficient

  • You can control appliances and energy usage through your phone

  • Choose a smart home ecosystem and smart speaker to lay the foundations for your smart home

  • Add smart appliances or just start with smart plugs to turn ordinary items into smart ones

How to ensure your smart devices are compatible?

Generally creating a smart home from devices of the same brand ecosystem, that have known compatibility or certification between each other is normally a safe bet. Some manufactures have been making devices compatible for a broad range of smart ecosystems, whereas others might just support one ecosystem.

If you are looking to upgrade to a smart home our advice is to get something you know works and meets you needs today. Not on the promise of future updates.

Having said that Matter is a new standard protocol that will allow smart devices to communicate with each other beyond their original ecosystems, this means that Apple HomeKit devices can work with Amazon Alexa and you won’t necessarily need a hub. Matter is due to launch by the end of 2022 and some manufactures have promised to update some of their compatible smart devices.

Who is on board and why does it Matter?

Matter is using existing technology such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Ethernet and Thread for devices to communicate with each other. (Thread was developed by Nest before Google bought them and is really efficient for low energy consumption between smart devices). A lot of existing devices can easily be updated to support the universal technology.

Some big companies in the smart home segment are backing Matter including; Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Nest, Philips Hue and Samsung SmartThings, to name a few that most people might be familiar with.

Security & Privacy.

With Matter security updates can be remotely applied and security is of utmost importance, this alleviates a lot of the potential security flaws with existing smart devices, especially those from smaller companies that may not always send out timely updates or at all.

Privacy will still come down to the individual manufacturer, Matter is just a way they communicate and your data will not be held by Matter, you will still need to read privacy policies from the likes of Amazon and Apple to see how your data is being held.

What are the best smart devices?

We won’t be mentioning any brands or specifics, however this will give you an idea of the benefits of various smart devices.

Thermostat, bulbs and plugs: These smart devices allow you to automate aspects of your home such as your heating, when it turns on/off and have remote access when you’re away. It’s the same for smart bulbs and smart plugs essentially allow you to do the same for non-smart devices. This can all help you save energy.

Cameras, doorbells, locks, smoke and CO detectors: With a general focus on home security and safety you can monitor your home and even communicate with people at your door when away. You will get notifications when your devices notice anything and you can act accordingly.

Smart speakers: Arguably one of the most well known and popular smart devices, these can allow you to control lighting, thermostats and generally any other smart devices with your voice, they also come in useful for music, internet radio, asking general questions or for news and weather updates. Smart speakers also mean you can reach for your phone less often and they are generally quite affordable so you can have a few dotted around your home.

Smart TV: Chances are your current TV is actually a smart TV? If not you can often add smart features with devices from Amazon, Apple or Google. What are the benefits of a smart TV besides streaming services? You can share photos, videos and other media from your phone on the big screen and even monitor your smart security system. Smart TVs also have the benefit of working with just an internet connection if you are every having signal issues.

Having a smart home can also add value to your home buyers are looking for homes that are ready to move into, but at the end of the day it’s your home and you can add the smart features you feel will benefit you the most.