In late 2019, Apple, Amazon, Google, and the Zigbee Alliance announced that they were teaming up to create a new interoperability standard for home automation (see “Apple Teams Up with Rivals to Create Open Smart Home Standard,” 18 December 2019). Stacey Higginbotham reports that the standard now has an official name: Matter. The Zigbee Alliance also has a new name: the Connectivity Standards Alliance.
Matter sounds promising. The partner list includes just about every big company you can think of related to home automation and some you didn’t realize were in that space, like grocery store chain Kroger. The standard is open source, and many of your existing devices will work with it when it’s released later in the year, including Philips Hue bulbs when paired with a hub running the latest software. In theory, you should end up being able to control one of Google’s Nest thermostats with HomeKit or operate a HomeKit-only Eve device with Amazon Alexa.