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Matter 1.3 Update Adds EV Support, Vastly Improves Home Automation Capabilities

The Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA) has unveiled the new 1.3 specification for Matter, adding in support for a variety of new device functions in the home including water and energy management, electric vehicle charging, and media players.

In recent times, energy management and—perhaps to a smaller extent—water management have become major functionalities being discussed within the smart home. From a partnership between Resideo and Ford exploring vehicle to home charging to Samsung exploring integrations with Tesla’s power wall product, the consumption, storage and monitoring of energy in the home has fast become the dominant topic of conversation among both consumers and professionals talking about smart homes.

As part of the 1.3 update, compatible Matter devices will be able to report actual and estimated energy metrics, including power, voltage, current and others in real time, as well as energy consumption.

Alongside these updates come additional provisions for manufacturers of Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) such as EV chargers to include controls for manually starting and stopping charging. Users can even specify the charging rate, or how many miles of range need to be added before a set departure time, leaving the charging station to best optimize the charging to happen during the lowest cost periods possible.

Leak and freeze detectors, rain sensors, and controllable water valves are also included in this update alongside microwave ovens, ovens, cooktops, extractor hoods, and laundry dryers.

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Additionally, Matter 1.3 is said to offer several new improvements to TV functionality, including push messages and dialog support. For example, under update 1.3, a connected TV and dryer can communicate with one another, allowing the user to receive notifications on the TV that their laundry has finished.

Matter Update 1.3 Gives a Major Boost to Home Automation

Perhaps one of the biggest parts of the update is the introduction of scenes. Under update 1.3, devices will be able to store programmable states that can then be tied to multiple over devices, allowing them to switch to each state in synchronicity through a single command. This is accompanied by command batching, which makes it so a Matter controller can now batch multiple commands into a single message sent across Matter devices, further minimizing the delay between device synchronization.

Though commonplace among higher end systems such as Savant or Crestron, scenes and multi-device automations have always been more challenging to execute for DIY and middle market solutions. A lot of this has to do with issues of interoperability between consumer-grade devices alongside the limitations of working on a wireless network. Of course, the lack of required cabling on networks like Matter and Z-Wave have made these platforms far more retrofit friendly and cost-effective.

Expanding the support of new device functions, especially with the inclusion of energy management (which many integrators are now seeing as the next big category in the home) certainly allows the Matter platform to better pitch itself as that lower-cost alternative to the higher end options, which, rather than take away from the luxury market (as has been feared) could help lead to the growth of middle-market integration.

However, despite having been released nearly two years ago at this point, the biggest hurdle that remains for Matter’s potential use by integrators is its issues with interoperability across device families. Following its 1.2 update, CSA announced that it was introducing a new initiative called Ecosystem to Ecosystem that aimed to address the myriad of issues with multi-admin, however, that initiative is still being worked on as of 1.3.

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