The variety of providers for Smart Home systems is large. The big players include Apple, Amazon and Google. However, if a device works with Apple HomeKit, this does not necessarily mean that it is also compatible with Amazon Alexa. A major challenge in the field of home automation is therefore to find devices that are compatible with the smart home system used.
With Matter, this should now be a thing of the past: the new Smart Home standard creates a basis for controlling devices from different systems together. We regularly receive questions from the Nuki community about this topic. We asked Jürgen Pansy, Chief Innovation Officer and co-founder of Nuki, a few of these questions.
What exactly is Matter?
Jürgen Pansy: Matter is a new Smart Home standard created by the North American Connectivity Standard Alliance. It is made up of more than 400 companies, including Apple, Google and Amazon, as well as the largest European smart home providers such as Signify, Legrand and now Nuki. Simply put, Matter is a uniform language that devices and apps can use regardless of brand or manufacturer. It allows them to communicate with each other and exchange commands. In the future, Matter should make the integration of different devices into one’s own smart home more seamless than before.
Matter currently supports only some of the available smart home products, such as power sockets, light bulbs and switches. This range will be expanded in the future. It also supports smart door locks like Nuki.
We have been working intensively with Matter for some time and have already created a prototype. In the video, we show how an Apple HomePod, a Google Nest Hub, the Nuki Smart Lock, an iPhone and an Android smartphone communicate with each other via Matter.
What does Matter mean for Nuki?
Jürgen Pansy: Nuki has always been a pioneer when it comes to integration in Smart Home systems. Over the past years, we have created a comprehensive ecosystem. Our Nuki Smart Lock is compatible with the most important brands in the Smart Home industry. From our point of view, Matter makes an additional contribution to making access to one’s own home as smart, simple and secure as possible for our customers.
It is therefore a natural step for us to be at the forefront of a standard like Matter. We want to be actively involved in this project and integrate Matter into our ecosystem.
What advantages does Matter bring to a Nuki customer compared to the existing integration options?
Jürgen Pansy: None directly. All functions that Matter currently offers are also supported by the Apple HomeKit, Google Home and Amazon Alexa integrations currently offered by Nuki. The numerous integrations offered via the Nuki Bridge API, such as in Home Assistant or HomeBridge, offer even more functionality, as here the specific requirements for European door locks and the functions of the Nuki Smart Lock and Opener can be addressed. This is not the case with the Matter standard that was especially developed for the North American market.
Additionally, Matter is still in its infancy, version 1.0 has just been released. We are confident that the standard will mature and become more complete over the years and thus the field of application will become broader. Regardless of this, we will regularly extend and adapt our own APIs to ensure optimal integration of Nuki products into Smart Homes at all times.
A local API for the Smart Lock 3.0 Pro, which uses the common MQTT standard, is already available as a beta via a firmware update and will be released as a regular update in 2023.
When can we expect Matter-enabled products from Nuki?
Jürgen Pansy: Currently, the Matter specification 1.0 has been published. However, since Matter is based on a multi-level certification system, not all requirements for a complete certification, as the current Nuki Smart Lock from Apple, Google & Co. has, are clear yet. It is already known that the Matter standard not only comprises several thousand pages of documentation, but also places high demands on the microprocessors in the smart home end devices. Together with complex certification procedures, this forces many smart home manufacturers to no longer support existing standards such as HomeKit in favour of Matter and to bring new device generations to the market. This will also be the case for Nuki.
For customers, this means that new hubs will have to be purchased in some cases, because not every hub will receive an update for Matter. This migration process will take several years, especially since Matter does not offer new functionalities in most use cases. Nuki ensures that a device purchased today will still have the same integration options in several years.
The first prototype shows that we are already working very concretely on integration possibilities with Matter. We expect the first Matter-enabled devices from Nuki in the second half of 2023.
Thank you very much for the interview!
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