Matter FAQ

Frequently asked questions about Matter technology.

What does the Matter badge mean?

Matter is the new symbol of connectivity. This industry-unifying standard has a promise of reliable, secure connectivity — a seal of approval that devices will work seamlessly together, today, and tomorrow. Only Matter-certified devices will carry the Matter logo, so look for the mark that matters.

Does Matter replace my currently used smart home platform?

No. Matter is supported by most major smart home platform providers.

What are the Matter basics I need to know to get started?

Matter is a new, open smart home protocol that uses existing, familiar technologies, including Bluetooth Low Energy for device setup and Wi-Fi, Thread, and Ethernet for connecting devices. Major smart home platforms and device brands have already committed to upgrading many existing hubs, smart speakers, and other devices already in millions of homes and on store shelves today, so new Matter devices will work seamlessly with your existing smart home.

To build or grow your smart home with Matter, look for the Matter badge on new smart home controllers and devices, check with your favorite brands for their Matter plans, or check out this link for the latest Matter news.

Which device categories does Matter support? 

Devices supported by Matter: bridges, controllers, door locks, HVAC controls, lighting and electrical, media devices, safety and security sensors, and window coverings and shades.

Support for new device types is driven by Alliance members, and new use case teams have already begun defining new device types to be supported, including ambient sensing, appliances, dynamic lighting, cameras, electric vehicle charging, energy management, home router and access point, robot vacuums, smoke and CO, TVs, and water management.

Does Matter certification require certification for the underlying transports?

Yes. Matter is a protocol that runs over other technologies like Wi-Fi, Ethernet, Thread, and Bluetooth. Matter certification requires that devices are certified to use those technologies as required by their governing organizations.

How will I know if my existing devices will get an update to support Matter?

Many existing smart home products will be upgradable to Matter via software updates so keep an eye out for communications from your favorite device manufacturers on when your device may support Matter.

How do I set up a Matter device?

Onboarding a new Matter device is easy. Matter uses numeric and QR setup codes, and Bluetooth Low Energy to simplify setup, allowing you to onboard it onto your network, apps, and/or platforms often in a single flow. 

You can start the setup process from the device maker’s app, or your favorite smart home platform, by scanning the QR code or manually entering the setup digits.

Optionally, some manufacturers may also support onboarding by tapping on the NFC icon with your phone. Additionally, some platforms or apps may automatically detect the device when powered on, and provide a mobile or voice notification to start guiding you through the setup process. 

Once your device is set up, it’s easy to connect it to other apps, platforms, or smart home devices with this familiar flow. Matter’s multi-admin support also allows you to easily share devices across multiple platforms through a similar process, and choose which apps and platforms can access each device.

As a device maker, my current product already supports all platforms I want to use. Why should I be excited about Matter?

Many products today are connected to smart home platforms and apps via the cloud. Adding Matter to those products will enable them to use a local connection for greater reliability and responsiveness.

Matter will also make your future roadmap simpler, allowing you to develop products that work with any ecosystem using a single local protocol. Developers that want to maintain their cloud connectivity can of course do so, giving their users additional flexibility and supporting remote control of their products.

Will my existing devices be updated to support Matter?

Because Matter runs over existing technologies like Wi-Fi, Ethernet, and Thread, many existing smart home products can and will be updated to support Matter via software updates. Product makers may do this either by updating those devices or in some cases the bridges they are connected to.

Whether a device is updated to support Matter depends on the technical capabilities of the device, and of course, whether the product maker chooses to make an update available.

Many brands have already announced that their devices will support Matter. Click here for the latest Matter news and keep an eye out for communications from your favorite device manufacturers on when your device may support Matter.

Can my existing devices that use other technologies work with Matter devices?

Matter natively supports Wi-Fi, Ethernet, and Thread, but its goal is to simplify smart homes, including those that already have devices using other networking technologies. 

To enable this, Matter supports bridges that allow devices using other protocols (such as Zigbee or Z-Wave) to participate in a Matter ecosystem. A number of product makers that use bridges today have announced support for Matter. And bridges can be built into a number of devices like controllers and hubs, providing a seamless user experience across existing devices and new Matter devices.

Will Matter products interoperate with / are they compatible with Zigbee?

Yes, Matter can connect other technologies, like Zigbee, using smart home bridges to interact with devices using those other protocols.

From a technical perspective, Matter does utilize some of the same underlying technology that would be familiar to Zigbee developers. Thread-based devices support the same 802.15.4 radio technology as Zigbee but use IP-based technology for the network stack. At upper levels of the stack and spec, Matter’s data model borrows heavily from what those familiar with Zigbee know as the Zigbee Cluster Library and Alliance Data Model.

While these are important elements in terms of ensuring that Matter is based on market-proven and developer-friendly technologies, Matter and Zigbee are different protocols, giving product makers different options suited to their applications.  This means, however, there is no native interoperability between Matter and Zigbee devices.

However, in our goal to harmonize the industry, we needed to make sure that the Matter ecosystem can be inclusive of products that choose Zigbee for their applications, and perhaps even more importantly, for the tens of millions of Zigbee devices already driving great experiences in homes and businesses. That’s why Matter also includes specifications for bridging devices, so that product makers and ecosystems who have Zigbee as part of their current or future portfolio, can create seamless experiences for users across these networks.

How does Matter help protect my security?

By bringing together member companies with many years of IoT security expertise, we have designed Matter’s security to be comprehensive and strong while also being easy for device makers and consumers alike.

Matter embodies best practices around security. For example, each Matter device includes a unique identity, ensuring that only the user’s authentic and certified devices are permitted to join the network. Data is encrypted to protect confidentiality. Fine-grained access control policies ensure that each device can only perform the operations that it needs to perform.

Who issues the device attestation certificates for Matter devices?

All Matter devices come with a device attestation certificate, which is used to verify that the device is authentic and certified. These device attestation certificates are issued by specified root Certificate Authorities (CAs). These root CAs are not operated by the Connectivity Standards Alliance. Rather, they are operated by Alliance members and are required to comply with rigorous standards. This approach helps to establish a healthy marketplace for root CA services and avoids any single point of failure.

Are device manufacturers required to use the DCL?

Yes, Device Manufacturers must put data for their products into the Distributed Compliance Ledger (DCL).

This database (the DCL) doesn’t have information about every individual device, just the set of product models that have been certified. Once a product has been certified and is in the market, that product will be listed in the DCL. This is similar to the way that CSA lists certified products on its website today but adds more information and assurance.

How will my Matter devices get updated?

A Matter device in the home can obtain updates using the over-the-air (OTA) update functionality included in the Matter specification or use its own software update methods. These updates can provide new features and security patches.

How is my privacy protected with Matter?

The Matter standard places a high priority on the protection of user privacy through practices such as data minimization. We use end-to-end encryption and limit the information shared between devices to whatever is necessary for proper function. Thus, in the event of a compromise of a Matter participant, the information that is leaked is minimal. However, the complete protection of user privacy and compliance with all relevant privacy tenets and regulations will depend on the protections provided by service providers and device makers as well.

Why is the Connectivity Standards Alliance using a Distributed Compliance Ledger (DCL) for Matter Certification?

The DCL provides a highly reliable and timely source of information about device authenticity and certification status and other helpful information including resources to assist users with setup. 

This allows commissioners to verify that a new Matter device is certified and secure, identify the device to the user using the manufacturer-provided descriptions, and provide any additional setup guidance for more complex devices. In doing so, DCL provides confidence and assistance to users and incentivizes developers to maintain their certification.

How do I access my Matter devices when I’m not at home?

Matter is a local connectivity technology, so Matter-only devices require an internet-connected controller — such as those built into smart speakers and smart home hubs — to be present in the home to enable control when away from the home. Most controller devices will offer an app or web interface to control Matter end devices.

Some Matter devices may also have a direct connection to the internet, enabling control from outside the home by the device maker’s application.

Do I still need many different apps to use my Matter devices?

Smart home apps are a valuable part of the user experience for many devices. Yet the industry often talks about “too many apps”. The problem is really the number of different user experiences and steps for doing things that should be simple like connecting devices to the network and linking them to apps, other devices, and ecosystems.

Matter makes it easy for users to set up and control their devices with a simplified, consistent set of steps, and connect those devices to one or more of the apps and platforms they choose. Whether that’s a smart home platform app that lets them coordinate devices from many different vendors, or a device vendor app that offers advanced configuration and differentiated features.

How can I control what platforms can access my Matter devices?

Users can choose which platforms access their Matter devices using Matter’s multi-admin feature. Multi-admin is one of the core features that allows users to connect their Matter devices to multiple platforms, apps, or other control points, so they can control them where and how they choose.

What test houses support Matter certification testing?

Matter devices can be tested at any Alliance authorized test service provider that is currently validated to perform Matter certification testing. Our authorized test houses have numerous locations worldwide. See Alliance approved Testing Providers.