Matter 1.2 Arrives with Nine New Device Types & Improvements Across the Board

The Alliance is excited to share that the second update to Matter, version 1.2, is now available for device makers and platforms to build into their products. It is packed with nine new device types, revisions, and additions to existing categories, core improvements to the specification and SDK, and certification and testing tools. The Matter 1.2 certification program is now open and members expect to bring these enhancements and new device types to market later this year and into 2024 and beyond.

Since the release of Matter 1.0 a little more than a year ago, we’ve seen real growth and progress, with over 24,600 downloads of the specification, 1,214 certifications, nearly 24% growth in the number of companies who have joined the Matter Working Group, and a new Alliance Interoperability Test Facility.

Matter’s rollout has outpaced the typical adoption cycles of previous industry standards. Rather than taking years for users to replace hub hardware, software updates enable existing smart home hubs and devices to become Matter controllers. This has created a global market with up to hundreds of millions of homes ready to connect new Matter devices. There are Matter products from popular and innovative brands across all initially supported device categories, with products and apps in users’ homes, on their smartphones and tablets, and on store shelves.

As users connect more of those Matter devices, member companies have actively engaged with each other about their experiences and initial challenges, and are continuing to make improvements in the specification to address them.

In April, Matter 1.1 brought incremental improvements and delivered on the Matter Working Group’s plan to do two releases per year. This, along with the requirement that Matter certified products offer over-the-air software updates, provides a reliable mechanism for adding new features, new device types, and meaningful under-the-hood improvements to the spec, the tools, the SDK, and products in the market.

Nine New Device Types

We are adding support for nine new device types in Matter 1.2, bringing new layers of interoperability, simplicity, reliability, and security while unlocking new use cases and features for the future.

The new device types supported in Matter 1.2 include:

  1. Refrigerators – Beyond basic temperature control and monitoring, this device type is also applicable to other related devices like deep freezers and even wine and kimchi fridges.
  2. Room Air Conditioners – While HVAC and thermostats were already part of Matter 1.0, standalone Room Air Conditioners with temperature and fan mode control are now supported.
  3. Dishwashers – Basic functionality is included, like remote start and progress notifications. Dishwasher alarms are also supported, covering operational errors such as water supply and drain, temperature, and door lock errors.
  4. Laundry Washers – Progress notifications, such as cycle completion, can be sent via Matter. Dryers will be supported in a future Matter release.
  5. Robotic Vacuums – Beyond the basic features like remote start and progress notifications, there is support for key features like cleaning modes (dry vacuum vs wet mopping) and additional status details (brush status, error reporting, charging status).
  6. Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarms – These alarms will support notifications and audio and visual alarm signaling. Additionally, there is support for alerts about battery status and end-of-life notifications. These alarms also support self-testing. Carbon monoxide alarms support concentration sensing, as an additional data point.
  7. Air Quality Sensors – Supported sensors can capture and report on: PM1, PM2.5, PM10, CO2, NO2, VOC, CO, Ozone, Radon, and Formaldehyde. Furthermore, the addition of the Air Quality Cluster enables Matter devices to provide AQI information based on the device’s location.
  8. Air Purifiers – Purifiers utilize the Air Quality Sensor device type to provide sensing information and also include functionality from other device types like Fans (required) and Thermostats (optional). Air purifiers also include consumable resource monitoring, enabling notifications on filter status (both HEPA and activated carbon filters are supported in 1.2).
  9. Fans – Matter 1.2 includes support for fans as a separate, certifiable device type. Fans now support movements like rock/oscillation and new modes like natural wind and sleep wind. Additional enhancements include the ability to change the airflow direction (forward and reverse) and step commands to change the speed of airflow. 

The appliance support added in Matter 1.2 gave the Matter Working Group a starting point to build out a set of foundational features — such as temperature setting and monitoring, and status notifications — which will be applicable to nearly all appliances supported in future releases.

Other New Features & Improvements 

The fall update to Matter is more than just new device types. The Matter specification along with the SDK, testing tools, and certification program are continuing to evolve with active participation from hundreds of leading smart home engineers and product experts. Their meaningful contributions and hard work demonstrate that Matter continues to gain momentum and that the overall experience for consumers and developers will continue to improve over time.

Core improvements to the Matter 1.2 specification include: 

  • Latch & Bolt Door Locks – Enhancements for European markets that capture the common configuration of a combined latch and bolt lock unit.
  • Device Appearance – Added description of device appearance, so that devices can describe their color and finish. This will enable helpful representations of devices across clients.
  • Device & Endpoint Composition – Devices can now be hierarchically composed from complex endpoints allowing for accurate modeling of appliances, multi-unit switches, and multi-light fixtures.
  • Semantic Tags – Provide an interoperable way to describe the location and semantic functions of generic Matter clusters and endpoints to enable consistent rendering and application across the different clients. For example, semantic tags can be used to represent the location and function of each button on a multi-button remote control.
  • Generic Descriptions of Device Operational States – Expressing the different operational modes of a device in a generic way will make it easier to generate new device types in future revisions of Matter and ensure their basic support across various clients.
Under-the-Hood Enhancements: Matter SDK & Test Harness

Matter 1.2 brings important enhancements in the testing and certification program which helps companies bring products – hardware, software, chipsets and apps – to market faster. These improvements will benefit the wider developer community and ecosystem around Matter. 

  • New Platform Support in SDK – Matter 1.2 SDK is now available for new platforms providing more ways for developers to build new products for Matter.
  • Enhancements to the Matter Test Harness – The Test Harness is a critical piece for ensuring the specification and its features are being implemented correctly. The Test Harness is now available via open source, making it easier for Matter developers to contribute to the tools (to make them better), and to ensure they are working with the latest version (with all features and bug fixes.

As a market-driven technology, new device types, features, and updates that make it into Matter specification releases are the result of commitments by member companies to multiple stages of authorship, implementation, and testing.  In order to release Matter 1.2, the Alliance recently completed a Specification Validation Event with engineers across these new device types which demonstrates a significant resource commitment from participating companies. These investments from member companies illustrate real momentum from brands and ecosystem providers to bring products with these new device types to market. 

Developers interested in learning more about these enhancements can access the following resources:

Looking Ahead

With Matter 1.2 now available to device and app makers around the world, and nine new device types and important new features and improvements, the work on Matter continues. Teams of engineers and product leaders from hundreds of global technology brands are actively working on future device types, features, and use cases while solving challenging technical problems and enhancing the overall experience for consumers and developers. 

This Fall, we’ll continue to see new Matter products come to market and new software updates will be released to consumers, making existing products Matter-enabled. As we head into the busy holiday shopping season, we’ll also see more products available on retail shelves, as the results of Matter marketing and education initiatives through global retail and consumer channels become evident.  

Turning the calendar to 2024, Matter will continue to expand its footprint across the smart home, across the IoT ecosystem, and in the minds of consumers. New products will come to market, filling out existing Matter device types and being among the first in the new Matter device types debuting with Matter 1.2. We expect that Matter will receive two new updates next year as part of the bi-annual release cadence — which should add even more device types and expand into new areas.