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Matter 1.1 Update Improves Battery-Powered Devices Support

The latest Matter 1.1 release enhances support for battery-powered devices like contact, motion and temperature sensors as well as smart locks and switches.

The Connectivity Standards Alliance, a group of companies that publish and maintain the new Matter Communication Protocol has released a new version, conveniently marked v1.1.

The new update was pushed on 18.05.2023 for developers and brings enhancements and focus in two categories: developers and devices.

Matter 1.1 Update Enhancements
Photo credit: Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA)

Enhancements for Developers

The CSA claims the new version makes it easier for developers and device manufacturers to get started with Matter and certify their products faster.

Enhancements in testing automation have made it easier for device makers to pre-qualify their products and ensure they will pass certification when the time comes for testing and certification. This advancement also benefits Authorized Testing Laboratories (ATLs) by improving automation, resulting in more efficient and comprehensive testing processes.

Further, since the Matter specification and open-source SDK are openly available, developers can dive in, comprehend, and utilize the specification more easily. Additionally, it facilitates developers’ contributions to the Matter specification by providing improved guidance on supporting new device types. CSA claims these improvements were made thanks to feedback from the community and early adopters of the protocol.

Enhancements for Devices

When it comes to smart devices aiming to support the Matter protocol, the 1.1 update focus on battery powered gadgets like motion, contact and temperature sensors as well as smart locks and scene switches. In CSAs’ labelling, these types of devices are referred to as Intermittently Connected Devices (ICDs), which usually spend their life “sleeping” until an event wakes them up to perform their function (e.g. door open).

According to CSA, this update reduces the likelihood that a device will be reported as offline when users or hubs interact with it. Developers will be able to utilize these bug fixes as they are openly available, which will ultimately improve user experience.

Going further

As the incentive grows for manufacturers and end users to utilize Matter in the Smart Home, I expect to see major updates within the next 12 months bringing promised support to a variety of devices that is currently lacking. For example, robot vacuums, garage door controllers, cameras are currently either partially supported or not supported at all.

If your character is of the tinkering type, there is actually no need to wait for anything Matter related, dive in to Home Assistant and do whatever you like. Integrate whatever appliance or electronic you have at home, there is no such thing as “device not supported” in Home Assistant. There is only “how much effort am I willing to put it to smartify this device”, that’s it.