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Updated Matter 1.2 Specification Supports New Device Types and Brings Performance Improvements

On October 23, 2023, the Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA) stated that platforms and device manufacturers could now access an updated version of the Matter 1.2 specification. Matter 1.2 specification update includes several improvements and added support for additional device types as well. Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and other platforms are just a few of the smart home tools that can be integrated with devices thanks to the Matter standard.

What is Matter Standard?

Matter is a ‘brand-independent’ open connectivity standard for Smart Home and IoT industry that makes it easier for devices to communicate, regardless of the brand or manufacturer of the devices. It’s designed to improve interoperability and security between different manufacturers.

Matter 1.2 specification Update

With Matter 1.2 specification, Matter support can be added to refrigerators, standalone room air conditioners, dishwashers, laundry machines, robotic vacuums, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, air quality sensors, air purifiers, and fans.

Nine New Device Types

In Matter 1.2 specification, support for nine additional device types opens up new use cases and features for the future while adding new levels of interoperability, simplicity, reliability, and security.

The new device types supported in Matter 1.2 specification update 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, stand alone 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, PM 2.5, PM 10, 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 specification 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. 

Other New Features & Improvements 

There is more to Matter’s autumn update than just new device kinds. Hundreds of top smart home engineers and product specialists actively contribute to the ongoing evolution of the Matter specification, SDK, testing tools, and certification program. Their diligent work and significant contributions show that Matter is gaining traction and that both developers’ and customers’ experiences will get better over time.

Core improvements to the Matter 1.2 specification update 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.

Matter 1.2 specification also adds improvements for multi-unit switches and multi-light fixtures, along with semantic tags and improvements for device operational states, which should give device makers more options for more complex smart home products.

According to the CSA, Matter 1.2 specification update includes enhancements to testing and certification, which will allow companies to bring products to market faster.

Matter 1.2 certification is open as of now, and the Matter 1.2 devices and improvements are expected to be available on the market later this year. More information on the changes can be found on the CSA website.



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