Google’s Nest updates inch smart home industry toward a unified standard

Google announced three major initiatives to support Matter, a unified standard for smart home devices:

  • Google’s Nest devices, including the newest Nest Thermostat, will soon support the Matter standard. This means Google Assistant will be able to control a wide variety of Matter-supported smart devices, even if they weren’t previously part of Google’s smart platform.
  • Android will also support Matter, enabling Android smartphone users to quickly set up and control new smart home devices from their phones.
  • Smart home devices equipped with Google’s Thread mesh networking technology will now also serve as Matter connection hubs.

Matter is a cross-platform collaboration effort intended to standardize the diverse smart home ecosystem and solve the device interoperability issue. Matter is the result of a collaborative agreement by Amazon, Apple, Google, and the Connectivity Standards Alliance to boost device compatibility across ecosystems. The standard uses technology from Apple’s HomeKit, Amazon’s Alexa, and Google’s Weave and works alongside existing protocols like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to make it easier for different smart devices to communicate with one another. In short, Matter strives to solve the smart device fragmentation problem by providing a frictionless way for these devices to work together. As a result, consumers can theoretically purchase a variety of devices with confidence they will work alongside each other.

The unified connectivity standard will accelerate smart home market growth:

  • It will simplify development for smart home device makers. A universal standard will lower the cost and improve the efficiency of the development process, as device makers will have to develop for just one standard.
  • It will likely increase consumers' willingness to adopt smart home technology. Consumers will no longer have to worry if a device is compatible with the rest of their smart home ecosystem, removing an element of friction from the purchasing process.

Insider Intelligence expects the number of US smart home device users to increase from 83.9 million in 2020 to 139.7 million by 2024.