Lighting in Design Q1 2023

Introducing the new Matter standard for smart homes

absence of a universal standard were enough to keep the average homeowner from investing in a smart home at all. Towards the end of 2019 Amazon, Apple, Goog le and the Zigbee Alliance started project CHIP (‘Connected Home over IP’) with the goal to cre ate a standard for communication between smart home devices allowing a simpler development of those devices by making sure that products con forming to the new standard will work with leading ecosystems like Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri and Google’s Assistant. CHIP is based on the well-es tablished IPv6 protocol allowing it to be used on existing IP-carrying networks without the need for specific hubs or protocol translation gateways. Project CHIP resulted in a new smart home standard called ‘Matter’ maintained and launched by the Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA), which was formerly known as the Zigbee Alliance. The Matter protocol was officially launched by CSA early November 2022 at a launch event in Amsterdam. The CSAmembers showcased a wide array of products like motion blinds, occupancy sensors, weather devices, smart plugs, door locks, lighting, gateways and Matter-based software ap plications. In his keynote speech, CSA president and CEO Tobin Richardson mentioned the tre mendous efforts put into developing the standard including hundreds of thousands of engineering hours and the numerous meetings between all involved companies to discuss and agree on the various elements of the protocol. Lighting is well represented amongst the CSA members; Signify is certifying all its WiZ products

A smart home is a setup where appliances and devices are interconnected and controllable re motely via the internet, allowing the user to control functions like security, temperature, lighting and entertainment. The smart home concept has ex isted for many years; however, its uptake is slower than originally forecast, both globally and in South Africa. Local roadblocks include internet connec tivity and affordability, while a major roadblock across all countries is the lack of standardization. Connecting devices frommultiple suppliers can be challenging to say the least, and this is the main reason most smart homes are based on a platform or ecosystem from a single supplier limiting the choice which devices to use. The future for smart homes is about to look brighter, however. Covid-19 lockdowns made people realize and appreciate how important a home environment is, while younger home buyers growing up in the smart phone era are entering the market. An additional and very important reason behind the bright future of smart homes is an indus try-wide initiative to solve the standardization issue. A single universal standard allowing smart home devices to seamlessly operate together never existed. Between Zigbee, Z-Wave, Blue tooth and WiFi, the wireless connectivity space for smart home devices got a bit too crowded for its own good. Some smart home products have proprietary apps for setup, which not always work as they should. That basically meant one had to juggle numerous apps to manage your smart home devices, adding even more stress and annoyance to the user. All these challenges caused by the


LiD Q1 - 2023

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