When a new smart home standard called Matter was announced earlier this year, it was with the lofty promise of weaving together various smart devices on one united, platform-agnostic platform. Now, a new report from The Verge claims that the standard will also allow for casting, which could finally do away with the patchwork of proprietary protocols that currently exist today and make it easier for us to just watch our damn TVs in peace.
Using a combination of Ethernet, wifi, Thread, and Bluetooth LE, Matter (formerly known as Project Connected Home over IP (CHIP) works to standardize how your myriad smart home gadgets sync up. Through a feature called Multi-Admin, Matter users can control their devices through one common interface — and Apple, Amazon, Samsung and Google have all already begun updating their gadgets so that they’re compatible with the new smart home standard.
While having a truly connected home sounds great all around, TV users will be particularly familiar with the singular struggle of having to keep track of which remote goes with what and which voice assistant they should use to summon up their favourite shows. In addition to granting users the ability to cast, Matter will also enable them to control their TV’s basic functions, like volume, changing channels, and switching HDMI ports.
Streaming video players and TVs will eventually have the Matter TV specification built in, but they don’t currently have it, which means they’ll use app-to-app communication until companies get around to wheeling out Matter-enabled devices. Interestingly, Chris LaPré of the Connectivity Standards Alliance told The Verge that Matter’s casting capabilities could eventually extend to smart home notifications, allowing users to sync messages from their doorbells or security cameras to their TVs.
It’s a simple enough concept: Have many devices from different brands, be able to control them all locally. But Matter’s casting capability is a particularly exciting concept — one that would not only help chip away at the interoperability problem currently dogging the smart home industry, but one that would also give consumers a ladder out of the walled gardens that are currently set up around casting.