i3 | April 11, 2022

The Evolving Smart Home

Susan Schreiner
Smart home logo

Smart home innovation at CES 2022

The pandemic has spurred advances in the smart home category as more people work remotely. As the number of smart devices at home increases, so does the variety of vendors. Products must be supported, easy-to-use and remotely configurable. Since hardware is driven by software, upgrades must be seamless, likely through the cloud. Challenging aspects of connectivity, installation, interoperability and cybersecurity are still in progress.

The Matter standard was discussed at several media events during CES 2022. Matter is emerging as the de-facto IoT standard or integration solution created by Amazon, Apple, Comcast, the Connected Standards Alliance (formerly known as the Zigbee Alliance), Google, Samsung and others.

Development of the Matter standard started in 2019 as the Zigbee’s Alliance’s CHIP (Connected Home over IP) Project. Fast forward to 2022 and The Connected Standards Alliance morphed from its beginnings as the Zigbee Alliance and CHIP to become Matter. 

Matter holds the potential to transform the smart home industry.

Matter holds the potential to transform the smart home industry with its device certification platform. It serves as a canvas on which developers can deliver smart products to consumers without being too complicated. It’s putting functionality literally in the hands of the mainstream.

Matter has defined a specific set of secure and reliable multiple protocol IP-based networking technologies that enable seamless communication across smart home devices, mobile apps and cloud services. It is delivering an industry-unifying open standard that offers consumers secure interoperability between multiple brands translating into more choices when purchasing connected home devices. Matter also incorporates technologies like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, ethernet and Thread (wireless mesh networking IP), for instance, which was adopted in Google’s Nest and Apple’s HomeKit.

Matter is the glue that is pulling together a fragmented landscape of manufacturers, brands, devices, developers and services into an integrated ecosystem. For developers it simplifies and accelerates bringing products to market and is expected to drive a surge in new smart home products and consumer adoption starting in mid-2022. Matter branded certification will open up new possibilities suited to different lifestyles and new ways of working from home.

Several Smart Home Highlights from CES 2022

Athom’s Homey Bridge and Homey App: This smart home hub, still in beta, connects more than 50,000 devices from over 1,000 brands and features home control, monitoring, automation and energy savings to customize consumer experiences. homey.app/en-us

Casana: Its IoT health monitoring toilet seat called The Heart SeatTM captures clinically relevant measurements including blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen saturation to monitor patient’s remotely at home. casanacare.com

Essence Umbrella

Essence Umbrella:

It’s a 5G-enabled mobile personal emergency response system (mPERS). The ultra-small Umbrella™ integrates with Essence’s multi-service cloud and includes built-in fall detection, real-time activity monitoring, two-way voice capabilities and life-saving functions such as panic detection that immediately notifies caregivers. essence-grp.com

Independa Delivers Health Offerings on LG Smart TVs: This telehealth service provides bi-directional video communication connecting older adults with healthcare providers, wellness services and family and friends from their LG Smart TVs. independa.com

Kohler Bath

Kohler: The Stillness Bath is a multi-sensory experience inspired by Japanese forest bathing. Its H2Wise, powered by Phyn smart water monitors can detect leaks and track household water usage. The PerfectFill system integrates a smart drain and controller to draw a bath to a preset temperature and desired depth. smarthome.kohler.com

Samsung Smart Home Hub: The hub runs the SmartThings service integrating Matter’s IoT-based technology to enable connectivity among Galaxy devices, TVs, family hub appliances and with other brands. One simple home system. smartthings.com

TP-Link AXE200 Omni Router: The TP-Link packs four mechanical antennas that rotate automatically to find the best Wi-Fi connection. tp-link.com

i3 magazine March/April 2022 cover

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