Support for Matter in iOS 15 will lead to new categories of devices for HomeKit users

Posted:
in General Discussion
HomeKit users will gain new categories of devices with the launch of iOS 15 thanks to support for Matter, an emerging smart home connectivity standard backed by Apple.




What started as Project Connected Home Over IP -- or CHIP -- has been rebranded as Matter to create a single interoperable standard. Hardware manufacturers can develop a product for Matter and have it work with multiple smart home platforms, including Apple HomeKit.

Apple touted iOS 15's newfound support for smart home protocol Matter. Still, in a subsequent developer session, Apple went into further detail on what Matter means for HomeKit users and developers.

With iOS 15, the HomeKit framework will encompass both the existing HomeKit Accessory Protocol (HAP) and Matter. Because the HomeKit framework will wrap both HAP and Matter, it will need to adopt all categories that are part of Matter.

Practically, this means that any new categories of supported devices in Matter will work with HomeKit and the Home app. Right now. HomeKit has limited category support, so we could see a wealth of new device types added with the launch of Matter and iOS 15.

Appliances are a big category missing from HomeKit that Samsung SmartThings, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant already support. As a few more examples, Google Assistant -- which will also support Matter -- has air fresheners, coffee makers, fireplaces, gates, microwaves, pet feeders, and many more.

These are all potential contenders that can be added to Matter, and subsequently, HomeKit. Similarly, custom Matter characteristics will also be available to HomeKit and HomeKit apps.

There are variables in the equation. Matter has yet to materialize fully, and iOS 15 is still months away from shipping. The first Matter-certified devices are set to arrive before the end of 2021 and will likely be the commonly-used items such as lights, smart plugs, and locks.

Matter support is only one of many new features coming to HomeKit with iOS 15, alongside unlimited cameras, improved Siri control, and HomeKey.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 9
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 877member
    As I asked on Twitter recently:
    https://twitter.com/davidalgregory/status/1402986128261599236?s=21

    When is iRobot going to get onboard with HomeKit and Matter? 
    Automated sweeping and mopping seem like a natural for the connected home.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 9
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 2,511member
    This is good, but unless Siri is also updated so that it knows how to correlate my words "eg, "vacuum cleaner") to a specific Matter hardware device, this won't be very useful. Will the Matter vendor be able to configure Siri to understand these relationships, or will it be up to Apple?
  • Reply 3 of 9
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,856member
    This is good, but unless Siri is also updated so that it knows how to correlate my words "eg, "vacuum cleaner") to a specific Matter hardware device, this won't be very useful. Will the Matter vendor be able to configure Siri to understand these relationships, or will it be up to Apple?
    Great point. I doubt Apple’s even given that the first consideration… 
  • Reply 4 of 9
    nicholfdnicholfd Posts: 622member
    This is good, but unless Siri is also updated so that it knows how to correlate my words "eg, "vacuum cleaner") to a specific Matter hardware device, this won't be very useful. Will the Matter vendor be able to configure Siri to understand these relationships, or will it be up to Apple?
    Apple generally, already does.  

    We have 2 x HomeKit compatible TVs.  If the HomePod is in the same room as the TV (as defined in HomeKit), and I say "turn on the TV", the TV in the room I'm in turns on.  Same way for lights - whatever room the Siri listening device that heard me is in, the lights in that room will turn on.  if I want to turn on a different rooms lights, I have to be more specific - If I'm in the living room, but want to turn on the kitchen lights, I have to say, "turn on the kitchen lights" and the appropriate lights turn on.

    The listening device even responds differently if the device it is turning on/off is or is not in the same room.  If I tell it to "turn on the lights" and the lights are in the same room as the listening device, they just come on, and Siri doesn't say anything else.  If the lights are in a different room, and I say "turn on the kitchen lights", Siri confirms the lights were turned on - it assumes I might not be near that room myself, to confirm the lights came on.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 9
    Siri problems are easily avoided with accurate naming of your HomeKit devices. “Bay window lights” are easily distinguished from “Living room lights.” 
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 9
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 2,511member
    nicholfd said:
    This is good, but unless Siri is also updated so that it knows how to correlate my words "eg, "vacuum cleaner") to a specific Matter hardware device, this won't be very useful. Will the Matter vendor be able to configure Siri to understand these relationships, or will it be up to Apple?
    Apple generally, already does.  

    We have 2 x HomeKit compatible TVs.  If the HomePod is in the same room as the TV (as defined in HomeKit), and I say "turn on the TV", the TV in the room I'm in turns on.  Same way for lights - whatever room the Siri listening device that heard me is in, the lights in that room will turn on.  if I want to turn on a different rooms lights, I have to be more specific - If I'm in the living room, but want to turn on the kitchen lights, I have to say, "turn on the kitchen lights" and the appropriate lights turn on.

    The listening device even responds differently if the device it is turning on/off is or is not in the same room.  If I tell it to "turn on the lights" and the lights are in the same room as the listening device, they just come on, and Siri doesn't say anything else.  If the lights are in a different room, and I say "turn on the kitchen lights", Siri confirms the lights were turned on - it assumes I might not be near that room myself, to confirm the lights came on.
    Yes, Apple is good at this, but that's because all the devices that you mention use the HomeKit API which I believe includes data to tell Siri what words (eg, "lights") apply to the device. But will Apple, or the Matter vendor, have to do that now? Will Matter devices have to use the HomeKit API to work with HomeKit? 
  • Reply 7 of 9
    nicholfdnicholfd Posts: 622member
    nicholfd said:
    This is good, but unless Siri is also updated so that it knows how to correlate my words "eg, "vacuum cleaner") to a specific Matter hardware device, this won't be very useful. Will the Matter vendor be able to configure Siri to understand these relationships, or will it be up to Apple?
    Apple generally, already does.  

    We have 2 x HomeKit compatible TVs.  If the HomePod is in the same room as the TV (as defined in HomeKit), and I say "turn on the TV", the TV in the room I'm in turns on.  Same way for lights - whatever room the Siri listening device that heard me is in, the lights in that room will turn on.  if I want to turn on a different rooms lights, I have to be more specific - If I'm in the living room, but want to turn on the kitchen lights, I have to say, "turn on the kitchen lights" and the appropriate lights turn on.

    The listening device even responds differently if the device it is turning on/off is or is not in the same room.  If I tell it to "turn on the lights" and the lights are in the same room as the listening device, they just come on, and Siri doesn't say anything else.  If the lights are in a different room, and I say "turn on the kitchen lights", Siri confirms the lights were turned on - it assumes I might not be near that room myself, to confirm the lights came on.
    Yes, Apple is good at this, but that's because all the devices that you mention use the HomeKit API which I believe includes data to tell Siri what words (eg, "lights") apply to the device. But will Apple, or the Matter vendor, have to do that now? Will Matter devices have to use the HomeKit API to work with HomeKit? 
    My understanding that "Matter" is a communication protocol.  HomeKit will know how to speak Matter, but I fully expect all devices to be "HomeKit compatible", just talking to HomeKit via Matter.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 9
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 2,511member
    nicholfd said:
    nicholfd said:
    This is good, but unless Siri is also updated so that it knows how to correlate my words "eg, "vacuum cleaner") to a specific Matter hardware device, this won't be very useful. Will the Matter vendor be able to configure Siri to understand these relationships, or will it be up to Apple?
    Apple generally, already does.  

    We have 2 x HomeKit compatible TVs.  If the HomePod is in the same room as the TV (as defined in HomeKit), and I say "turn on the TV", the TV in the room I'm in turns on.  Same way for lights - whatever room the Siri listening device that heard me is in, the lights in that room will turn on.  if I want to turn on a different rooms lights, I have to be more specific - If I'm in the living room, but want to turn on the kitchen lights, I have to say, "turn on the kitchen lights" and the appropriate lights turn on.

    The listening device even responds differently if the device it is turning on/off is or is not in the same room.  If I tell it to "turn on the lights" and the lights are in the same room as the listening device, they just come on, and Siri doesn't say anything else.  If the lights are in a different room, and I say "turn on the kitchen lights", Siri confirms the lights were turned on - it assumes I might not be near that room myself, to confirm the lights came on.
    Yes, Apple is good at this, but that's because all the devices that you mention use the HomeKit API which I believe includes data to tell Siri what words (eg, "lights") apply to the device. But will Apple, or the Matter vendor, have to do that now? Will Matter devices have to use the HomeKit API to work with HomeKit? 
    My understanding that "Matter" is a communication protocol.  HomeKit will know how to speak Matter, but I fully expect all devices to be "HomeKit compatible", just talking to HomeKit via Matter.
    That's great, but it doesn't answer my question which is WHO is going to be telling Siri the names of the Matter devices. They can talk to each other, but someone has to make Siri aware of the English/French/German names of the Matter devices. It's either the user, or the manufacturer, or Apple. Tell me which one.
  • Reply 9 of 9
    nicholfdnicholfd Posts: 622member
    nicholfd said:
    nicholfd said:
    This is good, but unless Siri is also updated so that it knows how to correlate my words "eg, "vacuum cleaner") to a specific Matter hardware device, this won't be very useful. Will the Matter vendor be able to configure Siri to understand these relationships, or will it be up to Apple?
    Apple generally, already does.  

    We have 2 x HomeKit compatible TVs.  If the HomePod is in the same room as the TV (as defined in HomeKit), and I say "turn on the TV", the TV in the room I'm in turns on.  Same way for lights - whatever room the Siri listening device that heard me is in, the lights in that room will turn on.  if I want to turn on a different rooms lights, I have to be more specific - If I'm in the living room, but want to turn on the kitchen lights, I have to say, "turn on the kitchen lights" and the appropriate lights turn on.

    The listening device even responds differently if the device it is turning on/off is or is not in the same room.  If I tell it to "turn on the lights" and the lights are in the same room as the listening device, they just come on, and Siri doesn't say anything else.  If the lights are in a different room, and I say "turn on the kitchen lights", Siri confirms the lights were turned on - it assumes I might not be near that room myself, to confirm the lights came on.
    Yes, Apple is good at this, but that's because all the devices that you mention use the HomeKit API which I believe includes data to tell Siri what words (eg, "lights") apply to the device. But will Apple, or the Matter vendor, have to do that now? Will Matter devices have to use the HomeKit API to work with HomeKit? 
    My understanding that "Matter" is a communication protocol.  HomeKit will know how to speak Matter, but I fully expect all devices to be "HomeKit compatible", just talking to HomeKit via Matter.
    That's great, but it doesn't answer my question which is WHO is going to be telling Siri the names of the Matter devices. They can talk to each other, but someone has to make Siri aware of the English/French/German names of the Matter devices. It's either the user, or the manufacturer, or Apple. Tell me which one.
    Have you ever used HomeKit?  

    YOU
    configure HomeKit with the names of the devices.  Siri only knows the names/information YOU define him HomeKit.  This can be done at the time of adding an item to HomeKit, or renamed at any other time in HomeKit.
    muthuk_vanalingamwilliamlondonwatto_cobra
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