Smart home standard Matter delayed until 2022 due to development, COVID-19 impacts

Apple- and Google-backed smart home standard Matter has been delayed until 2022.
The plan is to ensure all smart home devices can talk to each other. Photo credit: Getty Images

Upcoming smart home standard Matter, designed to unify smart systems to ensure interoperability, has been delayed until 2022.

Formerly known as Project Connected Home over IP (CHIP), Matter was launched by Amazon, Apple, Google and others in 2019 by a group now known as the Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA).

Since the initial launch, Ikea, Huawei, Nanoleaf and others have joined to try and ensure consumers' smart devices can communicate with each other.

Smart devices include speakers, light bulbs, televisions, door and garage access systems as well as safety and security devices such as webcams and alarms.

Having one standard will offer consumers more control and not bind them to a single brand or even operating system to ensure all of their smart devices can be controlled. 

Tobin Richardson, president and CEO of CSA, announced the delay in a post on the organisation's website, saying the plan to have the first devices certified by the end of 2021 have been pushed out.

"Our members have updated the schedule to reflect a commitment to ensuring that the SDK (software development kit) and related tools are ready to meet the expectations of the market when launched and enable a large ecosystem of interoperable Matter products," Richardson wrote.

Smart home expert Stacey Higginbotham says the delay will mean consumers will likely need to wait until near the end of next year to access devices supporting the protocol. 

As well as waiting until the SDK is ready, Richardson also explained the delay was caused by more companies signing up to be a part of Matter as well as the new Delta COVID-19 variant. 

It's a complicated task getting the more than 200 global companies aligned in agreement to one standard, but Richardson remains happy, despite the delay.

"We are still less than two years into the project, and we couldn't be more excited about where this initiative is headed and the impact it will have on consumers, device makers, technology companies, builders, property managers, retailers and more," he wrote. 

"Typically, creating a new standard takes many years of work to get to the stage Matter is at today."