Matter over WiFi | Advantages of Matter protocol devices over WiFi network

This page covers Matter over WiFi network architecture and functions of its elements. It mentions benefits or advantages of Matter over WiFi protocol.

Introduction : Prior to its adoption, there were fragmentation and interoperability issues due to numerous smart home eco-systems and protocols. Moreover it was difficult for consumers to build smart home which can use multiple devices and platforms from different vendors and make them work seamlessly. Matter protocol was developed to address these requirements of smart home system. It was developed by Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA) composed of leading technology companies such as Google, Amazon, Apple etc. Matter protocol is based on IP networking and uses low power wireless mesh network to connect smart devices.

What is Matter over WiFi ?

In this feature, the Matter devies can communicate over existing WiFi networks in addition to Ethernet and Thread networks. Hence devices can connect to home WiFi network and makes it easy to set up and manage smart home devices without requiring additional hubs or bridges.

Matter over WiFi offers better coverage and range. It also uses existing WiFi networks already in use in many homes. It requires compatible Matter controller or Hub to control and manage devices in the network.

Matter over WiFi

As shown in the figure-1, Matter architecture consists of Matter bridge, Matter controller, Matter devices and WiFi AP. Let us understand functions of these modules.
• Matter device : The device which supports Matter protocol and it is connected to Wi-Fi network. Examples are smart home devices such as sensors, lights, thermostats etc.
• WiFi Access Point (AP) : The device which connects with WiFi network and broadcasts wireless signal for Matter devices. The WiFi network can be Home Wi-Fi network or public Wi-Fi network. WiFi Access Point can include router, WiFi extender or dedicated AP.
• Matter Controller : The device which manages and controls the Matter devices in a smart home is called Matter Controller. Examples are smartphone app, smart speaker or dedicated hub device etc. Matter controller can function as a Hub to connect other smart home devices such as cameras, thermostats and sensors. Nest Hub from Google is a popular Matter controller which provides touch screen interface and voice control and integrates other home devices such as cameras and speakers in a smart home system.
• Matter Bridge : The device which connects Non-Matter devices or networks to the Matter network which allows them to communicate with other Matter devices. It allows devices which do not natively support Matter protocol such as Zigbee or Zwave to be integrated with Matter based Smart Home network. Matter bridge functions as protocol converter or translator between two different protocols or technologies. Hue Bridge from Philips Hue is the popular Matter bridge device.
• Internet connectivity : It is required for Matter controller and cloud services to communicate with the Matter devices.

Examples of Matter over WiFi devices which support WiFi connectivity include smart bulb from Nanoleaf Essentials, Smart Thermostat with voice control from Ecobee, Signify Philips Hue Bridge, SmartThings Hub, smart locks, smart cameras etc.

Benefits or advantages of Matter over WiFi

Following are the benefits or advantages of Matter over WiFi.
➨Matter protocol can utilize widely used existing Wi-Fi network. Hence it can work with wide range of WiFi enabled devices.
➨It offers better range and coverage compare to other networking technologies such as Zigbee and Bluetooth. Hence it is easier to connect and manage smart home devices throughout larger home.
➨It is simple to setup new devices to smart home ecosystem due to Wi-Fi availability. Moreover additional Hubs or Bridges are not required.
➨WiFi networks use WPA2 encryption where as Matter protocol uses end to end encryption. Hence Matter over WiFi provides data protection against any security threats.
➨Matter over WiFi makes smart home devices to communicate and work together seamlessly regardless of their brands or technologies.

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