These five advancements promise to “fix” the smart home in 2022 – Android Authority
In less than a decade, smart home tech has gone from a luxury for the rich to something relatively commonplace. Even if you can’t afford high-end Sonos speakers or a wall covered in Nanoleaf panels, you can probably afford an Echo Dot or a Lenovo Smart Clock. Yet adoption hasn’t been as strong as some tech companies have been hungry for.
There are reasons for this, but 2022 promises to lift some of the barriers and “fix” the smart home. By the end of the year, the smart home industry could look very different, and here’s why.
After price, perhaps the biggest obstacle to building a smart home is compatibility. There are three major platforms — Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit — plus a collection of smaller ones, and frequently, accessories are exclusive to one of them or just a portion. This can be confusing to newcomers, and even veterans have to waste time hunting down products that match their specs. Multi-platform homes can force their owners to switch apps or voice assistants depending on what they’re trying to control.
The day is coming when you should be able to use anything with the Matter logo on it. In theory, at least.
Matter, due to go live by the middle of 2022, is a universal networking protocol that lets accessories work across all of the major smart home platforms. Its backers include Amazon, Apple, Google, and Samsung among others, so the day is coming when you should be able to use anything with the Matter logo on it. In theory, at least — we’ll see how companies handle implementation.
Matter devices can also form a mesh network between each other, making Wi-Fi and the internet less essential. You’ll still need those and a Matter-ready hub for remote access, of course, but the standard could be manna for people who have unreliable internet or accessories on the edge of router range.
More: The Matter smart home protocol and why it’s a big deal
This technology is heavily associated with Matter but doesn’t necessarily go hand-in-hand, so it’s worth mentioning separately. In fact some hardware already supports Thread independently, most prominently the Apple HomePod mini and multiple Nanoleaf products.
So what is it? It’s a wireless protocol based on Zigbee — but what you really need to know is that every Thread accessory can act as its own “border router,” facilitating the sort of mesh network Matter supports. It’s actually Matter’s preferred infrastructure, since unlike Bluetooth it’s dedicated to smart home tech, and it consumes considerably less power than Wi-Fi.
As with Matter, you need a hub and the internet for remote access. Within the home, however, the more Thread accessories you buy, the more reliable they become, and the further their range extends. As a bonus, Thread alleviates the burden on Wi-Fi routers, which can only handle so many simultaneous connections. People with Wi-Fi 5 routers and a host of smart home accessories are probably all too familiar with devices dropping out.
Related: Is Wi-Fi 6 worth the upgrade
3. Google Fast Pair and Amazon Frustration-Free setup
The most aggravating part of setting up a smart home is pairing accessories. The major platforms each have their own standards, most annoyingly HomeKit, which …….