Matter smart home tech is coming for your kitchen and EV too

The smart home standard gets a big update that adds support for EVs, scenes and many more appliances

Nanoleaf Matter over Thread
(Image credit: Nanoleaf)

Matter, the smart home interoperability standard that makes it easier for different bits of smart home kit to talk to each other, has just been upgraded to version 1.3. The new version makes Matter even more useful, with support for a range of domestic appliances such as ovens and tumble dryers. And it adds energy management to the mix in order to help you keep a lid on your utility bills and an eye on your EV.

The Matter standard is published by the Connectivity Standards Alliance, which features the likes of Apple, Amazon, Google and Samsung. But while the firms are vocally supportive of the standard, they're a bit slower when it comes to actually supporting it: no major tech firms have rolled out Matter 1.2 yet, and that came out in October. So there's clearly going to be a bit of a wait before the new features roll out to an appliance or hub near you.

So what can you expect when support finally arrives?

Matter 1.3: key features

Matter 1.3 expands its appliance support, so for example where Matter 1.2 worked with washing machines Matter 1.3 adds support for tumble dryers. 

I'm still a bit bemused by how necessary this is – I've recently bought a washer dryer and a dishwasher, both of which have smart home tech, and I'm not convinced that Apple Watch notifications telling me my dishwasher run is done are of any use whatsoever; the main purpose of the smart app appears to be to try and sell me dishwasher supplies and washing pods – but you'll now be able to do things such as change the drying mode from wherever you happen to be. You'll also be able to check in on your oven to see how hot it is, to turn it on or to adjust the temperature, all remotely.

One of the key changes this time around is energy reporting. Compatible devices will be able to tell you how much electricity they're consuming – useful if you're charged different prices at different times of day – and how much they're generating (where appropriate), and that applies to EVs as well as appliances. That means you'll be able to change the charge level target or check in on charging progress.

Matter now also supports home plumbing, enabling you to use sensors that'll tell you if there's a leak or a freeze. That of course requires you to install those sensors, so that one's probably best suited to new home buyers.

In addition to new device support Matter 1.3 also introduces support for scenes, much like we've seen in smart home apps such as Hue or Apple Home, and you can now stack multiple commands together so they'll be processed sequentially. There are also improved smart home notifications for TVs.

Matter 1.3 is official now, but requires manufacturers to add support to new or existing devices.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (