Matter and Fast Pair, a single protocol for the connected home

A new service from Google, called Fast Pair, is designed to speed up the process of connecting connected home devices to your smartphone and to each other. It uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology to discover nearby devices without using the smartphone battery.

In theory, everything displays on your screen, provided it supports the correct protocol. This has historically been the weak point of connected home connectivity, and Google says Matter will fix the problem — when it arrives, of course.

During Google I/O 2022, Google Home has announced that it is now strengthening the Matter initiative. The company boasted the “magical” power of Fast Pair and the Matter connectivity standard to link devices and services from a wide range of manufacturersthus solving one of the main problems experienced by anyone who has tried to configure a connected bulb or hub.

Matter is a new connectivity standard backed by Samsung, Google, Amazon, Apple and others that promises much easier installation, much greater interoperability, faster speeds and more. Last year at Google I/O, the company said it planned to win support for Matter — previously called Project Connected Home over IP (CHIP) — first on its thermostats, speakers, and Nest screens, then Android.

A year later, we are still waiting. Despite a brief mention at the I/O event, the standard still isn’t there. The Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA), which oversees the rollout of the standard, said earlier this year that Matter had been pushed back to early 2022 and then to this fall (so September-November).

Nothing new !

Nest products, including its connected thermostat, Google Fi (its internet initiative) and Android, all send Matter to bring its features to homes and institutions.

Google is also committed to Matter being the foundation of the Proactive Home, which I’ve been waiting for for years. And while Google mentioned Matter, it was very light on features and substance. No mention was made of the ‘proactive home’ and other than a quick demo with an Eve smart plug – a device that only uses Apple’s HomeKit – there wasn’t much to say.

If Matter can do what Google says, that will be great. I can’t wait to try it — when it’s created.

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