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The Connectivity Standard Alliance has developed a universal standard called Matter for smart home appliances.

Panasonic has introduced its new line of air conditioners (AC) for 2024, which includes its assortment of room air conditioners with Matter capabilities. Brand-neutral mobile apps can facilitate interoperability between smart home appliances thanks to Matter, a new global standard for connectivity. Panasonic has become the first brand in India to introduce air conditioners that adhere to this protocol with this launch. The Japanese company has introduced sixty models, three of which are Matter-enabled air conditioners (1.0, 1.5, and 2.0 tons).

Announcing its lineup of ACs, Fumiyasu Fujimori, Managing Director, PMIN, Panasonic Life Solutions India, said, “The new line-up of ACs, comprising of India’s first Matter-enabled RACs will not only provide inter-operability but is simple to use, reliable and secure. By seamlessly connecting with other Matter-certified devices and platforms, they will facilitate a smarter and more efficient use of energy, optimizing comfort while minimizing environmental impact.”

The company’s Miraie app, which utilizes the same connectivity standard, is the means by which the Matter-enabled ACs can be connected. The appliance can also be controlled by users using any other Matter-enabled app. Major brick-and-mortar stores, online retailers, and the company website all carry these new models.

What is Matter—the global connectivity standard for smart home appliances?

Interoperability and unified solutions have received a lot of attention in the consumer technology sector in recent years. In order to provide a unified interface for connecting and integrating all of its Internet of Things devices, Xiaomi introduced HyperOS last year, replacing the MIUI system. In terms of hardware, Apple eventually replaced the Lightning port on the iPhone 15 series with a USB Type-C port in order to comply with new regulations from the European Union requiring all consumer electronics to have a single port.

A comparable protocol for connecting and unifying software across IoT and smart home appliances is called Matter. The Connectivity Standards Alliance, formerly known as the Zigbee Alliance, is a consortium of over 500 companies that proposed the universal standard. When Apple, Google, and Amazon collaborated with the Zigbee Alliance to develop a single, unified connectivity system for smart homes in 2019, this protocol made headlines for the first time.

For owners of smart homes, it resolves a fundamental problem: juggling multiple apps to operate the different smart appliances in the house. The current state of affairs is reminiscent of the late 1990s and early 2000s, when consumers had to keep several remote controls in order to operate their appliances until the invention of universal remotes. By using a networking protocol, Matter seeks to replicate a comparable solution that connects systems and devices that are compatible, irrespective of their manufacturer, model, or brand.

The four-pronged solution is the main focus of the universal connectivity standard. The first is interoperability, which will free consumers from having to download a companion app in order to operate any smart home appliance—from a TV to smart lights. In order to connect all the devices in your home via WiFi, it forgoes complicated setup procedures and instead offers a straightforward user interface. Thirdly, Matter addresses security concerns by utilizing an encryption system to safeguard data shared among devices against external hacking attempts. Lastly, because the protocol is made to change and adapt to any future inventions of smart devices, it also solves the issue of reliability.

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