Especially for DIYers, an important advancement is device manufacturers’ adoption of a new communications standard dubbed “Matter,” which was rolled out in October 2022.

A big limitation of the internet of things is that all our various devices can’t necessarily talk to one another or communicate with a central hub. Want to operate all your light switches, door locks, thermostats, blinds, TVs, etc., using voice commands or a single app? Better make sure all the stuff you bought is compatible with your Amazon Echo, Google Nest, or whatever.

The new Matter standard seeks to make smart home devices compatible with whatever hub you have. And, perhaps even more important, adoption of Matter means control of all these devices gets pushed to a network you control and operate, rather than one run by the manufacturer for each gadget. This means that if the company that built your TV goes belly-up, or its manufacturer decides to stop supporting its software, you can still control it via your hub.

Unfortunately, what you’ve already bought may or may not get updated to meet Matter’s standards. Some manufacturers likely won’t bother pushing out software updates for their old models.

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