Will Matter Replace Home Assistant

I have been using HA for a number of years enthusiastically. I have about 100 smart devices and almost all of them play nicely together in this single environment where I can establish the logic connecting all of them. I, like many HA users, use HA to connect to the smart devices and to organize them through the app (dashboards). All the logic controlling these devices is in Node Red.

I have often asked myself if I continue to need HA. I could connect to my various devices through a variety of nodes in Node Red and Node Red does have its own dashboard. I have reassured myself that HA does a wonderful job in connecting to my devices that there is no reason to leave. However, Matter will probably change the nature of the game. Matter will soon be able to connect to everything that communicates with ethernet, wifi, and Thread. That leaves z-wave, zigbee, and bluetooth. Thread will eventually replace z-wave and zigbee. I do not plan to purchase any more z-wave and zigbee devices, and I don’t purchase bluetooth devices (the range is too small). I can envision slowly replacing z-wave and zigbee devices with Thread devices. At some point everything will be accessible through Matter. When Node Red has a Matter Node and I can still access my remaining z-wave and zigbee devices, the handwriting will be on the wall. It will be time to leave HA behind.

I wonder. Do others see the demise of z-wave and zibgee as Thread gets adopted? Have others put a permanent hold on purchasing z-wave and zigbee devices in the future? Do you see the impact that Matter/Thread can have on the near-term viability of many companies? Do you see how Matter will impact HA?

Imagine all the pros you describe above and then assume HA is a matter controller to orchestrate matter devices across platforms easily.

No HA isn’t going anywhere.

Do I see a slow fall off of Zigbee and ZWave favoring Matter devices instead.

Absolutely.

Overnight (have I personally put a moratorium on ZWave or Zigbee?) certainly not. Matter device availability alone isn’t anywhere ready for that and we’re in very VERY early days. Ask that again in a year…

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In a perfect world, yeah. I am very skeptical about this Matter utopia. Fact is, local control and perfect interoperability is nothing new. All this can and could already be achieved with existing tech - Zigbee and zwave. It’s not a technical problem. It’s a business model one. And that business model won’t change just because the protocol does. Zigbee was announced with exactly the same commercial narrative as Matter is announced today - perfect interoperability.

It’s not that all these big tech companies couldn’t offer local interoperability with existing tech, it’s that they don’t want to. ZWave is less affected due to its strict certification, but Zigbee in particular is being abused for vendor lock-in. Hue, Aqara and probably many others, they intentionally made devices incompatible with other vendors. Walled garden ecosystems are much more profitable than an everything-works-with-every-competing-device utopia. And that won’t change with Matter. You’ll get some basic interoperability, just like with Zigbee. But all value added feature will be vendor exclusive. You’ll have Apple-Matter, Hue-Matter, Google-Matter, Aqara-Matter, whatever. Because that’s how business goes, that’s what makes money.

I think a lot of people will be very disappointed once Matter really rolls out. Not only on the interoperability side, but also on security risks. Matter devices are IP routed and can directly talk to the internet. Zigbee and Zwave can’t. I don’t want my IoT devices to talk to the internet. I don’t think that Zigbee and Zwave will go away at all. Matter will eat into their market share for sure. Zigbee will probably suffer more. But they’re going to coexist with yet another protocol. Especially Zwave has the huge advantage of higher penetration, better range and non-interference with wifi, due to its separate frequency range. That’s a physical advantage you cannot fix in a protocol.

And for the same reason, Home Assistant is not going anywhere either.

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The whole Matter discussion reminds me of one of my all-time favorite xkcd cartoons:
xkcd: Standards

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This is what i thought of when matter was announced

An as a matter of fact the same alliance which brought us Zigbee (which should give 100% interoperability between devices) are in charge for matter which claims to deliver the same goals (which weren’t really fully achieved by zigbee). :honeybee:

I can’t find the source now (if anyone got a link/information please post) but I remember that just shortly before matter was finalized the (till then quite strict) specifications actually were “softened” in the way it is with zigbee. So by the looks a matter “compatible” device only need to expose a minimum/basic set of features and can kind of hide others in a manufacture only solution. :put_litter_in_its_place:

So if it matters and you wanna make “full” use of your devices you might need to get individual manufacture gateways to play the full potential :man_shrugging:

The grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence; until you get there and realize it’s full of mole hills and weeds. It takes 5+ years for a tech to mature and become stable.

You’re implying here that because Matter devices use IP, they will by default be able to talk to the Internet. I don’t believe that’s the case. The Matter standard relies on IPV6 as well as auto-creating it’s own network. That network can’t talk by default to your Internet-connected devices. That is, by design, one of the user-friendly features of Matter, its network is self-configuring and doesn’t require any action from you or any understanding of how networks function from you. Yes, it’s possible that a border router device can bridge these devices to the Internet, but it’s not a requirement for Matter, or likely to be the default setup.

There is a lot of useful insight in this discussion. Thank you all. It helps me frame this issue very nicely. I really liked the xkcd cartoon. I also liked how mterry63 clarified that Matter can stay local.

There are a lot of questions still hanging out there with regard to Matter:

  1. It appears as if Zigbee will be included into Matter by a firmware update of the Zibgee hub that will allow it to operate as a Thread boarder router, but this is just conjecture. It is not actually stated. Any thoughts?
  2. It appears as if z-wave it too proprietary to be included. Will z-wave remain outside this bubble?
  3. It appears as if Samsung has control over a lot of special smart appliances. These appliances are outside the target devices of Matter for the first long while. Do you think that Samsung is going to play nicely and allow others in their sandbox?
  4. It appears as if Apple and Google are too enthusiastic about Matter. It is as if Matter provides a special advantage for them. Is this real? Does this apply to Amazon as well?

I can pretty much guarantee that this is going to be the default setup. Why ? Convenience and greed. While Matter devices can indeed work locally (and that’s one of their ‘unique’ selling points according to Matter marketing blurb, even though both Zigbee and Zwave have always been 100% local), consumers will expect to access their home from the outside, control them through cloud services like voice assistants or proprietary vendor apps. Local control doesn’t imply that your devices are isolated from the net. Speaking of which, vendors will wants your personal data, because that’s worth a lot more than the margins on selling you the device. Which means having you install some vendor specific, trackers ridden app on your mobile devices. And that’s going to be configured or even require your Matter Edge router to connect your devices to the internet.

So yes, Matter can work entirely locally (like Zigbee or zwave). And no, that’s not going to make vendors as much money as having it connected to the cloud. You do the math.

Yes. Zwave is not part of the CSA and it uses a completely different protocol and frequency spectrum. While technically possible to connect to a Matter setup using a specifically designed router, that would most likely be a niche usecase (obviously HA can do it though). Besides that, Zwave has an extensive market in the commercial building sector and both residential and commercial security installations. That’s two sectors that are not going to jump on the hype train just like that.

No.

Think about about how these companies make money. Especially Google. You think they all became super altruistic all of the sudden and decided to create that great new standard to make the world a better place and give consumers back control over their devices, their data and privacy ? Yeah well.