Matter 1.3 delivers screen casting improvements and expands support to more devices

Mike Wheatley

The smart home connectivity standard Matter has announced some significant upgrades with its version 1.3 release.


Matter, which aims to achieve interoperability across various brands’ products and ecosystems by leveraging Ethernet, Wi-Fi and Thread protocols, is an alternative to Google’s Chromecast and Apple’s AirPlay standards, although it is a collaboration between those companies, as well as Amazon and Samsung. It works with the Google Home, Amazon Alexa and Apple HomeKit platforms, but adoption of the standard has been somewhat limited.

The Connectivity Standards Alliance, which oversees the development of Matter, is looking to change that with its latest release, which builds on some of the new capabilities introduced with version 1.2 of the standard.

For instance, Matter 1.3 expands the support for additional device types that was introduced in the previous version to include various kitchen appliances, energy management hubs and EV charging stations.

The new standard is ahead of the game somewhat though, as neither Matter 1.2 or 1.3 are yet supported by the major smart home platforms, though that may change soon with Apple’s WWDC and Google’s I/O events just around the corner.

Another new capability refers to Matter Casting, which has been upgraded to better compete with AirPlay 2 and Chromecast. Matter Casting is what media content to be shared from a smartphone or tablet to any supported television. For now, it doesn’t ‘matter’ so much as only Amazon’s FireTV supports the standard, but it may become more important later this year, with Panasonic set to become the first major TV brand to adopt Matter.

Matter 1.3 is said to introduce improvements such as push messages and dialog support for new ambient experiences, casting initialization enhancements, expanded interactive options for apps, text and track support, and better search functionality, the CSA said.

Other enhancements pertain to its ability to interact with other smart home devices. For instance, Matter 1.3 allows smart home devices to send notifications any device that has a screen. So the washing machine might send a message to a user’s tablet to inform them that it has completed its wash cycle, or a robot vacuum cleaner can notify the user it has become stuck under a cupboard, for example.

Chris DeCenzo of Amazon told The Verge that there are other, unannounced features in Matter 1.3 including the ability for apps to connect to multiple clients at once and provide a different experience for each. He said this will enable experiences such as multiplayer gaming on smartphones.

It’s all very well announcing these capabilities, but what matters most is that the team behind Matter is able to convince developers to take advantage of them. We’ll have to keep an eye out and see which devices, if any, add support for Matter to enable these new functions.