On Wednesday, Google used a portion of its I/O conference to reaffirm its dedication to Matter, the open-source smart home standard formerly known as Project CHIP, and included some exciting news: the Nest Thermostat will be one of the first Nest products to receive a Matter update.
The Matter update for the Nest Thermostat (not to be confused with the older, more expensive Nest Learning Thermostat) should make it compliant with other smart platforms that use the Matter standard, such as Amazon Alexa and Apple HomeKit.
So, in the not-too-distant future—Google didn’t offer any dates, but the first Matter-enabled devices are expected to ship by the end of the year—you should be able to find the Nest Thermostat mentioned as a native device in the Alexa app or Apple Home.
Users can still monitor Nest thermostats with Alexa voice commands, but doing so involves adding a Nest ability to Alexa, while Siri voice commands would not work with HomeKit at all.
The Nest Thermostat—and other Matter-certified devices—should function on any Matter-enabled platform, like Alexa, Nest, and HomeKit, once the Matter standard is up and running.
Google also revealed that Nest devices with a built-in Thread radio, such as the Nest Hub Max, the second-gen Nest Hub, and Nest Wifi, would gradually become Matter communication points, and that Matter devices will be controlled by all Google smart speakers and displays, including the diminutive Nest Mini.
The Matter standard, an IP-based protocol compatible with Wi-Fi, ethernet, and Thread, was announced earlier this month by the Zigbee Alliance. Amazon, Google, Signify (the company behind the Philips Hue smart lighting brand), and Samsung’s SmartThings have all backed Matter.
The promise of Matter is enticing: Matter-certified devices will be able to identify and function together seamlessly through various ecosystems, including Apple’s HomeKit, Amazon’s Alexa, and Google’s Assistant-powered Nest network.
In other words, if you purchase a Matter-certified smart computer, you’ll know right away that it’ll work with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri, and that it’ll get along with any other Matter-enabled devices you have.
Apart from the Matter announcement, Google also launched a smart home directory that highlights third-party devices that are Google Assistant compatible, including smart devices from Philips Hue, Nanoleaf, Samsung, LG, Dyson, Netatmo, and Wyze.
Google has also announced that it would support WebRTC, an open-source web and mobile communications protocol aimed at improving the efficiency of video and audio streaming between devices including surveillance cameras, video doorbells, and smart displays.
According to Google, security camera manufacturers such as Arlo, Logitech, Netatmo, and Wyze are already working on integrating WebRTC with Google Assistant.