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plan44 products and matter

What is matter?

matter is a new SmartHome standard that was officially released in version 1.0 on October 4th, 2022. At the official launch event on November 3rd, first products and firmware updates were announced, by now various products are already available on the market. For the plan44 products beta firmware is available since fall 2022.

matter is a milestone for the smarthome, especially for the electrical installation industry.

matter is the result of collaboration between many companies, including major players such as Apple, Google, Amazon, Samsung. The standard implements requirements that many users have been asking for a long time:

  • I don't want to choose a single "ecosystem" from one company for my SmartHome, but I want to be able to combine different systems.
  • My light switches, lamps, blinds, etc. must be connected locally, and work even without an internet connection.
  • Whether or not I want to use comfort functions via cloud must be my own decision. If a cloud fails, my house must continue to function.
  • I want to be able to continue to use the devices I already have and integrate them into the new matter environment via bridges.

For the first time, matter consistently implements all these requirements, in open source.

What does matter mean for the plan44 products?

The plan44 products P44-DSB-DEH2/E2 and P44-LC-DE will become a matter bridge through a future firmware update. Devices existing in the P44 (DALI, hue etc.) will thus become additionally available via matter. That means e.g.: controllable via the respective apps and voice assistants: "hey siri, turn on the light in the living room".

And not only that - the P44-DSB Digital Strom bridges can - via so-called bridge devices - integrate all rooms of a Digital Strom installation with matter, even those where there are no P44 lights!

What does matter mean for electrical installations?

For the first time, matter makes it possible to provide real SmartHome infrastructure in a building!

If you choose Matter-compatible control electronics, e.g. the P44-LC-DE-Controller, you have on the one hand a modern, flexibly configurable but independently functioning basic infrastructure, e.g. lighting with DALI LED drivers and maintenance-free/battery-free push-buttons for direct operation.

If the users want additional SmartHome functions, they simply connect their SmartHome system of choice, with or without cloud functions, with or without a voice assistant, via matter to the installation, and can build additional smart automation with the devices they bring along.

matter is to the smarthome what the power socket was to electrification 100 years ago - a standard that allows the building-side infrastructure to be easily connected to (and disconnected from) the user-side devices.

When can I try this myself?

Right now! A public beta firmware with matter support is available for all P44 devices (except for the first P44-DSB-DEH) - simply opt-in to public betas (make sure you have at least firmware 2.6.9 installed, click the Beta... button besides the Check for new firmware version... button, and enable public beta versions). You also need to have a corresponding Matter-enabled "ecosystem" such as Apple Home, Alexa, Smartthings, Home Assistant etc. (Google Home also works, but needs a developer account and enabling vid/pid 0xFFF1/0x8002). Of those, at this time Apple Home is the system best tested and known working with the P44 matter bridge. Please see plan44 Matter Beta Readme for more info on this.

When will matter be available productively for P44 devices?

As soon as possible, of course!

plan44 was recently able to enter into a cooperation with the renowned German manufacturer of roller shutter and sun protection drives, Becker-Antriebe, in order to jointly certify the plan44 Matter Bridge open-source application for both systems. This brings certification within reach, and it is foreseeable that it can already take place in a few months.

Thanks to this cooperation with a larger company, the problems with matter for small companies, which I addressed in the interview the blog matter-smarthome.de conducted with me, will be alleviated a good deal. We hope that csa-iot can also benefit from projects like this so that the open questions in the area of matter and OpenSource are clarified further, which can then also benefit other projects.