Panasonic has launched its new lineup of air conditioners (AC) for 2024, which includes its range of Matter-enabled room ACs. Matter is a new universal standard of connectivity for smart home appliances that allows interoperability through brand-agnostic mobile apps. With this launch, Panasonic has become India’s first brand to launch ACs that follow this protocol. The Japanese brand has launched 60 models, including the Matter-enabled ACs in 1.0-ton, 1.5-ton, and 2.0-ton variants.
Announcing its lineup of ACs, Fumiyasu Fujimori, Managing Director, PMIN, Panasonic Life Solutions India, said, “The new line-up of ACs, comprising of India’s first Matter-enabled RACs will not only provide inter-operability but is simple to use, reliable and secure. By seamlessly connecting with other Matter-certified devices and platforms, they will facilitate a smarter and more efficient use of energy, optimizing comfort while minimizing environmental impact.”
The Matter-enabled ACs can be connected through the company’s Miraie app, which also adopts the same connectivity standard. Users can also use any other Matter-enabled app to control the appliance. These new models are available across major offline outlets, e-commerce platforms and through the company website.
What is Matter, the universal standard of connectivity for smart home appliances
In recent years, a big focus in the consumer tech space has been on interoperability and unified solutions. Last year, Xiaomi launched its HyperOS, which replaced the MIUI system to bring a single interface to connect and unify all its IoT devices. On the hardware side, Apple finally ditched the Lightning port in the iPhone 15 series in favour of the USB Type-C port to comply with the European Union’s new rules of bringing a unified port for all consumer electronic devices.
Matter is a similar protocol for software unification and connectivity of smart home and IoT appliances. The universal standard was brought up by the Connectivity Standards Alliance (formerly known as Zigbee Alliance), a group of more than 500 companies. The first time this protocol made the headlines was in 2019 when Apple, Google, and Amazon joined hands with Zigbee Alliance to create a single unified connectivity system for smart homes.
It solves a core issue for smart home owners, which is managing multiple apps to control the various smart appliances in the house. The situation has become similar to the late 90s and early 2000s when users were forced to keep multiple remote controls to use their appliances till universal remotes came about. Matter aims to mirror a similar solution through a networking protocol to connect compatible devices and systems regardless of their brand, model, or origin of manufacturing.
The universal connectivity standard focuses on a four-pronged solution. First is interoperability, which will allow users to buy any smart home appliance, from a smart TV to smart lights, without worrying about downloading its companion app to control it. The second is simplicity, as it ditches complex setup processes and offers a simple UI to connect all the devices in your home via WiFi. The third issue it tackles is security, as Matter uses an encryption system to ensure the data shared between the different devices are protected from any outsider trying to hack the user. Finally, it also addresses the reliability problem as the protocol is designed to evolve and adapt to newer smart devices that might be invented in the future.
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