Samsung took the stage last night at the opening keynote of CES 2022. Along with some great social responsibility programs Samsung has been driving, they announced new products and affiliations. One such affiliation has people who follow the smart home space scratching their heads a bit. After introducing new products for the connected home, Samsung’s Head of Products & Engineering for SmartThings, Mark Benson, discussed Samsung’s commitment to the Matter smart home standard. He followed that with the announcement of a whole new industry group: The Home Connectivity Alliance (HCA), comprising Samsung, GE, Haier, Trane, American Standard, Electrolux, and Arçelik.
Samsung’s press release promotes that it is “join[ing]” the alliance. To be clear, Samsung is a founding member of this new group. What unclear is why this group exists or how it’s any different from what the Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA) is working toward with Matter. From Samsung’s release:
The alliance brings together leading manufacturers of connected devices to enhance the compatibility of smart appliances across brands.
How’s that different from what the CSA is doing? In the keynote, Katherine Shin from Trane described a scene where devices in your home communicate and trigger actions automatically. Like Matter.
The Matter standard has been delayed multiple times. And appliance support may be taking longer than Samsung and other manufacturers are willing to wait. Ideally, if this side effort yields good smart appliance standards, they could contribute their work to Matter.
But will they? This is Samsung—the company that requires you to create a Samsung account and use SmartThings to manage your smart TV.