What is Matter?
Matter is a new Smart Home device protocol made to expand the smart home ecosystem and simplify the device experience for customers. This includes multi-admin support to share onboarded Matter devices between supported platforms. Matter will also be standardized across the industry making the onboarding of devices as smooth as possible using an IP-based connection protocol with Wi-Fi, Thread, and ethernet.
SmartThings has been working with other leaders in the tech industry to define and develop the Matter protocol. We are excited to announce that as of October 24, 2022, SmartThings is now supporting Matter integrations. As the protocol continues to grow, we look forward to adding new features and a more robust device library. To learn more about how Matter works and what you need to take advantage of the protocol, check out the sections below.
What do I need to use Matter devices?
In Matter, there are a few important concepts that make up the onboarding and control of a device.
- Matter Commissioner - A Matter commissioner is used to connect the Matter device to a Matter Controller during the onboarding process. Your mobile device with the SmartThings app will be the commissioner that facilitates this connection.
- Matter Controller - The Matter controller will be the hub responsible for controlling the Matter device after it is onboarded. To connect devices built on Thread, you will need a Matter controller that includes a Thread Border Router. Remember, this protocol allows you to have multiple controllers in your system from different brands that can all work together. At the time of posting this article, Samsung Matter controllers include the SmartThings 2018 Hub (IM6001-V3P01) and Aeotec Smart Home Hub. The SmartThings 2015 Hub (STH-ETH & others) is a Matter controller that supports Matter devices using WiFi/LAN connections but does not contain a Thread router. You can still connect Thread devices in SmartThings using a third-party Thread Border router. See Here for more information.
- Matter Device - This is the smart home device that you will be controlling via SmartThings. As long as the device has the Matter badge on it, you will be able to connect it to any supported Matter Controller in the SmartThings app. The Matter badge on the device’s packaging will indicate if the device needs a Matter controller with a Thread border router.
SmartThings Matter Firmware/Software Requirements
- If using the SmartThings app as a Matter commissioner, you will need an:
- Android device running SmartThings App version 1.7.91 or higher.
- iOS device running iOS 16.2 or higher and SmartThings App version 1.6.94 or higher.
- Android device running SmartThings App version 1.7.91 or higher.
- If you're using a Samsung SmartThings Matter controller listed above, it will need a firmware version 45.9 or higher and match the models listed.
If you have a certified Matter device, controller, and commissioner as described above, you are able to add Matter devices into SmartThings and begin taking advantage of this new protocol.
How do I know if a device uses Matter?
Matter provides a standardized badge and branding to let you know which devices work with the protocol and what they do.
The Matter badge will be on the packaging of Matter devices. Each device will also include a QR code which is used during the pairing process. This QR code includes an 11 or 21-digit setup code that can be used if the QR code cannot be scanned.
Matter devices built on the Thread protocol will have special branding to display whether the device works as a Matter Thread Border Router (used to connect Thread devices) or a Thread device that requires a Border Router.
Note: Some devices built before the launch of Matter may be able to gain Matter support via a Firmware update but this is entirely dependent on the device. For example, SmartThings 2018 Hub, SmartThings 2015 Hub (requires a Thread border router for Thread connections), and Aeotec Smart Home Hub were made prior to Matter but will support the protocol with a firmware update despite them not yet having the Matter badge or branding on the device or packaging.
Connect Matter devices to SmartThings
Matter provides a smooth and seamless connection process for devices. Before adding a device, make sure that you have a supported Matter Controller, commissioner, and device (see this section Here for more detail).
If a Matter device is in pairing mode, you may receive a notification pop-up in the SmartThings app prompting you to add that device and begin the onboarding process (starting with step 4 below).
You can manually add a Matter device to a supported Matter Controller using the following steps.
- Open the SmartThings app
- Select Add (+) and choose Add Device
- Tap Scan to scan the Barcode or select the Brand and Device
- Scan the QR Code on the device
- Select Enter under Enter setup code if using the Setup Code instead of the QR Code
- Select the Hub and Room for the device
- Wait for the device to connect with the app
- Once connected select the Wi-Fi or Thread network if necessary
- For users adding Thread devices with a SmartThings 2015 Hub, you will need to select an existing Thread border router and enter its Thread Network Key.
- Once connected, you can rename the device and tap Save
Connect Matter devices in SmartThings with other services
Using Multi-admin, you can connect onboarded Matter devices from the SmartThings app to other Smart Home platforms while they are still connected in SmartThings. To connect with third-party services, you must have that service’s app installed and set up.
Once the Matter device is connected to SmartThings, you can follow the steps below to share it with a third-party service.
- Open the SmartThings App
- Select the Matter device you would like to share
- Select More (⋮) and choose Share with other services
- The Connected Services section shows services that the device is already shared with
- Choose Share device
- The app will generate a QR Code and Setup Code on the screen
- Note: This code is generated for the sharing process specifically and is different than the QR code physically on your device
- Open the third-party app and follow the steps to add a Matter device
- Scan the QR code or enter the Setup Code generated by SmartThings
To remove access to the device you have shared with the third-party service, you will need to follow the steps on the third-party app to remove the device. Contact the support for that third-party service to get help with deleting a device.
Using a Third Party border router in SmartThings.
If you have a SmartThings 2015 Hub (STH-ETH & others), you will need a third-party border router to connect Thread devices in SmartThings. The Thread Border router will act as an access point for the connection between your Thread device and SmartThings Hub using the Matter protocol to connect a Thread network to your local IP network, specifically Wi-Fi or Ethernet.
You can find a list of supported Matter Thread devices here. The process for setting up the Thread Border Router will depend on each brand. Reach out to their support team for information on connecting a Border Router.
To use that Border Router as a connection point in SmartThings, you will need to make sure that your SmartThings hub and the third-party border router are connected to the same Wi-Fi/LAN network.
Once the Thread Border router is set up and connected to the same network as the hub, you will see the option to choose that thread network while onboarding devices (see step 7 Here).
Your Thread network will have a 32-character network key that you will need to enter when you connect to that Thread Border router during onboarding. This key may be found on the border router or in the third-party app that you used to set up the border router.
Add Matter devices from a third-party service to the SmartThings App
If a Matter device is set up and onboarded in the app for a third-party service, that device can still be shared to SmartThings with the help of Matter. Each third-party app will have its own way of managing how devices are shared with other services like SmartThings.
Contact the support for that third-party service to get help with sharing matter devices.
Matter Device Troubleshooting
My Matter device fails to onboard
If you are unable to onboard a device try one of the following steps.
- Be sure that you have either a SmartThings or third-party Matter Controller added to your smart home.
- Ensure the QR code is fully visible for scanning and the camera is working properly. You can use the setup code on the device instead of scanning the QR code if necessary.
- Check that the Matter device is in pairing mode and in range of both the Matter commissioner (device with the SmartThings app) and the Matter controller (SmartThings or third-party hub). Once connected to the Matter controller, the Matter device will no longer need to directly connect to the Matter commissioner.
- Reset the Matter device using the manufacturer's instructions and fully restart the SmartThings app.
The SmartThings app asks to remove a connected service from the device
While Matter devices can work seamlessly with multiple Smart Home services; each device can only be connected to 5 different services. If the device is already connected to 5 services, you will need to remove it from one of the services before you can share it again using multi-admin.
I don’t see a Matter Wifi or Thread signal when pairing my device
If you are unable to select your SmartThings Matter controller or unable to select the Thread or WiFi network for your Matter device, try the following steps.
- Check that the Matter controller is online and working or you will not be able to select it during onboarding.
- If the network you are connecting to says Network with weak signal, be sure the Wi-Fi or Thread router is close enough to the device for a connection.
- If the network you are connecting to says Network not compatible, be sure the device you are connecting to is compatible with the GHz frequency (2.4 GHz vs 5 GHz) and security type of the network.
- Restart the Matter device and Matter controller before you retry the onboarding of the device.
My connected Matter device is not working
There can be a few reasons that your Matter device may fall offline or fail to work. Try the following steps if the device is unavailable.
- Check that the device is within range of a supported Matter controller and that there are no obstructions that may cause interference between the device and controller.
- Power the Matter device off and on again if possible
- Restart the SmartThings app
- Be sure the device is receiving adequate power
- For battery-powered devices, check that the battery is sufficient for the device. Some battery-powered devices may begin to fail before they fully run out of battery at 0%.
- For wall-powered devices, be sure that it is installed with the specifications of the manufacturer and not experiencing power fluctuations.
- Power cycle the connected Matter controller off and on again
- Remove and re-add the Matter device
If you are still unable to reliably control your Matter device, please contact Samsung support by selecting Contact Us in the Menu (☰) of the SmartThings app.