IKEA's New DIRIGERA Smart Hub Is Matter-Ready: Why That's Huge

Ikea has announced a new smart hub called Dirigera that offers a deeper level of control and personalization for smart home devices; it will debut in October 2022 alongside a new Ikea Home app. The upcoming hub will be able to connect with a wider portfolio of devices while also easing the whole process of pairing and controlling them, something that has remained an unfulfilled dream for users due to the scattered nature of the ecosystems and consistency issues.

With the upcoming products, Ikea says it has also added "personalization options, such as creating different scenes with pre-set functions of the smart products." The Dirigera will serve as a universal control for all Ikea-branded smart home products, while the new app grants the flexibility of controlling them individually or in groups.

The Dirigera smart hub is targeting a wide range of smart home products ranging from lights and speakers to air purifiers and window blinds, with more categories in the pipeline for the foreseeable future. The smart home hub and the new mobile app will arrive in October 2022. While the announcement is promising for Ikea product users, what really matters is that the Dirigera hub is ready for Matter, the open-source interoperability protocol for smart home devices that will make its debut later this year.

Why Matter is important

Matter started as Project CHIP, and it currently counts Apple, Amazon, Google, and Samsung among its biggest backers. The idea is to create a line of Matter-certified products that can talk to each other and allow the user to control them from a single dashboard instead of using a separate ecosystem-exclusive trick or app to do so. Manufacturers are not obligated to fully bring down their walled gardens, but the idea is to allow at least some degree of basic interoperability while keeping advanced tricks limited to proprietary apps.

Matter relies on Bluetooth Low Energy for setting up devices, while Wi-Fi and Thread network layers provide the functional foundations. The first iteration of Matter covers smart home device categories such as bulbs, plugs, locks, blinds, shades, thermostats, and HVAC controllers among others, while future builds will eventually broaden the horizons to embrace products such as vacuum cleaners, doorbells, and more importantly, cameras.

The first wave of Matter-certified devices is expected to arrive in the fall of 2022. Aside from the big names mentioned, other recognizable brands that are jumping on the Matter bandwagon include Arlo, Philips, Eero, Nanoleaf, Belkin, Aqara, Comcast, GE Lighting, and Tuya Smart, among others. Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA), the body which oversees Matter, also promises that Matter-certified devices will rely on an industry-standard encryption protocol for security.