I realize this is a bit antithesis here in the Home Assistant and espHome world, however I encourage you to have a look at was is now possible with Tasmota on an ESP32. Their work demonstrates all the hard work that open source developers here in Home Assistant, espHome, Tasmota and other projects have done to make Matter a useful component for local only open home automation.
I am sure many of you have had the similar experience of visiting a friend or families home and finding them well ensconced in Amazon Alexa or Apple HomeKit or Google Home with home automation devices installed and being controlled. However, like I have found, there is some component of that home that is not automated and you say to yourself, if only there was a Home Assistant server here, I could create ‘a scratch for the itch’ with a ESP based device. But then the reality sets in of a lack of Raspberry Pi’s to create a HA instance for them. An then the real reality of you don’t have the cycles to be the admin on another home automation system do you?
Well, give yourself a view into the bright future of Matter open devices. Yes, it is early, and Matter is most definitely currently at the ‘Trough of Disillusionment’ on the Gartner Hype Cycle. Pour yourself a glass of your favorite beverage | , grab a unused ESP32 board and carve off 30 minutes. You will have a Matter light, switch or sensor controlled directly by your Alexa, HomeKit or Google hub via voice before you can finish that beverage!
If you are Apple Car Play or Android Auto user, you can even control or query it from your car. Beverage not recommended here.
Yes, as I said this is early stuff and it’s Matter on WiFi only, no Thread Mesh support yet. Don’t be ordering those ESP32-C6 chips yet ;-). However, I have found the test devices I have setup working solidly with no issues.
Here is a simple set of steps to get the ESP32 flashed and added to your chosen hub.
Beginners Guide to adding Tasmota Matter to Google Home
Here is the current discussion