Hello to the HA & Matter community and request for development tool advice and assistance

Kind Folks,

Newbie to HA and Matter here, but not to embedded systems and related topics. Have been developing wearable wireless systems for about a decade, typically Bluetooth LE and mostly with Nordic nRF5x chips. Lots of desktop system experience before that, mostly macOS. Also iOS… So broad SW development background, but new to home automation.

So stumbling into this area as a “pedestrian” – a person with general knowledge but lacking specific information about the area. Impresses me as an “emerging area”, I.e., lots of open issues. Have experiment a bit with HA, setting it up on a Raspberry Pi, with Govee Home thermometers and BN-Link (Tuya-based) smart outlets as devices.

Also looking at Matter as a possible ‘future” environment. But it certainly doesn’t look ready for “primetime” yet. Jon Smirl’s postings here (Notes on implementing Matter) illustrate the problem. Reminds me of the early days of the web when I was at IBM Research (not to tell tales out of school :wink:), big strategy meeting of all Research to try to take advantage of the opportunity. Proposal? A clean, simple architecture? Nope, a pile of “plumbing” made up of a dozen disparate systems, protocols, and languages. My recommendation: Quit adding new plumbing fittings and think about smarter fluid.

Well, IBM didn’t take my advice then (and solved the problem on their own terms over time). I don’t expect to affect the trajectory of Matter now. But it seems that the cacaphony can be eased by more scaffolding for building prototypes and analysis tools for testing and adapting them. Looks like it’s still early for those aids, too. Case in point: just watched the Nordic webinar, “Developing Matter products with nRF Connect SDK” (Developing Matter products with nRF Connect SDK - YouTube), again. Good small starting step, but at this stage they had to build the whole network from raw components rather than just a single unit under test. Reproducing the demo is a fools errand; miss a keystroke or menu click and you fail. (Been there; done that).

So how about collaborating on:

  • Some vendor-neutral documents that explain the architecture and specs in a manner sufficient to start modeling and testing individual components.
  • Scaffolding and tools to facilitate the piecewise development and testing of those components.

Note that it would be great if these support tools would be broad enough to accommodate HA now and the migration to Matter over time. (Hey, I’ve got my BN-Link smart outlets integrated with HA using the Tuya integration webpage and account, but that only allows on-off functionality, and doesn’t give me a clue about measuring kWh, etc., or writing an iOS app to monitor energy use).

So, pardon the rants and ravings of this curmudgeonly newbie to HA. Comments and suggestions appreciated.


Pretty sure that’s the plan when v1 of the spec is actually released. Right now the only people that have access to it - are the PAYING members of the CSA.

There is a huge amount of corporate support behind Matter, it is simply hidden behind a paywall so that you can’t see it. Matter is almost ready, the 1.0 SDK will ship before the end of the year. Apple has a public Beta of their Matter support in Home available now. Google and Amazon are a little behind. There are a hundred device makers building devices.

The Espressif Matter support is an easy way to get started on the ESP32.

There is no need to implement the 1000 pages of the Matter spec, it will all come pre-implemented in the Matter SDK. If you want to know what Matter looks like, google for the Zigbee Cluster Library. Matter is very similar. You don’t HAVE to have to spec to get started with Matter. Between the Espressif code and that Zigbee Cluster Library documentation it is enough to get started. Come around January Matter is going to be advertised everywhere.

How to get the Apple Betas…

Many thanks, Jon. I’m actually a licensed Apple developer, so I’ll definitely follow up there (and have a handful of ESP32 devices, too :slight_smile: