The Tech Between Us Podcast: Exploring the Matter Protocol for a Smarter Home. Part II

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28 Dec, 2023

The Tech Between Us Podcast: Exploring the Matter Protocol for a Smarter Home. Part II

In a fascinating follow-up episode of "The Tech Between Us," host Raymond Yin continues his engaging conversation with Chris LaPré, Chief Technical Officer at the Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA).

Getting Started with Matter

This episode focuses on Matter, a universal smart home standard, and delves into various aspects crucial for engineers and companies looking to adopt this technology. Listen to the first part here. 

A significant part of the discussion revolves around the practical steps for engineers and companies to begin working with Matter. Chris LaPré emphasizes the accessibility of the Matter Software Development Kit (SDK), available on GitHub. He notes that this tool makes it easier to build simpler devices like light bulbs and smart plugs. Additionally, the CSA team is developing videos and documentation to assist engineers in creating more complex devices, highlighting the supportive resources available.

Understanding the Matter Specification

An interesting point Chris makes is that while Matter uses the ZigBee cluster library for its device data model, in-depth knowledge of ZigBee isn’t a prerequisite for designing Matter-compatible devices. This aspect significantly lowers the barrier to entry for engineers and developers looking to implement Matter in their designs.

The conversation also covers technical aspects, like the OSI model layers, explaining that Matter operates above UDP and relies on transport protocols such as Wi-Fi and Thread. This technical discussion provides listeners with a deeper understanding of how Matter fits into the broader context of network communication.

Explore more on Matter here.

CSA Working Groups: From ZigBee to Data Privacy

Raymond and Chris highlight the different working groups within the CSA, including those focused on ZigBee, the data model group, product security, and data privacy. These groups play a pivotal role in the ongoing development and refinement of Matter and related standards.

One of the episode's key takeaways is the CSA's commitment to developing a robust product security standard, informed by external standards, and a data privacy framework. These initiatives aim to offer clearer comparisons and transparency regarding how companies handle user data. The ultimate goal, as Chris elucidates, is to bolster consumer confidence in IoT devices by ensuring interoperability, robust product security, and stringent data privacy measures.

Overall, this episode of "The Tech Between Us" provides valuable insights into the evolving world of smart home technology, particularly focusing on the Matter standard. It offers a blend of practical advice for professionals in the field and a deeper understanding of the technological underpinnings for enthusiasts and consumers interested in the future of IoT and smart home devices.

More by Jessica Miley

Content Director at Wevolver. Jess has a background in architecture, design, and public art. She has worked as a technical writer and project manager for over five years.