SparkFun Makes Home Automation Matter, Literally, with Its Thing Plus Matter and Google Nest Guide

If you're wondering how to break into the new Matter standard, SparkFun's latest guide is a great place to start.

SparkFun is looking to give you a leg-up on learning how to use the shiny new Matter standard in your home automation projects with a handy guide to linking a Thing Plus Matter board to a Google Nest hub.

SparkFun launched the Things Plus Matter earlier this year, offering a Feather-compatible breadboard-friendly development board built around the Silicon Labs MGM240P wireless module, which combines a low-power Arm Cortex-M33 core with a 2.4GHz suitable for IEEE 802.15.4, Zigbee, Thread, Bluetooth 5.3 Low Energy (BLE), and more importantly the new Matter standard.

Google, meanwhile, rolled out a firmware update to its most recent Google Home, Nest, and Android devices late last year specifically to add Matter support — a move which shouldn't surprise, given Google's founding membership of the Connectivity Standards Alliance responsible for the Matter standard, alongside Amazon, Apple, Samsung, and what was at the time known as the Zigbee Alliance.

SparkFun's latest guide gets you up and running with the Things Plus Matter and a compatible Google hub. (📷: SparkFun)

Since the update, it's been possible to use selected Google smart home products as a Matter hub — and now SparkFun's Mariah Kelly has published a guide to connecting to exactly those with the Things Plus Matter. "We're chomping at the bit to share some Matter projects with you, so our amazing engineer Dryw has created a demo for y'all to follow along with," Kelly writes. "In this example, he is helping us get our Thing Plus Matter board connected to a Google Nest Hub, as well as the Google Home app, and set up as a light device."

The project requires minimal hardware — just the Things Plus Matter board, a suitable USB cable, and of course a Matter-compatible and updated Google hub. On the software side, the tutorial uses SiLabs' Simplicity Studio and the Google Home Console to get the Things Plus Matter registered as a device compatible with the hub. Once added and commissioned, it's possible to control the board's on-board LED — and, by extension, any other hardware you can connect to its pins.

The guide is now available on the SparkFun learning portal; the Things Plus Matter board is available to buy on the SparkFun store at $24.95 before volume sales pricing.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire:
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