Back in June 2022, according to the Home Assistant’s community blog post, Nabu Casa’s Zack Barett announced on Twitter that Home Assistant founders are working on the SkyConnect USB Stick, a physical radio adapter and dongle hardware. Seeed Studio has now started taking pre-orders for the Home Assistant SkyConnect USB Stick, compatible with Zigbee, Thread, and Matter, ideal for home automation applications.
In terms of wireless connectivity, which is an essential part of any automation application, the hardware dongle supports Zigbee and Matter specifications. The device is based on the Silicon Labs’ EFR32MG21 system-on-chip with an IEEE 802.15.4 multi-protocol 2.4GHz radio microcontroller that is capable of parallelly running both Zigbee 3.0 and Thread protocols. This is done using firmware in RCP RCP mode.
Silicon Labs’ EFR32MG21 system-on-chip is a high-performance, low-power, and secure IoT solution with support for multiprotocol wireless connectivity. The system-on-chip is optimized for line-powered Zigbee, Thread, and Bluetooth mesh applications, including connected lighting, gateways, voice assistants, and smart metering. The hardware features integrated security features and leverages Secure Vault technology, and physically unclonable function hardware to reduce the risk of IoT security breaches.
The widely adopted feature for home automation and IoT ecosystem– over-the-wire firmware update. The Home Assistant SkyConnect USB Stick also comes with an over-the-wire firmware update feature through the USB interface that allows easy and quick firmware updates for both connectivity protocols.
An important thing to note is that SkyConnect will not run Matter connectivity immediately upon launch, but using Home Assistant the firmware will be updated to enable Matter when the firmware is developed.
“This is due to Matter not being released until November and not all of the information being available. The Home Assistant is already working on their Matter implementation, but more information will come after November.”
The Home Assistant SkyConnect USB Stick is currently available in limited quantity and shipment after the official product launch is expected for November/December 2022. The dongle is priced at $29.99 USD and can be bought on the Seeed Studio product page.