What is Matter? How does it work? How can it improve home security? Those are all questions we ask Kudelski IoT’s Senior Vice President, Hardy Schmidbauer, on this episode of the IoT For All Podcast. Hardy takes a deep dive into the new smart home standard, Matter, as its rollout and adoption in the market increases.
Hardy Schmidbauer is the senior vice president of IoT at the Kudelski Group. Hardy is a seasoned executive and entrepreneur in the wireless, semiconductor, and IoT sectors, with a 20-year career spanning from executive management to design engineering, marketing, business development, and start-up founder. He played an instrumental role in developing the wireless and IoT ecosystem through management, R&D, and marketing roles supporting LoRa, LoRaWAN, and other wireless protocols. Among the other companies he has worked for are Silicon Labs, Semtech Corporation, and DSP Group. Hardy holds an MBA from Santa Clara University and a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from Oregon State University. He currently resides in Scottsdale, Arizona, with his family.
Interested in connecting with Hardy? Reach out on Linkedin!
About Kudelski IoT
Kudelski IoT is the Internet of Things division of Kudelski Group. They provide end-to-end IoT solutions, product design, and full-lifecycle services to IoT device manufacturers, ecosystem creators, and end-user companies. These solutions and services leverage the group’s 30+ years of innovation in digital business model creation; hardware, software, and ecosystem design and testing; state-of-the-art security lifecycle management technologies and services, and managed operation of complex systems.
Key Questions and Topics from this Episode:
(00:36) Introduction of Hardy & Kudelski
(02:23) What is Matter?
(03:32) How does Matter work?
(04:05) How matter improves security
(04:56) Proactively addressing security
(10:57) What adoption has looked like?
(12:38) Future outlook and expectations
– [Ryan Chacon] Hello everyone and welcome top another episode of the IoT For All Podcast. I’m Ryan Chacon and on today’s episode we are going to talk a lot about matter. What matter is, how it works, how it improves security in a connected home, lots of very exciting topics here. We are gonna learn a ton about Matter. And I have Hardy Schmidbauer the senior vice president of IoT at Kudelski IoT joining me today. So it’s a fantastic conversation that I know you’ll get a lot of value out of. Please also be sure to subscribe to our channel, hit the bell icons to get the latest episodes as soon as they are out, and give us a thumbs up, and we really appreciate it. But other than that, let’s get on to the episode. Welcome, Hardy, to the IoT For All podcast. Thanks for being here this week.
– [Hardy] Great, thanks for having me on the show again.
– [Ryan] Absolutely, it’s great to have you back. Good conversation plan for today. I’m really excited about it. But for those of you or those of our audience who may be unfamiliar and have not seen previous episodes that we’ve done together, I’d love it if you could give a quick introduction just about yourself and the company and then we’ll go from there.
– [Hardy] Sure. My name’s Hardy Schmidbauer. I’m senior vice president of Kudelski IoT. We have a long history of expertise in security and have different product lines which relate to security in IoT. Our first product line is we have our security labs which help companies define their security architecture, evaluate the different security threats, and then also test against those threats. Once the device design is completed or the solution is completed, we then have our IOT services, which help companies throughout the security lifecycle of their products. So how do you provision devices? How do you do secure firmware updates over the air? How do you manage the security lifecycle of IoT devices and ensure that you’re complying with all the forthcoming regulations around the security topic? And then we also develop complete IoT solutions which incorporate all of our security products and our security services as well for different industries. We have a long history in IoT. I was kind of instrumental in helping to build the LoRa Alliance and LoRa ecosystem. And I spent a lot of my career in the semiconductor industry, building different solutions and designing different wireless systems.
– [Ryan] That’s awesome; thank you for that. So for our topic today, I know we want to center this around Matter and talk to our audience about what it is, how it works, its benefits, who is benefiting the most, the future of it, and so forth. But let’s kick this off by having you just give a quick overview and introduction to what Matter is and what value it provides for the industry, kind of just at a high level.
– [Hardy] Sure, so Matter is a new standard, and I think it’s really targeting the smart home industry. So, if you’ve tried to get multiple different smart home devices or ecosystems to work together, I’m sure you’ve struggled. If you’ve tried to get your Ring doorbell to connect to your Google assistant and then work with your iPhone, that’s not the easiest thing to do. And I’m sure most people have encountered challenges around that. So, Matter is really trying to solve that interoperability challenge in the smart home ecosystem. It’s built around four main pillars. The first one is simplicity, the second one is interoperability, the third one is reliability and connectivity, and the fourth one is security.
– [Ryan] Hm, and if you were to talk to somebody about and explain kind of how Matter works, you kind of obviously gave a great overview of what it’s doing, but if you were to talk to somebody about how it works, how would you kind of describe that in a pretty concise way to someone who may not be very technical?
– [Hardy] Matter ensures that all of your home devices work together seamlessly, right? And I think that’s the simplest way to phrase it for those of us who are not 100% immersed in the tech on a day-to-day basis.
– [Ryan] And you’ve mentioned with those four pillars, the last one’s really interesting, and I think I want to talk about it here for a second about security. So how does Matter now being kind of this new standard in the space really improve security, especially in the connected home kind of environment for people?
– [Hardy] Matter is really focused on including security in the specification, which is critical. You have to have to include security in the design. You can’t add it at the end of a design. So, they’ve done a good job of really defining security and specification, ensuring authentication of the devices so that you know it’s an authentic device. You can’t trick and connect devices that are not authenticated into the network.
– [Ryan] Since I know from a historical standpoint, Kudelski is very big and very prominent in the security space. Let me ask you; when you’re thinking about security, and this is kind of taking a short little break, a pivot away from Matter for a second, when you’re thinking about addressing security concerns that may arise in a solution, being more proactive around that, especially when you’re, in different environments, you’re in different industries around the world, how best can people be thinking about how to proactively address that need for security that’s associated with IoT solutions being deployed, digital transformation and so forth? Because that is a very evolving need. Just like with Matter, like you just mentioned, something that they’ve kind of baked in from the beginning and really, really thought about, especially when you’re talking about home and security, it’s paramount that is something that is being really well thought of and I think helps consumers feel more trusted when they’re buying a Matter device as opposed to another kind of technology obviously. But just at a high level, how do you approach that and how do you think about that, and how should other people really be kind of considering security early on in that kind of development?
– [Hardy] Yeah, I think that’s a great point. I think some consumers have kind of lost faith that their devices are secure. And I think that is somewhat hurting adoption in the industry. And I think that’s what Matter is really trying to solve is give back to really proving and ensuring the security of the ecosystem. But I agree. Outside of Matter, really any design should follow this kind of security process, right? And I think a lot of companies haven’t been doing that, and I think there are a lot of kinds of regulations and suggestions now that are really pushing that security needs to be thought of and included in the design from the early architecture phase. So, the process that we really try to help companies with at Kudelski IoT is to first do a security architecture and threat modeling for your product and your solution because security’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. A cat tracker doesn’t need the same level of security as a smart meter, right? And so, you can’t try to push really high security on every product because it will potentially make those products non-competitive or too expensive within the market. So I think defining the right level of security and doing the threat modeling is really the first important step. Then you can take that and include security in the design specification from the beginning so that your engineers can really design towards a very specific security target. And then at the end of the design process and the certification process I think it’s then important to go back and have an independent expert really evaluate that that security target was also met in the device. So have somebody go in and try to hack or compromise that device to see if, really, that security target was met or not before you go to market. So we help companies at Kudelski IoT to go through that process, even do a lot of the security architecture and threat modeling for companies, and help them extract that into their specification. We have a great team in Switzerland that will help companies go back in and really evaluate the security of the devices to make sure that they hit those targets.
– [Ryan] And when we’re talking about Matter and that certification being something that device and product creators are looking to be able to kind of get certified, is that an element that they kind of have to go through to be able to achieve Matter certification?
– [Hardy] Part of the Matter specification today and the certification is you have to be authenticated. So Kudelski IoT is now one of the approved product adaptation authorities. So we help give the device attestation certificate to companies which really ensures that authentication. So without that, you can’t even join into a network or communicate with other devices if you don’t have that device authentication certificate. But, Matter has included security and encryption in the specification. They have other kinds of recommendations on security as well. Security is not tested as part of the certification process today, other than having the adaptation certificate, but I think that is one thing that they’re looking at to include as well in the standard and in the certification process.
– [Ryan] Yeah, I was going to ask you, so if it’s not necessarily included right now, what do Matter adopters really need to do beyond the certification to help ensure that long-term security for their products?
– [Hardy] Well, I mean, first of all, you need to design towards a spec. They’ve included security into the spec. So you have some level of security that you need to include into the design to be able to pass the certification and also to be able to do the attestation. But, I think companies should, also independent of that, really follow the process which I already mentioned of defining security targets and doing security architecture reviews. And if companies work with us on the attestation, then we can help companies through the security lifecycle as well. It’s not something that they have to choose, and they can even decide to do it later. But if you want to do in-field provisioning or you want to do secure former updates over the air, or you want to do key rotation or manage the security lifecycle device, that’s something that we can help companies do if we help them with the product adaptation.
– [Ryan] Gotcha, okay, fantastic. Let me ask you, since Matter has kind of been rolled out, what does adoption kind of look like? Like from your perspective, how do you see adoption kind of going so far and what industries are benefiting the most right now? Or at least in the early stages from Matter?
– [Hardy] I think that’s one of the really exciting things about Matter because I think with any specification, getting the adoption of the industry is always the biggest challenge. I come from helping to build the LoRa Alliance and getting kind of critical mass of the industry participating in the standard is always the biggest challenge for getting a new standard adopted and off the ground. And, within Matter, you have all of the major players, from the smart home industry which I think really will help drive its success if everybody’s participating and everybody’s committed to it. So you have Apple, you have Google, you have Amazon, you have Samsung, you have SongFeed, Legrand, Ikea, LG, even Huawei, participating within the standard. As well as, you have all of the major semiconductor and microcontroller companies also supporting the standards such as Microchip and Silicon Labs and ST and TI and Infineon and Nordic, really actively pushing the standard as well.
– [Ryan] Yeah, absolutely. That’s been one of the biggest, from the conversation I’ve had really gives that kind of assurance that this is something that people can feel a bit more secure about and has the backing of so many big names, that it’s going to be something that hopefully has a very promising future. Aside from when we’re talking about consumer products, especially with smart homes, do you feel like, or how do you see Matter kind of evolving outside of kind of that space into other industries? Are there industries that we’re not thinking about that are really going to benefit kind of eventually, maybe, from Matter as it continues to grow and be adopted more widely?
– [Hardy] For sure. I mean, I think the initial target of Matter is really the smart home ecosystem around single-dwelling homes. But, I think if you look at the use cases around lighting, outlets, thermostats, HVACs, access control with doorbells and door locks and Windows, also incorporating in all of the energy-related devices that can be applied to smart building metering and anything around energy efficiency as well. So as it gets really high adoption in the consumer segment, I think it’ll also be used a lot more in the more industrial segments as well for IoT.
– [Ryan] Totally agree. Last question I kind of have for you here, it’s sort of two parts, but you can kind of answer them together. What are the long-term impacts of Matter and what does the future outlook and expectations for Matter from your perspective look like as we get through this year and into the future? Just anything that people should be really thinking about on their end.
– [Hardy] Well, I mean, I think the smart home kind of industry can be so much larger, with interoperability. I think, some consumers have really been frustrated by the setup process of these different devices or different systems. I think if Matter can solve all of that and I think they have all the major players involved, and who are really committed to solving that, I think the potential volumes are huge. So, I think getting the collaboration of all the players in the industry there is really critical for a huge increase in the overall volume of the smart home industry.
– [Ryan] Have you noticed any challenges since Matter has been rolled out and people started to use it that are maybe unique or weren’t expected through the adoption of it by device manufacturers and so forth? Or anything that maybe we haven’t touched on yet that’s kind of worth noting? Maybe that was a little bit unexpected?
– [Hardy] I mean, I haven’t heard anything yet. I mean, I think it’s all been very positive as companies are starting to roll out the first devices, but it is still relatively new. The specification was only released late last year. You’re starting to see the first Matter devices at CES this year. So I think it’s still early but so far I think everything has been very positive as to the benefits of Matter.
– [Ryan] How does it work for, and this is kind of a little off on a tangent here, but how does it work for the other standards that currently exist in the market? How will those kind of play a role into Matter as a new standard? Will they be something that they’ll be able to kind of work in together? Is it something that those devices will now need to kind of go be certified in and bring the standard into those devices? Like what kind of happens for somebody who has devices that are not using Matter, but obviously don’t want to necessarily replace all their devices in their home?
– [Hardy] Yeah, that’s a great question because Matter is not a completely new connectivity. It’s not a new LTE version or it’s not a new connectivity option. It’s really including existing connectivity today. So, it uses Wi-Fi, it uses Bluetooth, and it uses Thread, which are all existing kinds of standards and connectivity today. So it’s still incorporating that; it’s really focused around the interoperability piece and ensuring kind of that seamless experience for consumers.
– [Ryan] Gotcha, okay. Yeah, that was a question I’ve been asked kind of on the side by people wondering, “Hey, I have all these devices already in my house. They’re not Matter devices.” So what’s going to happen? What do they need to do? And there are obviously other standards that are being used and other technologies that are being used to bring devices together and make them work together. So that was something I think a lot of people are very curious to understand what’s going to happen and if there’s anything they should be on the lookout for or concerned about.
– [Hardy] Yeah, I think that’s part of any standard too. They’re looking to add other types of connectivity into standard use as well such as by Wi-Fi 6. So I think as the standard evolves, you’ll see it incorporate more and more different connectivity options as well.
– [Ryan] Yeah, and for device manufacturers and product creators that are out there now, how do they kind of get started down the journey of being a matter-certified product and kind of just going down the path to make sure that their product works with this new standard?
– [Hardy] Well, I think with any standard the first step is to relate to, to join the standard organization. That gives you access to the specification and then you can start to look at adapting or designing your products per that specification.
– [Ryan] Fantastic, last thing, I promise is the last thing I’ll ask you before I let you go is, for our audience who wants to learn more about what you all have going on at Kudelski IoT and anything to do with Matter and just other stuff you have that you’re working on, what’s the best way that they can kind of look into that, learn more, and follow up, if they have questions?
– [Hardy] Yeah, that’d be great. You can go to our Kudelski IoT website. We have all of our different products and services there that companies can take a look at and see if that interests them and in working with Kudelski on Matter or just with security in general to ensure the security of their devices and ensure that they’re going to pass all of the coming regulations around security as well.
– [Ryan] Fantastic. Well, Hardy, thank you again so much for coming on here and talking to me about something that’s very popular and trending right now. Very excited to see, kind of, how Matter continues to be adopted, rolled out, and it’s going to, I think, do great things across the industry. So thank you so much for your time.
– [Hardy] All right, great. Thanks a lot, Ryan.
– [Ryan] All right everyone, thanks again for watching that episode of the IoT For All Podcast. If you enjoyed the episode, please click the thumbs-up button, subscribe to our channel, and be sure to hit the bell notification, so you get the latest episodes as soon as they become available. Other than that, thanks again for watching, and we’ll see you next time.