Elgato’s Eve lineup was the first set of home monitoring accessories which are designed to work with Apple’s homekit ecosystem that was first introduced in iOS 8. Home automation is becoming a popular trend, companies are rolling out accessories which can make our homes smarter than ever before and they won’t cost an arm and a leg to buy (well most of them won’t anyway).
Elgato Eve And Weather:
The Eve range has a room sensor (€79.99) which measures the air quality, temperature and humidity indoors, a weather sensor (€49.99) which measures temperature, humidity and air pressure outdoors and a door and window sensor which determines whether a door or window is open or closed. Elgato also provides a companion app to set up and monitor the data transmitted from these sensors.
The room and weather sensors are similar in design, small white square devices where the only differences is that the room sensor will take three AA batteries and the weather sensor is specifically IPX3 rated (rain and splash proof) which is important for an outdoor sensor.
The Eve units use Bluetooth 4.0 technology for communicating with HomeKit which means that you will need to be within Bluetooth range to read data from them or you can also use an AppleTV to remotely access the data from the Eve sensors without being in Bluetooth range. The range is quite impressive, I have been able to connect to the sensors from anywhere in the house without fail. Even standing in the front driveway I have been able to connect to the weather sensor out in the back garden.
The room sensor of course stays inside and you can place it where you wish. For the weather sensor, you can easily mount it to any wall or surface you like. I have mine on the wall outside my back garden door and thanks to the simple design it actually looks good sitting there!
Setting up the accessories in the Eve companion app is easy, open the app, search for the accessory, use the iPhone camera to capture the 8 digit code and then assign the sensor to the room it is in. Because the Eve range is designed to work with homekit the app incorporates homekit features such as zones, rooms, scenes, service groups and users. Siri, of course, will also work with the Eve range and asking what the temperature or humidity is in one of your rooms, for example, will allow Siri to pull in data directly from the sensor itself.
In the Eve app you have the, ‘at a glance’ view which allows you to see a quick overhead of everything that is going on with the sensors you have setup at home right at that moment.
You can then dive into any section you wish to get a detailed graph of what the sensor has been picking up. The graphs can be filtered into hours, days, weeks or years. Over time, the more data you collect will mean that you will have a better understanding of something such as the air quality at home at different times of the year and you can compare different data sets together so you can see what the temperature was when your air quality was poor at a certain time of the year.
The sensors will store data for 14 days and whenever you connect to them they will download that data to the app. So as long as you connect once a week, you will have a continuous stream of data from the sensor on your iPhone.
The limitation of the Eve range at the moment is that they are great for monitoring conditions around your home but you can’t actually use them for automated processes such as turning on a light or adjusting the temperature on a thermostat.
Elgato has promised that there will be a free firmware and app update in the future which will allow for these capabilities which were only introduced in iOS 9 however there is no timeframe on when those features may be coming.
Is it necessary?
Is any home automation tool necessary at the moment? No. However for the first time we are getting the ability to accurately monitor our home environment and surroundings. You can find out some great information about your home year round at a cost effective rate. At the moment, Elgato Eve is the best out there for home condition monitoring and as home automation tools expand they are bound to increase in intelligence and functionality.
Maybe then the only thing for me to tell you now is exactly what I have been using the data from the Eve sensors for.
Personally I have been loving the Eve Weather and Room sensors, they have been great for monitoring conditions at home and thats important to me because of this little one.
Lola is a 15 month old bearded dragon (no she is not reading the newspaper there) and for beardies, tank conditions are very important. They need a dry desert setup with low humidity, otherwise they can end up with respiratory problems. However, tank conditions are dependant on the external conditions
The conditions inside the tank can change based on what is going on outside the tank. If it is a below zero morning in the winter then the temperature in the tank will drop for example. The room sensor is setup next to her tank and allows me to monitor the conditions of what is going on right next to the tank so I know what the humidity conditions are like, I know exactly what the temperature is on the outside and also importantly I can make sure the air quality around the tank is excellent as much as possible.
As a passive home monitoring tool the Eve range is well worth the investment, you can check out the Elgato website below and you can also go to the Apple online store to pick them up for yourself.