Home Automation: Eve Motion and Eve Weather Review
In the spring of 2017 iPhone Life magazine, I wrote a roundup of HomeKit-compatible home automation equipment, which included Elgato’s Eve Room indoor temperature and humidity sensor, its Eve Door & Window wireless contact sensor, and the Eve Energy electricity toggle switch. This short post reviews two more members of the Eve family, the Eve motion ($ 49.95) wireless motion sensor and Eve Weather ($ 49.95) wireless outdoor sensor.
The Eve Weather sensor is nearly identical in appearance and functionality to the Eve Room. Both capture temperature and humidity readings, with the key difference being that the day before also captures the air pressure, while the day before it captured the air quality. Elgato also mentions that the weather on the eve can withstand “a little rain”, so it could be concluded that it encloses its batteries and electronic components in a more durable and more weathered casing. After taking a closer look at the vespers room and the eve weather, I couldn’t tell the difference between either. I can confirm that the weather yesterday did survive several heavy rains, although I have only tried it during spring weather. I look forward to seeing if it will continue to operate during the sweltering summer heat and sub-zero snow-covered winters. Like its indoor counterpart, Eve weather simply reports on temperature conditions and provides historical graphs of fluctuations in temperature, humidity, and air pressure. It is by no means a complete weather station (although it would be nice if it also included a wind speed sensor), and you cannot set trigger conditions for home automation scenes (turn on the ceiling fan when the outside temperature exceeds 85 degrees Fahrenheit, for example). However, it is a more accurate way to determine outdoor conditions without relying on weather forecast websites that aggregate temperatures over a broader geographic region.
The Eve Motion sensor is the least interesting; An infrared motion detector sends a notification to your iOS device every time a movement occurs. To test the device, I put it inside a storage closet that is used infrequently, but when it is, the light is sometimes on for days as hardly anyone goes in there. At the very least, a motion detection notification reminds me to check the closet to make sure the light is off. While it can be helpful to know if a door was opened or if someone has entered a room, it is of limited utility without knowing what triggered that event. Of course, you can daisy chain the motion detection event with other home automation devices, such as turning on the lights or an electrical appliance such as a radio or screen. What would have really elevated Eve Motion beyond a simple trigger would have been the inclusion of a camera. If a movement occurred, you could include a picture or a short video of the movement in question. There are products on the market that provide such functionality, but the lack of an image capture device within the Eve line is noted. Having a built-in camera would save me trips to the closet to check if the light is off. I know I could have hooked up the motion sensor with a light, but then the light might go out while someone is rummaging under stacks of boxes, not in line with the motion detector or perhaps accidentally covering. Perhaps future iterations of Eve Motion will include the ability to capture images, but for now, it is quite limited considering the price.
I found myself accessing Eve Weather data at least once a day and due to its location and usefulness, the Eve Motion detector was rarely active. It was interesting to see how much of a difference there is between Eve Weather’s most accurate temperature and humidity readings compared to the city’s weather websites. The sensor is slightly more expensive than an older outdoor thermometer mounted on a window sill (although you can’t check it remotely like you can with Eve Weather). Both devices effortlessly connected to the free and frequently updated version. Eve application, and once again showed how the hardware and software of the Apple ecosystem make things easier. As for the Eve Motion sensor, it is a bit pricey for the limited functionality it provides. If it were half the price or included an inexpensive camera at the current price, that would be an easy recommendation. For now, Eve Motion is a device only first-time adopters of Homekit enthusiasts will appreciate.