Elgato Eve HomeKit accessories help you make home a healthier and secure place
Elgato Eve gathers data on air quality, temperature, humidity, air pressure, energy consumption and more. I received Eve Room and Eve Weather to try it out. Unique about Eve Room is its sensor for air quality, which works very accurately, as I was to discover soon. Eve is also unique in that it manages to comply with Apple’s stringent security requirements. As far as I know, it’s the only HomeKit accessory range that pulls off this trick over Bluetooth.
Elgato Eve Room and Weather are two rounded square boxes. Eve Weather measures temperature, relative humidity and air pressure. Eve Room measures air quality instead of air pressure. The form factor is identical and unobtrusive. Compared with for example Netatmo, the advantages of Eve are certainly its form factor and the air quality sensor. To try out Eve, I downloaded the app and started monitoring for a week. I am currently staying in a large city where I know the ozone values skyrocket on warm, sunny days. We were going to have a few of those in the past week, so I was very curious as to if and how the air quality sensor would respond.
The app supports multiple sensor units, e.g. one for each room and/or for each location around the house or flat. The system seems to monitor each sensor’s parameters on a 5 to 10 minute basis, so you get quite a granular look at the differences over an hour, a day or longer. That proved to be very effective when I wanted to closely monitor the air quality with windows wide open on those days that I knew the ozone levels would jump to unbearable levels. Although Eve Room’s air quality sensor does not measure ozone as such, it does monitor the VOCs responsible for this toxic gas.
And I’m happy to say Elgato’s Eve Room showed spikes higher than I expected — well, I’m not at all happy about that, of course. The VOCs levels spiked in tune with the ozone levels reported by the city’s online monitor. There was barely a difference between the ozone levels and VOCs measured by Eve Room. I can extrapolate this observation to the other measured data — barometric pressure, for example, was spot-on when compared with those reported by the close-by airport and my own nautical aneroid barometer.
While the app is clear and concise, I expect Elgato to be adding features in a later stage. I personally am hoping for a mechanism that would allow me to download the raw data to an Excel file for further analysis. I would also like to be able to maximise the graphs on my iPad in landscape mode so I can see more of them, and a zoom functionality that reveals the numbers anywhere on the curves would be nice too. Other than these points of criticism, I like the interface and the way data is rendered. Most people will also love the way Eve integrates with Siri, enabling you to ask for room temperature, humidity levels, etc. — or: if the door has been closed properly.
That’s right: Eve is not just about the two modules I discussed in this piece. There’s also Eve Door & Window, a module to check if windows and doors have been locked properly, and finally Eve Energy, a module that will monitor your electricity consumption per socket (2500 Watts max). The latter you can turn on and off using the app or telling Siri!
The Eve Room sensor is not cheap at €79.95, but the accuracy of the device and the air quality sensor measuring VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) instead of only the CO2 levels in the air justify the somewhat higher price. I certainly want to know when it’s time to close the window before my lungs get a toxic treatment that’s likely to be worse than a bit of CO2. The Eve Weather sensor is only €49.95, which is cheap in comparison to the competition.
The two together allow you to closely follow up the atmosphere you’re living in and take precautions before it becomes unhealthy. In addition, Eve Door & Window will add to your sense of security at home, while Eve Energy will keep your bank manager smiling. In essence, Eve helps you improve your home by gathering data on important parameters.