Product: Eve Weather Wireless Outdoor Sensor
Compatibility: All iOS devices with iOS 8.1 or later installed
Date: Sept. 14, 2015
While the number of HomeKit-enabled devices available on the market is still extremely small, you don’t have to break the bank to experience Apple’s vision of the smart home.
First off, a quick reminder about exactly what HomeKit does. The Apple-designed protocol was designed to make it easier for users to interact with products in the growing smart home market. The biggest advantage, for now, is the ability to control and check the status of different devices by simply asking Siri.
We previously took a look at the fantastic iHome iSP5 Smart Plug that acts as an Wi-Fi-enabled power switch for small appliances and or lamps. And Elgato is also offering its interesting line of Eve products to help add some more intelligence to your home.
Along with a sensor that can detect whether a door or window is open or closed, an air quality sensor can provide temperature, humidity, and other information about your indoor environment. But since I’m a weather junkie, I thought I would take a look at the Eve Weather sensor designed for outdoor use.
At its core, Eve Weather is a wireless weather station that can track outdoor temperature, humidity, and air pressure – three major ways to keep an eye on the weather.
A little larger than a deck of cards, getting the device set up is quick and easy. You’ll just need to insert the two included AA batteries and then download the companion Elgato Eve app. It’s free and only for the iPhone/iPod touch. Unlike some other HomeKit products, you won’t need to attach any type of hub to your router. But that does come at a cost.
The Eve Weather connects to your iPhone via Bluetooth, so you’ll need to be relatively close to the unit to actually receive weather information from the app or Siri. I found a perfect place for the device outside my bedroom window away from direct sun. But during use, I could only connect to the device in a small part of my modest 1,800-square-foot. So there’s no way you’ll be able to place the sensor in a bigger backyard and expect to receive up-to-date information.
Also, since the device was placed too far from my third-generation Apple TV, I was unable to see any weather information when I was away from my home network. When at home, Siri support worked well for the most part. With a quick question, I found out the outside temperature and humidity.
When I was able to actually receive the weather conditions through the app, or Siri, I found a major issue. While the temperature and humidity readings were nearly identical to another weather station in my yard nearby, the air pressure information was significantly off – anywhere from a half to three quarters of an inch. Once I discovered the issue, I moved the Eve Weather to a few different spots in my yard and even did a complete reset of the device to no avail. I don’t know if I received a glitchy unit, but it’s definitely disappointing to see the incorrect pressure readings.
And that was a big disappointment as I was really impressed with the companion app. Along with showing detailed graphs of the weather conditions, the app actually shows all of your different HomeKit devices with its At a Glance feature. Even though Apple was rumored to include an app in iOS 9 to provide a similar functionality, that didn’t happen. So if you’ve got more than one HomeKit device, even if its not one of the Eve products, definitely download the app and give it a try.
But overall, the Eve Weather sensor is mostly a bust. Even if I didn’t encounter the incorrect air pressure readings, the limited range of the device’s Bluetooth connection make it a hard sell and particularly difficult to recommend. The only scenario I could see it being useful is for a very small house or apartment with an outdoor mounting location very near your iOS devices.
- Doesn’t require any hub or bridge attached to your router.
- Simple and easy to setup.
- Can be mounted on an exterior wall.
- Companion app is well thought out and can provide up-to-date information from all of your HomeKit devices.
- While it provides accurate temperature and humidity readings, the air pressure information was inaccurate.
- Bluetooth support is frustratingly limited by your distance from the sensor.
- Finding a perfect spot for accurate temperature reading can be a challenge.
Aesthetic Appeal: ★★★★☆
Wow Factor: ★☆☆☆☆
Build Quality: ★★★☆☆
Buy Now: $49.95, Amazon.com