Elgato smart home technology: Everything you need to know
The popular video-capture company has set its sights on home automation.
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What is Elgato Eve?
Elgato Eve is a line of smart home devices from Elgato, a company known for its video-capture products in the live-streaming space. From an energy-monitoring smart plug to a CO2-sensing climate tracker, the Eve range provides tools for keeping an eye on the state of your house regardless of whether you're in bed or on the other side of the world. Some Eve products also support remote control functionality for even greater command over your smart home while you're out and about.
The Elgato Eve line fulfils a wide range of purposes, from monitoring the air quality inside your home to receiving notifications whenever someone walks across your backyard to turning the lights in your house on and off from your phone. All this is facilitated through the Elgato Eve iOS app, which leverages the power of Apple's HomeKit framework to let you monitor and control your entire smart home with the press of a button. If that's not handy enough, the Eve app also supports Siri, so you can issue voice commands to control your Elgato Eve devices whether you're at home or on the go.
How does Elgato Eve work?
The Elgato Eve app serves as the centre of the Elgato Eve smart home ecosystem. From the app, you can connect any Elgato Eve device, as well as any HomeKit-compatible device, and assign it to a virtual room for easier organisation. This way, you can shut off all the connected devices in your kitchen or living room with a single command. You can also view the status of all connected devices from the app, whether it is the outside temperature as reported by the Eve Weather sensor, the power usage of your fridge as reported by the Eve Energy smart plug or the state of your backyard window as detected by the Eve Door & Window sensor.
Beyond simple monitoring, the Elgato Eve range also supports home automation through the creation of "scenes" – groups of operations that you can trigger with a single command. For example, you could create a scene called "I'm home" that turns your living room's Eve light switch on, activates the Eve Energy smart plug connected to your coffee machine so it starts brewing and turns off the Eve motion sensor monitoring your backyard.
While you could activate this scene manually through the Eve app whenever you arrive home, you could also simply tell Siri "I'm home" to trigger it instead. Or, if you want to go all-in on automation, you could set the Eve app to automatically activate the "I'm home" scene when it detects you returning home using your phone's geolocation services. The only snag with Elgato Eve's automation support is that it requires you to have a smart home hub like Apple TV connected to your home network.
You'll also need a hub if you want to monitor and control your Elgato Eve devices while you're out of the house. This hub will need to remain connected to both your home network and the Internet at all times if you want to check the status of your Eve sensors or adjust the temperature in your house while you're on the go. Fortunately, thanks to HomeKit integration, any data you send or receive to your smart home is fully encrypted, protecting it from potential hijacking by malicious entities.
What else do I need to use Elgato Eve?
Elgato has planted its flag firmly in Apple's camp with its Eve product line, so you'll need an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch running iOS 10.3 or later to control any Eve device. If you want to monitor and control your Eve devices while you're away from home, you'll also need an Apple TV running tvOS 10 or later or an iPad running in Home Hub mode, with either device remaining at home hooked up to your network and turned on.
Elgato Eve smart home range
The Elgato Eve range hasn't fully rolled out in Australia yet, with the Eve Thermo smart thermostat and Eve light switch currently unavailable Down Under. The rest of the Eve line-up has made it to Aussie shores and you can purchase items from local retailers, the Elgato eBay store or the Apple Store.
Elgato Eve Energy
Elgato Eve Energy is a smart plug that lets you turn the power on and off for any device connected to it. The plug connects to your iOS device over Bluetooth and can be controlled both with the tap of a button and by issuing a voice command to Siri.
On top of the remote control, Eve Energy also tracks the energy consumption of any devices plugged into it. You can view your energy usage with the Elgato Eve app, which will show you customisable graphs depicting your usage history over days, months and even years.
Elgato Eve Degree
Elgato Eve Degree is a temperature and humidity sensor with a built-in LCD display and an IPX3 water-resistance rating – this guarantees resistance against spraying and splashing water like that from the side of a pool. Along with tracking the current climate, Eve Degree records its readings for posterity in the Eve app, where you can view graphs of changing temperatures over days, months and years.
Like most other Eve products, Eve Degree connects via Bluetooth and sports a replaceable battery.
Elgato Eve Room
Elgato Eve Room is an indoor climate sensor capable of tracking temperature, humidity and air quality. The latter involves the detection of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as alcohols, ketones and organic acids in addition to the standard CO2 detection many air-quality sensors are limited to.
All measurements taken by Eve Room are stored in the Elgato Eve app and you can view these in graph form to track changes over days, months and years.
Elgato Eve Weather
Elgato Eve Weather is a climate sensor built for outdoor use. It monitors and records air pressure, humidity and temperature, presenting that data in daily, monthly and yearly graphs through the Elgato Eve app. To help shield it from the elements, it also sports IPX3 water resistance for protection against sprayed and splashed water.
Elgato Eve Motion
Elgato Eve Motion is a wireless motion detector that boasts a 120-degree field of view and a sight range of up to nine metres.
Once it detects motion, Eve Motion can be set to send you a notification through the Elgato Eve app, or even trigger other HomeKit-compatible devices like smart lights, a security camera or a thermostat. For interaction with other HomeKit devices, you will need a hub device like Apple TV connected to your home network.
Elgato Eve Door & Window
Elgato Eve Door & Window is a multipurpose contact sensor designed to detect whenever a door or window is opened or closed. It can be set up to notify you through the Elgato Eve app whenever the door or window where it's installed changes its state. If you have a hub device like Apple TV, you can control other HomeKit-compatible through the Eve Door & Window device. For example, you could have the air conditioning kick in when you walk in the front door.
Through the Elgato Eve app, you can also review when and how often doors and windows have been opened and closed over a period of days, months or entire years. This can be helpful if you're looking to cut down on energy costs caused by unwittingly leaving your house open to the elements.
Elgato Eve Thermo
Elgato Eve Thermo is a smart thermostat that connects to your home's radiator and lets you adjust the temperature wirelessly via the Elgato Eve app. Alternatively, you can lay out schedules for automatic heating and cooling throughout the day. With a home hub like Apple TV, you can even adjust your house's temperature while you're out and about, allowing you to turn on the heating as you leave the office to ensure your house is thoroughly thawed by the time you arrive.
Elgato Eve Thermo is not yet available in Australia.
Elgato Eve Light Switch
Elgato Eve Light Switch is a smart light switch that connects to an existing single-bulb or multi-bulb lighting system and adds in the ability to control it wirelessly through the Elgato Eve app.
Connected lights can also be controlled when you're out of the house if you have a home hub device like Apple TV hooked up to your home network.
Elgato Eve Light Switch is not currently available in Australia.
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