As part of our continuing coverage of the Internet of Things, Apple World Today tries to take the pain out of selecting HomeKit accessories by testing and reviewing them so that readers don’t get unexpected surprises. Today we’re looking at the HomeKit-compatible Elgato Eve Motion, a US$49.95 wireless motion detector that can be used as part of an overall HomeKit automation plan for your home.
If there’s one thing that I’ve always liked about the Elgato Eve home automation product line, it’s that the design is second to none. All of the devices use a similar design scheme, with a gloss white finish and gentle curving sides. You can place an Elgato Eve sensor anywhere in any home and it won’t look out of place.
The Eve Motion detector is small at 3.15 x 3.15 x 1.26 inches (80 x 80 x 32mm) and is powered by a pair of common AA batteries. There’s a small screw slot on the back of the Eve Motion if you wish to attach it to a wall; I found it just as easy to just place it onto a shelf.
I like the fact that Eve Motion isn’t tied to a power outlet. Up to this point, I’ve used a Belkin WeMo motion detector that needed to be placed within about six feet of a power outlet and had a long dangling cord. With Eve Motion I’m gaining HomeKit compatibility and the freedom of placing the detector anywhere I please in my house.
Eve Motion has a 120° field of view and a range of 30 feet (9 m), which means that it can patrol a good amount of area. When it senses motion, there’s no visual cue — the Belkin detector would glow blue to show that it had “seen” motion. A firmware update that I installed shortly after testing began added the capability of having LED feedback upon detection of motion. Elgato says that Eve Motion reacts to motion within 2 seconds, which I found to be quite accurate.
Elgato’s Eve app has become fairly impressive since it first hit the market, and now I consider it one of the best HomeKit apps available — and that includes the Apple Home app. Either the Eve or Home apps can used to set up the Eve Motion; I chose the Eve app simply because it would let me install any necessary firmware updates immediately.
Setup was as simple as putting the two batteries into the back of the Eve Motion device, tapping an “Add” button, then pairing the app and the device by pointing the iPhone’s camera at the HomeKit label on the Eve Motion.
One of my only concerns upon setting up the device is that an IFTTT rule that I had set up for my old motion detector no longer worked. That rule basically said that “If motion is detected in the entryway, then turn on the family room light for two minutes”.
Sadly, until iOS 11 arrives, there’s no way to set a light to turn itself off after a set duration. Happily, I have iOS 11 Developer Beta 2 running on a test device, so I was able to set up an automation with a timer in the Home app that is identical to the one I had created with IFTTT.
Elgato’s Eve Motion motion detector is stylish, works well, and can be placed anywhere in your home. With iOS 11’s updated HomeKit automation features, anyone can create automations that work well for home security or convenience.