Elgato's 'Eve' Smart Home Accessories Are Useful, But Hampered by Buggy HomeKit Platform

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 31, 2015.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Elgato, with its Eve line of smart home products is one of the first companies to come out with home accessories that integrate with Apple's HomeKit home automation platform, and it's the very first company to produce a Bluetooth-enabled HomeKit product.

    The Eve system, which consists of a weather station, an indoor room monitor, a door/window sensor, and a smart outlet, is one of five HomeKit-compatible products that became available for purchase in June. With the Eve components just now shipping out to customers, Elgato invited us to review the lineup to get a feel for what's possible with Apple's system.


    HomeKit and Eve's accessory lineup promise to make our homes smarter and our lives easier, but in its current incarnation, HomeKit is a service that feels unfinished. It's limited in scope and even though I found many of the Eve accessories to be useful, the delays and bugs I ran into with the HomeKit system almost made the frustration outweigh the convenience.

    Hardware Overview

    As I mentioned above, Elgato currently manufactures four HomeKit-compatible products: Eve Room, Eve Weather, Eve Door & Window, and Eve Energy.

    Eve Room - Eve Room is an indoor room monitoring sensor. It measures temperature, humidity, and air quality.

    Eve Weather - Eve Weather is an indoor/outdoor sensor that's simpler than the Eve Room, measuring temperature, humidity, and air pressure.

    Eve Door & Window - Eve Door & Window is a two-piece sensor that detects whether a door or window is open or closed.

    Eve Energy - Eve Energy is a power sensor and switch that can be used to turn an appliance on and off and detect how much power it's using.

    Each of the Eve products has a clean, unobtrusive design, integrating into any environment without standing out. The Eve Room and the Eve Weather are both small square-shaped sensors resembling an Apple TV, while the Eve Energy is a simple socket. The Eve Door & Window comes in two adhesive-backed pieces to fit on each side of a door or window, snapping together magnetically to detect whether it's open or closed.

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    Article Link: Elgato's 'Eve' Smart Home Accessories Are Useful, But Hampered by Buggy HomeKit Platform
  2. Jcknows0 macrumors regular

    Aug 14, 2013
    0 Infinite Loop
    I went with SmartThings, haven't looked back. I'm starting to think HomeKit will be a failed Apple experiment.
  3. iConnected macrumors 6502a


    Feb 17, 2011
    Your least favorite = my favorite.

    Finally, I can check - easily and lazily - whether my OH has left the garage door open YET AGAIN! :mad:
  4. profets macrumors 601

    Mar 18, 2009
    I've been using SmartThings as well, though I'm not entirely thrilled that they're now owned by Samsung. I feel like we're going to see an explosion in home automation over the next several years.

    I agree - I find it extremely useful being able to quickly see if a door is left open, or being notified at certain doors opening at certain times of the day. The garage door is such a useful one too because you can usually add something to control the opening & closing of it.
  5. macgeek01 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 2, 2013
    HomeKit needs improvement but the bottomline here really seems to be that El Gato should have have gone with IP because of the limitations of Bluetooth.
  6. seamer macrumors 6502


    Jul 24, 2009
    I'm taking the long deployment to mean it will be smooth sailing once Apple releases to the public.
  7. aimbdd macrumors 6502a

    Dec 10, 2008
    East Cost
    so what i get from the article... is wait for iOS 9. If you want home automation now, or cross compatible with android go with a different platform. This seems almost useless until it can send you notifications.
  8. jclo Editor


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2012
    Yes. I would absolutely check out HomeKit after iOS 9 because there are a lot of key features that are being added.
  9. gsmornot macrumors 68030


    Sep 29, 2014
    So, on the one hand we have Homekit with the ability to control your house from your recliner and on the other we have the Apple Watch to track activity. Too much home kit, not enough activity. I say get up and turn off the light so you can burn a few calories.

    :D Ah come on, it was a little funny...
  10. l00pback macrumors regular


    May 28, 2010
    WAY too early to tell.
  11. robbyx Suspended

    Oct 18, 2005
    Sigh. More ugly, bulging devices. No thanks. I love the idea of these products, but I can't stand the thought of little warts on every door and window, etc. I'm remodeling my house and looked into a variety of "smart home" systems before deciding that none really added that much value to my life. Clumsy interfaces and devices abound. It's nice to see Apple trying to create a standard, but I think we have a long way to go before these systems appeal beyond the geek audience.
  12. Lostanddamned macrumors 6502a


    May 3, 2009
    London, UK
    I think there is more to be seen with iOS9 features and with products which use a wifi connection, rather than bluetooth, HomeKit may be a good home automation solution, given a little time.
  13. blacktape242 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2010
    Sacramento, CA
  14. Gelfin macrumors 68020


    Sep 18, 2001
    Denver, CO
    I have one of the HomeKit ecobee thermostats. I've also found it weird in some ways, and it seems like HomeKit is the cause. For some reason I cannot fathom, once I enabled HomeKit, I was no longer allowed to set the thermostat to "Auto" (where it switches between heating and cooling automatically). I don't see what the one should have to do with the other. You can't even control the heat/cool setting via HomeKit, so they seem utterly unconnected.

    Then the commands did not work as documented, and neither did HomeKit zones. First, as documented, a room should be able to belong to multiple zones, but that doesn't seem to be the case. I want to be able to say "what is the temperature on my upstairs thermostat" so according to the document I linked, I should call the thermostat "Upstairs" no matter where in the home tree it lives. That doesn't work. It "cannot find a thermostat in the Upstairs". Then I created a zone called "Upstairs" and put the thermostat in it. Also no dice. The only way to make it work is to create a room called "Upstairs" (which doesn't even make sense), which is not in any zone, and put the thermostat in that. I can then refer to my "upstairs thermostat" and get results.

    And if my AppleTV is supposed to allow me to interact with the thermostat from outside my home, then I have not yet figured out how to make it work.

    I'm also a long-time Insteon user (via Indigo) and it seems like a lot of the problems people were having with the Insteon Hub Pro (which I didn't purchase due to the disastrous launch -- they seem to have pulled it to rework things) may also have been related to buggy HomeKit tree searches.

    It may indeed be too early to tell whether Apple can pull this out of the fire, but this is a pretty clear consequence of releasing a significant piece of functionality and an API almost a full year before any products are available to see if it actually works. I really want centralized device control via my phone and/or watch, but if they don't make some really significant progress when iOS9 ships, I think the whole exercise might be in trouble.
  15. robbyx Suspended

    Oct 18, 2005
    In my mind the solution is obvious. Apple has to produce home automation hardware. Why do Apple customers love Apple? Because we love well-integrated products from the same manufacturer that "just work". Apple cannot rely on third parties to build first rate devices. Some might. But many won't. And incompatibilities and unforeseen consequences will abound. Apple either needs to start producing HomeKit plugs and switches and other such devices or it must contract with a few major players in the industry and ensure 100% compatibility between devices. Otherwise HomeKit is another Insteon, etc. Not knocking Insteon either, but none of those systems are made for mere mortals.
  16. sdeetz macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2008
    A lot of this is on Elgato.

    They could produce proactive push notifications (ie, open door) even without HomeKit. My Ecobee is HomeKit certified and sends me proactive notifications without me asking.

    And the Siri integration works just fine. No problems there either.

    HomeKit is far from perfect, but it's clearly working much better with some products than others. That leads me to believe the developer's abilities could be a big part of the culprit here.

    HomeKit is barely out of beta testing right now, so I'm sure developers will continue to get better at working out the kinks with their products.
  17. rdlink macrumors 68040


    Nov 10, 2007
    Out of the Reach of the FBI
    This is dead on point. Airplay is a perfect example. I have yet to use a third party Airplay product that works consistently as it should. And the support of the hardware vendors when you have problems is abysmal (I'm looking at you, iHome). However, Airplay on my Macs, iPhones, iPad, Apple TV and Airport Express all work flawlessly.
  18. longofest Editor emeritus


    Jul 10, 2003
    Falls Church, VA
    Bluetooth is FAR better for battery operated things. HomeKit's issues are mainly because of Apple's huge and in my opinion ridiculous security requirements.
  19. nt5672 macrumors 68000

    Jun 30, 2007
    Given Apple's poor record in networking (years trying to make discoveryd work, and then returning to mDNSResponder) and their never really worked correctly iCloud (after years of API changes), Apple has assumed an announce first, then work years to get it really right approach when it comes to non-core software. Too bad! Apple seems to do hardware right, a lot of the core OS right, but other software and APIs need some real help. Who knows how long it will take to HomeKit working reliably? I'm not holding by breath.
  20. avanpelt macrumors 68030

    Jun 2, 2010
    HomeKit looks to be another product/service like Apple Maps and CarPlay. All three things were announced to the public before they should've been.

    Why bother announcing something at a public event that's half baked and nowhere near ready for the average person to use? If your product is being held up by red tape, don't announce it to the public and make it sound as if it's basically ready and is the best thing since sliced bread.
  21. Benjamin Frost Suspended

    Benjamin Frost

    May 9, 2015
    London, England
    Perhaps Apple should change their name to Worm, so buggy has everything become that they touch.
  22. Attirex macrumors 6502a

    Apr 8, 2015
  23. Mac21ND macrumors 6502a


    Jun 6, 2007
    I have the same -52 degree error as MacRumors. Ridiculous.
  24. chucker23n1 macrumors 68020


    Dec 7, 2014
    I really don't wanna be that guy, but really? Unless I'm missing something, surely the idea with something like Eve Door & Window is to buy it for all important, y'know, doors and windows. And you'll want to equip more than just one power outlet Eve Energy. So you're quickly way into the hundreds.

    I get that it's still a fledgling market, and prices will come down — I just don't get how someone can call the current state "affordable".
  25. l00pback macrumors regular


    May 28, 2010
    IIRC, all these technologies were announced during WWDC keynotes. If you're not going to tell developers about new protocols and product platforms, who ARE you going to tell? What's really holding it up? Red tape, or 3rd-party manufacturers?

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