HomeKit Devices: Eve Door & Window Tracks Opening and Closing

 Eve Door & Window Tracks Opening and Closing

In this fifth installment of my series on HomeKit-compatible devices, we'll look at yet one more gadget that Elgato has given me: Eve Door & Window ($39.95). Its simple function is to tell you whether a door or window is open or closed, and it keeps a log of openings. Previous posts have covered iHome's SmartPlug ($39.99) and Elgato's Eve Room ($79.95), Eve Energy ($49.95), and Eve Weather ($49.95). 

Eve Door & Window

I attached Eve Door & Window to my front door. It comes in two parts. I affixed the adhesive-backed larger part to the door frame above my door and the small, chiclet-sized wafer on the door immediately below it. When the door is closed, the wireless magnetic sensors in the two parts of Eve Door & Wndow come into contact, and the device knows the door is closed. When the door opens, contact is lost.

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The Eve app tells you at a glance whether it's open or closed and how many times its been opened. 

As with other Eve devices, you can also track the status over time, seeing exactly when the door was opened and for how long.

Plus, you can tap on the three dots to get even more detail from four different views: hour, day, week, and month.

Setup

The larger of the two parts is two inches wide, three-quarters of an inch high, and an inch deep. It was a simple matter to remove the adhesive and stick it to the door frame above my front door. In order for the wireless magnetic contact between the two parts to work, the smaller part that attaches to my door had to be lined up right below it. Since my door is inset from the frame, that meant that I had to use the included spacers to give it enough depth to make contact. It did take me about 10 minutes to understand how this worked and to get the two parts in place. But overall, setup was pretty easy.

As with Eve Room and Eve Energy, Eve Door & Window is battery-powered. In every case, the batteries are included. While Eve Room and Eve Energy use AA batteries, Eve Door & Window comes with a 1/2 AA battery, something I'd never seen before.

At first I was a little confused how to open the battery compartment, but then the illustration on the last page of the documentation made it clear. Interestingly, Elgato has fashioned the larger part of Eve Door & Window, which holds the battery, in a way that it's not necessary to remove it from the door frame when I need to replace the battery. I should be able to just slide off the cover and leave the back plate (which has the adhesive) in place. 

Why would you need Eve Door & Window?

The information from Eve Door & Window doesn't seem as useful to me as, say, Eve Room. But it's easy to imagine circumstances in which it would be quite useful:

  • Tracking when you teenager arrives home at night.
  • Tracking whether your children stayed home to do their homework or slipped outside to play.
  • Determining whether family members are observing best practices for energy conservation.
  • Seeing whether your cleaner actually put in the two hours that she said she did, or if she left early.
  • Watching whether someone might be entering your home while you're away.

More utility as Apple upgrades HomeKit

What's frustrating about Eve Door & Window is what it doesn't do as a result of Apple not yet implementing features that are expected to be part of HomeKit in the future. One such feature is the use of events to trigger scenes, such that opening the door could automatically turn on the lights, for example. According to this document on Elgato's website, the only triggers currently available are time- and location-based. 

It would also be nice if you could receive an a push Notification when your door is opened. However, this document says that push Notifications aren't available in Eve devices for security reasons. 

As Apple's HomeKit matures, you can expect more features such as event-based triggers to become available.

Pros

An inexpensive solution for those who may have a need to track whether their doors and windows are open, precisely when they've been opened, and for how long.

Cons

No notifications or event triggers, though clearly the lack of push notifications is a conscious choice on the part of Elgato to ensure security.

Final Verdict

Somewhat limited functionality, but quite a useful device for those who have a specific need. One hopes the lack of event triggers will be addressed by Apple in the near future.

Summary of Eve HomeKit-compatible devices

I've enjoyed the Eve gadgets and am really impressed with the app. Here's how it looks in overview, showing all my HomeKit devices. I'm getting a clear sense for how useful HomeKit is and how elegantly everything works together.

Of the four Elgato devices, Eve Room is clearly the most useful to me. In fact, I already have friends asking if they can borrow it. I'm also going to benefit from Eve Energy. I don't personally have as much use for Eve Weather and Eve Door & Window, but as I've written, it's easy to imagine circumstances in which they would be very helpful.

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Jim Karpen's picture

Jim Karpen holds a Ph.D. in literature and writing, and has a love of gizmos. His doctoral dissertation focused on the revolutionary consequences of digital technologies and anticipated some of the developments taking place in the industry today. Jim has been writing about the Internet and technology since 1994 and has been using Apple's visionary products for decades.