Elgato unveiled its new Eve Button back at CES earlier this month, and we got a chance to check out the HomeKit controller over the weekend. While it looks quite basic on the surface, Eve Button delights with a few neat surprises in use.
Eve Button ($49.95, pre-order now, released Wednesday) is designed to let you activate specific HomeKit scenes with a physical button click — without using Siri or the Home app. You can still create groups of actions and automations through HomeKit, but having a physical controller can prove more convenient or accessible in certain situations.
For example, kids may not have access to a Siri device but still might benefit from being able to control groups of HomeKit accessories. It’s also sometimes just easier to press a well-placed button versus using voice or app control.
Having not experimented with a dedicated HomeKit button before, a few things surprised me about Elgato Eve Button:
- Eve Button supports up to three custom actions
- Elgato uses single click, double click, and long click to distinguish multiple scenes with a single button
- You can create custom actions for controllers without creating dedicated scenes
In my testing, I placed Eve Button in my garage using self-supplied adhesive strips and created three actions to turn it into a smarter garage door opener. A single click opens the garage door, a double click closes the garage door, and a long click closes the garage door and turns a few inside lights.
Another approach would be to still use the existing garage door opener for basic open and close while relying on Eve Button for actions grouped with other HomeKit devices. One click to open the garage door and turn off lights, two clicks to close the garage door and turn on lights, and a long click to close the garage door and possibly control music playback in the future if HomeKit adds audio automation.
An issue I ran into while testing is forgetting the button combinations, (especially in a shared environment).
Eve Button certainly isn’t limited to HomeKit garage door openers and lights. The idea is you can be creative and program any combination of actions from HomeKit compatible accessories like thermostats, locks, shades, and more. You can configure what button press does what in either Apple’s Home app or in Elgato’s Eve app on iPhone and iPad.
A few other details about Eve Button: Elgato provides optional rubber feet to make Eve Button sit in place better and the button itself has a super satisfying click. Elgato also includes a useful sticker pack of iconography in various colors for labeling buttons, and the HomeKit label is the new vertical barcode style introduced with iOS 11.
The build quality of Eve Button is also nice as Elgato opted for their new style of silver aluminum over white plastic. Eve Button is powered by a user replaceable CR2032 coin battery, although real world battery life will take longer testing to determine.