Extend Review: Eve Aims to Solve Smart Home Connectivity Issues

The Eve HomeKit device product line has grown substantially over the years. As Eve devices continue to proliferate throughout a smart home, they can occasionally have connectivity issues depending on just how far away they are from home base. Since it's in the company's best interest to make sure its products continue to proliferate throughout the home regardless of placement, Eve has created Eve Extend ($49.95) to solve this situation.

Related: HomeKit Accessories: Eve Energy Strip Review

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Eve Extend is powered by a USB-A to micro-USB cable that can attach to any USB charging port or compatible power supply. Once powered, the low profile Extend can connect to your HomeKit-enabled network via the usual HomeKit visual code pairing sequence as other HomeKit devices. Then it's simply a matter of placing the Extend in any area of the home that is having difficulty reaching other Eve devices. The Eve Extend can support up to eight additional devices on its hub, greatly expanding the device capacity of any Eve-powered smart home. I also found it helpful to better organize my collection of Eve devices.

For example, my HomeKit base station (an old iPad) is located up in my bedroom, but I have several Eve devices in my basement.  Occasionally those devices used to lose contact, frequently reporting "Unreachable" in the Eve app. Now that the Eve Extend has been placed closer to those basement devices, the only time I receive Unreachable messages is when the battery powering those devices is fully discharged. I also now have better organized those basement Eve devices under the single Eve Extend umbrella so that if I need to manage their inventory, it's easy since they are all assigned to a single Extend I have labeled "Basement Extend".

While I welcome the ability to confidently extend the range of Eve devices, the company missed an opportunity to inexpensively enhance this always-on device with additional on-board Eve sensors. Combining it with an indoor room temperature sensor or motion detector would have elevated its utility beyond just a signal extender. Adding one of these sensors would likely only have increased the cost by another ten dollars while giving Extend more value-added utility.

Pros

  • Extends the reachable range of Eve devices throughout the home.
  • Allows up to eight Eve devices to be managed by a single Extend unit.

Cons

  • No additional home automation capability beyond extending Eve device connectivity range.

Final Verdict

If you have already invested extensively into the Elegato Eve product line and are seeking to better organize and extend your investment, Eve Extend will help you easily achieve that objective.

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Mike Riley's picture

Mike Riley is a frequent contributor to several technical publications and specializes in emerging technologies and new development trends. Mike was previously employed by RR Donnelley as the company’s Chief Scientist, responsible for determining innovative technical approaches to improve the company’s internal and external content services. Mike also co-hosted Computer Connection, a technology enthusiast show broadcast on Tribune Media's CLTV.