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Hands-On

Hands on: Elgato's Eve Button with Apple HomeKit

The Eve Button joins a growing field of attempts to solve a basic problem of smarthomes: controlling accessories when you don't have a phone, tablet, or smartspeaker nearby, or you simply don't want to make a fuss.




Fundamentally, the Button is extremely simple. As its name implies there's just one button, which triggers different commands based on whether you do a single, double, or long press.

Using the Elgato Eve app —or Apple's own Home software —you can assign HomeKit scenes to each kind of press. The most common use is liable to be lighting, for instance letting you set a bright scene with a single tap, switch to "mood" lighting with a double-press, or shut off lights entirely by holding the button down. There's no reason however why you can't include things like fans, blinds, locks, or thermostats.




Interestingly, the Eve app lets you assign multiple scenes to a single button. We need to test this to see how well it works in practice, but conceivably it could let you control many different parts of a home without having to create new scenes.




It should be noted that the Button is meant to be treated like a remote, rather than wall-mounted, so people looking to replace a wall switch should probably search elsewhere. And like the rest of the Eve line the product uses Bluetooth, not Wi-Fi, so you'll need an Apple TV or iPad to serve as a HomeKit hub.

The Eve Button costs about $49.95. AppleInsider will continue to test the device, and will publish a full review in the coming weeks.