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Eve Systems has launched the Eve Extend, its Bluetooth range extender that allows items within the Eve product line to connect to a HomeKit network by acting as an access point, enabling the devices to function without needing Bluetooth connectivity with a nearby iPhone or iPad.
Leaked in early July, the Eve Extend is a small hub that works to connect other Eve products with the rest of a smart home network. While normally Bluetooth-based accessories require an iPhone, iPad, or an Apple TV to be within range in order to be controlled, this does limit how far the Bluetooth devices can be placed from the rest of the network, with the range also able to be shortened by walls and other signal-blocking environmental obstacles.
The Eve Extend is intended to sit within range of the home Wi-Fi network, in order to communicate with the device controlling the HomeKit setup. The unit is then able to connect via Bluetooth to other devices, passing on HomeKit commands and other data between the HomeKit controller and the accessories.
Measuring 3 inches by 3.1 inches and 0.9 inches deep, the Eve Extend requires a single cable to connect to the mains, but uses dual-band Wi-Fi to connect to the network.
Once connected, it can be connected to the HomeKit network using an iPhone camera and the HomeKit setup code. The unit then lists all Bluetooth accessories within range, can assign up to eight of them to be controlled, and then migrate all metadata over to it to ensure Siri names, scenes, and other automations remain functional.
Eve says it is compatible with a wide variety of branded accessories including the Eve Aqua, Eve Button, Eve Degree, and Eve Light Switch. The company clarified to AppleInsider it only functions to extend other Eve products, and not those of other manufacturers.
The company claims it has designed Eve Extend with privacy in mind, as it functions locally without any need to access the cloud or to register the device. Any collected data is stored locally and encrypted, and won't be sold or used for advertising purposes.
The Eve Extend will cost $49.95 when it ships, with pre-orders commencing in August via the Eve Store.