My Smart Home: Eve sensors, August smart lock and Arlo cameras
In my previous two posts I have given an introduction to my smart-home setup and described the setup of my Philips Hue lights.
In this post I will describe other devices, that I have or I am considering to buy.
Eve door and window sensors
Eve door and windows sensors is a very easy and convenient solution from Eve.
It supports HomeKit, but not Amazon Alexa and Google Home.
I have chosen this product in particular because it doesn't require any bridge, so it's very cheap.
Once you configured it with the Eve app for iPhone and iPad, then you can retrieve the following information:
- status of your windows or doors (open/closed);
- when the window or door has been opened for the last time;
- number of times the window or door has been opened in a certain period of time or since installation of the sensor.
Integrating with HomeKit, you have also these additional features:
- receive notifications when the window or door gets opened and closed. This feature is very useful when you leave your house for long periods of time, for example for holidays;
- the most useful feature: start custom HomeKit scenes. I will describe this in my next blog post focused on HomeKit.
August Smart Lock Pro
August Smart Lock Pro is the premium product from August, the leading company in smart locks.
It's a smart lock that has the benefit of being able to integrate with the majority of existing locks. In this way, it allows you to use your existing key-bolt and above all keys, without forcing you to use it only via the app.
August Smart Lock Pro supports all the platforms: Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa and Google Home.
My only issue with this product is that, to be used by HomeKit, it requires the use of a wi-fi bridge called August Connect. Essentially it bridges the wi-fi communications to bluetooth, that is used by the lock.
There should be an upcoming product that will integrate the wi-fi bridge in the lock itself. I will wait for it, to keep my setup as simple as possible.
Arlo Ultra Security Cameras
Arlo Ultra is a very interesting solution for security camera.
Arlo Ultra has many positive points: it supports 4K video, the cameras work via wi-fi and can be placed both indoor and outdoor, the rechargeable batteries last between four and six months, as usual it requires a hub that is provided in the sold packages.
Arlo Ultra supports all the platforms: Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa and Google Home.
This product has just two but important downsides.
The first: to unlock all the features of the camera, you need a permanent subscription to Arlo Smart Premier. Even if the first year is for free, then you'll need to pay for it for the rest of your life. I'm not going to do it!
The second: even if it supports HomeKit so that you can use voice commands to access and control multiple Arlo cameras from one place, it doesn't support HomeKit Secure Video yet. So, even if you buy the Arlo subscription, videos are saved on their servers instead of Apple ones.
Because of these drawbacks, I will wait until Arlo will introduce support to HomeKit Secure Video, or in some time I will consider other manufacturers.