A small box has been presented in recent weeks by eve Systems (ex elgato) to FFC that promises to help users of Homekit products with Bluetooth to enlarge and modulate their home automation network.
Until yesterday, the only real repeaters to extend the Homekit network throughout the house (and also control it from outside the home) when you have a Bluetooth device were Apple TV, an iPad with iOS 10 or HomePod: all devices equipped with both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth devices that could be placed in an area close to the range of Bluetooth peripherals (which normally have a range of 6-9 meters) and could control them and collect their data (temperature, humidity, battery status etc.
The cost factor obviously played against this option: while it is easy to build a Bluetooth device that consumes very little the low range that cuts its wings and, unless you use a Bluetooth mesh network (but the current Eve System peripherals do not exploit this technology) a repeater with an inexpensive cost had to be used, especially if you plan to use it in areas (cellar, garage, garden) where you really don't need an Apple TV or even a Homepod.
Already from 2016/2017Elgato (now Eve System) had presented us (without actually putting it on the market) of a Bluetooth repeater but in all these years a category of this type had never appeared among the products provided by Homekit.
With the availability of eve Extend it seems that eve Systems has managed to create a product, in line with Apple specifications that can solve the problem. It is not a repeater but a real wi-fi gateway with Bluetooth on board capable of manage up to 8 different Bluetooth devices that can be selected within the Eve app.
The product will be available for booking in August 2019 with an official price of 49.95.
The arrival of Eve Extend certainly a good viaticum for marketing but above all to expand the usability of Eve System peripherals: remember that most of them based on Bluetooth radio and being able to add portable devices, battery-powered or rechargeable as they can, to the chain of devices being Extend would allow you to create new and even mobile configurations of a home automation system.
Think of being able to manage different Eve Flare lamps (Bluetooth and rechargeable) being able to move and place them in various areas of the garden for a party at home or with friends, or to manage Eve Thermo valves in several rooms of the house without having to buy an Apple TV or manage multiple Eve Aqua smart taps in distant areas always in your garden or garden.
Even if to bring control of home populations outside (via the Internet) it will always be necessary to have at least one of Apple TV, an iPad with iOS 10 or HomePod, Eve Extend will be able to increase the versatility of Homekit systems and Eve products .