Eve Outdoor Cam: a great HomeKit webcam and projector – Stacey on IoT
Eve Home added this week to its product line with the new Eve outdoor camera at $249.99. Unlike most other outdoor webcams, this is more of a device, so setup can take a long time. With a motion sensor, super-clear 1080p wide-angle camera, and bright projector, though, that time is well worth it for HomeKit smart homes.
For months I used the smaller, cheaper Wyze outdoor security camera. So I was surprised at the size and weight of the Eve Outdoor Cam in comparison. Wyze’s offering resembles its other cameras: a small cube. At 6.7 inches tall, the Eve Outdoor Cam is more like a bookshelf speaker for computer audio. And it weighs a lot more. Eve doesn’t list the weight, but I estimate it to be a solid two to three pounds.
Of course, these are very different approaches to a connected outdoor webcam. Eve’s product is intended to replace an existing fixture. As a result, you have to wire it to your home’s electricity. Eve includes wire connectors to help with this process, which I appreciate.
To test the Eve Outdoor Cam, I decided to remove the light above my garage door. It took me about 10 minutes to do this and another 15 minutes to set up the Eve Outdoor Cam. The process is simple, but again you will be connecting wires from your home to the device, so you need to turn off the power. You can adjust the tilt and swivel angle of the camera using an included tool.
A point to note: the base of the camera did not quite cover the electrical box of my existing outdoor light. It’s a bit small but I have an old house with big electrical boxes. You can just see the space on the right side of the Eve Outdoor Cam above. This could easily cause water to penetrate inside the base. So check the size of your electrical box on your house: the base is only 4 inches wide.
After setup, simply scan the HomeKit code with an iPhone like you would any HomeKit accessory. You can also do this through the Eve mobile app. I had no issues with the setup process and was watching the video output within two minutes of this step.
And what video output it is! My wife and I were impressed with the video quality of the Eve Outdoor Cam. The output is streamed and/or recorded at 1080/24fps. The camera offers a nice field of view of 157 degrees while the infrared sensor can reach up to 26 feet.
I don’t like that Eve chose to use a 2.4GHz WiFi radio just for connectivity; at least not at this price. However, this did not impact functionality or video quality in my testing.
During the day the colors really popped and after the sun went down the night vision feature worked well too. You don’t get color at night, so the video may look like it has recently snowed.
Since this is a HomeKit device, you get all the benefits supported by HomeKit. This includes suggested and personalized automations, notifications, and best of all, HomeKit Secure Video. This last feature is a huge plus in my book because no third party (including Eve or Apple) can view your video. All automations, motion detection and recognition take place locally.
I set up a custom automation to flash a light in the house whenever motion was detected, and it worked as expected. It’s overkill because you can turn on the projector in this case. There is a setting in the Eve app to control this or change the brightness of the projector.
I also used the HomeKit app to set up motion detection zones as well. As an added benefit, the camera and motion sensor can be used independently for automations. So I was able to detect motion when a car entered the driveway as an automation trigger event.
I should note that thanks to HomeKit, the Eve Outdoor Cam video appears on an iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV almost immediately after pressing the button to view it. This is one of the things I don’t like about my Wyze cameras; there is often a three to seven second delay in seeing the camera output.
Like most smart cameras these days, the Eve Outdoor Cam supports two-way talk functionality. We tested it and my wife said the audio output was loud and fairly clear.
Overall, the Eve Outdoor Cam is a great product that works well. At $249.99, it’s a bit pricey. And you have to like the more modern look of a rectangular webcam with a spotlight; there is no other design option here.
Eve products have always been HomeKit-only, so there’s no Amazon or Google integration. So if you don’t use HomeKit, this might not be the product for you. I say “may” because the Matter standard will extend the use of the Eve product to other smart home platforms. Matter doesn’t support webcams, but that’s where the motion sensor comes in.
If you currently use HomeKit and want a webcam with motion detection and a projector that can be controlled separately from the camera, this is a good choice. Remember that this really is a smart light fixture and you will need wires for power.