Have you always had a hankering for some home automation, but felt that the technology was either too expensive or too complicated to install? Throw that excuse out the window. Starting today, Verizon is offering a $10/mo. service (plus the cost of the installation kit) that will let you remotely change your house’s temperature, track energy usage, turn lights and appliances on and off, watch a video feed of your home, and heck, even unlock the front door if you want – all via your web-connected PC, smartphone or FiOS TV. Sigma Design’s Z-Wave technology powers the system.
Of course, you’ll need to be a Verizon broadband customer – FiOS or DSL – if you want to pick up the service. You’ll also need Verizon’s Z-Wave gateway device, which Verizon handily includes in each of the three starter kits.
The cheapest kit, the Home Monitoring Kit ($70), also includes an indoor camera and a light control module to make it look like you’re home even when you’re not. The Energy Control Kit ($170), which focuses more on energy savings and control, offers a smart thermostat, 110 volt appliance switch, an energy reader and a remote control that you can use around the house. The top-of-the-line Home Monitoring and Control Kit ($220) combines the two other kits into a smorgasbord of home automation goodness.
After you have a kit installed, Verizon also offers individual Z-Wave-enabled components if you want to, say, pick up appliance switches for every appliance in your house or work in technology that isn’t included in the starter packages, such as connected door locks and outside cameras. Z-Wave technology can support around 200 devices in a household, and connecting new devices to your network is as easy as pressing buttons on the device and the gateway controller.
“If you're miles away from home when you realize that you've forgotten to lock the front door or turn off the lights, you now won’t have to panic,” Gabi Hilevitz, VP and general manager of the Home Connectivity Group at Sigma Designs, said in the press release. “With this new, fully integrated and customizable Z-Wave-enabled home monitoring and control service developed by Verizon, consumers have the access and capabilities they’ve always wanted.”