AT&T Launches Home Monitor Video Service

If you’re feeling a little paranoid about what might be going on at home behind your back—or just feel overcome with nostalgia and homesickness when you’re on the road or stuck in traffic—AT&T wants to help you feel better, with its just-announced Remote Monitor service. Remote Monitor will enable users to keep tabs on their homes and families while they’re away, using video-capable computers and Cingular mobile phones to tap into live digital video feeds and other real-time data from their homes from virtually any location they can access the Internet or Cingular’s wireless network. Users can also control appliances and activate home automation, monitor temperatures, and tell the service to provide alerts or take actions under particular conditions.

“Keeping track of home activities is increasingly challenging today, as we spend more time on the road and on the run,” said Susan Johnson, AT&sT’s senior VP of Business Development in a release. “The new AT&T home monitoring service will provide an affordable, easy-to-use solution for a variety of challenges in managing a household. This service is ideal for a wide range of potential applications, from keeping an eye on children, elderly parents, or pets, to monitoring a second home or vacation home.”

The service runs $9.95 a month, but includes a $199 starter package with a pan-and-tilt Internet-accessible camera, two power modules which enable remove control of devices via home power outlets, a wireless window/door sensor, a Wi-Fi gateway for connecting everything to an existing home network, along with required software (Windows-only) and instructions. The service requires customers have an existing broadband Internet connection and a router with two free ports. AT&T will be happy to sell additional cameras, motion detectors, contact sensors, water and temperature sensors, and wireless power controls. If you’re thinking you’d like to hook your own Webcam up to the service and save a little dough, sorry; the system only works with the included Panasonic BL-C1 network camera.

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