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Home Automation System...From Shell

Techstination feature for Friday, February 27, 2004

A home automation system…from an oil company. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. The Shell Oil Company has a new additive to its corporate mix, a home automation system for consumers it calls Shell HomeGenie. If it seems like an odd business for Shell to be in, general manager Robin Gaeta points out…

"Shell Consumer is a business that was founded approximately three years ago. And the purpose of Shell Consumer is to roll out new products and services to residential consumers."

The HomeGenie system will allow homeowners to control things such as thermostats and lights through any Internet connection and monitor security cameras as well…

"The product comes with, it's essentially a starter kit for home control and automation, which contains a gateway, which will connect to a broadband connection, that's a requirement. And it comes with three devices…a wireless camera, an on-off switch which you can connect to lamps or other small appliances, a thermostat which Shell designed."

Gaeta says the package will sell for about eight hundred dollars, including professional installation. Do it yourselfers may find they can hook up equipment with similar capability for a lot less money. Shell has been testing the HomeGenie system with employees…with availability to consumers coming soon. You can find more information at Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.