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Home Automation Toys

Boot Camp feature for Wednesday, April 17, 2002

Home automation toys... for gadget people. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. A company called X10 Wireless Technology has been making devices for years that use wireless signals and the AC wiring in your home... .to control everything from lights to coffee pots... to security cameras. And it's all do it yourself stuff... that's easy to install and works well most of the time. X10's Jeff Denenholz...

"We've just introduced a FloodCam, an all in one unit that hard wires where your normal floodlight would at the top of your garage. Connect that... a wireless receiving unit, plug that into the back of a television about a hundred feet away and you can program the floodlight to detect motion, turn the light on, turn the camera on and send the image to a television.

All for about 80 dollars. X10 is also selling a new motorized camera that can be controlled with a remote or even, with added software over the Web. The kit sells at X10.com for about 260 dollars. What I don't like about the company are its pop up ads on the Web that are designed, it seems, to sell its cameras to the peeping toms of the world. Another company offering security cameras and devices that can be controlled via the Internet... is called Xanboo. President Bill Diamond..

"We have a gateway that plugs into any modem that communicates with cameras or devices or thermostats and from anywhere in the world via cell phone, Palm Pilot or a PC, you could access those devices, program them, schedule them or control them in real time."

The system can control X10 automated light switches as well. Diamond says a complete system sells for between 500 and a thousand dollars. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.