Verizon Introduces Home Monitoring Service

  • Home Automation
  • Verizon
BASKING RIDGE, NJ – Not content with bringing fiber to millions of homes, Verizon now wants to change the way its customers live. No more hiding keys under flower pots, leaving kids to their own devices after school, or stumbling into unseen objects at night - Verizon subscribers can now see and control their homes from anywhere.

The new Home Monitoring and Control service lets customers remotely access, control and monitor doors, thermostat controls and appliances and view home energy use in near real time via a smartphone, PC, FiOS TV and, eventually, a connected tablet.

"Making the smart home a reality is another way Verizon is breaking down barriers between 'home' and 'away' to support a borderless lifestyle," says Eric Bruno, vice president of product management for Verizon. "In addition, we're giving our customers the tools to live greener lives and provide valuable information essential to making decisions about their home-energy usage."

A Smart Energy Ecosystem
Whether consumers want to save money, energy or both, accurate information about home energy consumption is needed for smart decision making. Verizon's connected energy reader lets customers view energy usage in near real time and study their energy consumption over longer periods.

Verizon first unveiled the automated home service at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show, where the service was a finalist for CNET Magazine's Best of CES Award.

"In our U.S. consumer survey, home monitoring and home control services rank high in desirability among both broadband and mobile users," says Vince Vittore, principal analyst for the Yankee Group. "So high, in fact, that we believe both have become must-have services for all broadband and mobile providers. The fact that Verizon Home Monitoring and Control is built to seamlessly function on the customer's computer, smartphone and FiOS TV screen is a significant differentiating factor for this new digital home product."

The service is offered for $9.99 per month. Equipment packages begin at $69.99, and a variety of connected devices allow customers to customize the service to their individual needs at prices below retail. Do-it-yourself customers are provided tutorials and information, and customers who prefer to have equipment professionally installed are referred to local installers via InstallerNet.

The first package, a home monitoring kit, enables customers to remotely turn on and off lights and peer through networked cameras. The second package, an energy control kit, features energy-monitoring gadgets such as the Trane Z-wave-enabled thermostat control, special adapters that control appliances and a sensor placed on the circuit box to measure electricity use throughout the house. The third package, the home monitoring and control kit, offers both home- and energy-monitoring equipment.

Beyond the basic packages are Schlage door locks that allow remote locking and unlocking of doors; advanced cameras that can pan and tilt or be installed outdoors; and sensors that turn lights on when doors or windows are opened. Many other devices can be added to the basic packages, but the monthly service charge remains the same no matter what package a customer chooses or how many devices are added.

Verizon is partnering with hardware providers ActionTec, Aeon Labs and SerComm, as well as Trane and Schlage, both businesses of Ingersoll Rand. Application provider Motorola Mobility/4Home developed the platform that seamlessly connects various devices in the home to the cloud.

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