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Under a Watchful Eye

Through the combined use of Internet and radio-frequency technology, home monitoring and control systems promise to do a host of things -- control the thermostat, open and close garage doors or sprink...


July 1, 2001  


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Through the combined use of Internet and radio-frequency technology, home monitoring and control systems promise to do a host of things — control the thermostat, open and close garage doors or sprinklers, or send a message that an intruder has entered your house — all while you are thousands of miles away.

One company leading the way in home-management technologies is New York City-based Xanboo Inc. The company’s basic system, which includes a control box, some wires, software and a video camera, sells for between $79 and $109. Homeowners also pay a monthly service fee of $9.95. “It takes about 10 minutes to install,” says Xanboo co-president Jim Diamond.

Since it launched the system in April 2001, the company has signed up more than 1,000 subscribers. It expects that number to jump to 100,000 subscribers by June 2002, based on the idea that home-monitoring and control systems will become as popular as personal computers. “More and more people will have such systems to monitor their homes — check on their baby sitter, see what their dog is doing, lock their door — all from a cell phone, Palm Pilot or a web site,” says Diamond.

Xanboo is working with, among others, energy companies and home-security companies, to which it plans to license its technology. It might soon hit the shelves in Canada. “We’re talking to, among others, Bell Canada’s Sympatico and a major Canadian security company,” Diamond says.


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