Verizon's new Home Monitoring and Control service is being touted by the company as the gateway to a smart home that puts technology in the hands of customers freeing them to access and control their homes from anywhere.
The service was tested in the state of New Jersey this year and is now ready to be offered to all of Verizon’s FiOS and DSL customers.
Verizon Home Monitoring and Control Service enables customers to remotely check on their homes, control locks, lights, thermostats, appliances and energy use — via a smart phone, 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,” said 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.”
Verizon posted a video of how one New Jersey family is already benefitting from Verizon's Home Monitoring and Control service, watch it at http://cot.ag/iFLjbs.
“These kinds of two-way communication and intelligent management tools can create a dynamic and interactive relationship between energy users and providers, which is essential to creating a smart energy ecosystem,” Bruno said.
Verizon first unveiled the automated home service earlier this year at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show, where the new service was a finalist for CNET Magazine's Best of CES Award. For more information about the service, visit: http://shop.verizon.com/monitoringcontrol.
“In our U.S. consumer survey, home monitoring and home control services rank high in desirability among both broadband and mobile users,” said 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 to their individual needs while gaining savings over the retail prices. Do-it-yourself customers are provided tutorials and information, while 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, plus peer through networked cameras. The second package, an energy control kit, features energy-monitoring gadgets like the Trane Z wave-enabled thermostat control; special adapters that control appliances; plus 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. There are additional devices like Schlage door locks to allow remote locking and unlocking of doors; advanced cameras that can pan and tilt or be installed outdoors; plus window and door sensors to pair with light modules that allow the lights to turn on when the door is opened. These and numerous other devices can be added to any of the packages, but the monthly service charge remains the same no matter what package a customer chooses or how many devices are added.
To provide the new service, 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 connects various devices in the home to the cloud.
Read more about Verizon’s offering in SDM’s November issue.