CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Christmas Gift Guide
Gadgets

AlertMe 2.0: Reduces your energy bills and catches burglars

AlertMe is back with a host of new add-ons designed to help reduce your energy bills, improve security and generally drag your home kicking and screaming into the 21st century

Remember AlertMe -- the home monitoring and security system that sends you a text message if you have a burglar in your home? Great news! It's back -- with a host of new add-ons designed to help reduce your energy bills, improve security and generally drag your home kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

First, a quick recap on how it all works: the AlertMe kit consists of a central hub that can communicate wirelessly with a variety of sensors. When a sensor is tripped, the hub sends a text alert to your mobile so you can take appropriate action. Whereas the functionality in the original was pretty limited, the new 2.0 system comes with a variety of cool new sensors and features, including a wireless camera, a central-heating controller, electricity-usage monitor and smart plugs.

Smart plugs act as a buffer between your electrical outlet and your electrical devices. They let you see the consumption of each of your appliances in real time (and in real money) so you know exactly how much you'd save by turning them off. They can also be programmed to switch devices on or off as you leave or enter your home -- eliminating any possibility of you leaving the iron on.

The heating controller replaces your standard central-heating control panel and adds a host of cool functionality, including the ability to adjust heat settings remotely from a mobile phone. The new wireless camera (whose absence from the previous model bemused us) makes AlertMe a credible home-security system. It can be programmed to record footage when motion is detected in the home.

We weren't particularly impressed with AlertMe in its initial guise, but the latest iteration has much more potential. Read our review of the original product, and visit alertme.com for more info.