Motorola announces a new device that bridges all appliances at home and makes it possible to monitor and control them via the Internet.
LAS VEGAS--You may never really be away from home again.
Motorola demoed today at CES 2012 its Home Gateway, a device about the size of a compact router, designed to bridge all appliances of your home, from IP cameras to TVs to light bulbs, and allow you to monitor and manage them over the Internet with a mobile app.
During the demo, Motorola showed how a person could control different devices, like switching desk lights on and off or dimming them, or viewing surveillance camera footage, all in a single mobile app.
Motorola said the Home Gateway is the latest in its 4Home series of technology that "delivers the connected home in a smart and simple way." Most of the devices can be paired with the Home Gateway via a single button push. Devices that don't support any connectivity standard, such as an old refrigerator, can be added to the network via a Z-Wave adapter and then the user can monitor their energy usage and even turn them on or off.
Most of the new appliances will come with a wireless standard for connectivity, however, and the Motorola Home Gateway supports all of these standards.
Motorola said the Home Gateway has a 1.2GHz processor and runs Motorola's open 4Home software platform, which supports a host of standards and protocols. The device comes with applications for different platforms and allows consumers to access their homes remotely, from a smartphone, tablet, or PC.
The Home Gateway, for now, is not available directly to consumers, however. Instead it will be provided via a service provider, and will require a monthly subscription. Rumor has that it will possibly soon be available from Verizon though the carrier hasn't confirmed this. Currently Verizon is using Motorola's 4Home software for its Home Monitoring and Control service, which was launched late last year, and Motorola is a trusted hardware provider to Verizon.
Motorola said service providers can also take advantage of Motorola's onboard EDGE Service Assurance software embedded in the Home Gateway to help service providers deliver support and service activation in real time for faster and more efficient customer service.
Update, 3:53 p.m. PT: This post was updated with more information about Verizon's relationship with 4Home.