Are you a Verizon FiOS customer? If so, be on the lookout for a Home Control service option in the near future. Verizon just announced they will be starting a pilot program in New Jersey for their Home Monitoring and Control service, which does exactly what the name implies: enables remote home monitoring and control of the home's lighting and heating systems as well as select appliances.
Don't let the hype fool you: this kind of control has been available for years, and Verizon is not the first cable/phone/internet provider to roll this kind of service in with their existing bundled offerings. But it will be interesting to see if customers catch on with the possibilities and get wowed by the expected advertisements touting lighting-fast home control over the fiber.
I'm not knocking Verizon or this new service. In fact, it may help speed along the widespread adoption of home control and home monitoring. Consumers are more likely to try out a new service from a trusted and established service provider, especially when the accessories that must accompany the service (switches, energy readers, thermostats, door and window locks, motion sensors, security cameras, etc.) will be provided up front. No word on what the rental fee for all the devices will come to, but renting the equipment as opposed to buying it (as you do a satellite antenna, DVR, modem) is yet another reason why this method of getting home control into more homes across the country may actually work.
Want to see the Verizon Home Monitoring and Control system at work? Check out their video: