Verizon May Launch Z-Wave Remote Monitoring and Control System from 4Home
A document discovered by CE Pro details a Verizon Home Monitoring Gateway with Z-Wave, and a Home Monitor Service that uses an automation and surveillance platform from 4Home.
The online Verizon document included images like this one from the 4Home booth at CES 2009.
CE Pro discovered a document on an FCC Web site that describes the Verizon Home Monitoring Gateway and Home Monitor Service, referring to the service as "4Home."
Neither Verizon nor 4Home would comment on the system described in the FCC document.
The hub of the Verizon system is a Westell-branded gateway device called Control Point, which features Internet connectivity and automation capabilities via on-board Z-Wave wireless technology. Two USB ports are "reserved for your future USB devices," according to the document. "The USB ports can be used for external, local storage such as memory sticks."
Z-Wave devices such as motion sensors, lights, thermostats, garage-door openers, door locks and other compatible products can be monitored and controlled through the system.
Certain IP-based surveillance cameras also can be integrated.
Users can access these devices through any Web browser, or directly from their Verizon mobile phones. They simply click on the "4Home" button on the phone to check in on the home, change the temperature, unlock the doors and perform other home automation feats.
According to the document, users can customize their home page by simply adding and sizing widgets available through the configuration tool.
For example, a "Camera" widget would display live feeds from the home's surveillance cameras, a "Scenes" widget would provide easy access to modes such as "Home," "Away" or "Movie Time." A "Rooms" widget would let you peer into any room of the house at the press of a button.
Just as they can customize their own home pages, users can configure alerts through a seemingly easy-to-use application.
For instance, users can program the system to take a 15-second video when the living room motion sensor is tripped, and then send that video to their cell phones.
Users can also put their home automation functions on a schedule.
Can Verizon Pull it Off?
Let's just say, hypothetically, that Verizon does indeed plan to launch the service described in the online document.
How would they fare?
If they succeed, they will be the first. Service providers have long toyed with remote home monitoring and control, but none has really pulled it off.
Nokia demonstrated late last year the Nokia Home Control Center, a Z-Wave-enabled solution not unlike Verizon's. The service (not based on 4Home) currently is only being offered in Europe.
4Home's platform is a good one -- Digeo, for example, is using it in its Moxi digital video recorders – but the technology has been around for quite some time.