AT&T and wireless subsidiary Cingular are launching a remote video monitoring service that aims to push the digital home another inch toward reality. The service includes live video surveillance on a PC or mobile phone (Cingular only, of course) as well as controls for lighting, motion detectors and temperature changes. The service, which is commercially available starting today, costs $9.95 a month and is compatible with any broadband Internet service, while the mobile side of it requires a Cingular subscriber to have a wireless Internet package from the carrier ($10 to $20 a month.) Additionally, the subscriber must buy a $199 equipment package that includes a tilt and pan video camera, a motion sensor for a door or window, a central router and two power-outlet modules that use the home's electrical wiring to transmit the video from the camera to the router. So, if the power fails, the system does too.
This is not the first attempt at remote monitoring, but AT&T's package includes some new features: No need to leave the home PC on; the system can send SMS or email with alerts, etc. Cingular subscribers under best conditions can expect streaming video of two to three frames per second.
For more on Cingular's remote monitoring service:
- see this article from the AP