Motorola has a vision and that vision involves connecting you home to your PC so you can monitor everything from when doors open to the temperature of your kitchen but can its solution offer something we actually need or is it more clutter for your home? Pocket-lint investigated further.
Called Homesight, the system is best described as a co-coordinated system of wired and wireless cameras, wireless door/window sensors and devices that work together to provide information on what's happening in your home.
Furthermore the system intelligently monitors and controls your home environment by recording, storing and sending photos and video clips to you, wherever you are in the world via a compatible mobile phone or PC.
To benefit from this wealth of data Motorola offers the starter kit to get you started. In the box you get a base station, a wireless digital camera and a door sensor to allow you to monitor your home.
Installation was very simple and the unit connects to your PC via a USB cable. We had our camera and door sensor hooked up within minutes rather than hours and the range of the units is around 50ft.
All the sensors are controlled via the software on the PC and using it is fairly straightforward. Here you can program when you want things to turn on, for how long and what you then want it to do with the information once it has been captured.
The basics involve the software emailing you a picture of what the camera has taken, be it a cat or someone actually breaking in to your house, while the door sensor will let you know the exact time said door was opened - ideal for catching the adolescent teenager coming back from a night out.
If you find yourself away from a computer, you can also opt to have the system text your mobile phone with an alert. While the system will support any operator, you will have to know all the relevant codes and servers you use when sending a text.
Those looking to be able to monitor the system from another PC at the office will have to sign up to a service called InTouch which costs an additional £5 a month.
Expanding the system will be the main port of call, after all, one camera and one door sensor is unlikely to do the complete job in protecting your home. The base station can connect up to 15 different sensors, although for everything to work - and record - you do need to have the PC it's all connected to turned on all the time.
The instructions openly warn of some connection problems if you also run a Wireless LAN in the same building, however we didn't experience any.
The range of accessories includes power controllers to turn on lamps and appliances remotely, water and temperature sensors, motion detectors, sirens and cameras with built-in motion detectors.
The system will allow you to keep an eye on your property when you are away from it. The plethora of options from cameras, to temperature gauges also mean that this offers a little bit more than your average alarm system, however at around £230 for the starter kit and then between £30 and £50 for the additional sensors this isn't a cheap option just to find out what the neighbours' cats are doing in the garden.
It's a nice idea, but you'll have to think twice about whether you really need that much information about your house when you're not there. For us, we aren't so sure.