Verizon Enables Smart Phone Home Control

Verizon (NYSE: VZ) is expected to announce the availability of Apple’s iPhone later today, ending the monopoly that AT&T has had over the popular device for several years.

A much smaller, but related story is sure to get overlooked. Verizon is also launching a new service (in select markets) that will allow customers to control smart appliances, thermostats and lights–among other devices–with their smart phones.

The Home Monitoring and Control pilot program offers a glimpse of how smart homes are likely to be linked and controlled with mobile devices–as Verizon and its competitor’s move into this space.

Beginning in January, the pilot program will be conducted in New Jersey. The homes selected for the program will be outfitted with an energy reader, smart appliance switches and thermostats, a smart power strip, a smart door and window locks, motion sensors, an advanced pan-and-tilt camera, and a fixed indoor and outdoor camera.

"What we’ll be testing in these homes is just the beginning," said Eric Bruno, vice president of product management for Verizon. "We’re giving customers a remote control for their homes that they can use to cut CO2 emissions and their energy bills and give them anytime, anywhere access and control of their homes. The concept of the connected home has been discussed for many years, and now Verizon’s high-IQ networks are making that concept a reality by converting customers’ homes into bandwidth-rich ecosystems that enable a wide variety of customizable options."

Verizon showcased the new service at the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, from Jan. 6-9.

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