Friday, January 15, 2010

Schlage LiNK Makes Your House Less Stupider

(Cabana Mobile is all about mobile entertainment, but unfortunately I haven't been entertained by much mobile entertainment in the last few days... so you'll have to excuse me for going off on a bit of a tangent...)

I love my house and all its opuliciousness, but my house is really, really dumb. It leaks energy like a sieve, my heating and A/C can't customize the temperature to the room, my "automatic" sprinklers turn on in the rain, and the list goes on... it's 8-track tape era technology, at best. I've always wondered why CE manufacturers and utilities haven't made smart home technology a bigger priority with consumers. I mean, I know stuff is out there, but it's currently the purview of hobbyists and the Popular Science crowd.

But perhaps that's all beginning to change with the help of mobile technology (angels sing). One of the most minty things I experienced at CES (which I mentioned my recap) was a demo of the Schlage LiNK remote management system, that allows homeowners to open, close and monitor locks, adjust temperature, turn lights on and off and access security cameras in their homes from a remote BlackBerry, iPhone or Windows Mobile handset. Imagine, if you will, the hilarity that'd ensue when your wife's boyfriend or your girlfriend's girlfriend shows up to raid your fridge while your Christmasizing with the inlaws in Boise... you could freak a freak out with that Bold, lemme tell you. The system makes use of the Z-Wave wireless protocol to control the individual devices. Components are available for sale at places like Radio Shack, or you can get a starter kit with router, door lock light dimmer through Amazon for about $285. Monthly subscription from Schlage costs $12.99 a month. Until Schlage sends me a kit to review at home, check out this demo from Crackberry... and let me know what you think.