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One of my hobbies is Home Automation. I am able to control the inside & outside lights, stereo, television by either voice commands (she responds to the keyword of Gertrude) using telephones or microphones, various remote controls or infrared. Gertrude will also retrieve on command (and speak) Sports Scores, Weather, TV Listings, News and Stocks. I can monitor the temperature both inside & outside of my home. I am utilizing HAL2000 by Home Automated Living for voice control, HomeVision by Custom Solutions, Inc. for main controller, and other numerous X-10 devices. You can click on any of the links if you wish to check them out or for a great index of links for home automation, I suggest the link - Home Automation Index by Dan Hoehnen. For buying any home automation equipment I suggest taking a look at Worthington Distribution - they have some of the best prices.

My Home Automation computer announces the following when it knows I am at home: the Time & Outside Temperature hourly, special Television Events on the half-hour that I have marked for announcement (a daily TV Guide is downloaded daily at 4:00am), arrival of email from any people that I have so designated. Back to my Home Page

This is a sample picture captured from my camera mounted on the front of my home. If someone approaches my front porch, a sensor mounted by the porchlight will automatically trip the doorbell chimes in the kitchen & bathroom. It also is capable of capturing a sequence of frames of video and posting them to my homepage along with displaying the video on channel 83 on any of the televisions in my home. In the evening the carriage lights & the porch light are normally dimmed to 15% intensity, when tripped by one of the outside sensors they all go to 100% intensity. Also, if someone rings my doorbell it will capture a video frame and send it to me via email. autocapture.jpg (10672 bytes)
This is a sample picture captured from my camera mounted on the back of my home, it is modulated to channel 115 throughout my home. This camera, including 80 feet of cabling & power supply, is from Target and also has an audio feed - not bad for $30 (on sale price). Specific sensors located in the rear of the house/yard will turn on lighting (if dark) and trigger a VCR in the house to record for 5 minutes - longer if the sensors are repeatedly tripped. Backyard.JPG
This is a screen capture from my HomeVision unit which can be displayed on channel 120 on any television in my home. Along with displaying the current time and date it also displays various temperatures inside and outside of my home, number of pending emails, emails from specific people that I have marked as high priority, outside motion sensors and whether a specific door is opened or closed. HVX.jpg (11896 bytes)
The following is a screen capture (click on it for a full size version) from a program I wrote in Visual Basic 6 that displays various events, statuses, and controls that are available to me via my Home Automation computer. Specifically designated events and/or indoor & outdoor sensors will trigger the computer to call my cell phone, along with other designated phone numbers, to inform me of what event occurred along with the date and time. HVDDEThumbnail