O2-owned broadband firm Be has launched an online home monitoring service - perfect for peace of mind when you're off to see the relatives this Christmas. Despite different solutions being available on the home market, home monitoring has never really taken off in the UK.
The Be service gives you access to information about your system and control around the clock. It combines a wireless digital network camera in your home, which is hooked up via the Be Broadband service.
Big Brother's watching you
When you go out, you activate the camera by pressing the 'Armed' button on their keyfob remote. From then on, if there's any movement in your house, the camera will automatically start recording what it sees.
You can set the service to alert you by SMS text message or tell it to send you a picture via MMS text or email. As you'd expect, you can access the pictures from any online computer or a web-enabled mobile phone. You can also view live streaming from the camera.
The Be home monitor connects to your Be Broadband box and a power socket. Once the camera is installed you can start setting up your online account.
The service has a set-up fee of £150, plus a subsequent £5 monthly service charge. This gives you unlimited access to your personalised account, unlimited email alerts, and 100 SMS and 10 MMS message alerts per month. Hopefully you won't need any more than that...