I had a chance to meet with the nice people from Actiontec, who showed me their latest device, the zControl.
The zControl is a “home management system” that allows you to control devices in your home such as the lights, powered shades, garage doors, even your thermostat!
Actiontec showed me the menu, and it is a control panel that allows you click your devices on and off. Not only that, there were settings that can do an all-off, all-on, or whatever you wish. For example, if you want the lights dimmed for a more romantic or relaxed setting, just set it up and click it into being.
Not only can you control your home devices from your computer, but you can control them from any computer. All you need is an Internet connection, and you can even monitor your home via (non-included) IP cameras. In fact, I am told that you can even use your cell phone as a controller. That will come in handy when you get home, and turn your lights on with your cell.
I believe a product like this can really make a splash, because I think we all know that full control of your home from the computer is where every household is headed. You can get a piece of this when the Actiontec zControl Starter Kit becomes available next month for a price of $399.
By the way, the Actiontec’s zControl was named a CES Innovations 2008 Awards Honoree as one of the most innovative products in the home networking category.