One of the more unlikely newcomers to the show was oil giant Shell. Its surprise package is a system called HomeGenie that enables customers to remotely adjust their central heating and lighting either through a PC or a phone with Internet access. It will also switch small appliances on and off and enable users to monitor their home through security cameras.
Shell hopes to debut HomeGenie the US in the first half of 2004 with customers paying £1000 to have the system installed and $30 a month subscription fee. This covers access to a personalised web page that includes the programmable thermostat and the monitor for the camera. There’s no news yet on a UK launch.