Home Nets Grow A new report from advocacy and research group the Internet Home Alliance says that 12 percent of U.S. single-family households with Internet access now have home networks—a number expected to jump to 16 percent, or 10 million households, by this summer. When asked which devices they use with a home network, 99 percent said a computer, 79 percent said routers, and 77 percent said printers. Sixty-five percent use home networks to connect three or more computers. Home automation ranked low: Security came in at 8 percent and only 1 percent said they run a home automation system on a home network. However, 31 percent said they'd like to run home automation applications over a home network in the future.
Cat-5 Camera Greyfox Systems recently released a new system that lets homeowners run a security camera monitoring system over Category-5 wiring. When combined with Greyfox's Internet protocol video server, the CAT5 Camera Module lets homeowners monitor security cameras remotely over the Web. The base module supports up to four cameras and lists for $7,367; the Internet protocol video server runs another $745. For more information, visit www.greyfox.com.
Tool Watch Robert Bosch Power Tool Corp. has added Tool-Watch Express to its line of digital power tools. ToolWatch Express lets builders keep tabs on tools and equipment. The system has builders apply bar codes to tools so that they can be scanned before workers go out into the field and then tracked. For more information, visit www.toolwatch.com.
Funding Frees Up In a sign that the tech crash may finally be receding, HomeSphere recently landed $1 million of venture capital funding from Enhanced Capital Partners, an investment firm that funds small and emerging companies. The funding will help HomeSphere expand its marketing and sales efforts and accelerate software development on its BuildSoft products. For more information, visit www.homesphere.com.