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Service allows you to monitor your home from anywhere in the world

A new easy-to-use service is harnessing the power of the Internet to enable people to monitor their homes remotely when they're out of the house, whether at work or on holiday. The new HomeCamera service uses a webcam to let you see just what's going on at home from wherever you are in the world.

Simply by logging on to the site from any web-enabled PC or mobile phone, you can use your webcam to take a "live" picture of what's happening at home at that exact moment. Users can also access pre-recorded images and video clips.

HomeCamera is truly the first of its kind - an easy-to-use, affordable home surveillance service, conceived and developed expressly with the end-user in mind. No time-consuming installation, no complex configuration, no expensive hardware to purchase - unlike other Internet Home Surveillance products, you can use any webcam on the market to get up and running with HomeCamera.

You can set up a HomeCamera monitoring system in less than two minutes.

Having registered free-of-charge for the service, you simply enter your special HomeCamera user ID and password, together with a name for your webcam at home, and you're ready to go.

A subscriber can also receive updates on their mobile phone when they're on the move, using WAP mobile technology. Whether you're a 3G user or not, you can either log in directly to your HomeCamera account from your phone's own browser, or set your account to automatically send updates directly to your mobile. The cost for receiving these mobile updates will depend on your network operator's own data charges.

Other innovative HomeCamera features include a motion detection function, which automatically takes a picture every time your webcam detects movement; and webcam sharing, so that friends and family are also able to access to your HomeCamera account, wherever they may be.

There are also plans to add a "multi-image" feature, where the live image from your webcam is updated every three seconds on your account; plus a "real-time" live video streaming option that is set to be introduced early next year

HomeCamera is the brainchild of pioneering technology research facility Wireless Intellect Labs ( in Singapore.

Commenting on the launch, General Manager Varun Arora said, "We're delighted to present a new and exciting service like HomeCamera to all PC and Internet users across the world, for them to try out and enjoy for themselves."

HomeCamera is at the moment completely free-of charge until its commercial launch in October. After the launch, new users can choose from a variety of low-cost HomeCamera subscription packages while all existing subscribers are guaranteed free use of the service for at least one full year.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.