UPDATE: Home HeartBeat was discontinued in 2011.
Home automation currently involves fairly expensive setup, complete with rewiring certain functions of the house and figuring out how to tie everything into a common interface. Security requires an outside company to monitor possible intrusions, which is like paying to have your own 'big brother'. For those that want some of the potential convenience of home automation without needing an overhaul of the way you house operates, Home HeartBeat from Eaton Electrical looks like a compelling alternative. With support for monitoring whether doors are open or closed, the power to a potential fire hazard, water shutoff and friendly reminders, Home HeartBeat provides a snapshot of all the major question marks. Unlike many automation systems which either interface with your PC or have a central command center mounted in your wall, Home HeartBeat is meant to be portable. The Home Key display is portable enough to fit in your pocket, allowing you to check the status of everything your Home HeartBeat monitors. The system functions using radio frequency and when you leave in your care, it retains a snapshot of what was going on in the house at the time you dropped out of range; so you know if the doors are closed and the monitored devices in your house are on or off. With an expected price of $150 for the base unit when the product ships this summer, this is one of the easiest, most affordable ways to start automating your home.