Vera home automation system

As the global economy curls up into the fetal position in the face of rising energy costs, we're as determined as any one to be as energy efficient as possible -- while it's completely convenient, of course. Mi Casa Verde hopes to help with that with Vera, a Z-Wave / 802.11 hub with an exceptionally robust web interface for monitoring the energy usage of devices in your home as well as turning them off, setting up scenes, events and timers, and operating locks and security cameras. Since it's a low impact little device running a stripped down version of Linux, it operates on less power than desktop-based solutions -- a benefit that Mi Casa Verde claims makes it one of the few systems that save more power than they use. Its retail price will be competitive, with the box at $299 and a secure remote access gateway at $8 per month, but Mi Casa Verde is trying to entice would-be testers with a pre-street sale price of $149 and one year of free remote access service -- that option will be available through October 31st, with the final product available to conscientious tree-huggers (tech savvy and, otherwise, the company hopes) everywhere on November 15th.

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