A company called QGate is showing off its new home automation devices that use GSM and RF to communicate. What you get when you buy the QGate system is a European-style outlet box that plugs into an outlet, with its own outlet on the front allowing you to control things from anywhere you can get a web connection using an app. The outlet kit sells for about €50.
The system allows you do things such as plug-in a lamp to the QGate plug and control it from around the world. I guess some people might like to have control of their lighting from around the world to help convince would-be thieves someone is home. I think the more common and useful approach would be to turn off the light in the kitchen if you’re already in bed and forgot to do it before.
The company does have something perhaps more useful in the works for monitoring the health of the elderly. The healthcare aspect isn’t touched on much, but it appears that sensors could be placed in the home to monitor things such as heart rate and doctors, caregivers, family members can access that data to check on a person remotely. The hardware uses GSM connectivity rather than Wi-Fi or wired Internet connection. Presumably that means you need data plan for the system to work. Check out the video to see more about QGate.