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Manage Your Walk-In Freezer Wirelessly

CriticalDevices Inc. and World Wireless Communications Inc. are teaming up to offer remote-control and monitoring capabilities for virtually any device, says Roy Hogsed, CEO of CriticalDevices. With the help of the Internet, he says, businesses and consumers will be able to track everything from irons to swimming pools.

CriticalDevices already offers virtual property tags through its asset-services-management network, which uses the Internet to track property and inventory services, and monitor the performance of notebook PCs and other hardware.

The company has taken that one step further with hardware from X-tra Web, a subsidiary of World Wireless Communications, called X-node. X-node, a 1-inch-square Web server, can be attached to a restaurant's walk-in cooler, for example. The hardware might be programmed to track temperature fluctuations, alerting the owners to a rapid temperature drop. X-node would wirelessly send a warning to a CriticalDevices network center, setting off a chain of communications ending with a message to the restaurant manager via pager, E-mail, fax, the Internet, or a personal digital assistant.

The companies plan to target corporate, industrial, manufacturing, home-automation, and fast-food restaurant markets. Kevin Gallagher, Newport Group's VP of research and reporting, says manufacturing and fast-food restaurants will benefit from the technology. "Manufacturing companies have a need to monitor status and performance of those machines in the field."

The service will be available by late summer. Pricing will be based on a per-month, per-device subscription.

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