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DoCoMo promises remote control of appliances via handset

TOKYO-Wireless industry leaders continue to push the boundaries of mobile-phone functions, and the latest innovation seems to hit close to home.

NTT DoCoMo Inc. announced a new offering that will allow its 3G FOMA users to remotely control various household appliances, including TVs, air conditioners and lights. The carrier’s offering comes shortly after executives from LG Electronics Co. Ltd. and Motorola Inc. discussed similar products during the recent CTIA Wireless show in Atlanta.

DoCoMo said it developed a controller for its FOMA videophones that allows users to remotely set the TV recorder, turn air conditioners and lights on and off, and view video from cameras inside the home. The controller itself connects to the FOMA network through a data card.

DoCoMo said it will conduct a commercial test of the service in April.

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