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Alvaro Mautone’s cell phone gadget allows you to control appliances and alarms from up to 500m away –

Want to turn on your home’s heating system before you arrive? Would you like to double check your home alarm from your car — or your car alarm from your home? Alvaro Mautone created a gadget that allows you to use your cell phone to control appliances and alarms from a distance up to 500m. Mautone uses the serial port in his cell phone to create SMS (short message service) messages to electronic devices to turn them on, turn them off or simply check their status. And he’s able to create this handy device while spending less than $50 in components.