The X-traWeb system operates with two mechanisms. A computer chip is embedded in the equipment, such as an air conditioner, and connected via a regular phone line or a wireless data radio to an Internet gateway, which completes the data transfer.
"The system is a way to take information from the equipment and put it on the Internet for easy access from a remote location," said David Singer, president and CEO of World Wireless Communications, the parent company of X-traWeb. "An HVAC technician can download real-time data from a Palm Pilot or a Web-activated cell phone."
Each chip, or X-Node, has its own Web address, so checking the status of equipment is as easy as typing the address from anywhere in the world. If there is an equipment failure, e-mail is automatically sent to maintenance personnel, thus reducing response time.
The system can be installed in new equipment or retrofitted into existing HVAC units.