Home automation used to be something you only saw in futuristic movies, but it seems like the idea of controlling everything in your home via mobile phone or computer is becoming more and more common. Nokia is taking existing systems and solutions a step further by hitting every spot in the home, from security systems and lighting to home entertainment and sprinkler systems. One of the big functions the Finns are highlighting is the ability to control and monitor energy usage in the home, which will undoubtedly put a big smile on Greenpeace faces and other environmentally conscious people. Being able to track energy usage will allow users to control and lower consumption where they can. And while other companies are allowing home control through phones, Nokia is sure to step the game up by allowing third-party companies to join right in.

Nokia has mentioned several possibilities with the new Home Control Center. Imagine you’re just getting out of the shower and your in-laws are at the door. When they ring the doorbell, you will receive a notification on your phone along with a photo from a camera set up from the door and you can let them right in with your phone – or maybe just keep the door locked and hope they’ll go away. The Home Control Center will focus on security, efficiency, and premium home automation. When will this be available? Well, it’s no surprise that it will be hitting Europe first in late 2009, and possibly the States shortly thereafter if it proves to be a success. Just imagine – instead of coming up with an elaborate scheme to thwart burglars à la Home Alone, you can do it all on the comfort of your cell phone.