X10 Wireless Technology, Inc.
is an American subsidiary of a Hong Kong
company best known for marketing
wireless video cameras
with controversial pop-under advertisements
. It was founded in 1999 in Kent, Washington
X10 sprang from a small engineering company in Scotland called Pico Electronics, Ltd.
Pico now fits under the umbrella of X10 Ltd. X10 was a founding member of the Home Automation and Networking Association
and is sometimes considered the founding father of the home automation industry.
X-10 products were introduced to the American Public through Radio Shack.
Soon after, X-10 products were also sold at Sears, Roebuck
Under the One-For-All
brand, X10 started manufacturing universal remotes for Universal Electronics, Inc.
(UEI). The operation grew so large that soon X10 was manufacturing 1 million remotes per month. X10 now makes remotes for many original equipment manufacturers (including Philips
) and has the best infrared
(IR) code library in the business. This makes X10 one of the largest manufacturers of universal remotes in the world.
X10 introduces the a self-installed wireless security system: the SS5400
X10 sets up ORCA Monitoring Services
in Seattle, Washington
to handle the monitoring of their security systems as well as they ones X10 sells to Radio Shack
and other vendors.
X10's website goes live on the Web at http://www.x10.com on December 26th, 1996.
Legal and financial problems
The company was sued in October 2003 by Advertisement Banners.com
, who created their pop-up advertisements, for not paying advertising fees as promised, and had to pay them more than US$4
.3 million in compensation.
X10 made an attempt to go public in 2001 using the ticker symbol XTEN. They aborted this plan after a copy of Escape from Paradise, a book which revealed that X10's owner Hin Chew Chung had been under house arrest for over a year in Brunei, was sent to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Washington in 2003, and the bankruptcy was confirmed by the Court in April 2005.
Due to the pervasiveness of the X10 ads, and the low opinion of them that many Internet users had, there have been several parodies of them.
- Something Awful created a page satirizing the design sense of the company, as well as a mock interview with the inventor of the X10 Camera
- In one website's humorous timeline of Internet history, "X10 sells its first camera" is a future event that occurs in 2003, one to two years after the timeline is published.
- On the KOMPRESSOR album Crush Television there is a song titled We Must Destroy X10 about the X10 ads.
- Jeff Dorsch "X10 Wireless Technology, Inc. company information". Hoover's. .
- X10 Wireless Technology company website
- X10's latest Surveillance Camera