updated 6/16/2005 2:09:46 PM ET 2005-06-16T18:09:46

An inventor says he has come up with a better way to keep tabs on children, homes and other property: a wireless security camera that can go months without a change of batteries.

Similar security cameras either need to be plugged into a power outlet or run continuously on batteries that last less than a day.

The Mailbox Cam — at $199.95, more expensive than many security cameras — extends the life of its three AA batteries by letting users control the device remotely, turning it off and on at will. A built-in timer also ensures that the camera is not accidentally left on for extended periods.

Scott Jezierski, president of Wireless Imaging in Lino Lakes, Minn., got the idea for the MailboxCam after seeing his wife's 88-year-old grandfather struggle to check his mailbox several times a day. Jezierski wanted a device that would monitor the mailbox and save the elderly man trips.

"I thought of using a wireless camera but their batteries would go dead in about a day," Jezierski said. "I came up with this product and it saved him a whole bunch of trips to the box."

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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