Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based start-up Interactive Media Systems Inc has received an undisclosed amount of venture capital from Technology Leaders II, Philadelphia and just bought its neighbour, Custom Command Systems Inc, a developer and maker of control systems for home applications, to further its ambitions in the world of interactive consumer software. Ed Gilbert, president and chief executive of Interactive Media Systems, said the company intends to focus on providing system-independent software for interactive consumer products, that is it will run under Echelon Corp’s Lonworks or something similar, and it plans to do that partly by partnering with service providers active in the home market. It’s particularly interested in applications for set-top boxes and envisages a day when these devices are so prevalent that customers could run control systems from the box. Then, the company said, softeare could cost as little as $500. At the moment its only product is Custom Command’s central home control system that links disparate electrconic systems, like security. This is pretty expensive but Interactive Media plans to use the venture funding to broaden it, making it cheaper and extending the number of locations in which it can be used.