Following some mild teasing at events like the Mobile World Congress earlier this year, AT&T has just officially announced that it’s entering the home automation and security business with its Digital Life suite of services to compete with the likes of Crestron, Lutron, and other noteworthy providers of premium home automation. To deliver the functionality demanded of home automation, an array of connected devices will be provided such as cameras, window and door sensors, smoke, carbon monoxide, motion, and glass break sensors, door locks, thermostats, moisture detection, and appliance power controls.
Such sensors and devices will work to allow homeowners to both keep their homes safe as well as conveniently administer them using their iOS devices, by using some pretty well-designed apps. All of this gear will be installed by a qualified technician, as with most home automation products, with AT&T claiming that the service will be quite modular (in the sense that you can call your technician and easily have more features and services added after the initial installation without hassle).
As far as their security-related feature set is concerned, they will also be operating a 24/7 security center to respond to alarms. So, as this service becomes more widely available, how will you be able to purchase it and have it installed in your home? AT&T customer-owned stores and perhaps even some third-party dealers — if they fall under the company’s "distribution channels" — will both be offering the ability to purchase the service, as well as preview the experience within the store location. And, come commercial availability, you will also be able to order it online.
“We’re planning a unique suite of services, from start to finish, that will give homeowners control of their property and their possessions through an easy to navigate user interface,” said Kevin Petersen, the Senior VP of AT&T Mobility’s Digital Life division. “Our focus is on providing our customers with a comprehensive home security and automation solution that offers the best possible customer experience, and uses the most advanced mobile internet technology on the market to make their lives easier and keep their families and property safer."
It will definitely be interesting to see the price point and target market for this service. I also wonder whether AT&T plans to also offer home theater installation and automation services.
AT&T will be rolling out trials for this service in Atlanta and Dallas come this summer.