AT&T is launching a new home automation service Friday with Digital Life, which connects a customer’s home to the wireless network, allowing users to view their home security system on a device such as an iPad and other mobile devices.
That means if an alarm goes off, and you have cameras at your house, you can see the perspective of those cameras on your phone or tablet.
But Digital Life extends far beyond home security. You also will be able to control other aspects of the home, such as temperature and lights.
“We’re jumping ahead of the competition by years in terms of technology at a competitive price,” AT&T President of Emerging Devices Glenn Lurie said.
This follows AT&T's 2010 buyout of Xanboo, a home automation tech company.
What PC Mag calls the “real beauty” is how the whole system is contained in one app. That means you can set the temperature of your bedroom and make sure that the back door is locked with one piece of software.
Digital Life will use AT&T’s wireless network rather than a specific Wi-Fi network that you typically would find in a home.
At the moment, there are two packages available. Simple Security is $29.99 a month with a $149.99 installation fee. The more comprehensive package, Smart Security, starts at $39.99 a month with a $249.99 installation fee.
For your extra dough, you get motion sensors, carbon monoxide sensors, glass break sensors and smoke sensors.
You can also purchase a camera package and an energy package for $9.99 and $4.99 respectively.
"There's a lot to like, a single point of contact for installation, clear pricing and promises of more innovation to come," Current Analysis analyst Avi Greengart said. "It isn't obvious that consumers are looking to wireless carriers for home security or home automation, but AT&T is gambling that it can stretch its brand and take advantage of its retail presence."
The transaction for Digital Life can be done entirely online, and then installers will come to your house to set it up for the technology.
“We want to make this our next billion dollar business,” Lurie said.