When last we heard of AT&T's Digital Life home automation and security service back in January, the program was just getting off the ground, launching in eight test markets. But today, the nation's second largest wireless carrier has announced that it is officially bringing Digital Life online, making it available to consumers in 15 markets including New York, New Jersey, Dallas, Chicago and Los Angeles.
Digital Life is AT&T's attempt to take its wireless chops to the home security space, giving users the ability to monitor their homes from any Web connected device via a series of sensors, monitors and video cameras. What's more, the service's home automation capabilities allows users to lock and unlock doors, turn lights and appliances on and off, regulate the temperature and shut off the water supply to their homes from their tablets or smartphones.
We got some brief hands-on time with the Digital Life iPad app and found it surprisingly easy to navigate. Users can view the status of their home by room or device. For example, if you want to see what's going on in your basement, you simply tap the basement option under the Room tab and can instantly see if any windows are are open, if a light switch is on and the status of your carbon monoxide monitor. If you want to check the status of the connected devices in your house, you can sort by Devices to see if all of your doors and windows are locked and closed, and even see images from any installed connected cameras.
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The app's notifications option allows you to set up alerts that can be sent to your smartphone or tablet when a specific event is detected at your house. If your second floor smoke detector's battery is low, for instance, you can have the system send a notification to your phone informing you. Custom views give users the option to view the status of certain appliances and locks at a set time. The Good Night option lets you see if your garage doors are locked and if your basement lights are off.
In addition to automation, Digital Life also serves as a security system, informing members of AT&T's own monitoring center in case of an emergency who can then contact the appropriate authorities. Though AT&T says data center employees will be unable to view any video feeds from your home.
The entire Digital Life system runs through AT&T's own data centers, with each new in-home system getting its own 3G connection in addition to a user-supplied broadband connection. AT&T reps said using both 3G and broadband connections ensures that Digital Life can run in case your home's Internet goes down.
Digital Life is available in two versions; Simple Security and Smart Security. Simple Security, which includes 24/7 home monitoring, a 24-hour battery backup, wireless keypad for setting your alarm inside your home, keychain remote, sensors and indoor sirens is available for $29.99 per month with a $149 installation fee.
Simple Security offers all of the aforementioned features, as well as your choice of a motion sensor, carbon monoxide sensor, glass break sensor, smoke sensor or takeover kit for $39.99. Installation will cost you $249. Smart Security customers can also choose optional packages including a camera package for viewing live video, energy package for controlling lights and thermostats, a door package to monitor your doors' statuses and more.
In addition to the 15 launch markets, AT&T says Digital Life will reach as many as 50 markets by the end of this year. You can check out more about Digital Life at www.att.com/digitallife.
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