AT&T creates Digital Life group to tap digital home monitoring market

CTIA is up and running, and AT&T are first off the mark with their announcement that they are set to launch their new group “Digital Life”.  Ovum’s very own Mike Sapien is present, and whilst observing Mike made the following comments:

“AT&T has created a new group – Digital Life – and demoed a home monitoring kit at CTIA as it ramps up its presence in the digital home market. The new group will oversee a portfolio of remote monitoring and automation solutions, with web-based access to alarm, energy, and water controls. With a backdrop featuring a jazz band and food, AT&T wired up New Orleans for its well-executed demo. AT&T is planning trials in Atlanta and Dallas for later in the year.

On the whole, this represents a positive move as AT&T seeks to tap into the “smart home–connected home” trend. Leveraging its clout and capabilities in the marketplace, AT&T aims to integrate diverse devices and services into a seamless solution for homeowners. AT&T said its Digital Life group will feature devices such as alarms, cameras, appliance power controls, door locks, and sensors. These will be wirelessly enabled, with Z-Wave technology, to connect to the IP-based AT&T Digital Life platform inside the home.

But some things still need to be clarified and improved. For example, it seems that AT&T is missing an opportunity for synergistic features and enhancements for existing AT&T mobile or home service customers. Also, the kit requires an engineer’s visit to install, which will surely slow down adoption. Also, given that the alarm systems will go to an AT&T control system, it puts AT&T in direct competition with companies such as ADT that already have huge installed bases of monitored alarm systems. We note also that, unlike Comcast’s Xfinity, the system does not seem to incorporate an energy monitoring system.”

 

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