The AT&T flagship store in Chicago has dedicated displays for technologies in development, including an interactive demonstration area for the Digital Life solution. Digital Life is not yet available in Illinois — though customers are able to sign up to receive more information once the solution is available in their area.

AT&T announced plans to commercially launch AT&T Digital Life in eight markets this March. The company began testing out its all-digital, wireless-based home security and automation service in Atlanta and Dallas during the summer of 2012 and is now getting ready to roll it out nationwide. This initial eight-city launch includes Dallas and Atlanta, but the remaining six will be announced in March, explained Glen Lurie, president of Emerging Enterprises and Partnerships at AT&T during a Google+ chat on Jan. 8. Customers in participating markets will be able to purchase Digital Life in AT&T retail stores, online or by phone. The company said it will share pricing details closer to the launch date. “Our plan is to continue launching it in new cities every month and to get to or around 50 cities by the end of [2013],” Lurie said.

AT&T Digital Life brings together home automation and security solutions that customers can control from a smartphone, tablet or PC — regardless of whether AT&T is their wireless/broadband provider or not.

“This is all about getting into the security business and competing with security companies,” Lurie said. “But it’s [also] about bringing something to the marketplace that will leapfrog everything that is happening in that industry; do it through pure and simple technology — the fact that it’s all IP gives us many advantages — and deliver home automation like people have never seen before to the masses.”

The company said in a statement that Digital Life provides new growth opportunity for AT&T. “The home security and automation market is about to expand significantly,” said Roger Entner, founder and lead analyst of Recon Analytics. “As the capabilities and usability of home automation solutions are dramatically improving, installation becoming easier, the value proposition is becoming a lot more attractive to consumers. Not only can consumers protect their home against intruders, but with these new solutions they can save energy, keep an eye on what is going on in their home even when they are away and protect against costly accidents in their home.”

AT&T retail stores around the country will allow customers to experience the services before making a purchase, order through a dedicated call center representative, visit, or schedule an appointment with an in-home sales consultant. Though the solution hasn’t been made available in Illinois yet, the AT&T flagship store on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile has been set up to give customers a sneak peak at Digital Life since September of 2012. The setup included demonstrations of thermostat and lock controls as well as several iPads explaining system capabilities and highlighting its benefits. This is all within a kitchen-type setting designed to help customers visualize how the system would work in their own homes, explained store manager, Christina Cheng. This live interaction with the system is particularly useful in building the right system, AT&T said, as the Digital Life solution is customizable — users can choose to add or remove individual services and products.

The AT&T Digital Life solution features a lineup of wirelessly enabled devices, including cameras, window/door sensors, smoke, carbon monoxide, motion and glass break sensors, door locks, thermostats, moisture detection and water shut-off, and appliance and lighting controls.

The Digital Life control panel, built by Cisco, is UL certified and will run AT&T’s all-digital, all wireless home security and automation platform.

 “As a company committed to the Internet of Everything, Cisco is proud to work with AT&T on this revolutionary new service,” said Joe Chow, vice president and general manager, connected devices, Cisco Service Provider Video Technology Group. “The unique combination of wireless technologies working together for Digital Life represents the future of in-home communications. The software framework incorporated into the platform allows AT&T and Cisco to expand and manage the lifecycle of new services under the Digital Life banner.”

Digital Life customers can select from basic home security with the Simple Security package to total home automation with the Smart Security package. Those who select the smart security package can add the following home automation packages.

  • Video Package: View live video from inside and outside of the home
  • Energy Package: Control appliances, lighting and HVAC for convenience and energy efficiency
  • Door Package: Invite a pet sitter or repairman in remotely with automated door locks, or check to see whether your garage door is open or closed
  • Water Packages:  Detect water leaks before damage occurs, or, shut off water at the main water source if a leak is detected

“We’re offering consumers a new experience in how they try, buy and experience home security and automation,” Petersen said.  “Unlike other services in the market, we’ve designed a service that lets the customer customize their experience, from purchase to services selected to controlling these services through the app on the device of their choice."

AT&T will respond to alarms through a dedicated monitoring centers staffed 24/7. The company previously said that it will use dedicated installers to set up and service the systems. Lurie emphasized that AT&T will manage all aspects of the Digital Life solution internally, including monitoring and installation, which he expects will give the company an advantage over others in the industry.

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