AT&T to open up Digital Life home security and automation systems to third-party products

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AT&T Mobility (NYSE: T) has started testing third-party products that integrate with its Digital Life home security and automation services, but the carrier said it is soon to say when the third-party integration will be commercialized.

Last week at AT&T's annual "Innovation Showcase" in New York, the company revealed that it is starting the testing but did not disclose many details beyond that. Company representatives insisted that it was AT&T's vision all along to open up Digital Life, which launched in April 2013.

Digital Life services are built on an all-IP platform, which lets the company add third-party products, though not necessarily applications. AT&T said it outlined this vision at its Developer Summit in January, and said it would enable new third-party devices through defined APIs and its "DL Partner Program."

An AT&T spokesman told FierceWireless that the company "cannot give information on what we are testing due to competitive reasons." However, at the showcase event in New York, an AT&T representative mentioned the idea of a sleep-monitoring wearable device that could send a signal to turn off a house's lights once the person wearing the device had gone to sleep.

Additionally, the AT&T spokesman said that in healthcare, Digital Life "could help older customers stay in their houses more safely by supporting monitors and tracking technologies that would be able to tell if someone fell over and couldn't get up." The platform could also potentially track the use of prescriptions and medicines, and could support wearable healthcare monitors that could track users' heart rate and other vitals.

The company Essence already offers a similar service called Care@Home, and in-home healthcare could potentially be a large opportunity for wireless-focused companies, especially as Baby Boomers age.

AT&T emphasized that safety is paramount for Digital Life, and that any third-party products would need to be UL-certified before being added to the Digital Life device portfolio. (Underwriters Laboratories, or UL, is a safety consulting and certification company and is one of several companies approved to perform safety testing by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration.)

AT&T has not publicly stated a timeline for doing so, but it does plan to open up APIs for Digital Life. In the meantime, the service continues to expand into new markets. On Monday the company said Digital Life is now available in Beaumont, Texas, Omaha, N.E., Toledo, Ohio, Greenville, S.C., Cape Coral, FL. and Oxnard, Calif. That brings the total number of Digital Life markets to 81.

For more:
- see this AT&T blog post

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