Earlier this month, I attended a Digital Life demonstration at the AT&T Innovation Center in the District. Having seen a much briefer demo at the AT&T store at Montgomery Mall, I already knew that the telecom corporation had moved into the home security realm, but I had no idea the depth and scope of everything that can be automated.
Almost a decade ago, I knew someone (a very senior executive at one of my previous jobs) who had an “automated” apartment, but at the time it was something reserved for the one percent like hand-crafted luxury cars or live-in help. The SVP’s Central Park West apartment sounded like something from “The Jetsons” or Epcot Center’s Carousel of Progress. Well, to quote from that ride, it’s a “great big beautiful tomorrow,” because now regular middle-class folks (okay, those who don’t mind paying a monthly premium like they would to any security service) can afford at least the basic offerings of home automation.
Here’s what appealed to me the most: For the home security system, you can keep all of your old sensors, and just pay AT&T for the two or three you have connected to a door (for me that’s just the front and back door, but you might add one if you have a walk-out basement or garage door). Those sensors would be operable remotely through a secure mobile app (it automatically logs you out, like a banking app) or website. So say you leave in a rush and forget to set the alarm, you can set it from your phone. If you’re out of town but are expecting a cleaning service to arrive, or a friend to drop off something she borrowed, you can remotely turn off the alarm or better yet, open the door for them if you opt for the door lock with keypad.
The set packages for their home security are only $29.99 or $39.99 plus installation. If you want to operate a digital thermostat, use the door, set up cameras, or completely sync everything from your lighting and AC/heat to when to auto-unlock the house door because of carbon monoxide levels (and more), those extras will cost a bit extra, but the monthly price is STILL comparable (in fact less) then what I’ve paid for nearly three years to ADT. My husband and I are seriously considering switching to it when our current contract with ADT is up in October, because we’re already AT&T customers and like the idea of the remote features — plus there’s an early adopter $100 off special.
So now that we might be living like the Jetsons, I’ve gotta say I wouldn’t mind my own personal Rosie the housekeeper! What would you want to do remotely to secure your home?