orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

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April 27, 2013

AT&T to sell home automation, security packages

(Continued)

NEW YORK —

The equipment ties into a central control panel which can be programmed through the app or Web interface to, for instance, shut off the water main if the water sensor detects a leak.

A basic, security-only package will cost $150, plus $30 per month.

Ralph De La Vega, head of AT&T's wireless division, said employees who tested Digital Life in Atlanta and Dallas last year bought a lot more cameras than the company had been expecting. One of them set a camera to be triggered by motion sensor on the front porch, and nabbed a thief who had been stealing packages.

Only about 1 percent of homes have automation systems, and De La Vega said this could be a big opportunity as well. He's happy he can now check whether his garage doors are open and close them from his phone.

"It's just getting people used to living a different way ... We haven't even begun to tap into the available marketplace. I think the idea is huge," De La Vega said.

The central panel connects to AT&T's wireless network, but should also be connected to a wired Internet modem for redundancy, AT&T said. Any Internet connection will work — it doesn't have to be AT&T's.

Two years ago, AT&T bought Xanboo, a smart-home technology startup. Last year, AT&T announced its plans to launch Digital Life nationwide, and ran trials with employees in Dallas and Atlanta.

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