We kid you not.
A year after announcing that it’s getting into the home security and remote monitoring business, AT&T is announcing the first markets where the service will be available, plus how much it will cost.
On Friday, AT&T will announce that its Digital Life service is available in 15 markets: Atlanta; Austin, Texas; Boulder, Colo.; Chicago; Dallas; Denver; Houston; Los Angeles; Miami; Philadelphia; Riverside, Calif.; San Francisco; Seattle; St. Louis; and select areas of the New York and New Jersey metropolitan area. The company said the service will be available in up to 50 markets by the end of 2013.
Digital Life lets people monitor and manage home security and energy systems from afar using a smartphone, computer, or tablet. AT&T provides and installs Internet-connected cameras, along with sensors on doors and windows, and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, door locks, thermostats, and moisture sensors. The devices and sensors are all hooked up to a home broadband connection and can be controlled from a computer or mobile device. The Digital Life application is available on most browsers and there are mobile apps for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone devices, AT&T said.
Somehow in our minds we can see a frantic homeowner calling AT&T for support as alarms are going off all around him and getting someone in some other country. After yelling “THE ALARMS WON’T CUT OFF!” we can hear some service rep saying “I don’t know how to handle the alarms for your AT&T system. Is there anything else I can do for you today?”
One thing we have noticed with AT&T service on the phone is a definite lack of a sense of urgency in fixing issues. They have a playbook and will not (more likely cannot due to a lack of knowledge) deviate from that playbook. Far too many times we have called in and said “we have done A. B, C, and D” only to hear the rep say “okay, we need to try “A.”
Somehow that level of service (or lack of service) is less than comforting when it comes to the security of one’s home.
But that is just us.
Your mileage and driving impressions may vary.