Imagine being on the road and receiving real-time video on your wireless phone when your children arrive safely home from school. Or checking in on a live video feed of your weekend getaway property while you’re in the office.
AT&T Inc. today launched an innovative new home monitoring service that will help customers stay more connected to their homes and families while they are away. The new service, which is available nationwide, enables customers to use both personal computers and Cingular wireless devices to access high-quality, streaming digital video and other real-time data and information from their homes — at virtually any time and from anywhere.
The new service is an example of AT&T’s continuing commitment to innovation, and its strategy for delivering converged, IP-based services that enable customers to access content, critical applications and information virtually anytime, anywhere, and using any device.
The AT&T home monitor service combines live and recorded video (non-audio) capabilities with a range of environmental sensor options to provide customers with a powerful, flexible toolkit to help them stay connected to the people and things they value most. For example, the service allows users to remotely control lighting in their homes, and it can provide a range of alerts and reports on home conditions, such as motion, door and window activity, water leakage, and temperature changes.
“Keeping track of home activities is increasingly challenging today, as we spend more time on the road and on the run,” said Susan Johnson, senior vice president of Business Development at AT&T. “The new AT&T home monitoring service will provide an affordable, easy-to-use solution for a variety of challenges in managing a household. This service is ideal for a wide range of potential applications, from keeping an eye on children, elderly parents or pets to monitoring a second home or vacation home.”
Users can easily customize alerts and actions based on their specific needs. For example, a user can program the service to send a text message alert to a cell phone when motion is detected in an area of the home, while at the same time automatically turning on lighting and recording video of the same area.
The service is available via AT&T to customers of Cingular Wireless services, and can be accessed via virtually any Cingular wireless phone or PDA capable of supporting Internet access and Java, as well as nearly any broadband-enabled PC. The service is optimized for residential customers who subscribe to AT&T Yahoo! High Speed Internet as well as Cingular services.
The offering includes a starter package of equipment for a one-time cost of $199. The starter packaged includes:
- A pan-and-tilt IP camera
- Two power modules that enable device connectivity via home power outlets
- A wireless door/window sensor
- A wireless gateway for connecting equipment to a home network
- All needed software and instructions
Thereafter, the service is provided for $9.95 a month.
Additional equipment is available that expands the home monitoring solution, such as additional cameras and contact sensors, wireless temperature and water sensors, and wireless power controls for light fixtures or other appliances.
All monitoring equipment is controlled via an integrated Web-based portal. Users can access these live video feeds and reports from the portal, and establish customized instructions for the service to provide alerts or to take action under specific conditions.
The AT&T home monitoring service is available today exclusively via AT&T online orders and a special customer service number. AT&T currently is marketing the service only in select U.S. states. Customers can receive additional information or order the AT&T home monitoring service by calling 800.237.4588 or by visiting www.att.com/remotemonitor.
A New Generation of Converged Services
The new AT&T home monitoring service is an example of the new generation of converged, IP-based services that the company is working to deliver for residential and business customers. AT&T operates one of the world’s most advanced and powerful IP backbone networks, as well as extensive U.S. wireline access networks and, via Cingular, one of the nation’s most extensive wireless access networks.
To maximize these extensive networks, AT&T and Cingular are developing and deploying advanced technology to enable seamless sharing of information between wireless and wireline networks and devices. Ultimately, AT&T will use this unified network to enable virtually seamless connectivity anywhere, anytime, and on almost any device, giving consumers what they want, when they want it, wherever they are. Increasingly, services will be accessible from any of the “three screens” that many consumers value most: the TV, PC and cell phone.
“Our home monitoring service is an early yet powerful example of the potential of converged services,” Johnson said. “As AT&T works to blend the lines between communications applications, customers will no longer be tied to a specific device to access a specific service. Voice, data, and video services will be accessible from a range of devices, allowing customers to communicate and access information how they prefer, wherever they happen to be.”
Today, AT&T delivers a range of converged, IP-based services for business customers, including IP-Virtual Private Networks and Voice over IP (VoIP) services. For residential customers, the company’s Project Lightspeed initiative will make U-verse TV (IPTV) available to approximately 19 million homes by the end of 2008, and will enable the company to deliver a range of IP-based voice and data services in the future