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AT&T trials of wireless home automation service start this summer

With 'Digital Life,' homeowners in two cities can monitor water leaks wirelessly from a smartphone

AT&T plans to begin trials of a home automation and security service in Atlanta and Dallas this summer.

Called Digital Life, users will be able to use any Web-ready device, such as a tablet or smartphone, over any wireless carrier to monitor energy and water controls as well as professionally-monitored security services. A spokeswoman said users will even be able to detect a water leak and turn off the water remotely.

The Digital Life technology will be displayed at CTIA in New Orleans this week. The IP-based service will monitor cameras in a home, window and door security sensors, smoke, carbon monoxide, motion and glass breakage sensors, door locks, thermostats, moisture detection sensors and applicance power controls, AT&T said. Inside a home, the service will run over Wi-Fi, Z-Wave and wired broadband, with a hub connected to a user outside the home over a wireless network.

Pricing was not announced.

Security and surveillance services using machine-to-machine wireless technologies are not big today, but are expected to reach $1.2 billion in wholesale dollars for wireless carriers by 2021, according to Analysys Mason. More than 80% of the security and monitoring services by then will be over mobile networks.

While the trial system Digital Life system is designed for home use, it could be also be used by smaller home-based businesses as well, analysts noted.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His email address is [email protected].

See more by Matt Hamblen on Computerworld.com.

Read more about mobile apps and services in Computerworld's Mobile Apps and Services Topic Center.

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