Digital Life: Should you trust AT&T to secure your house?

For 30 bucks a month, plus a sizable installation and equipment fee, AT&T's Digital can help turn your house in a sentient being. 

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    A screen from AT&'T's Digital Life app.
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Forget smart-phone plans. The next major initiative for Dallas-based AT&T is household security. 

In a press release issued today, AT&T officially launched Digital Life, a "home management and automation system" that will allow consumers to remotely monitor and control a range of items in their house or apartment, including thermostats, small appliances, door locks, lights, carbon monoxide monitors, and security cameras. Eventually, AT&T says it hopes to roll out the program to 50 markets across the country. 

For now, only folks in the following locations are eligible (deep breath): 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." Major regional hubs, in other words, with a couple high-profile college towns, such as Boulder, thrown into the mix for good measure. 

"People rely on their mobile devices more than ever, so Digital Life offers an easy and convenient way to secure their homes, protect their families and simplify their lives from virtually anywhere," AT&T exec Kevin Petersen says in a statement. 

So what kind of pricing are we looking at for Digital Life? Well, it's a tiered scheme, but even a basic package will set you back a few bucks. The "simple security" package, for instance, which comes equipped with sensors and an indoor siren and 24/7 home monitoring, will cost $149.99 for installation, and then $29.99 a month after that. 

Upgrade to the "Smart Security" package, and you'll get all of the above, plus (per AT&T) "a choice of three of the following features: motion sensor, carbon monoxide sensor, glass break sensor, smoke sensor or takeover kit." But you'll also pay $39.99 a month plus $249.99 for equipment and installation.

With both plans, users can keep track of what's going on inside their house via a tablet, smart phone, or computer desktop app (see photo above). 

We imagine that AT&T will probably get a lot of takers – after all, 40 bucks a month isn't so bad for peace of mind. But we can't help playing out the doomsday/sci-fi thriller scenario in our head, where a hacker breaks into our house, and turns it against us, and we must bravely fight back against the machine... Oh, never mind. We're sure Digital Life is very safe. 

Thinking about investing in one of the AT&T packages? Drop us a line in the comments section. And for more tech news, follow us on Twitter @venturenaut.


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