Homes going digital as automation battle heats up

Digital homes offer more security, convenience

If you ever watched "The Jetsons" or other science-fiction shows, you may have dream about having an entirely automated home.

Over the past two years, that dream is becoming a reality for more and more people. In 2014, AT&T is expanding its Digital Life service beyond Metro Detroit.

This type of service offers 24-hour security and a convenience upgrade that might be too good to pass up. Recently, AT&T employees showed off the Digital Life service at a home in Milford.

The home security comes with cameras inside and outside the home, up to eight. Those cameras are professionally monitored and you can review what's happening at home from your favorite electronic device (iPhone, tablet, Android, or Blackberry).

"Through Digital Life, AT&T is committed to offering our customers an easy and convenient way to secure their homes, protect their families, and simplify their lives from virtually anywhere," said Brian Ducharme, vice president and general manager for Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan.

The extra home security appeals to homeowners like Chuck Dierkes of Milford. "It's actually the alarm system itself, it gives you a little more piece of mind, particularly at nighttime when you're sleeping you don't hear everything."

Remote Control For Your Home

If the security system provides confidence, the smart system brings convenience to your home. AT&T showed off some of the neat things the Digital Life system can do. The app allows you do control your lights, thermostat, door locks, and many more items around the house.

Many of you might have to take the day off to allow deliveries or service workers into your home, now you can do it remotely.

"Right from your smart phone or tablet, you can go ahead and let them in the door, lock the door back up when they leave. And, of course use our camera system to see what the heck they're doing while they're there," said Melissa Bahoora, AT&T Area Retail Sales Manager.

Compare Cost and Services You Need

Of course, AT&T isn't the only game in town. Comcast offers Xfinity Home which provides similar services. Comcast says its products are less expensive-- with security packages that start as low as $9.95 a month if you have Comcast internet.

AT&T packages start at $29.99, but the company says if you stack up similar services against each other, it's product is worth it.

"When you sign up for an AT&T service, you're getting a true custom home automation and a product that's going to work best for you," said Bahoora. She also added that through February 28th, AT&T is offering free installation and free equipment on the Smart Security package.

Before you take the plunge with any home automation system, compare the prices, analyze the package in detail, and consider your specific needs.

No matter which provider you choose, there's no doubt-technology can make life easier.

"Your smart phone has essentially become a remote control for you entire life," said Melissa Bahoora, AT&T Area Retail Sales Manager.

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