Media depicts the future as being many different things …desolate…sad…overrun by these weird…things. But one thing that can be agreed on by almost every film is that the future is definitely smarter. The evidence is abundant—the array of touch screen phones available from Apple to your local corner store, and the advertisements and keynotes one sees on a daily basis.
Imagine that your smart phone or tablet can act as a maid that may not clean your house, but still get the little things done. What may that be, you ask? These gadgets will be able to get you coffee (well, it will make you coffee, you still have to make the trip to the kitchen to retrieve it), lock the doors, open the windows, and turn off the lights. Just imagine how much fun you would have with an iPad while you’re getting dressed, “Siri, make me a cup of coffee and check my twelve o’clock appointment,” tee-hee! In addition to this raw awesomeness, this Wi-Fi powered technology can provide your home with a home-security system that monitors all the entrances into your house.
The idea was thought up by AT&T. They call their technology “Digital Life” technology. Digital Life works by assigning individual IP addresses to each tablet controlled device enabling it to be controlled from the device of your choosing (Blackberry, Android, Windows, or Apple). However, as with all things regarding the progression of technology, competition is an inevitable aspect of the trade. Late in 2011, Verizon beat to the ‘tablet controlled home’ when they launched their own Verizon Home Control application. Much like AT&T, the service is only accessible via a subscription. Conversely, AT&T has not given out any information as to what their price range will be but they claim that it will be “extremely competitive” (versus Verizon’s $9.99 monthly fee and $89.99 starter kit).
Both have claimed to do the same basic things with their service: Turn the lights on and off, monitor doors and windows, have a live video feed streaming form carefully placed cameras set up inside and around your house to your phone or tablet, regulate the temperature within your home (turn the thermostat up or down), and lock and unlock the doors, windows and garage door. All this and more sounds so glamorous and awesome but this also leaves the million dollar question—that even if you do get right, you will not receive a dime—question, which company should I choose?! Don’t worry, calm your horses. The best decision would be to wait until AT&T launches later next year so that you have a more accurate comparison point.