Northeast Ohio sees launch of new high-tech smartphone home automation and security system

Homeowners control lights, door locks by phone

MAPLE HEIGHTS, Ohio - Northeast Ohio is the first market in the state to launch new technology that allows homeowners to control major systems in their houses by smartphone.

AT&T unveiled the AT&T Digital Life system in Maple Heights -- a system that includes a full security system, video surveillance and more.

The Simmons family is now using their smartphones to simplify the management of their home.

"Having this type of technology at my home it allows me to monitor my home," said Anthony Simmons. "I have a newborn at the house, so I can monitor her via camera if I wanted to, and it's just everyday life. How many times have your left the house and forget your keys, I can simply go into my app and unlock my side door, and I'm right back in the house."

The Digital Life system hopes to offer security system control, convenience and peace of mind, utilizing an application that is customizable via smartphones, tablets or PCs.

"We're pleased that northeast Ohio is among the first regions in the country to enjoy access to AT&T's innovative Digital Life project," said NorTech President and Chief Executive Officer Rebecca Bagley.

"The ability to control appliances, lighting and thermostat remotely gives homeowners a new set of resources to achieve energy efficiency. The arrival of this technology emphasizes that northeast Ohio is a hotbed for innovations in the advanced energy space," Bagley added.

Security packages start at $29.99 a month plus $149.99 for the equipment, which includes 24-7 home monitoring, 24-hour battery backup, a wireless keypad, keychain remote, recessed sensors and an indoor siren.

AT&T Spokeswoman Holly Hollingsworth told NewsChannel5 Smart Security has a higher cost at $39.99 a month, and $249.99 for the equipment.

"You can build it the way you want it, you don't have to buy a lot of the bells and whistles, if that's not what you want," said Hollingsworth. "If you're not a person who is into the wireless technology, or you think you don't need the option to sense water leaks, then you don't need to get that part."

According to AT&T, customers who select Smart Security can add the following automation packages:

- Camera Package: View live video from inside and outside of the home for an additional $9.99 a month plus equipment.
- Energy Package: Control appliances, lighting and thermostats for convenience and energy efficiency for an additional $4.99 a month plus equipment.
- Door Package: Allow a pet sitter or repairman into your home remotely with automated door locks or check to see whether your garage door is open or closed for an additional $4.99 a month plus equipment.
- Water Detection Package: Detect water leaks before damage occurs for an additional $4.99 a month plus equipment.
- Water Control Package: Detect leaks and shut off water at the main water source for an additional $9.99 a month plus equipment.

Digital Life is now available in 39 markets nationwide with plans to introduce the service in up to 50 markets by the end of 2013.

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