O2 UK Launches Connected Home Services
The cloud-connected smart home is expected to create a $28 billion US market by the year 2020; this is according to research firm ON World. With money like this on offer, I am sure it will draw a lot of attention anyone with the money to invest. One UK mobile operator, O2 has decided they want in and has decided to offer the service to UK households.
According to Mobile World Live Telefonica (O2 parent company) and AT&T have been trialling AT&T's Digital Life home security and automation in other parts of Europe since 2014. 02 announced back in January this year, during CES that they had signed a deal with AT&T in partnership with Tado, the smart thermostat to offer a similar service here in the UK.
Earlier this month O2 officially launched the "O2 Home" connected home services. According to one report; O2 will offer a range of devices that can link to a single hub, including smart plugs, cameras, intruder alarms, door locks, water and smoke sensors and other services to manage the home both remotely and automatically.
O2 marketing and consumer director Nina Bibby said: “O2 Home is all about connecting our customers to the people and things that matter. Keeping your home up to date with technology shouldn’t be complicated – so we’ve brought together connectivity and smart technology in a simple package to give customers peace of mind wherever they are.”
The service will allow O2 Home customers to access and manage their homes' central heating, security and energy from a single internet-based platform. The platform will also be able to learn from the household habits to ensure an efficient use of energy.
AT&T is also working on a voice activated mobile app that will work with Digital Life. The digital voice assistant app would allow users to make sure that their security system is set, adjust the thermostat, turn on or off lights and more. Users can either tell the system what to do by giving it a demand like "lock the back door" or ask it a question like "is the security system armed?" I am not sure when this will be available to UK users.
Prices start at £2 per month for the service for which customers will receive a smart hub, presence sensors, open and close sensors for doors and two smart plugs with the telecoms giant also taking care of installation.