AT&T builds its own Siri for the home

The latest company to hop on virtual assistant bandwagon, AT&T's comes in the form of a mobile app that caters to its home automation and security service.

You know that scene in every "Star Trek" episode when someone walks into their quarters and asks the computer to raise the lights or lower the temperature? AT&T wants to make that a reality for its home security and automation customers.

The nation's second-largest wireless company said on Tuesday that it's working on a Siri-like voice assistant that will come in the form of a mobile app to customers of its Digital Life service. It plans to launch the app in the first half of the year.

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AT&T's Digital Life home security and automation service is poised to get smarter with Siri-like voice commands.

CNET

AT&T will demonstrate the app at its developer summit here this week in Las Vegas amid the Consumer Electronics Show.

Giving you control of smartphones, computers and other gadgets via voice commands is all the rage, with Apple's Siri, Google Now and Microsoft's Cortana serving as popular virtual assistants. Amazon's Echo, powered by a virtual assistant named Alexa, can also serve as a command center for your home. The idea of linking voice commands to smart home services is a popular theme at this year's CES.

AT&T's app will run on devices using Apple's iOS software and Google's Android. You will be able to ask it to check if your home security system is armed or whether your doors are locked, or ask it to turn on the lights or heat the first floor to a specific temperature.

AT&T pitches its Digital Life service as an easy way to smarten up the home by offering connected lights, thermostats and other fixtures with security for a monthly fee.

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