AT&T opens the door to its smart home platform to Samsung, LG, Qualcomm

By opening up its Digital Life platform, AT&T hopes to work with more partners and get deeper into the Internet of Things.

Roger Cheng Former Executive Editor / Head of News
Roger Cheng (he/him/his) was the executive editor in charge of CNET News, managing everything from daily breaking news to in-depth investigative packages. Prior to this, he was on the telecommunications beat and wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal for nearly a decade and got his start writing and laying out pages at a local paper in Southern California. He's a devoted Trojan alum and thinks sleep is the perfect -- if unattainable -- hobby for a parent.
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Roger Cheng
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AT&T Mobility CEO Glenn Lurie speaking in September at a test home in Las Vegas for Digital Life. Roger Cheng/CNET

LAS VEGAS--AT&T is making its Digital Life home automation and security platform more inviting to third-party vendors.

The telecom provider, speaking at its annual developers conference at the International CES event on Monday, said it was working with Samsung, Qualcomm, LG, Smartthings and Lutron Electronics to integrate their products into the Digital Life platform.

The partnerships mark the start of a more open model for Digital Life, which previously has relied on a proprietary platform and equipment. A move to work with more third-party companies widens the options available to customers, who can pick and choose more equipment to work with their smart home system.

"Innovation in home automation is skyrocketing, but to really drive mass adoption, we need to leverage the strong platform that we have built working with key industry leaders and developers to bring the best ideas together to benefit the customer," Kevin Petersen, head of AT&T's Digital Life, said in a statement.

The smart home business represents another source of growth for AT&T, which is facing intense competition in its core business of wireless smartphone services. The company has been reaching out to areas such as connected cars, tablets and other devices, and has embraced the concept of "Internet of Things," or the idea that virtually anything can go online and chat with other devices.

As part of the partnership, Samsung created an application on the Gear S smartwatch that can work with the Digital Life app. The Digital Life platform will also be able to use Samsung Techwin's SmartCam HD Pro, which features a full high-definition 1080p image sensor, a light enhancer and motion detection system.

LG's WebOS-powered smart televisions will be able to receive notifications and alerts from the Digital Life system if, for example, someone is at the front door or there is a leak detected in the basement.

Qualcomm Life, the chip giant's health tech unit, will allow customers to transmit biometric data such as blood pressure or weight to the Digital Life app.

Lastly, the Digital Life app will be able to control power shades made by Lutron Electronics.

AT&T has spent the last two years slowly building up the Digital Life platform. The service isn't yet widely known because the service is available in only 82 markets. The company said it is working to expand into new markets.