O2 has announced that it is working with AT&T Digital Life and tado° to bring a unique smart home proposition to the UK in summer 2016.
After a limited trial of AT&T’s home management and automation service in Europe last year, O2’s parent company Telefonica has now confirmed that UK will be the first commercial market for the smart home platform.
While the telecommunications firm will deliver the software behind the platform, smart thermostat maker Tado and other third parties will provide the hardware.
A smart home platform
By brokering this deal, O2 is combining a leading platform, smart home device, and service provider, which will see customers enjoying the everyday benefits of smart technology in their homes.
The all-digital, fully integrated, wireless home automation system can be managed from a smartphone, tablet or computer, and O2 plans to offer a range of devices from door locks to smoke sensors to link up to the single hub.
David Plumb, O2’s Digital Director, said: “We are pleased to announce our collaboration with AT&T for their Digital Life platform which will integrate old and new devices around the home, and tado° for their truly smart heating control. We are also keen to hear from others who want to join our ecosystem.”
O2 engineers will install the home hub, as well as any devices wanted by its customers. The hub will also have a 4G SIM card that can act as a back-up broadband service.
“At O2 we are building an ecosystem that will deliver a complete smart-home experience. By partnering with the very best device, platform and service providers, we will be able to give people the smartest tech for their homes,” Plumb said.
O2’s smart home platform will be launched in summer in selected areas north of London, before a wider roll-out later in 2016.
Smart home technology in the UK
In the UK, there are a host of competing schemes offering smart technology, primarily in the form of internet-controlled central heating. Scottish and Southern Energy, British Gas and Google’s Nest are some of the most popular; although O2’s offering of bringing a mainstream platform together with different devices and applications will be more unique.
As reported by the Financial Times, according to researchers at Strategy Analytics, there was a 30% increase in the number of UK households with some form of smart home system in 2015. This brought the total number to 4 million, or around 14% of homes in the country.
The research also found that the average smart home spends £256 on the technology, representing a £940 million market.
The partnership between AT&T and O2 was announced at the CES conference in Las Vegas.
Edited from sources by Cecilia Rehn.