AT&T Home Manager is, essentially, a Samsung 7" (800x480) touchscreen device that brings goodies like visual voicemail, email, Yellow Pages, weather reports and a phone-syncable address book to those who prefer not to rely on their smartphone at home. It also doubles as a digital picture frame when not in use by loading pictures from SD or USB. Operating 2 hours per charge, the system (which includes a cordless phone) runs $US299 from AT&T in limited markets. Maybe it's not the most mind-blowing device out there, but it could be a handy, reasonably-priced piece of tech for those still clinging to their landlines. The only catch? "Customers must agree to a two-year AT&T High Speed Internet term commitment or sign up for AT&T U-verse TV, High Speed Internet and Voice services." Read on for full details.
AT&T Revolutionizes Home Phone, Bringing Colour Touch Screen, Customised Content and Wireless Applications to Traditional Voice Calling
Innovative Capabilities, Functionality Redefine Familiar Product
Dallas, Texas, September 22, 2008
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) announced today the introduction of AT&T HomeManager™ — an innovative home phone that combines access to Internet content and popular wireless phone applications with traditional home phone service. As part of its initial launch, HomeManager is available in nine AT&T markets: Chicago; Atlanta; Austin, Texas; San Antonio; Houston; Dallas; San Francisco; San Diego and Los Angeles.
Using a portable, seven-inch colour touch screen frame, AT&T HomeManager provides one-touch access from anywhere in the home to a robust lineup of popular features and content, including visual voice mail, weather reports, e-mail access, local news, a portable speakerphone and more. From a broadband-enabled base station, information is sent directly to the cordless touch screen, delivering quick and easy access to relevant information.
Perfect for the always-busy household, HomeManager is designed to bridge the familiarity and comfort of traditional home phone calling with the feature-rich capabilities consumers expect from today's wireless and broadband services.
"HomeManager represents the next generation of home communications," said Brian Shay, senior vice president, Converged Services for AT&T. "We're building on the reliability of our wireline platform and advancing it with touch screens, mobile phone applications, visual voicemail and more. A phone today is not just for talking — it's about having the content and the information that's important to you right at your fingertips."
Home phone calls — both initiated and received — are completed over a traditional wireline or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) connection using either the touch screen, which also functions as a portable speakerphone, or a cordless handset, which is also provided within the HomeManager package. Touch screen applications and capabilities include:
* Address Book Synchronizing. AT&T Mobile BackupSM — a mobile phone application — synchs address books across the touch screen and home handset with AT&T mobile phone contacts.
* Internet Content. Access weather, e-mail, stock profiles, sports, news, photos, movie listings, recipes and more with one-touch access on the touch screen frame.
* AT&T Yellow Pages. Free, unlimited access to White Pages and Yellow Pages online directories help locate both people and businesses. Use the touch screen to call, map addresses and send information to both mobile phones and e-mail accounts.
* Visual Voice Mail. See and listen to messages via a single wireline-wireless mailbox on both the touch screen and cordless handset. Compatible with AT&T U-verseSM Voice and AT&T Unified MessagingSM.
* Digital Picture Frame. View your favourite photos on the frame as a slide show or screen saver. Photos and videos are easily loaded from an SD memory card, USB device or e-mail attachment.
"HomeManager is perfect for the kitchen, family room or — because it's portable — anywhere families want instant access to communications and information," said Shay. "In one place, families can make phone calls and also access e-mail, contacts, local news, recipes and more. This is a convenient, simple solution for families on the run. It's quick and it's efficient."
AT&T collaborated with Samsung to bring HomeManager to life, while also building on the company's own 100-year legacy of driving innovation.
"HomeManager is a game-changing device that provides true convergence to wireless, wireline and Internet users," said Tom Jasny, vice president of wireless broadband and network systems for Samsung Mobile.
"This intelligent information device gives people the ultimate flexibility to stay connected, entertained and informed anywhere in their home. Following a long tradition of successful cooperation between AT&T and Samsung for wireless handsets, this represents the first collaborative effort between AT&T and Samsung's network business to address consumer solutions for the home, complementing Samsung's leadership as the second-largest mobile phone manufacturer in the world."
AT&T HomeManager is available to new and existing AT&T High Speed Internet and residential wireline customers, including AT&T U-verse TV and Voice customers, at select AT&T retail locations within the nine markets for a one-time payment of $299.00. Customers must agree to a two-year AT&T High Speed Internet term commitment or sign up for AT&T U-verse TV, High Speed Internet and Voice services.
The package includes the seven-inch touch screen frame, one cordless handset and one base station. Additional handsets and frames can be added for an additional charge. There are no monthly fees for AT&T HomeManager. Other service plans for customers without AT&T services are also available.