Jan 08 2013

AT&T Wants to Tether Your Phone Number to Everything

The telecom carrier announces new Call Management API to connect your home and your car to your 10-digit number.

In the past, porting your cell phone number between devices was a pain. But along came SIM cards, which lets you take your number from smartphone to smartphone. Currently, however, you can’t have your number accessed by multiple devices simultaneously.

AT&T would like to change that. The company aims to make the phone number a ubiquitous form of identification in the same way that, say, e-mail is, and allow users to plug the number into a variety of devices with its Call Management API and its Alpha API Program. The new Call Management API, which the company announced at its Developer Summit, allows developers to make this one-number, multiple-device dream a reality.

"[The Call Management API] lets your standard AT&T mobile number be the one number to rule them all. You can use that standard AT&T number in your application and ring tablets, ring your connected car, ring your laptop. It's going to be fantastic," says AT&T Chief Marketing Officer David Christopher, in a video from the summit.

Still don’t get it? AT&T has created a forward-looking concept video of the connected car, which shows a man rerouting his commute because of a traffic jam, making video calls, sending text messages and placing food orders. Siri who? Siri what?

Additionally, the company launched its Digital Life home security and automation service, which allows customers to adjust thermostats or lock doors remotely from their mobile devices.

AT&T has teamed up with Cisco to build the Digital Life control panel, which both companies are calling “revolutionary” for homeowners. AT&T outlined some of the automated services that Digital Life offers:

  • Video Package: View live video from inside and outside of the home.
  • Energy Package: Control appliances, lighting and HVAC for convenience and energy efficiency.
  • Door Package: Give access to a repairman or a pet sitter remotely by using automated door locks, or check to see whether your garage door is open or closed.
  • Water Packages: Detect water leaks before damage occurs, or shut off water at the main water source if a leak is detected.

Like Frankenstein, mobile connectivity is going to bring our homes and cars to life in brand-new and exciting ways. Are you looking forward to a more connected future?