AT&T builds on Internet of Things offerings with cloud-based data store

Carrier also opens up Digital Life home security and automation to third parties

LAS VEGAS -- AT&T today announced new design tools and a managed service for enterprise-based developers to use in building Internet of Things (IoT) apps and services.

The new AT&T M2X Data Service is based on a cloud-based data store, which is designed to make it easier to collect and analyze data from far-flung devices connected to large businesses.

The service launched in beta last year, but is now commercially available, AT&T officials said at their annual Developer Summit staged just before International CES here. AT&T didn't disclose prices.

Companies already using M2X Data Service in beta include Emerson and its partner Manitowoc Foodservice, Rockwell Automation, Ericsson, Samsung, WiPro and Numerex. Numerex is using the M2X service and software to provide remote site oil and chemical distribution equipment monitoring.

Samsung is working with M2X to create a Tizen device library so that developers can store and use data from Samsung Gear S smartwatch applications and other Tizen-based wearables, AT&T said.

AT&T also announced Flow Designer in beta to provide a cloud-based visual development tool for teams building IoT apps. Joe Bossalini, an AT&T product development engineer, said Flow Designer can help developers with little experience quickly build polished prototype apps.

AT&T has been working for the past two years to build up its portfolio of services for makers of new IoT apps and to offer its own IoT-related services. The company last fall said it had more than 18 million connected devices on its wireless network, and has been pushing its Digital Life home security and automation software announced last year.

Also on Monday, AT&T said it will expand Digital Life to integrate third-party products and services from Lutron Electronics, Samsung, Qualcomm Life and LG Electronics. Integrating these products promises to help AT&T rapidly expand its Digital Life offerings to customers.

"Innovation in home automation is skyrocketing, but to really drive mass adoptions, we need to leverage the strong platform that we have built by working with key industry leaders and developers to bring the best ideas together to benefit the customer," said Kevin Petersen, senior vice president of AT&T Digital Life.

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