Dallas-Fort Worth (Plano): Enhancing Your Life with the “Internet of Things”
The new AT&T Foundry Machine-to-Machine and Connected Device (M2M/CD) center in Plano, Texas will bring world-class expertise and tools to the field of machine-to-machine and connected device technology. Commonly referred to the as “the Internet of Things,” M2M/CD involves sensors and devices that are connected to other computers to share information and help people make smarter, faster decisions.
“Imagine ”smart” luggage and pet carriers that let you track those items from doorway to tarmac, anywhere in the world, or sealed shipping containers with sensors that detect moisture, or item-level inventory tracking that ensures the shelves at your favorite store are never empty, because the retailer knows exactly when to reorder and restock. These are just a couple of examples of what you might see coming out of Plano in the near future,” said Abhi Ingle, VP of Ecosystem and Innovation, AT&T. “The M2M/CD center will focus on rapidly designing and building prototype hardware and software for such applications, using a variety of cutting-edge hardware tools and highly secure and scalable software platforms.”
AT&T Foundry innovation centers are unique in the industry because they focus on smart, rapid development and commercialization. These aren’t showrooms for existing products or research labs for ideas that could take years to mature. They are facilities where teams are focused on taking an idea to market as rapidly as possible. The concept has attracted the attention from the innovation community, from the most successful venture capital firms to weekend developers with a great idea for an app.
Like the existing locations, these two new AT&T Foundry locations will have open floor plans and work spaces. No cubicles. Everything on wheels. Whiteboards and brainstorm spaces everywhere. Open spaces so developers and engineers and designers can mingle and share ideas. We’ll bring in outside developers so we can access their ideas and fresh perspective, and they can access AT&T technical capabilities and business experts.
The AT&T Foundry program was launched in 2010 to identify solutions both inside and outside of AT&T to some of the most pressing needs facing the company and the industry. That vision – of faster innovation through open collaboration – has been realized through a variety of projects. One of the biggest successes to date has been the broad deployment of Self-Optimizing Network (SON) technology throughout our network through a collaboration with Israeli firm Intucell, whose idea was first introduced to AT&T via a “fast pitch” in collaboration with Amdocs and then honed at the AT&T Foundry. The technology went from idea to full implementation in just months, significantly improving call quality and retainability.
Other projects that have been quickly launched into the market through the AT&T Foundry program include Remote Patient Monitoring (doctors and other caregivers remotely tracking a patient’s pulse rate, weight and other parameters over an LTE connection) and SafeCell (an app for fleet managers to monitor and restrict drivers’ use of mobile devices while behind the wheel).
AT&T Foundry sponsors include Alcatel-Lucent, Amdocs, Cisco and Ericsson as well as Intel and Microsoft. Together, AT&T and the sponsors have invested more than $100 million in the AT&T Foundry program.