AT&T launched its first Foundries primarily as mobile app incubators, but the carrier is switching focus tonight: it just unveiled plans to open more hardware-oriented Foundries in Atlanta and Dallas. Most Atlanta-based projects will expand AT&T's Digital Life home automation service, with connected cars and U-verse also receiving a boost. The Dallas Foundry complements an existing presence in the city, but will pay attention to the internet of things and other forms of machine-to-machine chatter. In either circumstance, collaboration will be key. The Atlanta location will sit right next to Georgia Tech, while hardware makers at the new Dallas office can get software help at the original Foundry one floor down. The two new locations won't open until a few months from now, but the Foundry program's healthy track record suggests that patience will be a virtue for interested developers.
AT&T TO LAUNCH INNOVATION CENTER IN ATLANTA AND ADD SECOND DALLAS-FORTH WORTH LOCATION
New AT&T Foundry® facilities designed to speed innovation in Digital Life, connected car, connected devices, home entertainment and machine-to-machine technologies
DALLAS, June 25, 2013 - Innovation has a new home. Two, actually.
AT&T is launching new AT&T Foundry® facilities in Atlanta and the Dallas-Fort Worth areas to speed up the development of the latest technologies and applications that will help enrich your life whether at home, work or on the road.
"Since its founding three years ago, the mission of the AT&T Foundry® has been to identify great ideas, put the right people and technology ecosystem around them and move them quickly to market," said John Donovan, Senior Executive Vice President of AT&T Technology and Network Operations. "As a result, our customers are benefiting from great products and services that set the pace for innovation and our company is realizing more enhanced efficiencies internally.
"We're planning to move fast at these new locations, which will be focused on accelerating many of the new technologies that will drive AT&T's growth in the near future."
Atlanta: From Your Front Door to the Front (and Back!) Seat of Your Car
The AT&T Foundry® in Atlanta will lead the way in developing the next generation of lifestyle applications and services our customers want. Located adjacent to Georgia Tech, the AT&T Foundry® team will test and develop products and services for Digital Life, AT&T's recently-launched home security and automation service. The team will also create new apps and services related to the "connected car," mobility, emerging devices, and AT&T U-verse. Host sponsor Cisco will collaborate with AT&T on projects and help identify key third-party developers, startups, investors, inventors and other entrepreneurs to bring into the facility.
"The AT&T Foundry® in Atlanta will be at the center of our efforts to make your life easier, simpler, more connected and more secure," said Ralph de la Vega, President and Chief Executive Officer of AT&T Mobility. "Whether you want to check your thermostat from the road, make the drive home a little more enjoyable, or have devices conveniently handle routine things from your day, the AT&T Foundry® delivers these types of innovations and more."
The AT&T Foundry® in Atlanta is the result of collaboration between AT&T, Cisco, Georgia Tech, and state and local business and political leadership.
"The AT&T Foundry® is a tremendous asset for Atlanta's innovation community. With a rich history in wireless technology, the metro Atlanta region has emerged as the global leader in mobility," said Sam A. Williams, President, Metro Atlanta Chamber. "This announcement comes amid a new, strategic effort to foster stronger collaborations among our universities and businesses and is a great example of the kind of results that can be achieved. Tighter bonds between academic and business leaders will propel our industries, and overall economy, forward."
"Our long-standing relationship and close collaboration with AT&T continues through our host sponsorship of the new AT&T Foundry in Atlanta," said Pankaj Patel, executive vice president and chief development officer, Cisco. "Our vision is to bring together people, processes, data and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before. Cisco's deep-rooted heritage and ties to the Atlanta innovation community are a natural fit with the AT&T Foundry vision. By joining forces, we look to turn information into actions that create new capabilities and richer experiences for consumers and unprecedented economic opportunity for businesses."
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.