AT&T’s newest Foundry innovation and developer collaboration center will open its doors in Atlanta today. Unlike AT&T’s other Foundries in Plano, Texas; Palo Alto, Calif.; and Ra’anana, Israel; which focused on the general mobile developer community, this center has a specific focus: the internet of things.
AT&T is courting app developers and startups working on the connected home, the connected car, emerging devices and other technologies it can build around its U-Verse residential broadband and Digital Life home automation and security services.
As the mobile phone market in the U.S. reaches its saturation point, Ma Bell is looking to provide connectivity far beyond the handset as well as at services that ride over home and car connections. At GigaOM’s Mobilize conference in San Francisco October 16-17, AT&T President of Emerging Enterprises and Partnerships Glenn Lurie will detail AT&T’s planned transformation into carrier powering the internet of things.
Like AT&T’s other Foundries, the Atlanta facility has a corporate sponsor; in this case Cisco Systems. The 8,000-square-foot space will support local developers looking to work with AT&T on new services and technology as well as host hackathons and workshops for students at nearby Georgia Tech University.
While this may sound like a PR stunt, keep in mind that two of AT&T’s key partners came out of the Foundry program. Apigee started working with AT&T in its Palo Alto facility and now builds application programming interfaces (APIs) that make it easier for outside developers to delve deep into AT&T’s networks.
The Foundries’ biggest success, however, is Israeli self-optimizing network startup Intucell, which first started talking to AT&T in 2011 when it was just an eight-person company. In 2012, AT&T committed to deploying Intucell’s technology network wide – a key carrier win that led to the startup’s $475 million acquisition by Cisco in 2013.