FROM improved routers that make sure your entire house is blanketed with Internet connection to the next iteration of the family security system that not only allows you to monitor what happens at home but also controls what your children can access online, the building blocks for a smart home are available in the Smart Home suite of services by PLDT Home.

PLDT announced yesterday a network of partnership with global and local digital companies that will form the foundation of a smart home.

“This is a good start in terms of partnering with content providers,” PLDT Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said in a press conference held yesterday to mark the launch of PLDT’s Smart Home. He said it marked the “beginning of more partnerships.”

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PLDT PARTNERS. PLDT Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan (center) leads the toast to mark the partnership of the company with leading global and local digital content providers. ( photo | Max Limpag)

Not just data highway

Pangilinan said PLDT visited innovation hotbed Silicon Valley several times in previous years and “made the determination not to be just a highway for data.”

The partnerships unveiled by PLDT yesterday spanned what it described as the pillars of the smart home: connectivity, peace of mind and automation, entertainment, and e-commerce.

“Connectivity is the most important pillar of the smart home,” said PLDT VP and Home marketing director Gary Dujali. “More than ever, families need strong connection.”

Even without the smart home, Dujali says, families need strong and dependable connectivity because of the prevalence of device use.

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PARTNERSHIPS. PLDT Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan says the launch of PLDT’s Smart Home marks the “beginning of more partnerships.” ( photo | Max Limpag)

PLDT Home Fibr

“You see like 4 to 5 devices at home. You need a strong connection to power these devices and at the same time make them talk to each other,” Dujali said.

He said the company launched PLDT Home Fibr 2 years ago in exclusive subdivisions. Now, the service is in over 3,000 villages nationwide with 2.5 million Fibr lines currently available. Dujali sees this number doubling in the coming years.

Among the partnerships PLDT highlighted in yesterday’s press event was with Dlink for high-end routers that ensure good coverage at home.

In the “peace of mind and automation” pillar, the company showcased its Family Zone product, which covers video monitoring of the home, alerts via sensors for such things as opening of doors, ability to turn on or off devices like lamps, and parental controls for internet access that allow parents to easily set allowed types of sites for access of children.

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CONNECTIVITY. Strong connection is “the most important pillar of the smart home,” said PLDT VP and Home marketing director Gary Dujali. ( photo | Max Limpag)

Easy to use

They also highlighted the smart watch that can be used to track children or even contact them.

Dujali says most of these products are already available to subscribers. These are also easy to use and set up, he said.

“The key to all these innovations is not just just availability but to make it simple for people to use. The best technologies are the ones you can use right away. It’s intuitive and it’s something they can actually enjoy,” Dujali said in an interview after the launch.

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HOME SECURITY. PLDT VP and Home marketing director Gary Dujali gives a demonstration of how technology can give help secure and automate the home. In this photo, Dujali demonstrates to Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach the viewing of live videos taken by a PLDT FamCam. ( photo | Max Limpag)

PLDT partnerships

In entertainment, PLDT announced partnerships with Roku, Netflix and IWantTV of ABS-CBN. Starting October, PLDT subscribers can sign up to Netflix and have it charged to their bill. With IWantTV, subscribers are now able to use the service to view popular ABS-CBN shows and catch up with episodes they might have missed.

In e-commerce, PLDT announced a partnership with Amazon and the release of a PLDT PayMaya card.

“This is a new era in digital as we make Filipino homes stronger, safer, more comfortable and more enjoyable via PLDT’s Smart Home, which has powerful connectivity and an integrated suite innovative, reliable, and family-friendly products and services,” PLDT FVP and Head of Home Operations Oscar A. Reyes Jr. said in a statement.

Max Limpag is a journalist, blogger, and developer based in Cebu. He started as a reporter covering Cebu City Hall in 1996. He has written on technology for various print and digital publications since...

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