Soon, more than 15 million Comcast customers will be able to control their smart home gadgets and appliances through their Xfinity router at no additional cost. As Americans are expected to have an average of 50 connected devices in their homes by 2020, Comcast wants to level the playing field by making home control accessible. The new voice control feature does not require purchasing any other products to control smart home products. Xfinity routers will get an update that will let them serve as a smart home hub. Comcast's plans include an expansion to all Xfinity products, including the X1 TV and voice remote, xFi Wi-Fi, Xfinity Home security and Xfinity Mobile.
Last year Comcast acquired the Stringify cloud-powered automation service. Devices that can be controlled by the Xfinity products are those compatible with Stringify. This includes devices made by August, Carrier, Chamberlain, ecobee, GE, Honeywell, Kwikset, Liftmaster, LIFX, Lutron, Nest, NETGEAR Arlo, Philips Hue, Danalock, Sengled, SkyBell, Tile, Yale and Zen Ecosystems. Customers can create scenes that include control of lights, thermostat, locks, shutters, security systems, and kitchen appliances.
With the new home control capabilities, a customer can create scenes, which are a series of commands. So, for instance, saying “Good Night” to the X1 voice remote could automatically lock doors, turn off lights, adjust the thermostat and arm the home security system. Xfinity Mobile will also be equipped with geo-location features that will detect when household members connect to the xFi Wireless Gateway and can notify you when they arrive or trigger a command or scene.
Another benefit of the X1 Voice remote is its new ability to locate a Xfinity Mobile phone. Those who use the Xfinity cell service can simply say “Xfinity Mobile, find my phone,” and the phone will ring.
Comcast is creating a “Works with Xfinity” partner program that will expand to compatible devices into new product categories, including wearables, cars, voice assistants, email and social media platforms. Comcast wants its router and service to be your hub.
[Image credit: Comcast]