Comcast brings home automation platform to 15M Xfinity customers

Utilizing its Stringify acquisition, Comcast will launch a platform to control the Internet of Things for its 15 million Xfinity customers in the first half of 2018.
Written by Jake Smith, Contributor

Comcast on Wednesday announced it will offer free home automation capabilities to its 15 million Xfinity customers in a quest to become the leading platform to integrate smart home technologies and manage your home.

At CES 2018, Comcast said the entire Xfinity services product portfolio, including X1 TV and voice remote, xFi Wi-Fi, Xfinity home security, and Xfinity Mobile, will gain smart home controls that include voice services, geofencing, and automation.

The platform will launch in the first half of 2018. Comcast's further efforts to embrace the Internet of Things comes after an acquisition of automation service Stringify in 2017.

"Xfinity will be the home operating system that integrates every IoT device and transforms a connected home into an intelligent home," Chris Satchell, EVP and chief product officer at Comcast, said in a statement.

Comcast said it will soon integrate Stringify's cloud-powered automation with Xfinity to expand automation capabilities to more than 500 IoT products and digital services. August, Carrier, Ecobee, GE, Honeywell, Nest, Philips Hue, SkyBell, Tile, Yale, and Zen Ecosystems are among Stringify's current partners.

Comcast envisions a world where its home automation products tie together with voice commands and geofencing around your home:

For example, controlling a home could be as simple as having customers use their X1 voice remote to say, "Good Night," and automatically lock doors, turn off lights, adjust thermostats, and arm their home security system. Alternatively, a customer could receive a notification when her daughter returns home from school by integrating geo-location technology in a smartphone with a connection to the home xFi Wireless Gateway.

In a recent ZDNet report, we detailed Comcast's new focus on interconnected devices, machine learning and ambient voice. Comcast is using its Xfinity xFi Wi-Fi router as more than a network hub. The xFi also has software to manage home automation and security, and it supports Zigbee, Bluetooth Low Energy, and other standards for the home.

In the future, Comcast said automation through Xfinity won't only be limited to the home. The Works with Xfinity platform will add new partners that include wearables, automotive, voice assistants, email, social media platforms, and more.

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