As a result, more than 15 million Xfinity customers would now have access to smart home controls - via a firmware update - at no additional cost. In addition, says the company, it will make the adoption of digital home technologies and Internet of Things (IoT) experiences much more accessible to many more people by democratizing and simplifying home automation.
The company cites examples such as telling an X1 voice remote "Good Night" to have it automatically lock doors, turn off lights, adjust thermostats, and arm their home security system. Or a user might receive a notification when their child returns home from school by integrating geo-location technology in a smartphone with a connection to the home xFi Wireless Gateway.
"Xfinity will be the home operating system that integrates every IoT device and transforms a connected home into an intelligent home," says Chris Satchell, EVP and Chief Product Officer. "Our engineers are working to enable our customers to easily control their connected devices, making full use of our Xfinity platforms, such as Voice Control, X1, xFi and Xfinity Home. We also will add value to that experience by giving customers contextual suggestions for automation that will help them take full advantage of their digital home, making it more useful, fun, and enjoyable."
With this move, the company is hoping to help address statistics showing that Americans are expected to have an average of 50 Wi-Fi connected devices in their homes by 2020. Connecting and managing all of those devices is expected to be a major challenge.
In September, Comcast acquired tech startup Stringify, a cloud-based automation service provider for more than 500 IoT products and digital services. Once the Stringify integration is complete, which is expected soon, says the company, Xfinity customers will be able to create and use a "huge number" of valuable rules and controls for a growing ecosystem of popular brands like August, Carrier, Chamberlain, ecobee, GE,