Comcast adds smart home voice control to X1 Remote

Comcast adds smart home voice control to X1 Remote
After announcing the availability of home automation to its Xfinity customers, Comcast has recently added new controls to its X1 Voice Remote.

Smart home owners who have the remote can now make commands like “Xfinity Home, make lights green;” “Xfinity Home, show me front door camera;” or “Xfinity Home, what’s the temperature?” The remote could only control TV related features in the past.

The system connects all devices into the Xfinity platform. One scenario is that when a user requests a front door camera streaming clip, the live footage will pop up on the TV screen while the user is watching TV.

TV is currently the center medium allowing Xfinity users to interact with their smart homes. When a user asks “Xfinity Home, is the alarm on?” before going to bed, the answer to the question will be displayed on the TV, instead of being voiced from a smart speaker.

Six smart home manufacturers have joined Comcast’s X1 voice commands database, including the Zen thermostat, Caseta and Lutron lights, GE light switches and dimmers, the Nest thermostat, Philips Hue lights and Sengled Element Touch lightbulb.

At CES 2018, Comcast announced a free home automation update to its gateway which is used by 15 million customers. The X1 TV and voice remote, xFi Wi-Fi, Xfinity Home and Xfinity Mobile will get new features. With a firmware update released by this March or April, these Comcast customers will get a new smart home experience.

The technology is powered by Stringify, which Comcast acquired last September. The IoT service provider has made 500 products compatible with its platform, and this Stringify capability will be integrated fully into the Xfinity platform.

Comcast has also created a Xfinity partner program called “Works with Xfinity” which invites third-party device makers to integrate with xFi and X1 via open APIs. Current partners in the program include August, Carrier, Chamberlain, Ecobee, GE, Honeywell, Kwikset, Nest, Philips Hue, Singled, Tile and Zen.

Since many customers get their gateways from Comcast rather than buying Wink or SmartThings by themselves, Comcast may contribute much to the growth of the smart market in the U.S. The space of smart home platforms may also see changes with Comcast’s strong entering.

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