Comcast wants to expand past the living room and take over the whole house, promising a "digital home" solution to manage users' connected life.
At CES 2017, the company announced that it plans to unleash a series of Gateway smart home hubs as part of a new, whole-home networking solution. Comcast says that its new experience will automatically roll out to its roughly 10 million existing Xfinity Internet customers in the first half of this year, provided they have a compatible Xfinity Wireless Gateway.
By the end of the year, Comcast expects to have more than 15 million Xfinity users, as its Advanced Wireless Gateway becomes available. With the new smart home hubs, Comcast Xfinity customers will be able to easily manage all of Internet of Things (IoT) devices that are playing an increasingly bigger role in the modern, digital home.
Digital Home With Comcast Xfinity Advanced Wireless Gateway
Comcast Xfinity customers can already tap the Xfinity Wireless Gateway, which serves as a unified router-modem for the home internet connectivity. The Advanced Wireless Gateway, however, supports 9 Gbps Wi-Fi, which will allow customers to connect to Comcast's upcoming Gigabit internet service. The new Gateway will also come with a number of improved UI features and cloud-based software.
For instance, Comcast will make it even easier to set up the Gateway, requiring users only to download the onboarding app on their mobile device, scan a QR code and set up a network ID and password. From there on, the system will automatically search and connect with all Wi-Fi devices in the home.
Moreover, the new Advanced Wireless Gateway is also designed to integrate with existing Xfinity X1 systems, enabling users to control all of their IoT devices through their TV.
The feature plays nice with the voice control on the X1 remote as well. For instance, users could ask "who is on the network?" using the voice remote and the TV will display all connected devices within the home.
Once the system integrates all IoT devices within the digital home, users can assign them to specific rooms or users, track the data usage of each device and run diagnostics when things don't work as they should.
Dynamic And Intuitive Digital Home Connectivity
"Digital Home connectivity today should be as intuitive and dynamic as the devices and experiences it powers," says Chris Satchell, Comcast Cable EVP and chief product officer. "People want to connect and control the products and devices in their home, quickly and easily. By creating this new home solution and offering it to millions of people as a part of their existing internet subscription, our combination of speed, personalized controls, features and devices has the potential to make the Internet of Things and the Digital Home more of a reality than ever."
Comcast adds that by 2020, the number of connected devices within a household is expected to increase to 50. With an advanced and reliable Digital Home solution, users would benefit from a secure way to onboard, manage and control all of those connected devices with ease. In turn, this could lead to wider adoption of connected devices and IoT gadgets.