Xfinity is getting into the smart home game, but it’s going about it in a surprising way. Daniel Herscovici, senior vice president and general manager of Xfinity Home and Comcast, talked with Digital Trends about that foray at CES 2018 in Las Vegas this week.
In order to give its users easy access to their own internet of things (IoT), Xfinity is turning its wireless gateways into an IoT hub at no additional cost. That mean 15 million advanced cable Xfinity subscribers are about to have an IOT-ready smart home for free, and with no extra equipment necessary.
That’s a very different strategy for creating a smart home ecosystem than what virtually every other company attempting to do the same is doing. At CES 2018, you can’t go more than a few feet before encountering another IOT hub or gateway, but you have to pay for them. Xfinity on the other hand, is simply giving IoT away. Talk about a way to get people into your system.
The benefit to having your smart home devices connected through Xfinity is that you’ll have a singular interface, regardless of the smart home gadgets in your home. By using either your Xfinity remote or voice commands, you’ll be able to do everything from turning lights on and off to changing the thermostat settings to checking on your home security cameras — all directly on the TV screen.
Providing a free IOT hub is just the first step in Xfinity’s smart home plans. Right now, the company is focusing on security and access control capabilities — things like security cameras, opening garage doors, locking or unlocking your doors — but in the future it intends to expand into other uses, such as entertainment, health and fitness, and energy-saving smart home solutions.
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