Alexa, Siri, and the Google Assistant just got some additional competition — from the TV. And your phone. And your smartwatch.
Today Comcast announced a package of updates for technology that connects with its voice-controllable home entertainment Xfinity platform. An updated mobile app, Stringify, configures it all, its Android smartwatch integration enables home automation from your wrist, and new integrations with electronics and lighting giant Lutron and home furnace and A/C manufacture Carrier centralize control of your smart home.
It’s an interesting salvo against Amazon, Apple, and Google, who pretty much took over innovation in the smart home market in the last few years with Alexa, HomeKit, and Google Home.
Each of the big three has encroached on traditional media’s toes — including TV — so I suppose it’s only fair for traditional media to push back.
The best part of Comcast’s new system? It works with your existing TV and Wi-Fi router.
The worst part?
You can now enable notifications on that last refuge of solitude … your TV.
Comcast made two acquisitions in 2017 that have enabled its entry into the smart home sweepstakes: iControl Networks, and Stringify. Stringify enables people to create connected series of actions — strings, if you will – so that the lights can come on, the music can play, and the heat can come on as you’re about to arrive at home. With the Comcast integration, that automation has now been extended to your entertainment.
And, of course, the wifi.
“Users can automatically pause and un-pause WiFi, so kids’ – and parents’ – devices can be paused at dinnertime, connected games can get paused during homework time, and laptops can be paused at bedtime,” Comcast posted to the Stringify blog today.
It was clear last year that Comcast was serious about home automation. Now the company has planted another stake in the ground in its battle with existing smart home vendors.