Digital Home

In the same way that Comcast used X1 to change the way people experience television, the company previewed a new, whole-home networking solution at CES 2017 that will provide customers with a simple, fast and intuitive way to control and manage their Digital Home and the devices connected to it. The cloud-based platform, which will be included at no extra cost for customers with a Comcast Wi-Fi Gateway device, delivers fast and reliable connectivity in the home and provides an intuitive user experience that allows people to easily add devices, pause device use during dinnertime, pair Wi-Fi extenders that boost signal strength and use voice controls to see who’s on the network, all in a safe and secure way.

The new experience will be automatically enabled in the first half of 2017 for the approximately 10 million existing Xfinity Internet customers who have a compatible Xfinity Wireless Gateway. That number is expected to grow to more than 15 million by the end of the year as Comcast’s new Advanced Wireless Gateway becomes available to customers. This Advanced Gateway is capable of delivering up to nine gigabits per second over Wi-Fi within the home, supports voice, home monitoring and automation applications and will be the device Comcast uses to make one gigabit per second Internet speeds available across its entire service area.

Comcast will demonstrate their new, whole-home networking solution for the first time at the Intel booth at CES – LVCC, Central Hall South, # 7252 – from January 5-8 in Las Vegas. The first version of Comcast’s new Advanced Gateway is based on the Intel® Puma™ 7 SoC. Comcast and Intel share a common vision for the Digital Home and are working together to drive standards within the Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF) that address interoperability and support innovative technologies that will further transform the home experience.

Comcast’s new platform can be controlled via web, mobile app and the X1 voice remote and includes the following features:

  • Get Started. Take A Picture. To set-up your in-home Xfinity experience and Wi-Fi gateway, just scan the QR code of the Wi-Fi Gateway with the app or log on to the web portal, and set up an easy-to-remember username and password. Then start personalizing and categorizing all the connected devices in the house. New devices can be added at any time.
  • Whole Home Connectivity. Leverages Comcast’s powerful Wi-Fi Gateway with attractive, compact, no-configuration Wi-Fi extenders to deliver connectivity throughout the home. Users can also test Wi-Fi signal strength, ensure the Gateway and devices are positioned for the best connectivity, run task-based, Wi-Fi health checks by device and self-resolve issues.
  • Easy Onboarding & Monitoring. Personalize devices by owner or category and monitor how frequently and for how long each device and owner are using the in-home Wi-Fi network – all viewable on one dashboard. The platform’s secure cloud also allows for automatic home network onboarding for compatible devices.
  • Scheduler, Bedtime Mode and Instant Pause. Make customized rules and schedules (i.e. – “Bobby can’t access the internet on his laptop after 8 p.m. on weeknights”), put the whole house into “bedtime mode” where all Wi-Fi connectivity is blocked to specific devices after a certain time; or even pause all device use during dinnertime.
  • Voice & TV Integration. Works with Xfinity X1 and the voice remote – for example, say “who is on the network?” into the remote, and a list of all connected devices in the house is displayed on the TV screen.
  • Safe. Secure. Provides a first line of defense against phishing and malware by setting up automatic protections for customers and their family. This is especially important for those IoT devices that lack screens and cannot install individual protection software. Plus, simple and powerful parental controls make it easy to protect family members from inappropriate content.

“Digital Home connectivity today should be as intuitive and dynamic as the devices and experiences it powers,” said Chris Satchell, Executive Vice President and Chief Product Officer, Comcast Cable. “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 also has plans to make this new platform available to its syndication partners later in 2017.

The number of connected devices in the home is expected to rise to 50 by 2020. An easy Digital Home solution gives consumers a secure and consistent way to onboard, manage and control them all and removes a common customer pain point that potentially helps to support broader adoption of connected devices and the Internet of Things.

What else is IoT focused at CES? Visit our CES 2017 – IoT – Internet of Things page.