By Jeremy Kushner, Guest Author Comcast’s new home monitoring system, Xfinity Home is now up and running for customers using Comcast’s wi...
By Jeremy Kushner, Guest Author
Comcast’s new home monitoring system, Xfinity Home is now up and running for customers using Comcast’s wireless data network.
The brainchild of Comcast exec Mitch Bowling has created an all in one home monitoring system that combines the versatility of smart home functions such as lighting and climate control with a home security alarm system.
It’s a state of the art, innovative combo that can provide two kinds of home monitoring for customers. Both offer 24/7 monitoring. The basic version offers standard home security protection, including burglary and fire alarm protection. The preferred system offers security monitoring plus home controls including remote capabilities for controlling home lighting and temperature; as well as allowing homeowners to stream video of their home through wireless cameras to their smart phones or laptops, regardless of where they are located. The preferred system also offers carbon monoxide monitoring, and is capable of providing email and text alerts to homeowners. Both systems require a three year contract.
With Xfinity, Comcast has begun a home monitoring and control system capable of running over the cable giant’s ample broadband network.
The product was launched in the Houston Market in the summer of 2010, under the name Xfinity Home Security. As the service expanded to over twenty markets, “security” dropped from the name, as the security options are just one part of Xfinity Home’s menu of services.
Home security and monitoring is a major growth market for Comcast, with the potential marketplace for these services in the US estimated at $9 billion or more annually, with a projected 43% growth rate. Comcast’s existing customer base, in-place sales force, technicians, call center operators allows Xfinity Home to hit the ground running outside of its test markets.
Xfinity Home’s basic package is $29.95, with the complete, preferred package running
$49.95. Installation is extra. The monitoring service is equipped with a touch-screen control panel as well as weather-proof cameras, home thermostats and monitoring sensors.
Comcast isn’t the only major communications corporation launching a home monitoring service. Verizon Communications Inc., and electronic security provider ADT, have both entered the competitive arena. The growing boom in wi-fi capable consumer devices, has propelled a strong interest in complete home monitoring systems that can be adapted and controlled from any location via the Internet.
Comcast’s awareness of the growing smart phone driven market place has driven the company to seek ways to use mobile devices to watch television or program DVR recording through them. Xfinity Home is an outgrowth of this market.
Creator Mitch Bowling views Xfinity Home as a life style system, directed at home owners who want their home to be fully automated and connected to the home owner.
While Comcast’s cable television offerings have lost customers in recent years, it’s added broadband internet consumers. With Xfinity Home tied to Comcast’s Internet service, and projections that home automation systems are headed for an increase of over ten million customers by 2016, Comcast is out to prove their system is the right one for consumers.
Comcast is competing with more established home security companies that are also selling smart-home control services. But according to Bowling, Comcast offers a lot more bang for the buck. The tablet-size control unit uses icons that indicate security and home monitoring services. It also has panic buttons that when pressed directly contact emergency personnel. The unit can also display video from video cameras in the system. And the camera feed can be set to stream live video or take photos. For an extra fee, Comcast can store footage on its servers. The control panel utilizes both wi-fi and 3G connectivity to guard against connection failures.
Looking ahead, Comcast plans to add additional features including remote lock and garage door opener controls and water sensors; and the company looks to expand from the residential market to include businesses as well.
*About the author: Jeremy Kushner is a home alarm systems enthusiast who blogs on topics related to crime and security. You can find more of his posts at HomeAlarmSystems.com.