Comcast Expands Home Automation To Retail Trailblazers

Amongst a slew of compelling INTX show announcements, Comcast’s further foray into home automation is particularly notable. Whereas Comcast Home started as the typical white-labeled home automation and security solution, featuring a variety of mostly generic components, Xfinity Home will shortly expand to incorporate higher profile retail accessories. For example, my beloved Kevo smartlock and Netgear Arlo cameras will be accessible from both the X1 DVR and Xfinity app this summer, with other leaders this space like Lutron, August, and Nest also onboard. And more can be expected as Comcast introduces an Xfinity Home SDK and partner program.


I imagine many would appreciate another unified interface to their home automation and security gadgetry. I know I would (especially in regards to Arlo, which is currently silo-ed). Not to mention there’s a huge segment of the population who knows nothing of this, yet could benefit from it. But the question remains: Will folks have interest and confidence in their cable provider, specifically Comcast, as a partner for this sort of service? And what would they be willing to pay?

For reference, beyond the requisite X1 cable subscription, here are the Xfinity Home tiers of service — all of which include a Hub and some sensors to get started, along with the X1 and retail device integration described above:

  • Control 150 is $19.95/month (just home automation, security monitoring is not included)
  • Secure 300 is $30 / month (home automation and home security)
  • Secure 350 is $40/ month (home automation and home security with additional equipment included)

7 thoughts on “Comcast Expands Home Automation To Retail Trailblazers”

  1. The developer of the home automation / security platform for iControl. The platform is called OpenHome, because they work with partners, but in reality it is overwise closed. It’s completely skewed towards dealers which means it is a bit walled off from tech savvy home owners.

    iControl’s partner list includes both security companies, ADT, DSC, BrightHouse, but also the cable companies: Comcast (Xfinity), TimeWarner, Cox, Rogers, etc. For a while Verizon’s home automation solution for FiOS was also based on iControl. I think they stopped selling that.

    What’s not clear is whether Comcast is doing their own development here, or if this is new development from iControl. Looks like they have an updated platform iControl one.

    The big problem that comes up is that many of these companies aren’t really software development organizations at their core, so the things you’d expect in terms of planning releases with improvements, bug and security fixes, support organizations that feed into the bug/fix improvement cycle, etc. all wind up lacking.

  2. On a related note. Now that Comcast’s bid for Time Warner has failed, how much farther behind will Time Warner fall?

    I’m sure during the last year or so while the merger was looming, Time Warner most likely didn’t invest in new development that would get killed once the merger was consummated.

  3. Rob, yeah – I’d linked iControl. ;) As to where iControl ends and Comcast begins, who knows.

    Regarding TWC, all the more reason to license X1? At least they’ve got that Roku app unlike those Comcast haters.

  4. Also, the DIY automation platform IFTTT is becoming a much bigger thing than I ever would have expected. It seems many platforms like Comcast Xfinity, ADT Pulse, and device makers Belkin, Amazon Echo, Nest, Philips, Wink, … seem to be linking with it. I don’t see anything explicit form iControl but I suspect they must be supporting it.

    (sorry to screw up the formatting on my last past.)

  5. “Not to mention there’s a huge segment of the population who knows nothing of this, yet could benefit from it. But the question remains: Will folks have interest and confidence in their cable provider, specifically Comcast, as a partner for this sort of service?”

    Yup. That is indeed the question.

    Obviously, I’d not want a Comcast hub in my home, but that default box already sitting in homes in the damnedest marketing gimmick…

  6. I have no doubt they’ll make lots of money off of it because it’s just easier for people that don’t know (or don’t want to know any better). But, I’ll stick with something I have more control over and that doesn’t require monthly tribute payments.

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