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Comcast Promo Talks Up Voice Remote For X1

Offering more evidence that it is nearing the commercial launch of a new voice-activated remote called the XR11, Comcast is offering a complimentary model ahead of its official release to select X1 customers.

A Comcast customer evidently based in Newtown, Pa., posted an image (see at left) of the promo on the DSL Reports message board.

Comcast has not announced a launch date or pricing on the XR11 or detailed the extent of its XR11 early access promotion, but the new voice remote will work in tandem with the operator's IP-capable, cloud-based X1 platform. Customers will activate the feature by pressing down the remote’s blue microphone button and speaking commands -- enabling them to tune to specific channels or search for TV shows and movies that are available live, in Comcast’s VOD library or on the customer’s DVR.

Comcast has released several details about the XR11 ahead of its commercial launch. This item posted to the MSO’s customer forum in February, for example, outlines features that extend beyond voice control, including a backlit keypad, an RF-based “Aim Anywhere” capability, and easy access to accessibility features such as closed captioning and the recently launched voice guidance component for the blind and visually impaired. The post also mentions that the XR11 is currently being offered in a “limited customer trial,” and that the product will be available to all X1 subs “later in 2015.” Comcast has also set up a fancier Web page where X1 subs can register to be alerted when the XR11 becomes available. 

The XR11 FAQ notes that the voice remote is currently compatible with the XG1, an HD-DVR model for X1, and the Xi3, a new IP-only HD client device. 

This video offers more details, noting that the XR11’s voice component not only helps customers find content more quickly but also makes it easier for people with severe arthritis to perform navigation functions.