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Xfinity Home Finds its Voice

On the heels of grand plans about smart home automation announced at CES, Comcast said it has added new voice commands to its X1 voice remote that enable customers to command and control several devices that work with the Xfinity Home service.

RELATED: CES 2018: Comcast Scales Home Automation Services to 15M Subs

In this phase of the program and next level of integration with IoT devices, Comcast has added a series of new voice commands that, for example, will enable customers to use their X1 voice remotes to access and control the cameras and lights that are integrated with the Xfinity Home service.  

“Starting today, customers can get specific about the camera they want to look at on the TV – just say ‘Xfinity Home, show me patio camera’,” Comcast’s Bryan Kissinger explained in this blog post. “You can also use the X1 voice remote to make a certain room brighter, or dim the lights and choose a certain hue if you have the Philips Hue connected lighting system.”

Customer can also say “Xfinity Home, I’m cold” to auto-adjust the thermostat a few degrees, or tell the system to set the thermostat to a specific temperature, or ask it if the home’s security alarm is active.

“If customers have the Nest thermostat, they can even say, ‘Xfinity Home, set Nest to Eco mode’ if they are trying to conserve energy,” Kissinger added.

Update:Comcast has deployed more than 20 million X1 voice remotes. The company confirmed that the voice commands for Xfinity Home work with its newly designed X1 voice remote as well as the previous model. Both X1 voice remote models are made by Universal Electronics.

For now, six Xfinity Home device partners have been integrated into the X1 voice commands database – the Zen thermostat, Caseta/Lutron lights, GE in-wall and plug-in switches and dimmers, the Nest thermostat, Philips Hue lights, and the Sengled Element Touch light bulb.

Earlier this month, Comcast announced that it had extended home automation services to more than 15 million customers as it works toward enabling that capability across multiple services, including X1 (TV and the X1 voice remote), xFi (WiFi), Xfinity Home and Xfinity Mobile.

Comcast’s push comes as consumers continue to buy and adopt smart home hubs, digital assistants and smart speakers.

While Comcast is taking aim at this from the service provider level, several others are taking the consumer retail angle. Some examples include Google (Google Home), Amazon (Alexa-powered devices like the Echo and Echo Dot), as well as Apple, which announced this week that its HomePod would arrive in stores on Feb. 9, with online orders opening up Friday (Jan. 26) in the U.S., UK and Australia, with sales in France and Germany slated for this spring.