Last week, Comcast announced that customers could now use the new Xfinity Home app to control a number of third party devices, including the August smart lock, the Chamberlain MyQ garage door opener and Lutron Caséta lighting controller.
It's not too surprising since Comcast announced their new platform back in May. At the time, the company took pains to let it be known that Icontrol, the company that has historically powered its Xfinity Home security and automation service, was still a valued partner and would continue to be an important part of the security service offering from Comcast. At the same time, I made it clear I thought this was just the beginning of Comcast asserting control of the underlying platform for their managed smart home and, eventually, security offering.
If you look at what Comcast has created, it's clear they've put in place all the pieces for a long-term push to be one of the significant smart home platform players. They have an SDK, an interoperability testing program, a "works with Xfinity Home" branding initiative and more and more. And while Xfinity Home GM Daniel Herscovici said the right things about Icontrol, he also keeps saying things like Comcast wants to create a "single platform that ties together a wide range of home automation controls and experiences".
That sounds like a big vision to me.
Looking forward, we'll see more devices with the Works with Xfinity Home branding. For point solution providers, it makes sense to work with as many platform providers as possible. As a result, when a company like SkyBell, which now has announced intentions to work with HomeKit, Comcast and Nest Weave, is announced as part of a program, it's easy to think "well, they're working with everyone else". But the reality is Comast has quickly positioned itself as must-have on the platform integration checklist for many of these point product companies because integration means instant access to the rapidly growing Xfinity Home customer base.
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