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Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Comcast: Voice control will help drive smart home sales and innovation in 2017

Daniel Herscovici, SVP & GM, Xfinity Home, Comcast, provides insight on several key industry trends for Parks Associates’ 11th-annual CONNECTIONS™ Summit conference, which will be held January 5 at CES 2017 in Las Vegas:

What is the most important next step to engage consumers in smart home solutions, connected entertainment services, and/or value-added services like tech support and connected health?

Making it really easy for consumers to integrate the smart home solution into their home and having one place to call for tech support and trouble shooting. Additionally, we need to not overwhelm consumers with so many choices that confuse them. With XFINITY Home, a home security, automation, and energy management solution from Comcast, we offer unique and valuable experiences that resonate with consumers.

At the Xfinity retail stores, we find that it helps to explain to consumers why you need for instance, a connected doorbell and we recommend curated brands we trust and have tested each product. Then we explain for instance, how a connected thermostat can keep you warm in the winter while allowing you to minimize energy usage.  We really try to make it easy for our customers to understand how they can make smart home devices work for them.

We even offer customer service and tech support for the devices from our smart home partners – so our customers can just call us for assistance.

When consumers “connect” their home security system and include home automation, it becomes a path that they take to discover adding additional smart home devices to their home.

What changes do you expect to take place in the next year in the smart home and connected consumer markets?

Voice is an exciting interface that helps consumers access their home system in a way that’s more natural and comfortable. According to Parks Associates, natural voice control is the single most important catalyst to smart home device adoption in 2016; more than one billion voice-enabled devices will be sold by 2021.

We need to give consumers choice to control their home in the way that’s most convenient for them in the moment – whether it’s a few taps on their mobile, using a TV remote with voice commands, or via their web browser. At Comcast, we offer all these unique experiences seamlessly to our customers.

We added voice control to our smart home platform this summer. Currently, more than 10 million of our voice remotes have been distributed and now, people can arm or disarm their security system, turn the lights on or off by simply saying it into the voice remote.

We suspect voice will be one of the interfaces to help drive sales and innovation in 2017 as natural language and AI move more fully into the smart home market.

What is the biggest driver for the connected consumer market?

Making it easy for consumers to operate their many devices on one platform instead of several. One platform to control all connected devices is the foundation for the ultimate promise of a seamlessly integrated experience.

We make it easy for our customers to control and interact with many of their smart home devices on:

  • Their smartphone (via the Xfinity Home app),
  • Their TV with voice commands by saying “arm the home” or “Xfinity Home camera” (via their Xfinity voice remote control),
  • The Xfinity Home touch screen, and
  • Their computer online (website) to manage and control their smart home devices.

What are the biggest technology innovations impacting the connected home market?

See Q2 – voice and AI.

Herscovici will speak on the session “Creating New Value in the Connected Home: Integration, Partnerships, and Privacy” on January 5 at 9:00 a.m. Other speakers on the panel include Nest Labs, NXP Semiconductors, Audio Analytic, Carrier, and EVRYTHNG.

For more information on CONNECTIONS™ Summit, visit www.connectionssummit.com or register by clicking here.

Next: Independa: People will happily engage with technology that is easy to use
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