Comcast is adding two more partners to its connected home effort with Netgear’s Arlo connected cameras and Chamberlain’s connected MyQ garage door opener system. The Arlo camera is a wireless IP camera that works indoors or outside, while the MyQ garage door can tell you if your garage door is open or closed. It also lets you shut or open the garage while away from your home and can notify you if it is left open.
These devices will eventually join nine other devices that Comcast has said it will support as part of its system of home automation and security products it offers its broadband and pay TV customers.
Comcast expects MyQ to be integrated later this month and Arlo gear by early next year. Comcast also plans to add support for August locks, Rachio home irrigation systems, the Whistle dog activity tracker and several other devices. The idea for Comcast is to start by integrating these devices into the Xfinity software that customers use to control their home so they don’t have to switch from one app to another to take advantage of devices they already own. Comcast will also market these products to customers, which is a bonus for many of the companies that participate in the program.
Eventually if Comcast decides to install these third-party devices as well it could be a huge advantage to both the sellers of these devices and to Comcast. While installing a MyQ garage door sensor involves sticking a sensor on your garage door with double-sided tape and placing a box up on the door opener itself with bolts or (in my case) zip ties, installing things can intimidate people. Thus, letting a Comcast installer put them in, might make a homeowner feel more comfortable buying these connected devices.
That would also give Comcast an advantage over some of the more DIY platforms out there, which are trying to get homeowners to do all the work, or trying to build out their own installation networks. However, we still have to wait to see what Comcast’s full impact will be on the smart home market, since these integrations aren’t all live yet, and the installers aren’t putting them up. But there’s a lot of promise here. Even AT&T is warming to the idea of supporting third-party devices. At CTIA last week it said it would support the Nest thermostat as part of its Digital Life home automation service.
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