When you tour a home connected and networked as part of the movement called the Internet of Things, you might be disappointed. That’s because the biggest technology advancements in the near term don’t change how you interact with the home while you’re there nearly as much as it changes when you’re away.
Technical.ly Philly toured the home of a Comcast executive in the leafy Main Line suburb of Bala Cynwyd this week to see what the telecommunications giant and others are pushing as the future: a world in which you can control your home from anywhere you have mobile or Internet access.
The Comcast package is Xfinity Home and by combining home security, wireless technology and automation, you can create efficiencies and control like you’ve never thought about before. Like how wearable technology is changing fashion, what started online is growing off.
What was on display at the 2,000 square foot home of John Dougherty, a Comcast product management executive vice president, was, of course, an above top of the line package that doesn’t have a price point yet.
But Comcast is pushing a low entry point for its Home Control security package at just $9.95 monthly with self-installation. The company’s most popular package is at $29.95 with a $99 installation fee when bundled with their triple play offering of phone, internet and TV service, said spokeswoman Jennifer Bilotta.
Here’s what Xfinity Home is boasting:
- Access security and home automation features and settings through a portable touch screen console or the Xfinity Home app.
- Control and set timing with smart energy management features, including programming lights to turn on and off at designated times, and schedule or remotely adjust heating and air conditioning settings.
- See what’s going on around the home while away with real-time video monitoring on Internet-connected devices.
- Receive real-time text and email alerts based on events, like doors opening (or not opening when they should)
- Other layers of protection, including wireless and battery backup, in addition to the third-party central station that monitors customer homes 24 hours a day.
Even with the completely loaded offering on display, at the surface, no single part of the system is exciting on its own, but that seems to be the point.
None of the devices are entirely new nor do they stand out, but it’s the fact that they are all physically and virtually connected that is interesting. The greatest potential for the system seems to be with the “rules” you can create and controlling them when you’re not home at all.
When you walk through this old stone-fronted home, the connectivity can be easily missed. That may be the clearest sign of its inevitability, that these changes aren’t far away at all. So it isn’t a walk through the future, it feels more like a natural progression of how the Internet will change our lives.
Scroll through the slideshow below to see photos of Xfinity Home in action.