Comcast is rolling out its Xfinity Home residential security, energy and automation service in Washington state today, and simultaneously taking steps to turn the system into more of a technology platform — announcing a deal with energy management firm EcoFactor to offer a cloud-based learning thermostat service to Xfinity Home users.
The Xfinity Home service includes 24/7 home security monitoring, energy management and other forms of home automation — such as the ability give yourself (or your family members) an audible reminder to take out the trash on certain days of the week, or when the front door is opened.
A web interface and apps for the iPhone and iPad let homeowners control and monitor their homes remotely — turning off the lights using a computer or device, for example.
Other tricks include the ability to have the system send a text message whenever a particular door is opened, or if a door isn’t opened during a certain period of time (such as when the kids are supposed to be home from school). That’s one example of the rules users can set up in the system.
At $39.99/month, the service comes with four sensors, a motion detector, a keychain remote, a wireless keypad and a touch screen device.
Installation, normally $499, is currently $199 under a promotion from the company. Extra hardware and services, such as video monitoring, require additional purchases. Users also need to get their broadband Internet service through Xfinity to be able to use the Xfinity Home service.
Comcast senior vice president Mitch Bowling, in Seattle for the launch today, said the EcoFactor smart thermostat technology is the first in a series of third-party services that will be offered on top of the Xfinity Home service.
The EcoFactor service will make automatic temperature adjustments based on data including weather and the heating and cooling patterns inside the home. The companies say they’ll announce pricing and launch statistics for that component of the service later this year.
Intelligent thermostats have been getting more attention since the release of the Nest last year.
Android apps are reportedly in the works to supplement the iOS apps. In addition, Bowling said the underlying Xfinity Home platform itself will shift to Android, from its current operating system, Research in Motion’s QNX.