Comcast is trying to become a bigger player in smart homes by opening up its Xfinity Home service to third-party devices.
The cable behemoth is adding support for several new home automation products, including August door locks, Automatic car adapters, Cuff smart jewelry, Leeo nightlights, Lutron Caseta products, Rachio sprinkler controls, SkyBell doorbells, and the Whistle pet monitor.
Comcast isn’t going into detail on how each of these integrations will work, but the main idea is that you’ll be able to manage every device through a single interface, whether it’s Comcast’s mobile apps, voice control remote, or X1 set-top box. The new products will start working with Comcast’s system this summer.
Later in the year, Comcast will release a software development kit, so any device maker can hook up with the company’s smart home platform. A “Works with Xfinity Home” certification program will ensure compatibility.
Comcast says it also plans to join the “Works with Nest” program, allowing its products to integrate with Nest’s smart thermostats, smoke detectors, and Dropcam cameras.
Why this matters: While Comcast already offers a subscription-based smart home service, the main focus is security, and most of the supported devices are Xfinity-branded. This walled-off approach simply isn’t going to work anymore, as the market is quickly expanding with new and interesting products. Comcast’s head is in the right place here, though it’s unclear whether people will want to invest in a system that’s tied to mandatory home security service.