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Summary:

Smart homes don’t have to require a lot of consumer effort, if the consumer is willing to fork over a service fee to their ISP. In this week’s podcast we chat with a Comcast executive about how it views the internet of things.

Comcast's Mitch Bowling
photo: Stacey Higginbotham

Your ISP already connects your home to the internet, but many ISPs now want to be the creator of your home’s intra-net — the network of connected devices and sensors that will become the hallmarks of a smart home. I chatted with Mitch Bowling, SVP and general manager of Xfinity Home about his company’s product and why people might want to ask their ISP to set up their connected home.

He and I chatted about the importance of openness, the awesomeness of connected lightbulbs and how the next phase of the connected home will depend on adding intelligence. Listen up for a conversation that might get you closer to a connected home without a bunch of DIY effort.

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Show notes:
Host: Stacey Higginbotham
Guest: Mitch Bowling, SVP and general manager of Xfinity Home

  • Comcast’s Xfinity home product is going to be open by golly. Because that’s what makes it valuable.
  • Will Comcast work with tools like IFTTT? The answer isn’t a no.
  • What about the contract? What if consumers don’t want to commit to the ISP for two years?
  • Lightbulbs are getting very exciting and what is the next phase of the connected home?

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  1. Oh, give me a break. I want my ISP to just be a better ISP before they try to do anything else. Yeah, that means a dumb fat pipe, just like what my cell provider should be striving for. And why the hell would I want my ISP doing analytics about my home sensors and private behavior – what a security nightmare! (And no, I don’t trust my ISP, and only an idiot would.)

    I’m reallly skeptical about how “open” was being used here, too. Real open would be a IETF-like standard (not patent-encumbered, completely public, with the expectation of any two products simply working) for sensors and controls. Maybe start by looking at SNMP wit h a little TCP. NOT some one vendor pimping their own “platform” that is “open” because that vendor will work with a few other vendors to support their devices…

    Think it through a little: you also really want your home control to be as standalone as possible. If a tree knocks out my internet, my house goes dumb? Not unlike the reason you want an UPS. This is completely separate from whether there is a market for a managed automation system.

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