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Comcast's Xfinity gets new name and features

Comcast's Xfinity gets new name and features The telecom also adds Seattle to the markets in which it offers its home security/home automation service

PHILADELPHIA—Comcast has renamed its home security/home automation service, is about to add a new energy-management feature and has expanded the service to yet another market: Seattle.

Comcast's Xfinity Home Security service is now being called Xfinity Home to better reflect the fact that the service offers home automation in addition to security, the telecom announced Tuesday.

Jamila Patton, senior manager of corporate communications for Comcast, told Security Systems News that because “the service offers our customers so much more beyond the security piece we just felt it was important to transition the name to reflect all the other features that are available.”

The name change took place within the past month, Patton said, but it was revealed in the company's Feb. 28 announcement detailing some new features being added to Xfinity Home. Patton said Comcast's professionally monitored security option remains “a very important piece of this platform,” but that the additional features further enhance it.

Among those features will be a new energy management service that “optimizes the heating and cooling patterns of a home,” the company said. Comcast, which is based here, said it has entered into an agreement with EcoFactor, a provider of energy management solutions, to develop a new solution to integrate with the Xfinity platform. Launch details and pricing will be announced later this year, Comcast said.

The solution will utilize “EcoFactor's proprietary, cloud-based software to give customers continuously evolving, personal 'smart home' energy plans,” the release said.

Comcast said the EcoFactor solution “learns the unique heating and cooling patterns of a home and makes automatic and incremental adjustments to the thermostat based on real-time weather data, the thermal characteristics of the house and the temperature preferences of the occupants.” The solution can reduce energy costs by up to 30 percent, the company said.

Comcast also announced Tuesday that four other new features are being added to Xfinity Home: an indoor/outdoor camera with night vision, a carbon monoxide sensor, a water/flood sensor for a basement or utility room, and in-wall lighting switches that can be controlled remotely with the Xfinity Home app.

A number of telecoms and cable companies launched home security/home automation offerings in 2011, including Verizon, Time Warner Cable, Frontier Communications, AT&T and Cox Communications.

Comcast was in the forefront, however, launching Xfinity Home Security in Houston in June 2010.

The company offers a Basic package, at $29.95 per month, and a Preferred option, at $39.95 per month. Monitoring is done by a UL-listed third-party central station, and Comcast's professional home security team does the installations, Patton said.

The company, with millions of customers nationwide, has so far made the product available in numerous major markets. Patton said that Xfinity Home was launched in Seattle on Feb. 28 and is also being offered in the following markets: Greater Philadelphia; Indianapolis; Denver; Jacksonville, Naples and Sarasota, Fla.; Portland, Ore.; Chattanooga, Nashville and Knoxville, Tenn.; parts of New Jersey and Delaware, and Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn.

A launch is planned for Tucson, Ariz., sometime this year, and Patton said launches in other markets are also planned for 2012.

“Our customers love it,” she said. “That's why we're continuing to launch in different markets.”

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