Xfinity's Gigabit router will soon double as a smart home hub

By expanding its home automation capabilities Comcast is putting access to smart home controls into

It'll enable people who've only dabbled with smart home devices (a Nest thermostat here, a Philips Hue lightbulb there) start stringing together multiple products and build true home automation systems.

Comcast today at CES in Las Vegas announced it will integrate smart home automation capabilities across its entire Xfinity services product portfolio, including the operator's X1 voice remote, WiFi gateway, home security platform, and mobile offering, to help simplify customers' management and control of their connected devices.

Comcast said it's increasing the speeds of its Xfinity Internet service packages for existing customers in California, Colorado, Oregon/SW Washington and the Houston area at no additional cost.

In an announcement, Comcast cites results from a survey titled "Networking with Residents: Technology Drives the Multifamily Industry" that states 49% of property owners, managers and developers found implementing smart home technologies increased property values, and 82% are installing advanced technologies to create smart buildings.

Comcast recently added voice capabilities to its TV remote, so consumers can control various smart home activities by speaking into the remote.

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Comcast's further efforts to embrace the Internet of Things comes after an acquisition of automation service Stringify in 2017.

For example, a voice command of "Good Morning" to the remote could turn on the lights, adjust the thermostat, disarm the security system and in the future, pre-warm the shower, start the coffee pot and the start and pre-warm the auto on a cold day.

Comcast plans to extend its "Works with Xfinity" program to include additional product categories, such as wearables, automotive, other voice assistants, email and social media platforms.

Ready or not, the smart home is here.

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