Home security systems were first developed in the 1960s, but it wasn't until the 1990s that they had become more widely available and affordable to the mass market. Traditionally, security systems were designed to do one thing: alert the police or fire department about an emergency. However, today the technology exists to do a lot more than that. I like to think that we're reinventing home security into home control. Here's why.
Xfinity Home Security (XHS) is a broadband-based system that offers all the traditional home security services people have grown to expect, plus the smart home capabilities that are becoming commonplace in today's digital home. For example, you can set up wireless video cameras that will stream live from your home so you can see what is happening in real time. There is also the ability to remotely adjust a digital thermostat or turn lights on or off, both of which have the potential to help customers reduce their energy costs.
The system has lots of features and people can personalize the set up to meet their needs, but let me point out two of my favorites. First, you can program settings (or rules) to tell you when things happen...or don't happen. For example, if your children are supposed to be home by 5 PM, you can program the system to send you an alert via SMS or email if the door didn't open between 4:45 and 5:15. Pretty cool.
There's also a streaming video setting that I really like. Using a door sensor and a camera pointed at the door (both are available options) you can program the system to record a 15 second video clip each time the door opens. You can then have that video sent to you or you can go to the XHS Web portal and view the play back. Those videos would be especially helpful if you were to ever have a break in because you would have video footage of the person who entered your home.
Xfinity Home Security's core services also include: 24/7 central station monitoring by a certified team of emergency responders, the Xfinity Security app for the iPhone (available free on Apple's iTunes Store®) and battery and cell backup, which helps ensure you're protected even in the event of a power outage. Xfinity Home Security also has the ability to converge with some of Comcast's existing services so you could listen to voicemail through the home security equipment, for example.
XHS has been available in our Houston market since the middle of last year and we're really pleased with the reaction. We're excited today to announce we're expanding its availability to parts of six more market areas including Philadelphia, Portland, Naples, Sarasota, Chattanooga and Nashville. We'll continue to roll it out to additional market areas in the months ahead.