Coming Soon from Comcast: The Wireless Remote For Your Whole House

Comcast announced its new Advanced Wireless Gateway at CES 2017 | Image via Comcast

Comcast announced its new Advanced Wireless Gateway at CES 2017. | Photos: Comcast

If you’re one of the 10 million current Xfinity Wireless Gateway users, your whole household is about to experience a change – and for the better.

At the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Comcast demoed a brand new cloud-based platform that will provide users with an easier way to manage all of their digital devices in the home.

A Comcast news release says in the first half of 2017, the platform will be enabled automatically for the 10 million current Xfinity Internet users in possession of a Wireless Gateway. That number is expected to grow to 15 million when the Advanced Wireless Gateway becomes available to all customers in the second half of the year.

This new cloud-based program, along with the Advanced Wireless Gateway, is a whole-home networking solution that will deliver faster and more reliable connectivity in the home, allow users to easily add devices, and have voice control capabilities when paired with an Xfinity X1 remote. Other features include parental control, monitoring, scheduling, pause, and more.

These parental control features are anything but ordinary, though, thanks to Comcast’s new mobile app. From your smartphone device, you can customize your own household rules and schedules (like no Wi-Fi for the kids on weeknights) and put your house in “bedtime mode” to block certain devices from internet access after a certain time.

You can even enjoy an interruption-free dinnertime, as the app allows you to pause all devices at any time.

Image via Comcast

Image via Comcast

That’s not all the app does, either. It also makes setting up your new Gateway system easy (and who doesn’t love a stress-free setup?). All you have to do is download the mobile app, scan the QR code on your Gateway device, and create a simple username and password. Then, the device will automatically connect to all Wi-Fi devices in that home.

The Advanced Gateway is based on the Intel Puma 7 system on a chip. Both companies are collaborating to make the digital home even more innovative for the modern household.

The average household currently has ten connected devices, but this number is expected to skyrocket to 50 by 2020, according to Navin Shenoy, corporate vice president and general manager for the client computing group (CCG) at Intel.

“I believe we are at the beginning of a new cycle of growth – a virtuous cycle between devices and the data center,” Shenoy said at Computex 2016. “The question we ask at Intel is, how do we accelerate this virtuous cycle. One fundamental way is to make devices smarter and more connected.”

Intel believes that the increase in number of connected devices per household will also lead to an increase in the demand for gateway devices.

Comcast Cable Executive Vice President and Chief Product Officer Chris Satchell said in Comcast’s news release, “People want to connect and control the products and devices in their home, quickly and easily. By creating this new home solution and offering it to millions of people as part of their existing internet subscription, our combination of speed, personalized controls, features and devices has the potential to make the Internet of Things and the Digital Home more of a reality than ever.”

Comcast plans to make the platform available to its syndication partners later in the year.

What $500K Will Buy You in Fishtown

1349 E. Oxford Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 19125 | TREND image via Space & Company Real Estate

1349 E. Oxford Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 19125 | TREND image via Space & Company Real Estate

It’s no secret that Fishtown is one of the coolest neighborhoods in Philadelphia, especially for Millennials or anyone looking for a hint of food and culture. Formerly known for its booming shad fish industry, this hip neighborhood has been recently dominated by a flood of new bars, restaurants and music venues that make it even more appealing to younger people looking to plant their roots in Philadelphia. But just how affordable is this colorful, urban neighborhood for aspiring homeowners?

With most properties falling between $200,000 to $400,000, but some stretching upwards to $800,000 or more, it seems there is truly something for everyone in this up-and-coming neighborhood. We searched for homes that fall right in the middle, around $500,000, and what we found was this: there is a pretty even distribution of properties between Frankford Avenue and Lehigh Avenue. Here are our top three picks: Read more »

Philly’s A Bargain* for the Short-Term Renter

You could spend top dollar for a fabulous short-term furnished residence

You could spend top dollar for a fabulous short-term furnished residence like those offered at AKA’s three Philadelphia locations when visiting Philadelphia. Fortunately, if you don’t have that kind of coin, you can find very affordable alternatives, according to the Priceonomics Data Studio. It just depends on where you look. | Photo: AKA

With the presence of luxury extended-stay pioneer AKA in this market, you might get the impression that renting a residence for a short visit is an expensive proposition here.

Fortunately for your wallet, you’d be wrong.

According to the research team at the Priceonomics Data Studio, Philadelphia actually has the fourth-least-expensive short-term rental rates of any city in the country.

The study, explained in detail on the Priceonomics blog, actually examines daily rates for short-term rentals – the kind a visitor to the city would pay as opposed to what someone needing to find a place to rest their head for a month or longer might pay. But the study is nonetheless interesting for what it also reveals about data analysis: namely, the results you get depend on the data you analyze.

It’s something journalists like me often neglect to point out in stories discussing statistics, but it’s an important fact to remember.

So here’s the breakdown: Read more »

How to Live Gorgeously in Small Philly Apartments: Lessons from Airbnb

airbnb_lead

Photos via Airbnb, with permission from homeowners

I’ll be the first to admit that I love some good house porn — especially when said house porn involves a peek into my neighbors’ homes. After nearly a decade of living in rentals in two cities, I’ve become particularly enamored with small spaces that are utilized with utmost efficiency: each nook, cranny and corner thoughtfully employed to maximize every square inch of living space. It’s basically icing on the cake if the space is styled well to boot.

So what better place to gawk at stylish small spaces that happen to belong to my neighbors — by which I mean, fellow Philadelphians — than Airbnb? Oh, the bookcases that double as room dividers! The tiny tables to create a coffee nook! The ladders and lofted beds! It’s as good as Christmas.

So snoop with me, will you? Maybe there are some smart design schemes you can crib for your own pad. But if not, hey, at least it’s still some mighty fun house porn.  Read more »

Jawdropper of the Week: Future Past in Overbrook Farms for $765K

6401 Church Rd., Philadelphia, Pa. 19151 | TREND images via Keller Williams Realty

6401 Church Rd., Philadelphia, Pa. 19151 | TREND images via Keller Williams Realty

We tend to think of the open plan home as a modern (or modernist) invention.

Think again.

This elegant Tudor Revival home on one of the nicest streets in Overbrook Farms, designed by noted architect Charles Barton Keen, dates to 1926. Yet Keen had a keen sense of things to come when he laid out the classically inspired rooms on the inside, for while this home follows the formal design principles of its time, it also boasts features that give it an open, airy feel not commonly found in traditional homes of that period.

Take a look at the living room just off the foyer, for instance. That extra-large archway all but eliminates the boundary between the foyer and the living room. Likewise, the family room at the rear seems almost one with the up-to-date kitchen and breakfast room to which it is attached. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find a standard doorway anywhere on the main floor, save for the one leading to the powder room. Read more »

Is the High-End Rental Party Over Now That It’s Gained Steam Here?

The developer of The Bridge will get the rents he needs to make his project work, but those who break ground on their projects in the year ahead may find the going tougher. | Photo: Sandy Smith

The developer of The Bridge will get the rents he needs to make his project work, but those who break ground on their projects in the year ahead may find the going tougher. | Photo: Sandy Smith

The real estate sections in local and regional media of late, most definitely including this one, have been awash with stories about new luxury rental developments (like this one, or this one, or this one). Hardly a day passes without an announcement of a new high-end project on the drawing boards or a ribbon-cutting at a newly completed one.

This boom in high-end apartment construction in Philadelphia comes as a similar one nationwide enters its eighth year. That’s about the point where market cycles come to an end as supply begins to outstrip demand, and when that happens, those developers who find themselves standing instead of sitting when the music stops usually have to resort to price cuts to fill vacant units. Those who have announced but not begun new projects end up shelving them until things pick up again (if they pick up in time for the developer to follow through). Read more »

First-Time Find: A Cook’s Dream in East Falls for $249K

3310 Tilden St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19129 | TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach

3310 Tilden St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19129 | TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach

Do you live for the Food Network?

Do you love performing acts of culinary derring-do for your family and friends on your own domestic stage?

Do you have $500,000 or more to spend on a house?

Lucky for you, the owner of this handsome home in East Falls has made it possible to waive that last requirement in order to acquire a cooking-show-quality kitchen.

The house got a $50,000 makeover when its owner purchased it in 2005, and it’s had an additional $10,000 invested in added touches over the years. As a result, this home now shines brightly among its neighbors, but nowhere more so than in the kitchen… Read more »

How Residents Are Rearranging the Office Market Furniture

The first phase of the massive East Market project includes office, residential and retail space. It’s the presence of the residents that’s driving office growth along the corridor. | Rendering © BLT Architects

Amid the numbers contained in JLL’s latest quarterly report on the Philadelphia office market were some moves that signal that life along Market Street East is about to get more interesting. In fact, it might even lead to the ultimate transformation of the entire length of Center City’s principal thoroughfare into an 18-hour live/work/play environment, if not a 24-hour one.

Two of the big ones were Five Below’s announcement that it will move its headquarters into the Lits Building at 701 Market and Pulver’s later announcement that it will build a speculative office and retail tower at 1301 Market. Coming as both do on the heels of the massive East Market office/residential/retail project, they signal growing interest among office tenants in the eastern stretch of Market.

There’s a good reason for this, said Lauren Gilchrist, vice president and director of research at JLL. Read more »

12 Cozy Throw Blankets to Keep You Toasty Warm This Winter

Clockwise from left: Thomas Paul Octopus Throw from Houzz, Henri Dove Cotton Throw from DwellStudio, 5th Avenue Glacier Park Throw from Pendleton, Houston Throw from Fab.com.

Clockwise from left: Thomas Paul Octopus Throw from Houzz, Henri Dove Cotton Throw from DwellStudio, 5th Avenue Glacier Park Throw from Pendleton, Houston Throw from Fab.com.

I was outdoors for approximately 20 minutes yesterday, and no joke: I was so cold, my ears ached. The sad, sad reality of winter in Philly is this: Mild ol’ December always lulls us into believing, Hey, this isn’t so bad!, but then January and February come, bringing the absolute worst of it, so you’d better be prepared. And what better way to ride out the snow, ice and bitter cold than on the couch in front of a Netflix marathon shrouded in a cozy new throw blanket that wraps alllll the way around, maybe even twice? Thought so.

Please, let your fingers do the shopping today and get warm at last. Piping mug of hot cocoa not included, but highly recommended.  Read more »

High-End Rental Boom Moves to the Suburbs

New luxury developments such as Carl Dranoff's upcoming One Ardmore Place are reshaping suburban downtowns. They're giving older Main Streets a shot in the arm, but bringing with them some of the same worries about displacing poorer residents. | Image: Dranoff Properties

New luxury developments such as Carl Dranoff’s upcoming One Ardmore Place are reshaping suburban downtowns. They’re giving older Main Streets a shot in the arm, but bringing with them some of the same worries about displacing poorer residents. | Image: Dranoff Properties

Apartments in downtown Phoenixville for $1,300 to $3,000 a month? Who knew?

Just as they have in the city, the Millennials are touching off a construction boom that’s now busily reshaping suburban communities around the region.

The Philadephia Inquirer reported Sunday (Jan. 8) on a surge in construction of upscale apartments in suburban communities such as Phoenixville, West Chester, King of Prussia, Ardmore and Bala Cynwyd.

According to the article, nearly 7,000 new apartments are either under construction or in the pipeline in Lower and Upper Merion Townships, Phoenixville and West Chester alone. The construction boom is reviving old downtowns like Phoenixville and transforming auto-oriented environments like King of Prussia. Read more »

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