Comcast to Roll out machineQ Network in 12 More Major Cities

Image via Comcast

The next step for Comcast’s machineQ network service is a big one. After conducting trials of the network last year in Philadelphia and San Francisco, and a subsequent launch in Chicago, Comcast announced this week that it will expand machineQ to cover 12 additional major U.S. cities.

As we’ve noted before, the expansion could lead to an uptick in Internet of Things (IoT) technologies that can solve urban problems. While factors like high cost and limited coverage may have previously prevented some businesses and cities from pursuing large-scale IoT solutions, the Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) technology used by machineQ eliminates many of those restrictions.

“We believe that Comcast has a unique opportunity to leverage our existing network assets and Semtech’s LoRa technology, to fuel IoT innovation with disruptive new business models and smarter cities,” said machineQ GM Alex Khorram. “We’ve seen excitement about a Comcast solution that is opening a whole new world of use cases that were previously not commercially viable.” Read more »

Comcast’s New machineQ Tech Could Revolutionize Philly’s Smart City Effort

Image via Comcast.

Since receiving a Readiness Challenge grant from the Smart Cities Council in February, Philadelphia has been abuzz with ideas on how to improve the city with technology. And with machineQComcast’s latest Internet of Things (IoT) development — we may soon start to see a fair amount of these Smart City ideas in action.

This week the company will host an Internet of Things hackathon with Technical.ly to give developers a chance to start building machineQ-based solutions. Comcast first announced machineQ initiatives last October as a new business trial venture in Philadelphia. According to the company, the B2B platform, a Low-Power Wide-Area Network (LPWAN) that utilizes long-range (LoRa) technology, allows partners to gather, transmit and analyze data from connected devices all across the city. This means developers that create LoRa sensors for any number of infrastructural points (think cameras, dumpsters, water meters) can connect the sensors to the machineQ network and collect specific data from each individual sensor. The Philly trials over the past few months have focused on use cases like utility metering, asset tracking, and environmental monitoring for factors like temperature, pollution and noise. Read more »

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.