updated 01:05 am EDT, Wed May 23, 2012
Boston's 'The Cable Show' host for Comcast's announcements
In a trio of recent announcements from cable giant Comcast, the company announced Voice 2Go, adding a new assortment of features for the Xfinity Voice suite pulled from the smartphone feature set. Also at Boston's The Cable Show Comcast's new next-generation customizable user interface codenamed "Project Dayview" was demonstrated. Rounding out the trio of announcements, the X1 cloud-based IPTV service was also shown. All three services will be rolled out to select markets by the end of this year.
Voice 2go adds a variety of features to the existing Xfinity voice offering. Xfinity customers with the Voice 2Go enhancement can make calls and text for free when in range of a Wi-Fi network through the free Xfinity Connect, and these calls won't use wireless minutes.
Advanced call forwarding can forward calls made to the customer's home phone number to four phones or devices through the app. Personal phone numbers are virtual numbers that can be assigned to four family members. These numbers are also dialed through the mobile app, so users can make calls and text for free when in range of a Wi-Fi network. These new features are available starting this summer, with specific rollout dates depending on market.
Project Dayview is Comcast's universal user interface to be used across televisions, laptops, smartphones, and tablets. The new paradigm is tailored to help Comcast subscribers manage their applications, media, sources of news, calendars, and other user-customizable information. Best described as a personal information aggregator, the set-top box will accumulate and manage information from Xfinity TV, voice, home management, and internet sources and provide this information visually on any linked device screen.
Information that can be gathered by Project Dayview includes alerts, to-do reminders, emails, personal photos, traffic, social media feeds, voicemails, DVR information, alarm system information, and security video feeds. No specific date on rollout is available, but Project Dayview is expected to come online later this year.
Cloud-based X1, previously known as Xcalibur, is Comcast's implementation of IPTV. X1 brings interactive customizable applications and social media features to traditional video offerings to enhance television viewing. The new offering is installed alongside a hybrid DVR with IP capabilities and a RF remote control. Alternatively, the X1 remote control application will be downloadable on the Google Play store or the iOS App Store. Augusta, GA customers have been testing X1 since last year. Rollout begins in Boston, with other major markets being upgraded later this year.
Comcast recently announced plans to revamp its "cap" system and replace it with a more progressive system with higher limits. The cable company's commitment to net neutrality has come under fire for data used by the Xfinity TV application on the Xbox 360 not counting against any cap.