Comcast is developing an in-home device that would monitor the user’s health.
As first reported by CNBC, which spoke to unnamed Comcast sources, the device would be similar to Amazon Alexa and Google Home voice assistant technology. But rather than using voice control to access the internet, the device would do things like count how frequently the user went to the bathroom, how much time they are spending in bed, or whether an occupant has fallen and can’t get up.
A Comcast rep confirmed development of the technology to MCN, noting, "There is no role for this device beyond health and it is purpose-built to be a sensor that detects motion."
Sharing this kind of information would seem useful given what is predicted to be a sharp rise of the so-called “aging in place” population, wrought by the movement of the Baby Boom Generation into its golden years. The report said that Comcast plans to offer the device to seniors and the disabled, with pilots beginning as soon as the end of this year.
The project is being spearheaded by Sumit Nagpal, a health and wellness technology entrepreneur who joined Comcast in February as senior VP and general manger of health innovation, working out of Cambridge, Mass.
Like Amazon and Google, Comcast has development teams steeped in proprietary technologies focused on voice control and artificial intelligence.