Comcast is working on an in-home device and digital assistant that keeps track of basic health metrics for senior citizens and people with disabilities, while also detecting falls, according to a report from CNBC. The device is part of the cable provider’s efforts to use artificial intelligence to attract more users to its services. Much of Comcast’s AI work is focused on “natural language processing” software that powers its Voice Remote service, which lets users search for TV shows using spoken commands.
The device, which Comcast reportedly expects to begin testing with customers later this year, will compete with products from companies like Apple and Google that act as security mechanisms for elderly people living alone. A number of companies already offer home robots that serve as companions for seniors and remind them to take their pills.
One question is whether Comcast, which routinely appears on lists of America’s most disliked companies, will get much traction with people who’ve been frustrated by the experience of dealing with its customer service department.