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A slew of research and market forecasts were released this year focusing on the rising popularity of voice control among consumers and the technology’s role in smart home adoption. For example, ABI Research predicted last month in its “Home Automation Systems” report that voice-controlled smart home devices will represent almost 30 percent of smart home device spending by 2021, despite being a device category that the research firm says barely existed a couple years back.

“Voice control will not only draw in new consumers to smart home functionality, but it will help transform a wide variety of new and emerging smart home services and devices into more attractive investments,” ABI Research Director Jonathan Collins, says. “The stage is set for voice control to become the heart of any smart home system.”

Comcast made an announcement this week that indicates it’s paying attention to that growing subscriber desire to control their devices by talking to them. The operator says it will soon add two new lighting partners to Xfinity Home and also enable new home security and automation commands on its voice controlled X1 TV remote. Customers reportedly will be able to manage General Electric branded plug-in and in-wall smart switches by Jasco, as well as Sengled’s Element Touch connected LED lightbulbs from the Xfinity Home app. They’ll also be able to say "Xfinity Home lights" into the Xfinity X1 voice remote to bring up the user interface on their TV.

Xfinity Home subscribers can also create “rules” or automated commands that trigger different functions and experiences. As an example, homeowners might want to set a rule to turn a light on every day at sunset or every time the front door opens.

Earlier this year, Comcast also added voice control to its Xfinity Home security cameras. Customers with the X1 remote can say, "Xfinity Home cameras" to see camera feeds on the TV or say, "Xfinity Home arm" or "Xfinity Home disarm" to control the security system from the TV. More on that option is available here.

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