Comcast wants to track your bedroom and bathroom habits
Not content with bringing TV, broadband and phone services to your home, Comcast is now developing a healthcare device that will use sensors to monitor your vitals and habits – including some that take place behind closed doors.
Unlike most health monitoring devices, which track blood pressure, heart rate and activity level, Comcast's device will use sensors to monitor whether you're spending more time in bed than normal, and whether you're making more trips than usual to the bathroom.
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That might sound intrusive, but frequent bathroom breaks can be a sign of digestive or prostate problems that are much easier to treat if caught early.
Comcast is also rumored to be working on devices to detect falls, suggesting that it's mainly aiming its products at the elderly – particularly those who live alone.
According to CNBC, the devices won't connect to other smart home appliances (such as lightbulbs or thermostats), but it will have a 'personality' like a virtual personal assistant, with voice recognition for commands.
Comcast hasn't revealed how much the hardware will cost, but it intends to start a pilot program at the end of this year, with a possible roll-out in 2020.
It seems likely that it would be paired with a subscription service (possibly bundled with the company's existing phone, cable and broadband packages) for a flat monthly fee, and would be available in the US initially.