iControl helping cable operators add family locator, traffic and weather info to home automation apps

iControl launched an Android app developer program which could help Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA), Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) and other operators add family locator as well as weather and traffic information to their home automation and security apps.

The Redwood City, Calif.-based home automation software provider, which is backed by Comcast, Rogers Communications (NYSE: RCI) and Intel (Nasdaq: INTC),  said Tuesday that members of its FastTrack program include MapQuest, Weather Channel and Life 360, which has developed apps for Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) iOS and Android devices that parents can use to track their children. Streaming radio app developer TuneIn and News Republic, which has developed apps that let smartphone and tablet users sign up for customized news alerts, also joined the iControl developer program.

"Our ultimate goal is to create an ecosystem with limitless possibilities for connectivity that takes the smart home to a new level," iControl SVP Jim Johnson said in a prepared statement.

In addition to Comcast and Time Warner Cable, MSOs that rely on iControl software to power their home automation and security products include Cox Communications, Rogers and Mediacom Communications.

Products such as Comcast's Xfinity Home app allow cable subscribers to use smartphones and tablets to view feeds from security cameras, control lighting and thermostats remotely and arm or disarm alarm systems connected to sensors on windows and doors.

Recent patent applications indicate that some MSOs are already looking to offer new services through their home automation and security apps. For example, last fall Comcast filed a patent application that detailed how it could integrate automobile security systems and send alerts to subscribers through cable set-tops and mobile devices if someone attempts to break into their cars. Comcast may also be able to use the integration of home and automobile security to let subscribers automatically open garage doors when their cars approach their driveways.

For more:
- see the iControl release

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