Comcast embeds social media, email, phone alerts into X1

Signifying Comcast's (NASDAQ: CMCSA) next move to make its X1 video platform the center of domestic life, the company has announced that it is beta testing the ability for customers to receive alerts from Gmail, Jawbone, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Evernote and other platforms on their TVs. 

"Want to know every time you get tagged on Facebook or mentioned on Twitter, when you miss an important call on your cell, or when you get a new text message? How about an on screen notification when rain is in your area?" said Michael Delciello, VP of business development, strategic partnerships and business development in TV, writing on Comcast's corporate blog. 

Comcast is conducting its beta test in partnership with IFTTT (If This, Then That), a tech company that specializes in connected apps to devices. Customers can visit the Comcast Labs channel on the IFTTT website and configure "recipes" for connecting their various communications platforms to their X1 set-top. 

"The customer is in total control of this new feature — these notifications can be turned off (through the X1 settings option for 'other services' or the IFTTT website) or adjusted (on the IFTTT website) just as easily as they were set up," Delciello said.

In describing their goals for X1, Comcast executives have said they envision the device being the equivalent of the old-style home telephone, which was the central hub of domestic communication in decades past.

For example, the company is seeking to centralize all of its home automation control efforts through X1, and it has partnered with games maker X1 to expand the platforms entertainment wherewithal into videogames. 

Comcast recently announced that it has deployed X1 into about 25 percent of its footprint and that it is now installing about 40,000 X1 set-tops a day. 

For more:
- read this Comcast blog post

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