Xfinity Adds New Voice Commands for Finding Tile Tags
Tile and Comcast have added new ways to find lost items. The new features integrate Tile’s Bluetooth-powered tags with Xfinity devices like the X1 Voice Remote.
Ask to Find
Comcast and Tile first partnered back in 2018, debuting a vocal command for the Xfinity X1 Voice Remote that could find items with a Tile attached. The two companies have further cemented their arrangement with additional features. Users can now use the voice remote to activate a Tile’s alert sound based on the name attached to the Tile, such as, “Xfinity Home, find my wallet.” Before now, the voice commands to the X1 controller would simply display the last identified location of the Tile. In addition to the direct activation command, some Xfinity set-top boxes and WiFi routers can act as extensions of Tile’s network. In other words, there’s no need for the Tile app on a smartphone to find lost items. If you don’t have your phone nearby, or it’s the very item you’re looking for, you only need your remote to activate the Tile and locate your lost belongings.
“The average person spends about 15 minutes a day looking for lost items,” said Tile CEO CJ Prober said in a statement. “We’ve been working with Comcast to alleviate this daily disruption. By allowing Comcast Xfinity customers to use their xFI Gateways and X1 and Flex set-top boxes as finding extenders, the Tile network becomes stronger and ensures users will quickly and easily find lost or misplaced items, bringing convenience to their daily routine.”
Tile has sold around 26 million devices in various shapes and claims to find as many as six million lost items every day with a 90% success rate. Adding voice functions through Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa led to a 300% increase in Tile use since 2018, and the extension of the deal with Comcast could mean an additional 10 million lost items recovered daily, according to the company.
The new Xfinity voice command is essentially the same as the feature added in October, enabling any device with Google Assistant to call a Tile directly. Like the Google Assistant feature, the new arrangement with Xfinity may be partly a result of Tile’s concerns about direct competition from Apple called Air Tags. The Tile-like devices are expected to be part of iOS, with better controls than Apple offers to other companies like Tile. Comcast, Google, and Tile all have a vested interest in people not relying solely on Apple for all of their smart device needs. For Google, it’s all about the smart home exosystem and making sure it can provide any feature offered by Apple. Comcast and Tile are more directly competing with Apple in terms of set-top boxes and Bluetooth tags, but the same principle applies. Tile is concerned enough with how Apple’s new product might outcompete its own line that it spoke to Congress about the potential anticompetitive move by Apple.
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