Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Parenting Pointers: Comcast xFi

Parents now have a best friend when it comes to controling their children’s screen time and internet usage. Comcast justintroduced the Xfinity xFi—a digital dashboard that helps parents set up their home Wi-Fi network, find their password, see what devices are connected, troubleshoot issues, set parental controls and even pause Wi-Fi access.
Instead of taking away a phone or iPad when it is time for dinner, parents can now pause Wi-Fi access by device or user. Similarly, parents can set up bedtime schedules, turning off the Wi-Fi at certain times.

I had a chance to do an interview to learn more.

Why did Comcast launch xFi?
The adoption and use of connected devices has grown dramatically; in fact, Wi-Fi has become one of the most widely used technologies both in and out of the home.  For Comcast, Wi-Fi is at the center of our strategy to deliver the fastest, smartest experience to power our customers’ connected lives.  As part of our on-going efforts to transform the customer experience, we wanted to create an easy-to-use and reliable way to manage and control the entire in-home Wi-Fi experience - the result is the launch of xFi.
xFi is a simple digital dashboard allowing customers to set up their home Wi-Fi network, see what devices are connected, troubleshoot issues, set parental controls and even pause Wi-Fi access when it’s time for dinner.  Best of all, the xFi can be controlled through a mobile app, website and on the TV with the X1 voice remote. 
What is the importance of parental controls?
By some estimates, Americans will have an average of 50 Wi-Fi connected devices in their home by the year 2020. That rapid growth points to the need for a simplified way to control and manage the home Wi-Fi network, whether it’s adding new devices, finding your password, or providing parents the peace of mind of knowing when and how their children are using Wi-Fi and the ability to control screen time use in the home. xFi is designed to be simple, intuitive, and fun with lots of personalization options for every household. 
What are important controls parents should consider?
Providing parents with the knowledge and tools to manage screen time in the home is vitally important.  The xFi dashboard makes it easy to set up your own personalized system with the ability to turn Wi-Fi usage on or off on a device-by-device basis, or across the entire home at once.  For example, you can set up dinner, bedtime or homework schedules to disable devices when it’s time for them to be put away. Parents can also see who is most active on your home network and at what time, in order to determine if screen time changes need to be made. In addition, parents can receive alerts when new devices join the home network; this helps you know if your children have guests over and ensure that they are safely using the internet.  You can even encourage them to play outside by pausing Wi-Fi.

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