Business

Comcast buys PowerCloud Systems to fuel a new type of connected home

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Comcast has acquired PowerCloud Systems, according to Tyson Marian, who works in Strategic Development at Comcast. The company is not disclosing any financial information related to the deal.

PowerCloud Systems builds web monitoring tools and analytics software, including Wi-Fi management system Skydog. Last week, Skydog noted on its website that it had been acquired but didn’t provide further details. Earlier this morning Tech Crunch surmised that Comcast bought the company in a bid to offer new services to its growing audience.

Now, Marian is confirming the acquisition. He says that we can expect to see PowerCloud’s technologies folded into Comcast products starting in 2015. Why buy Skydog you ask? “It’s all around smart Internet,” he says.

Comcast likely recognizes it’s the gatekeeper to the Internet for a lot of people, especially considering it’s in the process of buying Time Warner. So what better way to capitalize on the increasing number of Wi-Fi connected devices in consumer homes than with a new management tool that will allow users (and Comcast) to see what in-home devices are connected through one app?

Marian says Comcast wants to make it easier for you to connect all your devices and manage devices that want to connect to your home network. To this end, the company has developed a combined router/modem, and with Skydog’s technology the company will more easily be able to track what devices are coming in and out of your network, “So you can connect new devices and manage your devices on a home network with heavy heavy security,” says Marian.

He imagines a world where someone walks into a home and a device’s presence is detected. As an example, he says, let’s say the babysitter comes over to watch the kids and her cell phone wants to connect with your network. You can decide to connect her as a guest so she has access to a Wi-Fi connection but not access to your other connected devices — an added security setting. Marian says that being able to connect device to device is another feature the company is considering.

This could be a great application for smart home products. Already a number of products are Wi-Fi connected, and consumers could definitely benefit from a device and app that let’s them control all their things in one place. It could also lead to more money for Comcast if the Internet provider starts offering tiered pricing on the number of devices that connect to your network. As for now, the company isn’t talking details, so we’ll just have to wait until 2015.

More information:

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