The company has been working on the product for over a year, according to a Tuesday CNBC report, and plans to start doing pilot tests later this year. A company representative confirmed the report and said there's no role for the device beyond health.
The device will use ambient sensors to monitor basic health metrics, and will be geared toward tracking whether someone goes to the bathroom too often or stays in bed longer than usual, according to CNBC. Comcast is also developing tools that can detect falls, according to the report.
The company will reportedly offer the monitoring device to at-risk people such as seniors and, but there isn't yet a set price or confirmed timing for the release. Pilots will start by the end of the year, and the device could be released commercially in 2020, the report says.
The device will reportedly have a personality similar to that of Amazon's Alexa and will make emergency calls, but it won't be marketed as an assistant tool or carry out functions like web searches or turning off the lights. The Comcast representative emphasized that the device is built to be a sensor that detects motion, and is not a smart speaker.
Comcast has reportedly been working with a handful of hospitals, including Rush in Chicago, to discuss using the device to keep patients from returning to the hospital after being discharged.
Other major tech companies have also been eyeing the senior market. Nest is reportedly exploring integrating smart home devices , Amazon is reportedly looking into making tech for older people and Apple added an FDA-cleared EKG feature in its Series 4 Watch that warns wearers about abnormal heart rhythms linked to atrial fibrillation.
Originally published May 21, 2:37 p.m.
Update, 3:07 p.m.: Adds confirmation from Comcast.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.