Count this one among the no-brainers for Comcast: Light Reading has learned that the cable giant is preparing a new offering called Comcast Business SmartOffice, which bundles IP cameras for video surveillance with a cloud storage service and professional installation.
It's a simple package that appears to be targeted at small-to-midsized businesses needing basic video security. Users can view live and recorded video on a web-based platform or through mobile apps. Pricing is listed as starting at $140 per month for a package that includes four cameras and 30 days of cloud storage.
The new SmartOffice service looks to be a collaborative effort between Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and Genetec, a video surveillance company that Comcast partnered with last September for an effort called Project Green Light in Detroit. Project Green Light connects gas stations and other local businesses with surveillance cameras that hook up directly to the police department.
There's no mention of the SmartOffice service connecting to local police departments, but several other features of the product are detailed in descriptions of the SmartOffice mobile app and in a published manual. They include the ability to view multiple live videos at once, digitally zoom in on a camera recording, search for footage during a particular time period within a 30-day window, bookmark or tag video segments for later review, save videos long-term on the SmartOffice subscriber portal using the "Vault" tab, and download videos for local storage and archiving.
According to a Comcast Business web page and other online material, Comcast is licensed to provide the SmartOffice service in several states, which as of February 6 include Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Washington DC and West Virginia.
In addition, Comcast has registered a Comcast Business SmartOffice in Boston, which is listed as being owned by Comcast Business Class Security, LLC.
So far, Comcast has not responded to a request for more information on SmartOffice, including a query about when the service will officially launch. However, the business move is right in line with other Comcast strategies of late. The cable company has been very vocal about expanding both its commercial services offerings and its development efforts around smart devices like IP-connected cameras.
Interestingly, the SmartOffice service does not appear to be connected to the Icontrol platform Comcast recently acquired, or to the company's broader Xfinity Home development group. Comcast said last week that the Icontrol purchase is its entry into the wholesale smart home business and also emphasized that it's using the engineering talent brought on through the acquisition to target major industry expansion. (See Comcast Gets Its IoT On With Icontrol Close.)
— Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, Light Reading