Comcast will make it easier for people with disabilities to enjoy their television viewing experience.
The No. 6 company on DiversityInc’ s 2019 Top 50 list is unveiling a new technology that links remotes with assistive technology such as eye-gaze or sip-and-puff assistive technology. Paralyzed customers will now be able to change the channel or record their favorite shows in literally a blink of an eye.
They would need to already have their assistive technology, set up to take advantage of this feature. Even though this feature is free for Comcast customers, the equipment needed to access it is $15,000.
This would be valuable to people who cannot talk or who need to depend on breathing machines. The machine is calibrated to the user’s eye by a small bar beneath the computer. The user is charged with focusing on a mouse for a couple of seconds, once they have the mouse locked in, they use their eye to move it to the icon they wish to activate.
Although the market size for Comcast users with ALS is relatively small, Comcast feels this is part of their duty to improve the lives of their customers. Comcast Vice President Tom Wlodkowski said, “we’re not doing this for a market… we’re doing this because we’re committed to customer service.” Users who have used Xfinity X1 eye control have given positive feedback.
The company even paid for one customer to purchase his own device.
Comcast is now shifting its focus to improving the customer experience for seniors. The company had a third-party vendor-making large-button remotes, which are set to be sold next year.