Today, we’re sharing the story of Andrew Loeser, Communications Coordinator from our Northeast Division.
By Andrew Loeser, Communications Coordinator, Comcast Northeast Division
I was thrilled when I got the call in January that I had been hired by Comcast, not just because I knew that it would be a great company to work for, but also because they had very recently improved the life of someone very important to me.
My dad, David, has struggled with the frustrating symptoms of Parkinson’s disease for nearly 17 years. Some of those symptoms include difficulty walking, problems with coordination, dyskinesia (involuntary movements), muscle rigidity and an overall depletion of motor skills. These motor skills can be easy for the rest of us to take for granted, but they affect everyday tasks like tying shoes, eating breakfast or even changing the channel on the remote.
In recent years, with so many programming options on TV, my dad has found it getting harder and harder to navigate the catalogue of shows and movies available for him to watch at home in Needham, MA. But this winter, he received his Xfinity X1 voice remote in the mail and his TV experience did a complete 180.
“Once the voice remote was set up, I didn’t have to get frustrated trying to push a lot of buttons just to figure out what channel the game was on,” he told me. “It’s so much less complicated for me to just push the microphone button on the remote and say ‘Go to the Red Sox’ or ‘Show me episodes of Homeland’ and Xfinity takes care of the rest.”
Parkinson’s also causes my dad’s voice to get softer and more difficult for others to understand over time. This can complicate communication, especially with voice recognition programs. Fortunately, my Dad does not have that issue when it comes to his X1 voice remote.
“Most voice recognition software I’ve used isn’t too good for me. It usually gets most of what I’m saying wrong when I try to use it. But it’s still the best way for me to use a lot of technology. Xfinity’s voice remote always understands me,” my dad said.
Since I started at Comcast, I’ve learned that the award-winning voice remote is one of the company’s most popular products. We’ve delivered 18 million voice remotes to homes across the country since the device was introduced in 2015, and our customers have spoken nearly half a billion voice commands in a single month. And the fact that it works great for my dad isn’t an accident – Comcast designs its products with accessibility in mind, including technology like the industry’s first talking guide, video description, accessible mobile apps and more.
I’m proud to work for a company that is committed to making our products accessible for everyone. It feels good to help make the TV viewing experience easier for people like my dad and customers with disabilities everywhere.
Editor’s Note: In order to have a voice remote, you first need X1 from Xfinity TV. It’s easy to upgrade by simply calling 1-800-Xfinity for a professional installation. If you are already an X1 customer and need a new voice remote or an extra, you can pick one up for free at any Xfinity Store or service center.