Intermatic showed their new InTouch(tm) system at the EH Expo in Orlando. The system incorporates all standard Z-Wave features and adds two significant improvements.
- Transmitters can make up to 8 hops instead of the standard 4. This increases the maximum coverage of a Z-Wave system geometrically. The Intermatic Z-Wave system should handle virtually any home.
- Intermatic's dimmers, switches, motion detectors, etc., are true 2-way devices. They report local changes (i.e., button presses) back to the control panel.
These improvements offer a solution to the two most common objections made by some CHA participants -- scope and status reporting.
The down side is that Intermatic's controls cost more than most other Z-Wave stuff. The up side is they are fully compatible with legacy Z-Wave. The only thing one would not get is local status change reports from non-Intermatic units.
Given the highly competitive nature of the industry, it's probably safe to assume that other manufacturers will soon follow suit with true 2-way reporting and increased hops. Meanwhile, Intermatic has upped the ante significantly with their InTouch controls.
I spoke with Intermatic about ELK-M1G compatibility. They indicate that ELK has committed to make their Z-Wave module fully compatible. I have yet to confirm or get a proposed release date from ELK. If anyone needs that info let me know and I'll give them a shout this week. Note: I'm not yet offering Intermatic online. Various other online retailers are. I'll make a list and post it as soon as I have time.