Yeah, I get a negative flavor in my mouth, when a new product promotes itself by denigrating it's competition.
Don't get me wrong, when you have a better feature than the competition that is definitely an advantage and should be mentioned.
But when you say "I'm better because I don't have a command station", when in reality the function is encompassed elsewhere AND there is an accompanying negative to the distributed system... if you understand DCC, the command station is a central repository for information and control.
Aristo-Craft came out with it's "revolution" system and immediately started attacking DCC in the same manner. Then it was discovered that an "all stop" command could take an entire minute to work as opposed to the immediate command to ALL locos from the command station in DCC.
So, this system is just wi-fi in the loco with the throttle smarts in the cell phone app. It is not much of a system... it could be eventually, but making a system with a distributed database is tough...
So, again, for a system pointed to be inexpensive so you use your cell phone, that is accomplished (although it can get expensive if you don't have a number of older cell phones around)...
But, it's going to be tough for it to hand off trains to other throttles, preserving the speed for example. Then if you want to get sophisticated, handing off a consist of multiple locos and having some of them running in reverse, well I hope you can see that without a central "database" this gets tough.
So, for an inexpensive system, mostly designed to use your cell phone and have pretty much one phone, one train, no handoffs, no consists, etc. It can do the job.
I'd say it will never be an alternative to DCC until it's feature set gets MUCH larger.
But, can it be an alternative to lower end R/C systems, sure, you don't have to pay for throttle hardware, and wi-fi is a great choice, much better than bluetooth for this use.
We would like to clarify some of the points made in some of the previous posts:
LocoFi™ is capable of producing and mixing 3 simultaneous sounds. All this is played through one speaker (for HO) and the speaker comes pre-wired with baffle with each module. And it is a premium speaker On-board is also stressed upon to differentiate with some other systems that produce sound from the smartphone instead of the locomotive itself.
LocoFi™ does not play mp3. The sound file format is .wav. You only store short clips of the sounds and the software takes care of producing all the sound efects like acceleration, deceleration, length of the horn, etc. And they are editable and user configurable. Sound editing guide is provided on the website.
There is no BEMF. You run the locomotive like you would run a real prototype.
On board assist is a tiny (and expensive) tantalum capacitor with a relatively high capacity but not as much as a supercap but then you trade off size with supercaps. We are coming out with a battery (deadrail) alternative to supercaps with much longer run times. And they will make sense this time that commands will still work.
There is still misinformation out there about using WiFi to control your devices. There are myths (you can see some earlier posts within this thread alone) that WiFi is not secure and anyone can take control of your trains. In fact, on the same layout, once you claim your locomotive, no one else can claim it unless you release it explicitly. This is unlike DCC where anyone can run any locomotive.
And, certainly you can transfer control to another engineer mid session.
LocoFi™ is currently optimized for HO scale only. G scale versions are certainly on our roadmap though some customers claim to have it installed in their low amperage G scale units.
Please feel free to ask any more questions you may have and we will be glad to answer them.
This information is helpful... perhaps some fine tuning of the web site will eliminate confusion in the future.
Nice that you can mix 3 sounds, and that does make it polyphonic. Not to brag, but to give a calibration of what is out there, the decoders I am using have a 32 channel mixer with faders to each of the 2 independent amplifiers. In a steam loco, you might have to "dance around" a bit to get all the sounds you want if you were going for an ultimate solution.
Nice to hear that the software is doing the accelerations, and you standardized on wave, smart in my opinion.
BEMF is NOT existing for "cruise control" even though people do use it for that, the PID parameters sort of bastardized in my opinion. No, BEMF is helpful to be MORE PROTOTYPICAL in that our little models don't have the inherent smoothness of a real motor, BEMF is there to overcome flaws in the drivetrain, stiction, etc. I would not try to attack BEMF as "not prototypical" you will lose that argument and respect for your product. It's really something you might consider for the future.
I completely agree with you on Wi-Fi. People who think Bluetooth is superior or safer should be reading about the recent hacks to the bluetooth stacks on equipment. Now that Wi-Fi chips are coming down close in price to BT, it's just a matter of time, since EVERYONE has Wi-Fi in their house already.
You make a very controversial statement about "Unlike DCC where anyone can run any locomotive", true, if someone hooked another command station to the rails, they could possibly take control, although 2 command stations sending unsynchronized commands on the same rail most likely would result in nothing working... also most DCC systems, since all throttles go through a command station have features that can control who has the rights to "take" a locomotive... Digitrax has always had the procedure where you have to give up a loco before someone can take it, NCE has even more granular control of rights per throttle, and there are systems way beyond this.
I would suggest saying that "hacking" the wi-fi commands would be very difficult, and not try to put down DCC for being less secure... If it was me, I'm sure it would be easier to hack your system wirelessly from next door then jump over the fence to hook wires to your layout... and clearly less obvious!