The current software release in the Cortexa just supports the security only part of ELK. The development effort is on its way to control HVAC and Lighting threw ELK. We do this already with HAI, and we wonâ€™t to make sure that we are very agnostic about who and how we interface to. So right now I would say go ahead and wire your HVAC to the ELK.
Yes there is some redundancy between ELK and the Cortexa. Since the Cortexa does not have boundaries like ELK does, like having to stay with in UL security rules, the Cortexa can do much more. The Cortexa has these extra features.
1. Built-in network Router with VPN, traffic shaping, and dynamic DNS.
2. Built-in I-Tunes player.
3. Built-in Video, and video archiving.
4. Control to whole house audio like Nuvo, and Netstreams.
5. Weather collection either by local weather station or from the internet.
6. Almost two years of logging or 14MB of logs.
7. IR control.
8. Endless amount of rules/event code, or 4MB of code.
9. Configurable from a web browser. No need to install extra software.
You can control and setup the Cortexa buy using any web browser, or you can control the Cortexa with many other available access points, like Windows XP, Windows CE, and Windows Mobile. We also have in-wall touch screen, and a TV module.
I thing the ELK and Cortexa combination makes for a strong automation system. We do interface with other security panels, but ELK, HAI and GE Networx is the best solutions for the Cortexa because these panels allow you to turn a zone into an auxiliary zone allowing you to get data from items like the garage door is open with out setting off the security. ELKâ€™s protocol is my favorable protocol, because you do not have to poll the panel for new state changes, the ELK panel tells the Cortexa right away of new state changes.
You have to remember that all security panels, has UL regulations because the security panels have a much higher liability issues, so they have to keep the automation part scaled down, so that the panel will not go down. The security panels have to make sure that when an alarm happens it does not go down because it is trying to control something.