Oh okay. Interesting. You are right there is a lot of information out there.
And, a lot of misinformation as well. Rumors of our death have been greatly exaggerated.
Hi everyone. MTH R&D here. Jon Grasson, formerly with MTH, who posted earlier in this thread told me about this discussion. I've been a little busy but, wanted to take this opportunity to reply to the OP and maybe clear up some things.
MTH R&D is alive and well in MI. We're a little thinner on staffing given it's only a couple of us now. I'm learning to really appreciate all the support we’ve had over all of these years. So, please be patient as things are moving a little slower these days. In addition, we had to wind down the previous version of MTH and that transition distracted some of us for a while. Then there is this little thing called Covid.
In direct response to the OP regarding the app(s), they were recently fully updated for compatibility with current versions of both iOS and Android. This review and update process was our first step in moving forward. Stated plainly, we brought the apps up to speed with current mobile operating systems. We will be releasing them within the next month or so. We are in the testing and debugging phase at this point.
Looking forward, we, Mike Wolf and I, are indeed going forward with continued development and production of digital model train controls and supporting products. As you are all likely aware, we've announced the WTIU or, Wi-Fi TIU. This is a complete hardware redesign of the original TIU with integrated Wi-Fi.
This redesign was necessary to bring the hardware up to date. Many components were at or reaching obsolescence. The hardware redesign is complete and we are testing and working on firmware. With the firmware comes many new features. Not the least of which are emulation of the Luci web interface for Wi-Fi configuration (custom network name, password, etc.) and firmware updates to the WTIU and WIU. Also, you’ll be able to stream audio directly from whatever music service you have directly to the engines. Further, file loading to the engines directly from our website. So, updating sound files or engine firmware can be done directly from the app.
Other more practical features include variable DC track power, DCC pass through (think DCS Commander), Device Sync so all devices reflect the current state of operation, and a whole lot more. But, first things first. We want to get the new hardware and updated app that supports the new WTIU out first.
As you may have heard, we’re in a supply chain crisis. Although, there are those in government that deny this, I can attest. We are having difficulty getting parts to build engine boards. Some components of the new WTIU are not available until late this fall. We could have delivered this new product sooner but, it’s tough to make bread without flour. We are doing everything we can to help ourselves but, there are a few small companies like Apple, Samsung, GM, Ford, etc., that seem to get priority over us. The nerve.
In terms of other development, we have, at last count, about 18 new product ideas in the queue. It seems obvious to add voice control. This is a relatively simple one from where we are so, book it Danno. A few that are not quite as easy are a new WZ4K. Yes, you read that right, a Wi-Fi Z4K. How about an updated Wi-Fi DCS remote for those of you that prefer the dedicated tactile hand-held? It will be compatible with the existing WIU, the new WTIU, and the WZ4K (way down the line). There are more but, that’s enough for now. Of course, these are substantial development efforts and are down the road a spell but, these are the kinds of things that are in the hopper.
There are a lot of other points in the thread that I could address but, alas, every minute I spend here is a minute I’m not spending getting these products developed and built. So, please keep that in mind when you experience the deafening silence to new questions or posts. I would really like to be readily available but, I just cannot be so, forgive me. But, the fact is, we’re here and investing dollars. On that note, I will respond to one poster who mused that MTH hasn’t invested enough in DCS and technology. I think I can say with certainty that MTH has invested more in technology over the past 20 years than any other model train manufacturer. I just think there is a general underestimation of what it takes to get this stuff done. Our MIT engineers are expensive and in high demand.
Again, please be patient with us. We’ll try to provide updates a little more often.