Abode Systems upgrades its smart home gateway with new chip and Z-Wave Plus

Palo Alto-based Abode Systems, which manufactures the popular Abode Essentials smart home security kit, is adding an upgrade in 2019 by releasing the second generation of its Abode smart home gateway, adding optional 4G cellular backup connectivity and enhanced Z-Wave functionality compatible with Z-Wave Plus.

Most users won’t be able to tell a big difference as the new device looks identical to the previous generation, and performs all the same smart home and smart security functions as the previous generation. Power users and Z-Wave fanatics will be given the opportunity to buy the new gateway as a stand-alone product in 2019 for $200. In addition to the previously mentioned benefits, the new gateway features an onboard Z-Wave 500 Series chip, which enables Z-Wave’s enhanced security protocols through Z-Wave Plus.

“We’re announcing the new Abode gateway to keep our product offerings as updated and future proof as possible,” said Chris Carney, Abode co-founder & CEO in a release. “Our new iota offering is Z-Wave Plus certified and contains 4G cellular backup and we wanted to ensure our Essentials Kit gateway offered the same features and benefits for those customers who love the form factor of the original gateway.”

The Abode second-generation gateway also supports CUE, Abode’s enhanced automation engine that customers use to create smart home automations and rules that tell the system how to react to specific commands and events. The gateway also enables in-app support for smart home solutions from popular manufacturers like Nest, Ecobee, LifX, Philips HUE, First Alert and others, including most recently the Danalock smart lock announced at CES 2019. The new gateway enables voice control support through Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant as well.

Abode will continue to support all Abode systems running on the original gen 1 gateway as well as develop for and release new features for all Abode home security system options,” added Carney. “On the HomeKit front, Abode is 100% committed to bringing that functionality to users across our entire ecosystem of products and plan to have additional news to announce soon.”

Current Abode customers who wish to take advantage of 4G cellular backup or Z-Wave Plus support will have to buy an additional unit to replace their current gateway — there’s no software upgrade that can enable the new features, which are only available via a hardware upgrade.

Finally, Abode Systems announced its new pricing for 2019: the Abode Essentials Kit, which includes the new gateway, one mini door/window sensor, one remote key fob, and one motion sensor, will be available for $280 for the basic plan, $300 for the CONNECT bundle, and $360 for the SECURE bundle.

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