Tech of the Week: Buttons you Flic on to simplify your daily life

Tech of the Week: Buttons you Flic on to simplify your daily life
The giant red button that screamed DO-NOT-PUSH in old James Bond films are getting a re-make these days with the emergence of Flic, a tactile button designed to carry out pre-programmed actions. With the Internet-of-Things invading our homes and smart devices converging into a digital grid, Flic is offering a way to simplify the control of these products.

One would think that with the way the digital revolution is going, operating electronic devices are supposed to become simpler every single day. If furiously tapping away at your smartphone to order a pizza or turning off the lights seem far too complicated, help is available to simplify life in the form of a brightly-coloured tactile button randomly dotted on our coffee table or car dashboard. Flic has been developed, to do just about anything you want on a day-to-day basis with the simple press of a button.

It’s a soft, small button that can be easily attached to any surface required, from the handlebars of a bike to one’s window sill, but its most important functions come when paired with the smartphone app. The app allows user dictated actions to be carried out such as taking photos, playing music, making calls or shutting down your home alarm system.

The device has been built to be integrated with music streaming services such as Spotify, or control your wireless-connected home devices through the Harmony Hub, and that’s just a couple of the possibilities it holds.

But one of the best parts of the device is also its capabilities for personal safety. With one click your GPS location can be instantly sent to a loved one, while a double click or a hold can sound an alarm if you’re in potential harm’s way and call for emergency services.

Each Flic can be activated in three ways: clicking, double-clicking, and by holding. They use Bluetooth Low Energy to connect to an iOS or Android device, and can work up to 45 meters away. One button can last up to 60,000 clicks, or about 5 years, according to the team behind the device, and uses standard button cells that can be replaced.

Flic originally gained traction as a crowdfunded device based on Indiegogo, which accumulated 801% of its original funding goal earlier this year in January. It’s designed by a Swedish team of entrepreneurs and engineers called Shortcut Labs, which certainly speaks to its pleasing aesthetic and simplicity.

It comes in a variety of colours, so users can choose actions based on colour preferences, or just buy their favourite colour. Buyer can also opt for clips that can be attached to clothes, belts, or bags, acting as safety-pins or to trigger events on the go.

The product will be ready for launch in March of this year, while pre-orders are still being collected on their Indiegogo campaign.

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