Internet of Things

The innovators: smartphone shortcuts for the click of any Flic

When engineer and Shortcut Labs co-founder Joacim Westlund wanted to track his tobacco consumption, he developed an application as it. But removing his phone and navigating through multiple apps to obtain the right one proved frustrating, so he made a decision to make a shortcut through the process.

From that niche frustration is Flic, a silicone button the size of two pound coins stuck together that triggers specific functions at a smartphone. There’s an adhesive back then it is usually stuck over a wall or cupboard, or connected to a clip to a belt, jacket or even a bag strap.

The Flic have been developed as being a bridge between increasing number of functions which might be achieved at a phone C from turning on the lights as well as the stereo to ordering taxis C and the practicalities of every day life, where individuals wouldn’t like to ought to flick through apps.

It has attracted a sizable following just before remember that it is launched. The firm raised almost $900,000 (590,000) to your button on crowdfunding website Indiegogo this season C eight times its target. The 60,000 preorders for the product has decided to be sent out to customers. One currently costs $34 although the price reduces because the number bought increases.

The button has three different functions but tend to be taken in many situations, from the trivial (having a selfie) to more dangerous (for a panic alarm for epileptics).

“We worked out that you have several things which we can achieve with this particular button, [like] working with a wireless safety button in my girlfriend when she walks home during the night,” said Pranav Kosuri, who co-founded the Stockholm-based Shortcut Labs, which has developed these devices, in addition to Westlund and Amir Sharifat.

The button is effectively a trigger for just a array of actions over the phone, which needs to be within 150 feet to function. Three functions can be programmed into the button and are activated by pressing it twice, or holding it down. Its creators hope it gets a trendy interface to navigate around smart devices instead of scrolling by way of a screen.

The device also connects with current commercial products such as Philips Hue lights, which will switch collected from one of colour to a new. The Nest smart thermostat C which “learns” and manages the heating patterns associated with a house C can be programmed to be applied by way of the Flic, as can wireless Sonos speakers, which can be set to spend time playing when using the press in the button. A click may also take an image which happens to be then immediately shipped to a cloud service just like Dropbox.

“I have got a button by my door in your house. One press and i also find my phone. Easily tap it twice then I obtain a message if your next bus is originating. Easily hold inside button therefore it sends an established sms to my colleagues stating My business is Ten minutes late,” Kosuri said.

A common response to the Flic is the fact that men and women are underwhelmed by the simplicity of the device. Kosuri said he felt this himself once the idea had been suggested C prior to the collection of possibilities maybe it’s used in became clear.

“My mother had that reaction C ‘why would I require control button?’. I had to undertake 30 different use cases before she’d that realisation that that is certainly an element that [she] would require. Actions of she needed to have was obviously a ‘find my phone’ button because she was always desperate for her phone when she was going out from your apartment and she was stressed,” he stated.

“[My grandmother] lives in India and has grandkids everywhere accross the planet precisely what I did was I put a picture frame of all of her grandkids [with buttons underneath]. This lady has a smartphone but she is really battling with it thus it is convenient. She just presses the button and after that it calls your mind on Skype. Apple phone near to her night table.”

Linking within the internet of things

The Flic capitalises for the rapid increase of the “internet of things”, the thought that devices in and outside entrance will increasingly correspond with each other. The Flic aims to remain “a bridge relating to the smart world as well as physical world”, says Kosuri, and thus simple interactions between man and machine C much like the light switch C usually stays but be made inside of a smarter and many more versatile way.

  • You can read our archive of your Innovators columns for the Big Innovation Centre website in which you just might discover more info on what size Innovation Centre supports innovative enterprise in great britan and globally.

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