Flic, the solution to the smart bulb dilemma… and a host of other dilemmas stored away in your dilemma cabinet.
Recently we reviewed the LIFX Color 1000 and while they’re still one of my favourite things, they do have one moderately sized flaw, one that I presume resides amongst all smart bulbs. The redundancy of the light switch. While it’s not so much an issue for the main user of the bulbs (the owner), it does make life slightly more burdensome for others wishing to enter your home and turn the lights on. Because they don’t have the LIFX app and the physical switch is already on, there is no way for them to get the light working, except turning it off, waiting a few seconds too long and then turning the switch back on. This simply can’t do. It can even be an issue for the main user, as having to get your phone out every time you want the lights can be a bit of a pain.Enter Flic. Flic is a Bluetooth smart button created by Shortcut Labs in friendly Sweden (I have no idea about the general friendliness of Sweden, this is total assumption). Initially funded by Indiegogo but now available to the selfish public, this button can be programmed to do just about anything, within reason. All of the functionality is controlled by the Flic app, and new buttons are paired with a simple… push of the button.
Once added, you can select controls for a single, double and long press. These controls include launching your camera app, taking a photo, turning your lights on, launching maps with directions to get home, music controls for Apple Music/Sonos/Spotify and even ordering a pizza (so I hear anyway… New Zealand might be waiting a few moments for this one). The button has a special, long lasting adhesive on the reverse side so it can be stuck to just about any surface, removed and then stuck to just about any other surface. The button is cased in a soft rubber that makes it really satisfying to hold and use.I have two Flics. One is positioned just above my light switch. I’ve been using this one to control my LIFX bulbs. When anyone else enters my room they can easily toggle the lights with a press. Hey presto – solution! This has worked very well, I’ve had no qualms and would definitely suggest it to any other smart bulb user facing the same predicament.The other Flic is on my steering wheel in the car, which I’ve been using to play and change songs on Spotify while driving, saving me getting distracted reaching over to my phone and navigating on there. While this works really well, there is an issue with the Spotify integration. It’s currently listed as beta so it’s quite possible that this will change in the near future, but when you use the Flic to control Spotify it doesn’t actually play music through the Spotify app, it plays it through the Flic app, which means you can’t shuffle, change songs on your phone or select a song you’d like to add to the queue. If you use the Flic to control the built in music app then you do have access to all of this, but for some reason Spotify doesn’t allow it. If Flic and Spotify make this happen then the steering wheel button will be another perfect win for Flic.Overall I’ve been very impressed with the Flics. They look brilliant and the response time after clicking is fast. The versatile functionality means that anyone could find a use for them.
The wonderful thing about Flic is that any day you could wake up to the announcement of a new partner for integration, you just never know when Flic is going to turn another one of those dilemmas from the cabinet into a beautiful solution.
Thanks ever so much Shortcut Labs for helping us out!
Pick one up here!
Update: Time is a fairly hard thing to perceive in writing, but for some grounding… I wrote the review last night, and then this morning Shortcut Labs only went and jolly proved my closing statement. The Spotify issue I mentioned is still there but they’ve added a universal music controller meaning you can play/pause and skip songs on any music app, thus solving my problem and sealing the deal on a juicy win for Flic!
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