Flic Wireless Button

The Flic can flash your smart lightbulbs to get people’s attention, send your location when you’re in need of help or even just turn the telly on and off without having to get up.

What is a Flic Wireless button?

The Flic Wireless button connects to your mobile phone and from there out onto the Internet, this means that you can seriously fiddle with the IoT. When I say this button has 1000 uses that isn’t just hyperbole, out of the box it has actions so you can do things like: making your phone beep so you can find it, hanging up on an incoming call, or sending your location to another mobile. But I think its real strength comes when you couple the Flic button with the web service If This Then That (IFTTT). When coupled with IFTTT and its many channels, you can use one Flic wireless button to carry out possibly thousands of different combinations of actions on Internet-enabled devices and services.

Give me a concrete example of what it can do then!

Simple solution, a cheap product, and it gives me back a degree of independence with very little effort.

Okay, so you’re quadriplegic and you like to go out in your powered wheelchair on your own. You suffer from sometimes extreme spasticity which means that you are occasionally unable to control your wheelchair with your chin controller and need the assistance of an able-bodied person. This obviously freaks out friends and family when you tell them you would like to go out on your own, this is where the little flic can help.

Once you’ve run through the frighteningly simple pairing process, you can set it up so that when you activate the flic using one of its three modes you can send your current location to a couple of mobile phone numbers that you designate. This means that your friends or family member will get a message with a Google map showing your current location and a message that you have decided on beforehand, personally I chose “help, my hair was on fire and I need you at this current location ASAP”. Simple solution, a cheap product, and it gives me back a degree of independence with very little effort. Totally brilliant and definitely worth getting your Designated Pair of Hands™ to help you give two thumbs up!

OK that’s cool. Anything else?

Being quadriplegic and using a voice operating computer meant that whenever a carer heard me talking whilst I was in my office and they were in another room they were constantly coming in and asking me if I needed something, completely disrupting my workflow. Now with one click of a Flic button all of the LIFX light bulbs in the house flash notifying them that I need assistance.

I will do a series on these buttons because they seem to really work well for able bodied people as well. Having lots of carers coming in and out, they all arrive with different levels of comfort and competence with technology. It can sometimes be a lot of work building their confidence and willingness to try new things. But they can all click a button - so it makes sense for me to set up button pushes to trigger more complex sequences of actions, instead of asking carers to carry those sequences out manually on a computer. So instead of them clocking on with a phone, they can press the button. Instead of learning how the lights app works, they can just click the button.