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You Need a Flic Button If You're Into Smart Homes
automation

You Need a Flic Button If You're Into Smart Homes

Patrick Lucas Austin, Gawker Media

Image credit: Flic

If you've ever wanted to hit a button underneath your night stand that turns off all of your lights, locks your doors, and plays your favorite 12-hour playlist of box fan sounds so you can get to sleep, you should look into getting a Flic button. It's a $35 button that connects to your smartphone and lets you trigger an unlimited number of automated actions, either on the web or in the real world.

How it Works

The Flic is a bottle cap-sized rubber button that connects to your smartphone and Mac via Bluetooth, and lets you trigger actions configured via the accompanying Flic app you can download from your device's App Store. It's weatherproof, has an adhesive bottom, a clip-on attachment so you can wear it, and a purported two-year battery life. Flic says it should last a year on average before you'll need to replace the coin cell battery.

By connecting the Mac or smartphone app to your services (like Spotify, Strava, and Slack), smart home devices (like your lights, or door locks), or IFTTT recipes (like the one that sends an automated text message), you can turn your single Flic button into three different buttons. It's got three trigger options, each differentiated by the way you click. You can click it once, double-click it, or hold it to trigger each action (or set of actions). It beats yelling at a voice assistant across the room to turn off the lights.

When you're configuring the Flic button in the app, you can hit the plus sign next to each click type to add new actions to the trigger. You can also drag and drop them to rearrange actions, as well as add new ones based on Flic's categories of available and suggested uses.

Adding a Service

Supported services include smart home appliances like WeMo, Philips Hue, and IKEA's Tradfri smart lights. You can also add your Chromecast, Gmail account, Slack account, or Strava profile among others, letting you trigger actions like snoozing your work account for the day, or telling your phone to start tracking your run and playing your favorite playlist so you don't have to fiddle with your phone as you walk out the door.

To add a service, hit the triple period icon in the top right corner and select Providers. Pick your account, grant your Flic profile access, and there you have it. Some services, like Philips Hue, don't grant you full access to your smart lighting system (I was unable to configure the accompanying motion sensor using the Flic app), but you can still use it to configure lighting or set a scene.

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