Flic Hub: A Home Automation System That Simplifies Home Control With Smart Buttons
A crowd-funding campaign is afoot for the Flic Hub. The smart button promises to put switches with robust scripting anywhere in a house to control multiple devices. The smart button is one of the simplest ways to personalize how you control your home. You can connect a simple Bluetooth-enabled button to any gadget around the house. Then whenever you want to turn on the lights, or change a soundtrack on your sound system, or even send a text message, you can press a button to issue the command. The Flic Hub is a controller for Flic buttons which are small clickable buttons. These buttons can be programmed to control a variety of IoT devices.
Returned to Indiegogo.
Flic has once again taken to Indiegogo to fund this new Flic Hub. It did the same way, back in 2014 when it needed funding for its buttons. Returning to Indiegogo seems to have been a smart decision. Even though Flic was only asking for $50,000 in funding for Flic Hub, the campaign has already surpassed $183,000. With a month left to go on the campaign, Flic Hub is definitely going to be a big crowdfunding success.
Control Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and IR devices.
The Flic Hub has an operating range of about 100 feet, significantly more than the connection between your phone and your buttons. The hub has an IR blaster add on. This means that you’ll be able to control WiFi, Bluetooth, and IR devices with your buttons. You should even see a large boost in battery life for your buttons as well. Flic says each button will last up to three years when used with the Hub. While they last up to 18 months when they are used with a smartphone.
64 buttons per hub.
One Flic Hub is enough to control up to 64 buttons as well. This is more than the 8 that can be controlled through the Flic app. You will still need to use your smartphone to set up your buttons for the first time. But once you have designated actions for them, you can go smartphone-free. You can streamline common tasks. This could save 20 or 30 seconds many times per day. The payoff comes in the long run.
The problem with smart buttons is their Bluetooth connection. They require a nearby phone to bridge the gap between them and the Wi-Fi-connected devices they control. But the developer behind the Flic smart button, Shortcut Labs, which is one of the best Bluetooth buttons on the market, is releasing a smart hub that will eradicate the need for a phone.
The Final Word.
The Hub isn’t the first of its type. But it is definitely a helpful supplement to the standalone Bluetooth button. The buttons will retain their IFTTT-compatibility and dozens of integrations. But the hub will also mean your phone won’t have to be around to use them. It offers multiple user control. If the hub works well, and users have a number of buttons already, then it might be useful. But if you don’t already own multiple Flic buttons, then you probably shouldn’t spend $100 on the hub.
At present, a Flic Hub and three Flic buttons cost $109, with an estimated ship date of October 2017. The infrared accessory is another $15.