It is always exciting to come across new and effective access options, especially when they benefit pretty much everyone and come at a modest price point. While I might be a little late to the ‘Flic Switch’ party, I’m more than happy to share my joy in this nifty little device.
Flic switches are, put simply, wireless switches. What do they control? Well, just about anything! These switches can be set up to automate an ever increasing breadth of outputs, which could be lights, music or even your morning weather report.
In the case of devices that are setup alongside a smart speaker, you can replace your verbal commands to trigger anything with a switch instead. There are many reasons why this might be more convenient for many people, but there are also many smart speakers which simply don’t do a great job of picking up speech for others. We all should be able to explore the flexible access of the growing world of smart home devices, and Flic switches offer some alternatives to broaden access to everyone.
As a recent example, I’ve used a Flic switch to trigger a command on an Echo Show smart speaker. The intention here was to give the user a video feed of a camera in their home, at the push of a button. Having a Flic switch right next to their bedside allowed easy and silent access to this feed during the night. 3am isn’t really the time you want to be talking to a box on your bedside table and waking up anyone else in the room, nor do you want to hurt your eyes trying to navigate your mobile phone to do the same!
It is certainly a calmer and quieter experience to press a switch to trigger a series of gentle lighting and soft music to send you off to sleep; but what is really important here is that this same functionality can offer so much independence for individuals, who know what their goal is, but are restricted by their smart speakers.
Some added insight …
- Flic switches work with iOS, Android, Mac and some additional smart home systems via the Flic Hub (more on the Hub next)
- If you use your mobile device to set up and ‘host’ the switch, then the functions won’t work if your phone is elsewhere. While this can be resolved with one of the Flic Hubs (they host the switch function instead), it’s worth being aware of the possible extra component to your system.
- Phone setup with the Echo Show (via Alexa app) was a little bit fiddly … It took some patience and some exploration to get this right, and I hope this is something that improves over time. After all, the Flic switch is still pretty new!
- Flic also offers stickers to allow you to identify the function of your switches should you have a few in your home.
- One Flic switch can have THREE functions! Single press, double press and switch hold, great news!
- Flic – if you’re reading this, could we get some glow in the dark and braille stickers please?
Smart speaker functionality is just scratching the surface of what these switches can do, and I’d highly recommend exploring more of the capabilities of this system. Rest assured, we will gladly share more of our favourite use cases in the future!