Review of Flic 2 smart button

You’d think i was crazy if i told you the reason i bought a set of the Flic 2 smart buttons. It is for reminding myself if i had the gas stove turned on. You guessed it, there were incidents where i turned on the flame, walked away and totally forgotten about it. The consequences could have been much worse, and i figure i had better do something to avoid setting my house on fire.

No doubt, there are cheaper ways of reminding oneself that the stove was turned on, like using a count down timer clock. Problem is, the alarm may not be loud enough. I think besides a timer clock, all other alternatives are not viable – they involve too much hassle. For example, using the timer clock on one’s phone. It’s more likely that i won’t do it most of the time. Setting a reminder when one is in the kitchen has to be as simple as a button press, and that’s exactly what the Flic smart button offers. It allows you to perform a simple physical action (nothing can be simpler than pressing a button) to trigger an action on your phone.

The Flic 2 Hub

Thankfully, i managed to snag a set of the Flic 2 Hub starter kit (1x Hub + 4x Flic buttons) when they were just launching on Kickstarter. I missed the early backers price of US$99, but got it for a still fairly reasonable price of US$109. Now, it is priced at US$159.99 for 1x Hub and only 3x Flic buttons. Quite expensive, to be honest.

Both the Hub and the Flic buttons were very easy to setup. It took just a few minutes, literally. I wanted to make use of the Hub because i don’t like having Bluetooth turned on all the time on my phone (the Hub, instead of the phone, acts as the server). Unfortunately, now that i have done the setup, i realized that i couldn’t use the Hub as i had wished to. The Hub relies on web service providers to perform actions. The IFTTT service might be able to achieve what i wanted, but tragically, the integration with IFTTT didn’t work! While i am awaiting reply from Flic support, i resorted to linking the Flic button with my phone directly via Bluetooth. In this mode of operation, i am able to make use of the built-in timer functionality that is already available with the Flic app.

Update: I found a workaround that allows me to turn on Bluetooth only when I am connected to the home Wifi, by using the Automate app. This is a very interesting find, and the Automate app is very powerful. While this does not really solve my problem completely, it is still better than having Bluetooth turned on all the time.

Service providers that can be triggered by the Flic button press through the Flic hub
The Pomodoro Timer function sets off an alarm at regular intervals, just what i needed to remind myself that something was going on in the kitchen.
Flic button pasted on my kitchen cabinet

It doesn’t sit well with me that the Flic hub just sits there doing nothing now. Anyway, my initial plan was to figure out what to do with the rest of the 3 Flic buttons over time, so hopefully i will think of something soon. One possibility is to switch on/off appliances using Broadlink plugs, but then this again relies on IFTTT integration.

All in all, i am still happy with the Flic buttons, and i don’t think there is any other product in the market now that offers the same functionalities. The range of the Bluetooth signal is really astounding. You could really surprise or impress your friends with the Flic buttons – they do much more than they appear they could.

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