Shortcut Labs simplifies smart devices with the Flic button

Areas Used

  • Development
  • Industrialization

Shortcut Labs simplifies smart devices with the Flic button

What if you could control your mobile apps and smart devices just by pressing a single button? This was the idea that led Shortcut Labs to create the Flic button in 2014. WSI developed the button using Bluetooth technology, helping turn the start-up company into a well-established and profitable business in the smart devices market.

No simple way to control smart devices

Shortcut Labs, a Swedish tech company, was founded in 2013. The founders of the company noticed that although a number of smart devices and apps had been introduced into people’s homes, there was no simple solution to control them. There was also no platform-independent interface between the smartphone and smart devices in the home.

The company decided to develop physical buttons to control smart devices wirelessly. They launched a crowdfunding campaign that would become one of the most successful ever in the Nordic region, raising more than $900,000. Shortcut Labs partnered with WSI to make their button idea a reality.

Bluetooth technology in a silicone button

There were a number of challenges that WSI had to solve when developing the button. The button needed to be waterproof and have a replaceable battery. The mechanics in the very small product dimensions also presented a production challenge. WSI provided software and hardware development, and helped find and set up the manufacturing process in a very short time.

The resulting Flic button uses Bluetooth technology in a compact form. Flic’s intelligence is squeezed into a printed circuit board (PCB) smaller than a quarter, but it still has a wide range of functions and capacity. Made from silicone, the button has a satisfying click feeling when pressed. Pressing the button launches a preconfigured task on the user’s phone.

Accessing smart functions wherever you are

The Flic button can be set up to play music at home, turn off lights, run web applications, navigate to a certain address, or order a taxi. Each button can be connected to three actions, triggered by one click, a double click or holding the button down. Flic comes with a re-usable adhesive, which can stick to any surface. If it gets dirty, clean it with some water and it will stick perfectly once again.

“Flic demonstrates that it’s possible to steer apps and displays in a whole new way,” said Amir Sharifat, one of the founders of Shortcut Labs, after the product launch. “Thanks to our collaboration with WSI, Flic’s technology and final product are the first of its kind. Flic is perfectly suited for global distribution and the response so far has been overwhelming.”

Today Shortcut Labs’ products include Flic, Powered by Flic and Flic Hub.