Flic: A Smart Button For People With Disabilities

Close up of a person holding Flic - a small, round, smart wireless button.

The Internet, as we know it, has been constantly evolving. One of the concepts that has originated in the recent past is Internet of Things (IoT), which is capable of providing immense convenience to everyone, especially people with disabilities. The last so many years have seen the evolution of many “smart” products that connect to the Internet, and can be operated from anywhere. Flic, a smart wireless button, is a product based on the Internet of Things concept, which not only lets you control smart bulbs and appliances around the house as well as music, but with just a click (double click or hold) can send out emails, open phone browser, hang up phone call, open phone camera, start navigation system, and do much more!

Imagine a person in a wheelchair or someone with impaired mobility entering their house, and wanting to turn on their lights. In most situations it may not be convenient for them to reach every switch and turn on every light in their room on and off. With Flic, with just a press of a button, they can have as many lights turned on with just one click. A “task” for Flic can have multiple actions, so that person can not only turn on their lights but also turn on any appliance connected to a smart outlet (Wemo), turn on music, send an email to family members indicating they are home, etc.

Flic works with IFTTT as well and can trigger possibly anything through it. One example is elderly people or those with Alzheimer’s, when out and about, may forget where they are, and not know how to get back home. At home, they may take a fall and may have difficulty getting up. In such cases, they can just press their Flic, which, through IFTTT, will send their loved an email with their current location (Latitude, Longitude), indicating that they need help.


Who would this be helpful for?

1. Person in wheelchair.
2. Person with impaired mobility.
3. Person confined to bed because of old age or injuries.
4. Deaf person who is unable to use voice commands with “Amazon Echo“.
5. Amputee/ double amputee who can stick Flics on any surface and press them with their knee.

Ryan Hudson Peralta, a double amputee, uses Flic on his wheelchair to control smart lights around his house.

Another person in a wheelchair has Flic stuck (it has an adhesive back) on the surface of his entertainment center, and he pushes it with his knee to perform desired actions.

The physical Flic button can have actions associated to “click”, “double click”, and “hold”. However, the phone app lets you create unlimited number of “tasks”, with each task consisting of unlimited actions.

Watch the video below to see some examples of Flic. Can you think of some ways that people with disabilities will be able to use Flic?

Flic retails for $35 per button.
Website: https://flic.io/

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