Smart Home Automation


Wireless button enables connected home control

26 February 2020

Shortcut Labs’ Flic 2 button enables a user to trigger functions on their Bluetooth 4.0 (and later) smartphone or tablet, as well as any connected smart devices, with the press of a button, and without the need to access individual apps or provide voice commands. The addition of the Internet-connected Flic Hub LR means the buttons can be triggered by anyone in the absence of the primary user’s smartphone.

In operation the buttons are paired to a Bluetooth 4.0 (and later) smartphone or tablet using Bluetooth LE wireless connectivity provided by Nordic Semiconductor’s nRF52811 Bluetooth 5/Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) multiprotocol System-on-Chip (SoC). From the smartphone’s iOS or Android Flic app the user can customise each button to perform different actions based on three different triggers: a ‘push’, a ‘double push’, and a ‘hold’. For example, pushing the button once could turn on/off smart lights, pushing the button twice could play music from a smart speaker, while holding the button down could automatically trigger a smart power switch to start brewing coffee in the morning.

There are over 1000 compatible devices and services available via the Flic app, as well as integrations with services including IFTT (if this then that), Microsoft Flow, and Zapier that enable users to create advanced action flows based on a single trigger. “The nRF52811 SoC running our proprietary code can handle 64 simultaneous connections and the Bluetooth 5 Long Range feature gives us very impressive range,” explains Shortcut Labs’ Amir Sharifat. “Latency has been optimised to the point that for local control of a lightbulb or doorbell, for example, the response is basically instant. The nRF52811’s battery life, radio features, and price were also attractive, while the technical documentation provided during development was helpful.”

The Flic Hub LR is an optional accessory to Flic and eliminates the need to connect the buttons to the smartphone. From early 2020 the hub will integrate Apple HomeKit capability, enabling buttons to be configured in the Apple Home app to control everything in the user’s Apple Home ecosystem. The Flic Hub LR also offers an infrared accessory enabling legacy control of TV and home entertainment systems.

The 8,5 by 30 mm Flic 2 button can be adhered to any surface with a reusable suction cup or fitted in a rigid metal clip that can be mounted to a keyring or worn as a wearable. The nRF52811 SoC’s Bluetooth 5 Long Range capability provides the button with line-of-sight range up to 200 m, and an indoor range of 50 m.

Flic 2 is powered by a replaceable CR2032 coin cell battery, providing a battery life of up to three years in standard operation between replacement, thanks in part to the ultra-low operating characteristics of the Nordic SoC. The nRF52811 has been engineered to minimise power consumption with features such as the 2,4 GHz radio’s 4,6 mA peak Rx/Tx currents and a fully automatic power management system that reduces power consumption by up to 80 percent compared with Nordic’s nRF51 Series SoCs.

Nordic’s nRF52811 multiprotocol SoC is a fully-featured connectivity solution that supports Bluetooth 5.1 Direction Finding, which brings precise positioning capability to the SoC in addition to all the features of Bluetooth 5 (including Bluetooth Long Range, 2 Mbps raw data bandwidth, and enhanced coexistence capabilities). The nRF52811 combines a 64 MHz, 32-bit Arm Cortex M4 processor, with a 2,4 GHz multiprotocol radio (supporting Bluetooth 5.1 Direction Finding, Bluetooth 5, Thread, Zigbee, IEEE 802.15.4, and proprietary 2,4 GHz RF protocol software) featuring 4 dBm output power with -97 dBm sensitivity (at 1 Mbps in Bluetooth 5 mode), and 192 KB Flash memory plus 24 KB RAM.

The nRF52811 SoC is supplied with Nordic’s S112 SoftDevice, a Bluetooth 5-certified RF software protocol stack for building advanced Bluetooth LE applications. The S112 SoftDevice features Central, Peripheral, Broadcaster and Observer Bluetooth LE roles and enables concurrent role operation.

For more information visit https://flic.io/


Credit(s)



Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page

Further reading:

Nexia introduces new features, products to enhance connected comfort experience
25 March 2020
Take charge of mundane household tasks using nothing but a few verbal commands.

Read more...
Innovation in smart lighting solutions by Lutron
25 March 2020
Whether for work, play, or at-home comfort, automated lighting and blind control by Lutron is an all-inclusive solution.

Read more...
Smart access automation becomes a reality
25 March 2020, Centurion Systems
Centurion Systems has released its most intelligent and fastest gate motor yet, the D5 SMART.

Read more...
All the security in the world
25 March 2020, Forbatt SA
All the security in the world is useless if there is no power to keep it operational and with the grid under pressure and no respite in sight, the best deterrent is advance preparation.

Read more...
Smart home is a growth market
25 March 2020
Smart home devices market continues to grow but localisation remains a challenge.

Read more...
Smart lock integrates with home security ecosystem
25 March 2020
The SimpliSafe Smart Lock is 23 mm thick and easily installs over existing deadbolts without the need for power tools.

Read more...
Ethernet tap for IO Ninja
25 March 2020, RF Design , Test & Measurement
Monitoring network communications of your PC can be accomplished without any specialised hardware – just use the Pcap Sniffer plugin of IO Ninja. The task of tapping into the Ethernet traffic of a non-PC ...

Read more...
Bluetooth 5.2 system-on-chip
25 March 2020, RF Design , Telecoms, Datacoms, Wireless, IoT
Nordic Semiconductor announced the nRF52820 Bluetooth 5.2 system-on-chip (SoC), the sixth addition to its nRF52 Series. The nRF52820 is an ultra-low-power Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth LE), Bluetooth ...

Read more...
Temperature conditioned coaxial cable assemblies explained
29 April 2020, RF Design , Interconnection
There are many applications, some emerging, that require both phase and amplitude error to be minimised. These applications include synthetic aperture radar using antenna arrays, beamforming/MIMO antenna ...

Read more...
Bluetooth 5.2 system-on-chip
29 April 2020, RF Design , Telecoms, Datacoms, Wireless, IoT
Nordic Semiconductor announced the nRF52820 Bluetooth 5.2 system-on-chip (SoC), the sixth addition to its nRF52 Series. The nRF52820 is an ultra-low-power Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth LE), Bluetooth ...

Read more...