CES 2018: 10 New Smart Home & IoT Devices + Their Prospects for Success

CES 2018 Innovation Awards include usual smart-home winners like Nest, Ring and Arlo, but also interesting newbies boasting AI, security, home automation, lighting control and more. Will they make it?

Slide 10 of 11

Flic Hub - home control with smart buttons

Their Words

The Flic Hub allows users to control their environment with small and wireless physical buttons. One hub can receive commands from 64(!) buttons simultaneously without delay. It can control everything - e.g., IR-based HiFi equipment, music streaming, smart lights, and complex workflows.

My Words

I'm totally about the single-purpose button that lets users place a little nub anywhere, and program it to perform a few different feats based on press, press-and-hold, double-top and other interations. So I've always liked Flic, which kind of pioneered this approach to control but suffered from have-to-keep-the-phone-on-itis. The phone app always had to run in the background to make the Bluetooth-enabled Flic buttons useful.

So the new Flic Hub is just an extension of the buttons, with the company working "backwards." Typically you make the hub, then the accessory devices, but in this case the buttons are what made Flic unique in the first place. The company claims to have shipped 200,000 buttons globally. Now those buttons have a dedicated Wi-Fi hub and cloud service that eliminates the need for an always-on smart-phone app. There's an IR transmitter option so the hub can be used to control IR devices like TVs and air conditioners.

Do I want it? If I were a Flic user (and I should be, because I'm such a fan), then the hub would be an obviously worthwhile accessory. The question is: Will the hub compel me to be a Flic button user?

Will it make it? This is a tough one. I so totally believe in the small-button interface. This concept is great. It all hinges on the ease of programming and the channels to market. I could see the platform being sold through professional channels, notably security dealers. Embed the technology in security panels, make the buttons easy to program, and you're on to something. Flic has a following. The Hub raised $470,00 on a Kickstarter campaign that ended mid-August, 2017. I feel good about this, as long as it's good and they can get the funding. This is the first time in a few years Flic isn't exhibiting at CES.


CES 2018 Booth: Not exhibiting

Back to article

Product Reviews

Hands On: CasaTunes Deftly Integrates Sonos
CasaTunes is helping dealers to maximize the potential of Sonos with a solution that is geared towards custom installation applications.

10 Ostentatious Loudspeakers from 2019 High End Munich Audio Show
Fashionable designs make these stylized loudspeakers works of art from Once Music, Stein Music Pro, Avantgarde Acoustic, MartinLogan, Cabasse, Doacoustics, AQ, and Odeon Audio. Which ones would you sell?

Hands On: Luxul Easy Setup App Takes the Pain out of Network Configurations
The new Luxul Easy Setup App walks integrators through a step-by-step setup process to configure the company’s latest routers and access points.

Samsung Brings QLED Technology to ‘The Frame’ Bezeled TV
Samsung The Frame now includes four sizes (43 to 65 inches) with QLED technology and 1,000+ works of art available for $5 monthly fee.

7 Game of Thrones Episodes For Home Theater Lovers
Experts from the home A/V industry chose their favorite episodes of 'Game of Thrones' to showcase the finer points of home theater.

View all slideshows


Sonnen ecoLinx to Anchor New Illinois Sustainable Community
Battery storage company sonnen's ecoLinx will be the centerpiece of 'Wildwood of Marengo' passive home community. $700K homes represent sonnen's third sonnenCommunity in U.S.

Ultimate Makeover: Michigan Integrator Helps Home Gym Transform Into a Home Theater
Automation Design + Entertainment flexes its integration muscle to turn a 3,500-square-foot home gym into an Elan controlled home theater.

CEDIA Global HQ Opens: Take a Video Tour
CEDIA cuts ribbon on its newest asset, a 40,000-square-foot facility in Fishers, Ind., with a full experience center and training facilities.

Rayva Home Theater Helps Win Over Client, Elevates Brilliant AV Installation
Rayva helped Brilliant AV secure a job over two other installation firms to provide the homeowner with a home theater packed with Sonos, Sony, and Control4 tech, among others.

Project of the Year: Memphis Tigers Locker Room Features Over 100 LG Displays
Memphis-based Miestro Home Integration was tasked with upgrading the locker room of Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium at the University of Memphis in just six weeks, winning a 2019 Mark of Excellence award for its efforts.

View all slideshows