Phone Case With Button On Back

Cliq’s NFC Example Puts Buttons Back On Your Smartphone

Yet another sign of backside phone innovation*, if I can put it that way.

(*tl:dr at that place’s precious little space to practice absurd innovative hardware on the front of phones nowadays since most handsets are almost entirely monopolised by huge touchscreens.

Nevertheless as phones get bigger, to accommodate larger fronts, there’due south increasing amounts of nether-utilized infinite on the back. Ergo some heady stuff is going on round the back.)

The latest to contemplate all that unused rear space and see dollar signs is London-based hardware startup Cliq Cases. It’s taken to Kickstarter to crowdfund a range of impact-sensitive smartphone cases for Android devices whose flagship feature is three hardware buttons on the dorsum.

That’southward right, they’re adding buttons back and so users can melt upwards their ain custom shortcuts. Specifically, pressure-sensitive keys (to assist minimize adventitious presses). The NFC-powered keys will be customised via a companion app, supporting both short and long presses, to extend the possible shortcut permutations. So you can have six shortcuts in all if y’all desire.

What can the buttons be programmed to practise? Plenty of stuff on the native side — from switching on the phone’s LED calorie-free to shortcutting to the torch function, to calling up a predefined contact or sending a pre-written SMS, to acting as a dedicated camera key.

They as well note Cliq volition exist open and reprogrammable and then it can be used with Tasker, Automateit and other IFTTT-manner apps. So while the keys aren’t initially going to back up specific apps, in-app functions volition exist programmable using Tasker, et al. (And Cliq’s makers say they hope to add app support if there’south enough demand for it in future.)

It’south worth noting that for Cliq to function it needs the Cliq app to be running in the background — although if the app has been closed, pressing one of the buttons will fire it back up again (but in that location could presumably exist a micro lag between pressing Cliq and executing your shortcut in that instance).

Cliq is much like Pressy only with more detached buttons on tap (three not one). Cliq also incorporates its keys into a smartphone case, so the whole thing doubles up on the utility front by protecting your phone’southward rear from pavement scuffs should you drop it.

Information technology’s also making utilise of NFC rather than the headphone jack to extend the Android hardware. One of the master advances Cliq’s makers are claiming is making a small enough NFC module to fit the unit of measurement in a slender example.

So, as well every bit standard rear-protecting Cliq cases, they are able to offer very thin skins for those that prefer a barely-there case.


Initially they’re making a limited range of cases. Starting time off Cliq requires handsets with NFC that are running Android 4.0 or above to function. But, existence as information technology’southward also a case, it’s initially for a small sub-set of Android phones — specifically the Samsung Galaxy S5, S4, Notation 3, Motorola’s Moto X, the Nexus 5 and LG G2.

Bad luck, HTC. Cliq’s running a survey to ask for requests on additional models to back up.

Cliq’s Carson Brown said the thought for Cliq came out of the ashes of another hardware project — a Bluetooth trackable wallet — that they were working on. NFC had been incorporated into that mix for loyalty cards and, when the projection was scrapped, the squad realised they could use the same NFC module for Cliq.

“Nosotros thought the Pressy project was slap-up because it gave validation to what we were working on, but using one button to launch a variety of actions ultimately leads to Morse code,” he said when asked how Cliq moves things on from that earlier Android hardware button-making try.

“Nosotros thought three buttons which could launch six unlike tasks (curt click/long click) would be easier to use and cover 90 percent of users’ scenarios.”

Cliq has a ways to go to brand its crowdfunding target. The team is afterwards $40,000 to fund minimum component orders to be viable, and, at the time of writing, has raised just over $6k and so far with 30 days left of their entrada to run.

How much volition a Cliq toll? Early Kickstarter backers tin bag one for $20 or $25. It’ll be $30 thereafter. The team is aiming to ship to backers in Baronial — bold they don’t get bedeviled by the delays that end up derailing the timelines of many a Kickstarter project.