One of the biggest 'oh-shoot' or 'ah-ha' moments was realizing most multi-family properties do not have a managed WiFi solution to allow our first generation light switches to connect to. While the student housing segment is a prime candidate for Flick's solutions and tends to have managed WiFi, we realized we needed to find another communication solution to ensure all multi-family properties, including market rate and affordable housing communities could take advantage of Flick's capabilities. While there are several players including friends of Flick offering manage WiFi solutions for communities, we identified a few reasons why more apartment communities do not offer managed WiFi services:
Cost: Providing managed WiFi services requires an investment in infrastructure, equipment, and maintenance. Some apartment communities may not be willing or able to make this investment.
Complexity: Setting up and managing WiFi networks can be complex and time-consuming. It may require specialized skills that the apartment community staff may not have.
Liability: If the WiFi service is not properly secured, there is a risk that residents' personal information could be compromised, and the apartment community could be held liable.
Competition: With the increasing availability of affordable home internet plans, some apartment communities may feel that offering managed WiFi services is not necessary to attract and retain residents.
Managed WiFi services are undoubtedly a desirable amenity for residents, but the cost, complexity, liability concerns, and competition (or perception of these things) may make it less appealing for some apartment communities to offer this service.
While Flick's generation 1 light switch works beautifully with WiFi, Flick moved to developing a solution based on a simple long range (LoRa)
radio signal technology, requiring one simple hub plugged-in at the leasing office. Using this technology, Flick can continue to provide real time energy signals in addition to visual messaging on the screen featured on our second generation device.