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albert_c

Change physical form factor

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Hey man, I am one of your original supporters. I bought two Flircs way back in the day when they were $35 or so plus shipping and only available from your site. Now they are on Amazon for half the cost with free shipping. A steal! I have lost count of how many I have told ppl to buy after they saw what can be done with an HTPC (probably close to a hundred is my guess).

 

Anyway, I have seen that you have done a lot with firmware, software, compatibility, features.  But the one thing that bothers me is the form factor of this device. I know you need to keep the casing clear to be compatible with IR signals. I am fine with that. But I wish that you could shrink down the footprint of the Flirc so that it does not protrude from the receving device as much. I have several SFF PC's that I use this on ranging from RPi's to an Intel NUC. Each time I look at how elegantly small these devices are, I can't help but to be left wanting for smaller USB dongle-type form factor for my Flic. Someting along the line of this:

 

http://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-Cruzer-Low-Profile-Drive--SDCZ33-032G-B35/dp/B00812F7O8/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1434446712&sr=8-2&keywords=cruzer+fit

 

If you ever pulled this off, just take my money all over again....

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I am well aware that doing this may require sourcing new IC's and may even require a separate development track. But hey, charge more for it until you phase out the older form factor. Anyhow, fingers crossed.

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That probably can't be done. First of all those really small devices (like the thumb drive you've posted) are using dedicated controller chips. Flirc is using general purpose microprocessor and all the features are implemented in the software running on the chip. Going for dedicated hardware would probably require Flirc to be mass produced and have much larger market share to be even considerable. The costs of designing your own integrated circuits are rather high.

 

If you don't like how a Flirc dongle sticks out then you can go for the Flirc-SE (Streacom Edition) which can be installed inside a case.

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Well, there is a limited time to capitalize on the Flirc IP. Once IoT devices proliferate our lives, this may become obsolete. Flirc as it is a niche product, the Flirc-SE even more so. This plus the technical challenge that you mention represents an limited business opportunity to expand the revenue that the Flirc can generate. Perhaps licensing the IP to a Taiwanese manufacturer for integration into system boards would heighten the profile of the IP and also allow a smaller form factor to be piggy backed into the deal.

 

Certainly, resting on the laurels of the add-on model won't last forever.

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You need to take into consideration that Flirc is basically a one man show. There are a few people (like me) who help on the forums, but the whole hardware and software design is done by a single person. Believe me, he isn't resting on the laurels :).

 

There's also this: http://www.flirc.tv/fundraising/

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