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Jun 17, 2015 3:39 EST

Flitchio: 1st Smartphone Case with Built-in Game Controller: Flitchio frees your screen and gives you tangible controls. Play dozens of games, pilot drones, and more. Play more, Carry less

iCrowdNewswire - Jun 17, 2015

Flitchio: 1st Smartphone Case with Built-in Game Controller

 

 Flitchio is the World’s First Smartphone Case with a Built-in Game Controller.

A touchscreen is not ideal for gaming, because it was not designed for gaming: thumbs are hiding the action and you can’t feel that you are actually pushing a button or moving a joystick! Flitchio frees your screen, and gives you tangible control over your games.

 You can even control a drone with Flitchio, how cool is that?! 

 Flitchio lets you pilot drones from your Smartphone with precision.

Enjoy the full experience of gaming on your phone. The beautifully designed joysticks and shoulder buttons bring traditional, real gaming to smartphones and immerse you more in your games.

It's impossible to put it down!
It’s impossible to put it down!

And what’s more, it is truly mobile!

How does it work for the user?

Just snap it on to your phone like any other case, it is then instantly connected. No need for a connector or a battery.

Simply snap it on to your phone
Simply snap it on to your phone

At the very first launch, the app takes you on a 2-min tour to discover the possibilities of Flitchio, then open any compatible game and start playing immediately. 

Flitchio is completely off when your phone screen is locked, so you can always keep the case on. As soon as you unlock your screen, Flitchio is activated. To set Flitchio to invisible mode, e.g. to use NFC for payment, there’s a simple switch that sets Flitchio to invisible mode.

To use your phone for NFC payment, set Flitchio to invisible mode easily
To use your phone for NFC payment, set Flitchio to invisible mode easily

How does it work deep inside?

From a technical point of view:

  • The device acts as an enhanced NFC tag. The big difference with a standard NFC tag is that instead of a one-shot message, we have an actual two-way communication between phone and tag.
  • Taking advantage of Energy Harvesting technology and power efficient components, the device doesn’t need its own power source and neither does it need to be physically connected. Instead, it wirelessly uses the idle power of the phone.
  • The impact on battery life is extremely limited as it only uses the idle power of the phone.
  • We use a unique pressure-sensing technology to augment gaming feeling. This technology also allows us to have super slim joysticks.

The app has been designed with the user in mind. As the whole idea of Flitchio is to enhance the user’s gaming experience, it was critical for us to make the app as simple and intuitive as possible.

Overview of the app
Overview of the app

The app has been designed following closely the Material Design guidelines. It will be widely available on the Play Store as soon as Flitchio starts being shipped. 

Tour of the app

Flitchio is automatically connected when you unlock the phone
Flitchio is automatically connected when you unlock the phone

The Flitchio Manager app automatically detects when you start playing a game that is compatible with Flitchio. Two clicks and you’re set (to be honest, after the first use, it’s actually one click).

Play with Flitchio seamlessly (1) Activate Flitchio on 1st launch
Play with Flitchio seamlessly (1) Activate Flitchio on 1st launch
Play with Flitchio seamlessly (2) Activate Flitchio on 2nd launch (3) Deactivate Flitchio
Play with Flitchio seamlessly (2) Activate Flitchio on 2nd launch (3) Deactivate Flitchio
Access a game profile through a simple notification
Access a game profile through a simple notification

We have made more detailed tutorial videos that show all the different parts of the app and the overall smooth user experience. You can check them out on our YouTube channel.

What Oscar Clark, the Everyplay Evangelist at Unity Technologies, thinks about Flitchio

What Phil Harris, the Games Content Developer & Narrative Designer at One Thumb Mobile, thinks about Flitchio

We meticulously designed every element of Flitchio to make it high quality and easy to use, while keeping costs down in order to achieve a great price.

Flitchio is

Disruptive 

  • The only Smartphone Case with a built-in Game Controller that frees up your screen with slim and responsive joysticks and shoulder buttons.
  • First really “clever” use of NFC in hardware that is NOT just payment or static URL encoded in a chip.

Beautiful and Lightweight

  • Subtle curves that leave the sides free: easy to clip and you keep access to the connectors.
  • Minimalist design delivering the slimmest yet responsive joysticks on a game controller.

A protective case

  • Tough materials protecting the phone.
  • Surface finishes and textures to better grip the phone.

Truly Mobile 

  • It’s part of your phone, so there’s no extra bulk to carry.
  • No battery needed AND no need to charge.
  • Full gaming functionality in any location: WiFi not needed.

Easy to use with instant connection 

  • No pairing: Bluetooth not needed.
  • No connector.

Exciting for game developers 

  • Flitchio SDK and Unity Plugin is well-engineered, lightweight and very easy to integrate.
  • Pressure sensitivity brings another dimension to games.
  • Simple user experience (no pop-up, no notification, no interruptions).

Simple with a beautifully designed app 

  • User friendly, intuitive, and easy to use.
  • Initial setup is a breeze: only 3 clicks, the rest is automated.
  • Non-intrusive notification system.
  • Flitchio firmware can be updated through the manager app remotely and only by one click.
Enjoy playing with Flitchio wherever you are
Enjoy playing with Flitchio wherever you are
 

Key features

Very responsive

  • The data is delivered at 60 Hz, as responsive as a console controller, as smooth as possible for humans.

Pressure-sensitive shoulder buttons

  • 3D feeling experience i.e. press harder : punch harder, run faster, jump higher.
  • Responsive even with gloves on, unlike touchscreen.

Analogue joysticks

  • Tactile feedback puts you in control.

Gaming-ready

  • Play dozens of popular games right away.
  • Large variety of genres supported: action, arcade, racing, role playing, etc.

Patent-pending technology and design

  • Flitchio is unique and we plan on staying that way.

Battery-less 

  • Harvests energy through NFC using power efficient components. The impact on battery life is extremely limited as it only uses the idle power of the phone.
  • When you want to use NFC in other situations (e.g. contactless payment), simply put Flitchio in invisible mode.

Connector-free

  • No wires, just snap it on to your phone.

Open to developers

  • Develop your own games and apps with Flitchio Software Development Kit and Flitchio Unity plug-in.
Main Flitchio features at a glance
Main Flitchio features at a glance

Flitchio works great with dozens of popular games out of the box, all tested and approved by the team. These include arcade, racing, action, RPG games. And we are constantly adding to the list. 

Flitchio also supports a myriad of console emulators to choose from; you can go back to the old days of Sega Genesis, N64 and Playstation or even to the handhelds with GameBoy, PSP and Nintendo DS as well as plenty others. With the emulators you can relive your childhood memories of Pokemon, Mario, Zelda and plenty others on the go with a physical controller embedded right with your phone.

Find the complete list of supported games on our website
Find the complete list of supported games on our website

 

We would also really like to hear your opinion! If you’re thinking of a game that would be great for Flitchio, share it with us.

 

And if you’re a game developer yourself and you’d like to support Flitchio, please check the Developers section below.

  • Pilot drones and remote vehicles with precision,
  • Take a selfie with the back of the phone,
  • Use Flitchio as a remote for smart TVs and play games on a big screen,
  • Secure your phone with a new kind of unlock pattern,
  • Control music and films on your device,
  • Explore efficient ways to browse and zoom

The possibilities are (almost) endless! Our SDK enables developers to bring their new ideas to life. For more details, see the Developers section below.

A whole host of new applications to be explored by you, awesome developers!
A whole host of new applications to be explored by you, awesome developers!

If you have a Samsung Galaxy S6 or Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge then you are the first in line to use Flitchio. We will add more handsets as soon as possible! What handset would you want Flitchio to work with? Please let us know on our poll.

                                      

Technical and Design Specifications

 Our Journey

We have done our homework and put a lot of work into designing and building our first prototypes. What you can see in the video and pictures, is a fully functioning prototype that supports dozens of popular games like GT Racing 2, Tomb Raider and Super Hexagon. We love the look of it and could not be more excited about sharing Flitchio with you. We have tested Flitchio with users in many occasions and everyone loves playing games with Flitchio and loves the look and feel of it. We now need your support to actually manufacture Flitchio, and get it into many more gamers’ hands!

Since the concept was born and development started over 18 months ago, Flitchio has evolved massively in both form and function. It now even amazes us how much the product has advanced, when we look back at the early-stage design sketches, the very first mobile app we developed and the endless test data and graphs for each evolution.

We have run exhaustive tests to ensure that the interpolation algorithm of the pressure-sensitive component works extremely accurately, we have spent many, many hours testing and re-developing to make sure that the two-way NFC connection is extremely reliable, and we have been continuously brainstorming, sketching, modelling and testing ideas and prototypes with users to make sure that the product has the proper form and components of a controller that people actually want to use. 

We have talked to as many gamers, game designers and game veterans as we could find to ensure we got every single detail right and their feedback lead to the idea of having super slim Joysticks and responsive shoulder buttons amongst other things. 

We then tested Flitchio with as many users as we could, iterated based on feedback and repeated the process until everyone said “wow”. We are very happy to say that since the creation of the final fully functioning prototype, every single person that has tested Flitchio, cannot wait to get their hands on the final product. Neither can we! 

User testing at Hardware Startup LAB
User testing at Hardware Startup LAB
User testing at Techhub Demo night
User testing at Techhub Demo night

What the students at King’s College London think about playing with Flitchio. How Flitchio lets them to have the full screen only for the game, have physical control and also how natural it felt to them getting used to using middle finger to control the Joystick from the back.

Some of places we presented Flitchio at its different stage of developments so far:

  • Droidcon, London, UK, 2014 
  • PG Connect, London, UK, 2015 
  • King’s College, London, UK, 2015 
  • Startup Grind, London, UK, 2015 
  • PCH Hardware, London, UK, 2015 
  • Hardware Startup Lab, London, UK, 2015 
  • TechHub Demo night, London, UK, 2015 
  • Tech startups and new ideas, London, UK, 2015 
  • NFC Forum, Shanghai, China, 2015 

Also come along to these events for your chance to get a hands on experience with Flitchio:

  • Tokyo Toy Show, Tokyo, Japan, June 2015
  • Cannes Creativity Festival, Cannes, France, June 2015

Flitchio can work out of the box for games that are built with gamepad support. We also offer a plugin for Unity3D engine and a complete Software Development Kit to help you port your existing games and implement new ideas!

I already have developed a game, how can I make it Flitchio-compatible?

  • If your game already has gamepad support, you’re almost there!

If your game is already compatible with other game controllers like Samsung Gamepad, MOGA, Gametel, Nvidia Shield or DualShock, then it is almost ready for Flitchio! All we have to do is register it as a compatible game in our Game Centre to enable every Flitchio owner to play it directly. Please get in touch at [email protected]

  • If your game was developed using Unity3D engine, you’re on the right track!

Unity3D is one of the most popular game engines nowadays. We have a plug-in for Unity Editor that will make it really straightforward for you to implement full Flitchio support. It includes a developer guide and all the scripts that you need, so it should take you less than an hour to add full Flitchio support to your game.

We plan to make the Flitchio Unity plug-in widely available on the Asset Store. To be one of the first to develop for Flitchio, the EARLY Bird DEVELOPER Edition is here for you.

  • For all other cases, the Flitchio SDK is here for you!

The Flitchio SDK comes as an Android library that is very lightweight and easy to integrate to any of your existing Android projects. Just fetch the AAR package and paste it into your project. It includes a developer guide and all the API docs that you need, so depending on the complexity of your game, the integration of the SDK could take you as little as 15 minutes!

We plan to make the Flitchio SDK widely available on Maven Central. To be one of the first to develop for Flitchio, the EARLY Bird DEVELOPER Edition is here for you. 

I have an awesome idea for Flitchio, what can I do?

Flitchio is not just a game controller. Many of its features (pressure-sensitivity, position of the buttons, directional pad always on the back of your phone,…) also make it a great platform for you to develop new ideas! And we’re not only talking about games: all kinds of apps could benefit from Flitchio! An efficient way to pilot drones, take a selfie with the back of the phone, a physical remote for media player apps or smart TVs, an additional security pattern to unlock your phone… This is a new world of possibilities that is opening, and it’s yours! To be one of the first to develop for Flitchio, the EARLY Bird DEVELOPER Edition is here for you.

We need your help to:

  • Convert our prototype to production-ready models and get all the certifications
  • Improve Software development kit
  • Order production tooling
  • Place our first production order (we are working with an experienced manufacturing firm, but we need to know how many to make!)

Flitchio is a team of technology and game enthusiasts with engineering, development, design, and marketing backgrounds. We are based in London, UK.

Contact Information:

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