There are not many products that I consider really innovative. This is definitely the case with the new Muse Blocks from Senic even if their technology does not come from the Berlin start-up itself. They have simply rebranded existing possibilities in a new and, above all, extremely stylish way.
In each Muse Block – a small 7 x 7 cm magnet – there is a small NFC tag that can be equipped with its own web links by using a small app. For example, it’s possible to insert a Spotify URL and have the associated playlist displayed on the iPhone without any major detours.
- learn more about the Muse Blocks on the manufacturer’s website
But the real thrill comes with Siri short commands which can also use NFC tags as triggers for automation since iOS 13.1. Not only does this give you full access to HomeKit but you can also perform numerous other actions. Many other things can also be activated via URL requests in the background, such as actions with the popular online service IFTTT.
Apple and Muse Blocks: only with newer iPhones
Unfortunately, there is one catch: the recognition of the Muse Blocks and all other NFC tags only works with the iPhone XS, iPhone XR or iPhone 11, older iPhone generations do not offer this functionality yet.
But Senic’s plans are big: they would like to cooperate with Philips Hue to be able to directly control the lamps connected to the bridge. They also want to expand the portfolio of available designs for the Muse Blocks. I would love to see a set with the standard scenes from the Hue app: Soho, Northern Lights & Co.
With a price of 5 Euro per magnet or 8 Euro for your own design the Muse Blocks are not necessarily cheap. The set shown by us, including a wooden strip suitable for wall mounting and seven magnets, even costs 69 euros. But in return you get a product that has been developed and produced with great attention to detail in Berlin.
NFC technology also has another advantage: you don’t make yourself dependent on any servers and providers. Even if Senic doesn’t exist like this in a few years, the Muse Blocks will still work.