Mi Button

New accessory appears to be direct clone of crowdfunding success story

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has unveiled a new accessory this morning — a programmable plug-in button that fits into Android smartphones through the headphone jack. If that sounds familiar, it's because it appears to ape a successful Kickstarter project Pressy, which raised almost $700,000 (from a goal of $40,000) to bring to market a suspiciously similar accessory.

Just like Pressy, Xiaomi's button can be programmed to trigger different actions on the phone, with up to 10 combinations available. Possibilities include everything from taking a photo with the camera to calling a specific contact. And like Pressy, it's designed to fit entirely within a phone's headphone jack, adding almost no bulk.

Tech In Asia reports that Xiaomi's button will be known as MiKey in China, launching on April 8 for just 4.9 yuan ($0.79). Meanwhile Pressy, due to ship this summer, was funded by backers paying upwards of $5, and is currently available to pre-order for $27. Today Xiaomi VP (and former Googler) Hugo Barra has taken Google+ to invite naming suggestions for the device's U.S. launch — leading to more than a few indignant comments from Pressy fans.

Source: Hugo Barra (Google+), Engadget, Tech in Asia; More: Pressy

 
There are 33 comments

chowdog13 says:

I don't see the point, but if it's something people want, more power to them.

Xingularity says:

And you never will...

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DrLouie says:

If it could be configured to start my camera app and take a picture I think it would be worth it.

TheDu9du says:

In Xiaomi's defense.. perhaps Pressy doesn't have it's product patented in China. However, I don't offer much defense to Hugo. Dumb stunt to bring this to Google+. I'm a bit surprised ppl are keeping it cool and rational there.

TheDu9du says:

Also.. couldn't Xiaomi just add a customizable button into their next phone.. I would think you make more by selling more phones than by ripping off a product and selling it for pennies..it may make sense if "MiKey" is a Xiaomi exclusive like the first Galaxy Gear was to Samsung flagships.

John Doe40 says:

It's a Chinese company. Absolutely no surprises there. It's what they do best - copy other people's existing design, use cheaper local components/materials/labor and sell final product as their own at cheaper prices.

mwara244 says:

China is the biggest country for stealing copyrights, intellectual rights, and media, and the whole international community let's them get away with it with no repercussions whatsoever. I don't understand why the entire world gives china a free pass on stealing anything and everything. They even hack our companies here in the US for trade secrets, everything for software from smelting plants to companies that work for DARPA and our tech industry.

ACADM says:

The US also hacks into Chinese government systems and private corps, you might even have read about it in the last few months.

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rlbrooks says:

North Korea and Iran know why, and they want in. China is a card holding member of the Nuke Club. A club everyone wants in. The most extreme corrective action allowed toward a member is a furrowed brow and roll of the eyes.

zizu101 says:

This is the first time I've heard about pressy. Does anyone know if it forces a permanent notification in the notification area?

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Nobody know because Pressy did not deliver anything yet...

zizu101 says:

Oh okay..thanks

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zorvalth says:

Why all the fuzz?? There kind of product is on aliepxress since a last December, example: http://goo.gl/DoD8Q7

crxssi says:

Neat find. Interesting that it says only "Android" in the description, and they then picture it in an iPhone. Plus it seems to stick out of the phone too far. But I like the concept.

Calma10 says:

After a year Pressy still has not deliver anything yet, it might be still under develoment. I don't understand why people would get mad at Hugo B, He probably did not know anything about Pressy or the kickstarter campaing. Why would a VP of Global Sales, know about a year old kickstarter project. Hugo B problably got brief from a Xiaomi engineer about a new project. He probably like it and took it to Social media to create a buzz. The cost of the Xiaomi version is very low compare to Pressy. I would rather buy the Xiaomi verstion.

zxylady says:

October,14th 2013 was when it was backed, so unless you live on another planet, it hasn't been a year! It was expected to ship to us (those of us who helped get Pressy of the ground) in March of THIS YEAR 2014, but as the updates have stated that the Chinese manufacturer that Pressy was using, wasn't meeting ANY of the quality standards that the company wanted with any consistency so they pushed the product release back to mid April.
I can't be the only person who is wondering if Xaomi or the Chinese manufacturer is selling either the faulty units or the cast offss that The Pressy team wasn't willing to pawn off on us..?..

ACADM says:

That's a well explained post, and it might explain how they're able to get on board the Pressy idea so quick and cheaply.

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ACADM says:

Surely Pressy wouldn't have gone this far without patenting their product, this is the most blatant rip off I've seen in a while.

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Nathan Bael says:

Doesn't meant they patented it in China. Though, if you patent something in one country and not another and your design is ripped off, can it only be sold in countries where you didn't get a patent?

ACADM says:

It looks like they're going to try and sell it in the US though. Surely they got a patent for Pressy on their home turf?

I don't know, I just feel sorry for them they seem like good guys who have come up with an idea no one else has and now a huge corp are stealing their idea.

There's a lot of things wrong with the US patent system but surely this is exactly what patents were designed for!

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They're looking for help naming it. How about:

*Pressy* Special Ripoff Edition.

Includes feeling like a douche at no additional charge...

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Wollombi says:

Well, maybe they will actually deliver a product. Pressy told me when I signed on last year that they estimated delivery in March 2014. Now I just read in this article that it will be sometime this summer. I wish Pressy had bothered to tell me, but their emails have stopped coming, and they haven't responded to any of my inquiries.

ACADM says:

I've been getting regular updates from them explaining exactly what is going on and why, you could even visit their site and blog.

Also, they aren't a huge corp with mega money and knowledge of supply chains, for god sake even Google struggles with this stuff; surely you realised that when you bought into the idea of the product.

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rkirmeier says:

I like it a lot! Never could understand why mfgs don't provide a dedicated camera button. Never use the headphone jack so this would be perfect.

someone tell me why Apple, Inc. doesn't own the patent to this?

They do own patent for this thing, Samsung does not know about it yet...

Calma10 says:

the pressy backers can pick up one right now, for only $8.00
http://www.dx.com/p/3-5mm-plug-shortcut-key-for-android-cell-phone-silve...\
it has been on sale for a while

pacoinurreta says:

Damn, I just ordered a couple of things from DX and I was actually waiting for Pressy. Seems this one goes into the wish list for the time.

zivan56 says:

I don't see the point, I use my headphone jack every time I go out...so its faster for me to use on screen buttons than to remove the headset and plug this in each time.

ACADM says:

Then this isn't for you, it's for people who rarely use their headphone jack.

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mkdll says:

Welcome to the real world, Pressy fans.

I hate it when big companies choke out little companies just starting (example: Walmart)

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Charles Juhl says:

I purchased one of these Pressy "clones" through a Chinese distributor on eBay. It was rebranded "Klick" but it appears to be identical to the MiKey. It has an app and it works very well. BTW, the "redesigned" Pressy looks identical to the Klick and the MiKey, which makes me wonder who exactly is cloning who. I backed the Pressy kickstarter campaign, but requested (and received) a refund after the delays and discovering that apparently Pressy had decided to either clone or rebrand the MiKey instead of manufacture their original design.

Someone really needs to investigate the people behind the Pressy kickstarter campaign. There are a number of troubling questions. For instance, they have stated that they have an international patent on the device, but my IP attorney could not find it, and the Pressy founders have refused to provide a PTR number or a date of filing. Also, the company making the "clone" is a well respected Chinese device maker unlikely to blatantly infringe on a PTR, and the "redesigned" Pressy looks exactly like the MiKey and Klick, not the other way around.