Today Hugo Barra has taken to the social networks to talk about a new ‘shortcut button’ they have developed at Xiaomi. He is asking for a name for the little device, but for now we’ll refer to it as the MiKey.
This little button slots into the headphone jack of your Xiaomi phone (no mention of others but we bet it would work on any Android powered device) and can be programmed to perform a task after a series clicks on the button. Sounds good right? Access key features and perform several tasks all from a simple button press.
The issue though is that it’s very similar to a kickstarter campaign that became funded back in October. Not any old campaign though, this was Pressy and they managed to amass a backing of $695,138 after only asking for $40,000. Lets see them both…
…we have the pressy at the top and the MiKey at the bottom. Could almost be the same product. This isn’t even the first time this has happened. A small Chinese company got kickstarted (or whatever the Chinese equivalent is) with the Kuai Anniu and there is another ‘android shortcut button’ available from a website in the US called the Klick.
Now obviously no one is ever going to stop people cloning your product if you are experiencing massive success, but Pressy have been encouraging people, through their Facebook and Google+ pages, to go and tell Hugo Barra exactly what they think of ‘his’ product. Sounds a little bit like Pressy are feeling a bit sore about the whole thing. I’m putting my money on the fact that Xiaomi plan to market the MiKey for about 50p while the Pressy will go for around £16!
Where will it go from here? Well Pressy have always claimed they have a very good patent on their product so we’ll have to either watch Xiaomi get round it, pay out to Pressy or pull the product altogether. If it all escalates into virtual fistycuffs we’ll make sure to bring you all the details.