The excitement around the Pressy Kickstarter campaign, which shows a tiny device and app that occupied a headphone port to add an extra hardware button to your phone, is reaching a fever pitch. Like so many ambitious Kickstarter projects before them, the creators have missed their original March ship date, but it looks like they're closing in on the finish line.
According to the latest update sent to backers, production has begun at Pressy's Chinese hardware partner, and the first of 40,000 Pressy buttons will be shipped starting on April 28th. Delivery is expected sometime in mid-May. But that's only the first of two big items of news that came with this update. The Pressy team has also redesigned the holster that comes with some higher backer levels, for when you need to use the headphone port for, uh, headphones. Now in addition to a simple loop for a keychain, the new silicone holster has a slotted groove on one side, which will allow it to grip your headphone cord for easy access. This should come in handy for those who don't habitually carry keys.
Old holster design on the left, new on the right.
The decision to redesign a crucial add-on component this late in the production cycle seems a little odd, but it's hard to argue with the added functionality. Hard, but not impossible: some backers are predictably upset at the new design and a few have asked for partial refunds. The creators at Nimrod Black are considering other options at the moment.
Finally, the Pressy creators touched on Xiaomi's blatant copy of the button design, the "M Key," shown off earlier this month. (Incidentally, the controversial new Pressy holster looks quite a lot like the one included with Xiaomi's copy.) In addition to the usual patent protection talk, Nimrod Black says they'll be using some kind of protective method that only allows the Pressy app, which interprets multiple presses and holds into Android actions, to work with authentic Pressy hardware.
We knew from the beginning that we will have copycats, luckily we have a patent and intend to squash them soon. Additionally, in order to use the Pressy app you will need an original Pressy button.
Xiaomi's infamous Pressy clone, currently being sold in China.
There you have it: with any luck, at least some Pressy backers should have their useful add-on buttons in less than a month. There are multiple Pressy backers on the Android Police editorial staff, so we're just as excited as you are.