Pressy: The Almighty Button?
July 23, 2014
Press me. No wait, Prezi1. Ahh, still wrong. Pressy! That’s the one we’re here to talk about! This is a pretty neat idea which, like many others, made its debut as a Kickstarter campaign. If you’ve never heard of Kickstarter before (see this post), you’re missing out on some potentially sweet stuff. The short story is that anybody can pitch an idea to the world. If the world feels that the idea would be useful to their own lives, or simply believes it’s a great idea, they can choose to back it (similar but not quite the same as an angel investor) and help make it a reality.
In the case of Pressy, a product which I almost backed (I opted to wait for the retail product, just in case), things started off swimmingly. Their Kickstarter campaign lasted a total of 47 days, raised a whopping $695,138 of the $40,000 they initially requested and was backed by 28,818 generous people. With the campaign ending on October 14th, 2013 and an expected shipment date of March 2014, April 2014, Spring 2014, NOW, the timeline isn’t exactly terrible compared to other product development timelines.
Pressy is essential a button, but not just any button! It’s a button that complements the other buttons on your mobile device (Android exclusive as a result of API restrictions on other platforms.) This particular button is inserted into the 3.5mm headphone jack present on most devices. Once inserted, a free mobile app can be used to configure what actions your device should take as a result of the button being pressed. Out of the box, the default actions are as follows:
One short click to toggle your flashlight
One long click to toggle your phone in and out of silent mode
Double-click to snap a photo
Not bad, considering it’s a single button. No more fumbling through menus to trigger the flashlight! Beyond these actions, more advanced configuration can be set up to toggle network connectivity, check-in to social network, or even send your current location to someone (acting as an Emergency Button.) Keeping developers in mind, 3rd party apps such as Tasker can be used to define even more granular operations on your device. Up to 14 different click combinations can be defined. Impressive. Actually, could you imagine trying to remember all 14 combinations? Oof…
Production problems forced the Pressy team to delay shipping with promises of a bit more eye candy by means of a redesigned holder. So, are backers being left in the dark without a button to trigger their flashlights? At this writing, it looks like they’ve actually started to ship. Not so fast, though! The Xiaomi MiKey is available and reportedly, a similar offering to Pressy (in the way that most bottled water is similar to tap) at a fraction of the cost.
So what happened with Pressy? For an idea that initially expected to need a mere $40,000 to fruition but received over 1500%, it’s hard to imagine where the additional time and funds could have been spent, or perhaps easy to say where it should have been spent. We’ll likely never learn the full story.
Luckily, this story turned out well. Still, crowdfunding is bit of a gamble. Are you a Kickstarter backer who’s been burned in the past? Did you back Pressy? Or do you have a product that you’ve backed which turned out to be as awesome as they claimed it would be? Tweet us @GeekHive. I know I could certainly use some more gadgets at the office!
1 Stay tuned! Topic for another day!
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