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Xiaomi "steals" idea from Kickstarter for new product

News by Andrew Kameka on Wednesday April 02, 2014.

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Xiaomi is a Chinese company on the rise because of it's low-cost but effective smartphones that are wildly popular in China. The CEO and founder has been accused of trying to emulate Steve Jobs, and the company even managed to lure Android VP Hugo Barra to lead its international expansion last year. Now Xiaomi is being accussed of stealing yet again, this time for copying the concept of Pressy, a small accessory that plugs into a headphone jack and takes programmed actions.

Pressy is a Kickstarter alum that we covered back in August. The headphone plug can be tapped in a certain sequence to immediately take an action, like send a text message or open an app. Xiaomi meanwhile has its own MiKey that that plugs into a headphone plug, can be tapped in a certain sequence to immediately take up to 10 actions. The similarities are striking in every area except price - MiKey costs about 79 cents while Pressy costs $27.

Xiaomi's MiKey is too similar to merely be a coincidence, which is why a few Pressy fans have expressed their disappointment when Hugo Barra posted about the MiKey on his Google+ page. It's also why Pressy has signaled that it might take legal action in a statement given to Engadget:

"Though the knock-off versions were anticipated, we did not expect to see it from such a respectable and known company... We have IP rights for the design and functionality of Pressy, and are considering our next moves to handle the situation."

source: Hugo Barra (Google+), via: Engadget

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Andrew Kameka
Andrew is based in Miami, Florida.

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