Pressy Adds a Button to Your Smartphone for Only $17
It's probably no secret that physical buttons are slowly becoming rare on portable gadgets. Take smartphones, for example. You have your big touch-sensitive screen, which allows for things like gesture control and a neater aesthetic. However, fingerprints are an unavoidable problem, and the dearth of quick-launch buttons requires you to time-consumingly drill through menus to execute simple actions – like turning on the LED flash or beginning a voice recording.
Well, those Android users who feel really annoyed by that latter issue ought to take a look at Pressy, an ingenious little device being funded on Kickstarter. Pressy is, basically, a tiny button that one inserts into their phone's headphone jack. Different actions can be performed by hitting Pressy a series of times, by long-pressing it, or by a mixture of both.
Pressy works by using an electrical connection in your smartphone's headphone jack, the one normally used by the volume or play/stop buttons on headphone cords. Newer tablets probably have this functionality as well, though don't quote me on that. After installing the free app, three different actions can be performed out of the box. One Pressy click toggles the flashlight, a double click snaps a photo, and a long click toggles silent mode.
More actions can be added – sending a pre-set SMS message, closing all running apps, and beaming out one's current location are three of the more interesting options. Fourteen different click combinations in total can be set, and, according to the Kickstarter FAQ, actions can also vary depending on the time of day and your smartphone's state. For example, you can set a single press to open your note-taking app in the morning, toggle your flashlight at night, and answer the call if your phone is ringing. It's all up to you.
The folks behind Pressy are also looking to develop a special API, one that would allow developers to embed Pressy into their apps and implement their own specific click actions. Unfortunately, the campaign page is a little bit unclear about the API, at one point stating it to be free for all Kickstarter backers, and at another point requiring a $1000 pledge to gain access to it. As well, platform restrictions mean that iOS users will be missing out on Pressy entirely, at least for now.
In any case, clearly this is quite a bit of useful functionality provided by something not much larger than two peas. A lot of people seem to agree with me, as, in about a day, the $40,000 Kickstarter goal for Pressy was met and surpassed, with a whopping $275,173 raised and 44 days to go as of this writing. A $17 pledge nets you one Pressy, with larger pledges getting you different colour options among other things. All of this looks to ship out in March of next year. See the campaign page here.