It's well known that those with a desire to backup or clone Skylanders figures have had the means to do so, which in part is courtesy of the simplistic NFC technology. Encryption is possible, but it doesn't take long for someone to break through the security of the humble chips.
Naturally the same threat has followed amiibo since the figures hit the market in November 2014, with peripherals already in existence that can backup data and even manipulate it. One such product that's already on sale apparently allows you to mess around with data, with one example being to boost the level of a Super Smash Bros. fighter.
Now there's 'amiiqo', which seems somewhat dodgier in its intention. On the one hand it allows you to use a base with an Android phone (a usb option is also promised) to backup your amiibo data, allowing for multiple figures to be stored on the device. Based on the literature around it - which we won't link to here - that seems rather like the R4 excuse; the device actually goes much further in that it functions as an amiibo toy with compatible games.
In other words, you can upload data to the disc and scan it into a game like a normal amiibo figure. There's little attempt to hide the fact that this allows players to download data online and effectively use that amiibo with the device; therefore downloading data for figures that may not be owned be the user. There may be a pretence of pretending amiiqo isn't a glorified amiibo piracy device, but as it comes equipped with ten amiibo pre-loaded it's clear what it's all about.
We suspect there's little Nintendo can do about this due to the simplicity of NFC technology; software updates to supported games may be an option. In any case, a large part of the appeal with amiibo is in their desirability as figures and collectibles, and this particular device is nowhere near any major retailers. While some well-known retailers do stock unofficial devices that do operate as backup options by scanning amiibo, this one has no such major listings.
It will surely remain a very niche market and device, though no doubt Nintendo will monitor it closely.
Thanks to Ryan Millar for the heads up.