The Chumby

Found an interesting product that I thought I'd share with you. The Chumby is a wireless internet device about the size of a rugby ball that is always on. It shows—nonstop—what's online that matters to you. It's a small unit only 5 1/2" wide, 4 1/4" tall, 3 1/4" deep at the base, and 2 1/4" deep at the top. Here's the chumby next to a regular size coffee cup.

It has no keyboard or mouse and uses widgets (the bite-sized applications that run on a chumby) to display anything on the Internet. Features include:

  • Wi-fi connectivity
  • access to the free Chumby Network
  • 3.5" LCD color touchscreen
  • two external USB 2.0 full-speed ports
  • 350 MHz ARM processor
  • 64 MB SDRAM
  • 64 MB NAND flash ROM
  • stereo speakers
  • headphone output
  • accelerometer (motion sensor)
  • leather casing
  • AC adapter

For instance, it will show your Flickr and Facebook photos as a digital picture frame, act as an alarm clock, catch the latest news, play your music, show you constantly updated news or track an eBay auction.

Chumby is so easy to set up:

  • Plug it in
  • Connect to your wireless network
  • Use your computer to choose a playlist of widgets
  • Group widgets in "channels" if you wish to see a group of items when you want to watch them.
  • Watch constantly updated info, or use interactive widgets that take advantage of its touchscreen or motion sensor.
  • Share widgets and send e-cards to other people's chumbys.

And the really interesting thing is that it is designed to be hacked - everything from the software code to the specifications for the case are freely available at Chumby.

Cost is $179.95 and you have access to the Chumby network and widgets forever.

Next Tip: TBA