Posted by: Garrick | July 13, 2007

First 50 Chumby Beta test.



Yes, I know, its dorky, its geeky, its almost as bad as having a digi-pet, but i want it.

And yes, I have signed up for the Beta. And no, I don’t expect to be picked for it.

Heres the details:

What is a chumby?

The chumby is a compact device that displays useful and entertaining information from the web: news, photos, music, celebrity gossip, weather, box scores, blogs — using your wireless internet connection. Always on, it shows — nonstop — what’s online that matters to you.

Why would I want one?

It’s just pure 24/7 gratification to be able to have the Internet on tap. Sure, you can get the same information on your computer, but why be stuck behind a keyboard to enjoy your internet addictions?

Where would I use one?

Whether a chumby’s on your nightstand, bathroom counter, or coffee table or in the kitchen or a dorm, it keeps you connected to your “Internet life” all the time! You just need a power outlet and wi-fi coverage. Replace your old clock radio (the chumby blows it away) and wake up to the exact time (set from the internet) and your favorite music. Or put it in the living room and keep tabs on your Web world while you’re just hanging out.

How does it work?

Plug it in, connect to your wireless network, and use your computer to choose a playlist of “widgets” (the bite-sized applications that run on a chumby). And if, say, you want to see news, the surf report, and traffic in the morning, and scores, panda cams, and animations at night, you can group widgets in “channels.” Watch constantly updated info, or use interactive widgets that take advantage of its touchscreen or motion sensor. You can share widgets and messages with other people’s chumbys.

What does it cost?

Under $200 and zero monthly fee.

How big is it?

Here’s the prototype chumby next to a coffee mug. The final version will be just a little slimmer. Sample chumby


Are you a programmer or artist, or do you just like style? The chumby is “open” for tinkering in every way: hardware and software specifications are available online, plus the pattern for crafting new cases. Adding a little bling (charms, rhinestones, pins, monogramming) is always appropriate.

Features: 3.5″ LCD color touchscreen • two external USB 2.0 full-speed ports • 350 MHz ARM controller • 64 MB SDRAM • 64 MB NAND flash ROM • stereo 2W speakers • headphone output • squeeze sensor • accelerometer (motion sensor) • wi-fi connectivity • integrated microphone



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