Chumby launches to the public today

February 25, 2008

Some of you have been following Chumby Industries from the beginning or perhaps you may have already bought a chumby during our Insiders Release program. But for the rest of the you, this is news — because this is the day we’ve all been waiting for, the day that Chumby launches publicly and that chumbys go on-sale to the general public.

What’s especially exciting about today is that we think we’ve introduced a brand-new product development model into the consumer electronics industry. Our approach has been to put ever-more-developed real chumby devices into the hands of a network of people at every step of the way — people who could help us define, develop, and improve our product. In their very crudest prototypical form, we gave chumbys away to “alpha-geeks” and hackers. Later, we gave some away to developers, creative types, Flash programmers, and simply anyone who had a compelling notion that we liked. Last Summer, curious to see how the world beyond our early-adopter, technical friends would respond, we gave “real” chumbys to “normal” people. Then, last September, mostly because of the urging of many in the community who wanted to get their hands on a real chumby even if the software wasn’t completely finished, we finally took the plunge and submitted ourselves to the ultimate test, we sold chumbys in pre-release form to whoever really wanted one in this state. We have tried to learn from every step of this process, not through focus groups and surveys (though we did a little of that too), but by real people using a real product and understanding how they wanted to use it and where it fit in their life.

Our early chumby-owner group has been extremely generous with their time and thoughts on our Forum — we are really grateful to you all and you know that we listen to you closely and engage with you there. Your contributions have made Chumby a lot better.

So today, after about 2 years of work, and with the accumulated insights and contributions and advice from thousands of people, we’re ready for all of you. Buy a chumby. We’re really proud of what we’ve created and we think you’ll love your chumby and what it can do for you the same way that thousands of early buyers already do. Even in a world littered with technology gadgets and gizmos, we think that the chumby is something special. Chumby is your favorite parts of the internet, always-on and at a glance or just by listening — no going to your PC and browsing and searching, it comes right to you. You can literally wake up to your internet life. You can stay tuned-into what matters to you on the internet all day long. Your chumby makes sense as an alarm clock, as an internet and podcast radio, as an IPTV, as a way to view and share digital photos using the top photo-sharing services — or as something different and special. One Chumbian keeps her chumby tuned to the Panda-Cam in the San Diego Zoo all day long for 24-hour “PandaVision.” Your chumby goes on your nightstand, next to your PC at your home office or at work, in the kitchen, in the living room. One of our investors admits to having his in the bathroom — not a bad place to catch up on the latest news, gossip and blogs while you have some downtime.

The other big news today is about our major content and promotional partners. CBS has developed some great content with us: videoclips of the highlights of the David Letterman show each night, sports highlight videos, video news clips — it’s a long list and is growing fast. MTV Networks has created some really compelling and creative widgets for Chumby — MTV and VH1 News, extreme pulchritude from Spike, a delightfully annoying (what else would it be?) SpongeBob widget that we’ll be releasing soon, and, again, much more to come. The Weather Channel provides Chumby with the ultimate weather geek’s weather-widget: detailed weather stats, forecast, and radar images. Our MySpace widget allows you to have complete awareness and near total control of your MySpace life simply at a glance and a finger-tap. Scripps brings us the Food Network Recipe of the Day widget — because you have to eat. But while you’re making dinner or, in my case, washing dishes, you can enjoy thousands of streaming Internet radio stations and podcasts from all over the world through your chumby via SHOUTcast’s and MediaFly’s directories. Stay tuned for many more streaming music services coming to your chumby soon — don’t worry, you won’t have to do anything, they’ll just magically show up.

And that’s the really big story. And why this is a new day for consumer electronics. When you buy your chumby, it just keeps getting better. As we and the broad Chumby developer community figure out more ways to add capabilities to your chumby, we’ll push them directly to your chumby, automatically, over-the-air, and for free. For example our pre-release chumby buyers had no idea that we would, with an update automatically downloaded over-the-air, turn their chumbys into streaming Internet radios — it just happened one morning. Lots more coming your way — did you notice that the chumby has a microphone? ;^) — and we work hard every day to make your chumby better. Not the next chumby you will buy, the chumby you already have!

And with your chumby you get, for FREE (because sponsors foot the bill), the ever-growing Chumby Network of content from our media partners, from the top internet destinations, and from a vast community of creative minds — literally growing daily and ready to be shared among your own community of “chums.” Go here and check out some of the great content that is already available, send an e-card to someone’s chumby (use “chow-down” and hear the pig burp), check out what your chumby can do, or just create an account and make a “virtual chumby” to feel part of the Chumby experience and post it on your blog page. Most of all, have fun. We don’t take ourselves very seriously around here. I mean the CEO is a 2-eyed cartoon ham and we’ve embedded your personal internet in an Italian leather bag, sent it to you wrapped in linen, and even tossed in a little free bling. So, go ahead, wake up to your internet life.

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22 Responses to “Chumby launches to the public today”


  1. [...] post by chumby Explore posts in the same categories: Music [...]

  2. Angela Says:

    Congratulations! It’s been a long road and you’ve all done a great job! A pat on the back to all the Chumbians :-)


  3. [...] The HD Blog wrote an interesting post today on Chumby launches to the public todayHere’s a quick excerpt Some of you have been following Chumby Industries from the beginning or perhaps you may have already bought a chumby during our Insiders Release program.  But for the rest of the you, this is news — because this is the day we’ve all been waiting for, the day that Chumby launches publicly and that chumbys go on-sale to the general public.What’s especially exciting, for us anyway, about today is that we think we’ve introduced a brand-new product development model into the consumer electronics in [...]


  4. [...] Felicidades a todo el equipo de Chumby Industries!! [...]

  5. Binks Says:

    Man, my prediction was pretty close…

    “I imagine it’s some sort of software update that adds a neat feature, a corporate buy out/merger/partnership, or they’re announcing availability in another country. ”

    Firmware updates and corporate partnerships (with MTV, CBS, etc.). I just didn’t realize that it wasn’t available for sale in the US officially; I thought for some reason it was already broadly available there.

  6. John Says:

    Congratulations!

    p.s. Sounds a great place to work.

  7. Blue Lander Says:

    I guess Canada is not public yet. Boo hoo…

  8. scott Says:

    I just want to add my voice to the (growing) crowd of those outside the US.

    As an Australian (albeit one now living in England, but possibly moving to the UAE for work), it is very disappointing not to be able to order this outside the US.

    Please set up some form of international ordering system when you can. I understand that there can be some difficulties (I read the information on the forum) and extra costs; but at least bring it to the EU where you only need one entry point and to comply with one regulatory regime in order to reach 100s of millions (yes, I am being selfish in requesting EU, I realise this).

  9. linuxlibrarian Says:

    Congrats guys. Have had my latte friend since early October and love it. Neat concept, good delivery, and you guys really are a class act about responding to inquiries and going the extra mile for the customer.

  10. Larni Says:

    “But for the rest of the you … this is the day we’ve all been waiting for … sale to the general public.”

    I guess you should have added: “in US”.

    For the 3rd time, for a few seconds my hopes were up again. Waited more than a year and still no product in sight for europe?

    There will be no more waiting on my part. Gongrats – wish you luck!

  11. Dan Lane Says:

    Like others outside the US, I’m getting pretty fed up waiting to be able to order. I’ve been eagerly waiting since I saw friends of mine bring back the alpha units from FOO Camp :(

  12. Ian Says:

    Don’t make us buy the knock offs… let us Canadians and the rest of the world embrace the tech.

  13. born4trance Says:

    Just a big/deep SIGH… (living in EU).

    (puts himself in sleep-mode…again)

    :-(

  14. Andrew Says:

    Please notify me when available in Canada. thanks

  15. eshock Says:

    kind of disappointed in the chumby and my user experience with your company. great-looking team on paper, but poor use of social media and terrible communication. i’m glad the cuteness factor works for most, but its just not that usable. the touchscreen is quite unresponsive. i guess i’m appalled that i got zero response from the company and that i deserved many free chumbys in alpha. always time to repair a relationship i guess, but, i’m not waiting by the phone.


  16. Just ordered my Chumby! Thanks for all your hard work in going from concept, to testing, and now into production. Some people “get” what the Chumby is all about and others totally miss it. I’ve been following the Chumby for awhile and absolutely love the concept. The fact that nearly all of the software and hardware is open makes me feel even better about supporting Chumby Industries.

    I’m glad the service is always going to be free and look forward to checking out new widgets as they are released. I really hope the sponsors don’t start embedding obtrusive advertising into the widgets, if this becomes the case, I would certainly be willing to pay an optional (and hopefully nominal) subscription fee to remove them.

    I’ll hopefully post a review and some photos/videos to my blog in the upcoming weeks.

  17. Daniele Says:

    Congratulations to all Chumbians!

    …but what a disappointment that you are not yet ready to ship outside the US!

    WE WANT CHUMBY IN EUROPE! Please make it possible soon!

  18. Samusz Says:

    I’d love to get one as well !

    I’m in France : what compatibility problems to expect ? How long will we have to wait to “embrace” the tech ? Please notify me when available for sales, even if not translated (e.g for the UK). Thks


  19. Yes. I want Chumby too! Please hurry up the paperwork!

  20. Andrey Says:

    Please get this to europe!


  21. It is nice that you took your time to write all this up; it’s great to read another’s opinion. I appreciate your work on this site, and I’ll come back for more reading.


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