When I was at my last company, we had a hard time in the early days explaining what we did to our potential partners at the wireless operators. We would commonly say that we were doing stuff at the intersection of mobile blogging and social networking. That would generally result in quizzical expressions and the simple statement of, “Huh?” Over time, as social networking became something that people understood, we could say things like, “It’s like Myspace.” and then people would get it.
When I told some of my friends and relatives about chumby, I would be met with the same curious look from those days long ago. Sometimes I would ask them if they heard of Dash and then they would say, “Oh, I get it, they have some of your stuff inside.” Yeah. Other times they would smile still and not really know what I was talking about. The obvious big barrier in that case is that people need to see a piece of hardware from us, or Sony or Best Buy to have that visceral moment of understanding.
Today we released a fun piece of software to help people understand what a chumby looks like without having to have the hardware. If you want to see what a Windows PC would look like as a chumby, you can look at this post here to get the details. While this is meant to be mostly fun, I think it is also a good foreshadowing of some of the things we will be releasing in the coming months that help people understand what chumby means as a software platform and not just a hardware platform.
For those hardware fans who like things like chumby being converted to a robot, please don’t fear as we have a couple of new hardware things up our sleeve as well that we hope to share with you soon.
In the meantime, if you were ever a fan of flying toasters or other novel ways to protect your PC from “screen burn in”, feel free to put the chumby screen saver on your computer and give it a try.