Archive for June, 2007

The chumby’s new user-interface

June 24, 2007

In addition to touching its screen, you squeeze a chumby to interact with it. Squeezing the chumby pauses the widget that you’re looking at and pulls up a “control panel” that lets you do things.  When you press, “Hide Control Panel,” it goes away and takes you back to your widgets.  Here’s what it looks like:

chumby Control Panel

We’ll let you guess what everything does — hopefully pretty obvious :^)


Chumby at FOO Camp: One Year Later

June 24, 2007

About 10 months ago at Tim O’Reilly’s “FOO Camp,” we gave away a bunch of prototypes of a new device we were working on, called “the chumby.” We were delighted with the reception we got, and knew we were doing something that a lot of people were going to love. Something that let people have all of their important bits of the Internet available at a glance: essentially their always-on “Internet highlight reel.” Accessible in a super-easy way, with a style that would fit wherever they wanted to put it, and very affordable.

We’re back at FOO Camp again this year, showing off the progress we’ve made. The people who loved the chumby last year, were even more impressed this year.

You can follow along at home:

Chumby launch plans and product features

June 24, 2007

Many of you are waiting to hear more from us about our launch plans. This is still not completely final, and this is still subject to change, but here goes.

Following what is now about 10 months of giving away alpha-prototype chumbys while we have been doing a complete rework of the chumby, we are going to begin a small “Beta launch” of the chumby in July. So, yes, real people (but only a few) will be able to order real chumbys in a few weeks — not too much past when we thought we’d be able to sell them (“early Summer”). And we are going to expand distribution of chumbys later this summer to more of you, so watch your email.

We expect that the pricing for a chumby will be $179.95, fully-delivered, no fees or extra subscriptions. We debated a lot of different pricing models over the past few months, such as a slightly lower price but then requiring an annual subscription fee, or breaking out shipping and handling separately. But we decided that what most people would probably want — because this is what they told us they wanted and is, frankly, what we would want if we were buying them — is one simple all-in price right to their door with no additional fees or anything. We all have too many subscriptions already, who needs another one?, or a little extra unpleasant surprise when it comes time to total up the shipping charges. So we decided to keep things simple and straightforward.

Special limited edition chumby styles will cost a little more, and we’ll also be selling Chumby charms and accessories (more news on this soon).

We’re shipping chumbys a little later than we initially planned because we decided that the ability to have video running on chumby would be amazing. So we waited to launch with the brand-new Adobe Flash Lite 3 software, the program that plays Chumby widgets. This is a really big step forward and we’re thrilled to be one of the very first products, if not the very first, on the market powered by FL3. Trust us, it’s worth the wait.

If you have one of our early prototypes we think you’ll be pretty amazed at how far chumby has come in about 10 months. Much better “fit and finish,” dramatically enhanced user interface and functionality, and great new audio and video capabilities.

Stay tuned.

“Virtual chumby” on Facebook

June 5, 2007

We’ve had “virtual chumbys” available for awhile, but we recently launched a “virtual chumby” application on the new Facebook platform, which is very exciting.  If you have a Facebook account, log in, and go the “virtual chumby” application page and add it to your profile.  If you don’t already have a Facebook account, why don’t you?  If you don’t already have a Chumby account (again, why don’t you?), you can create one and then build a widget channel for your virtual chumby on Facebook.  When your friends visit your Facebook page, they’ll see what’s on your chumby …or at least they virtually will.

Note: we recognize that this isn’t as good as it should be yet, and we’ll be improving this application over time, so it will only get better :^)