Fifty of you who have applied have now received emails from Chumby Industries indicating that you have been chosen to participate in our “First 50” program — enabling you to be one of the very first people to experience a real chumby. We hope you’ll participate and we can’t wait to hear what you think about your Chumby experience. This “First 50” program will be brief but is very important to us — these are the very first “prime time” chumbys that we think are ready to be in the hands of people other than developers or ourselves (and a big improvement over our alpha chumbys). We want to make sure that the end-to-end Chumby experience is high-quality, easy, and hopefully even delightful: the packaging, the brief documentation, the extra goodies, and the process of turning your chumby on and connecting it to your network and creating and viewing Chumby widget channels, and the widgets themselves. We can’t wait to hear what you think. Your observations and comments will help make Chumby better for everyone as we continue to roll-out later this Summer.
Archive for July, 2007
One feature we haven’t discussed much about the chumby yet is its ability to play through its speakers an audio source connected to one of its two USB ports. I was just listening to my iPod(TM) plugged into the back of my chumby — makes a neat little boombox. And the chumby powers my iPod(TM) while it’s plugged in. Not sure we’ll be able to support MP3 players other than the iPod(TM) right away, but we’re working on other audio sources.
Hopefully this and my previous post today provide a sense of where we’re headed with the chumby — an inexpensive device that you can make into whatever you want it to be, and that takes a bunch of the services that you can find in a range of other products like digital picture frames, weather stations, internet radios and delivers them all in a neat little package controlled by a really simple web-based interface. Just plug it in, create a widget channel for it at www.chumby.com, and you’re in business.
And naturally it’s squishy.
As I type this I am watching lengthy anime features, from a widget created by our friends at Anime Kiosk, on my chumby. Assuming you like anime, it is really cool and demonstrates that the chumby isn’t really a “widget appliance” or a “cuddly bedside computer” (all other people’s terms, by the way, and not ones we particularly like), it is an inexpensive internet television, or IPTV. Streaming Flash video on a small and “lifestyle-friendly” device (i.e., not a full-blown PC) is really amazing. At least I’m enjoying it :^)
Now if you don’t happen to like anime, don’t worry. Lots more streaming video widgets will be coming soon to a chumby near you. So get a teeny, tiny, cuddly bag of popcorn and stand by.