This morning I walked into the office of our VP of Operations. His chumby was on his desk, right next to his computer, and he had his iPod plugged into it. His chumby, through its speakers, was playing soft background music from his iPod and, simultaneously, streaming to him pictures of his family from his flickr photo feed widget. That’s it. That’s how he had configured his chumby and, because he couldn’t/wouldn’t really do that combination of things with his PC (he was doing email on that) or his cellphone (tucked in his backpack), it was a perfect example of what the chumby’s really good for. Just a pleasant and very personal value-add to his existing work environment.
I walked down the hall and our VP of Business Development was playing a new game on his chumby where, holding the chumby’s screen upright and using the embedded motion sensor, you try to roll a virtual ball along a virtual track without it plunging into deep space (and I’m thinking that he really needs to get back to work). I’m sure there are much better games on a handheld game machine, though not sure there are better games on a cellphone. He’s not the type who’s going to whip out a Nintendo DS at work — so, for him, his office chumby is a little “time out” device, just for a break.
I have my chumby in my kitchen (okay, I have one on my bedside table and one next to my PC too, but I’m probably not “normal” and chumbys are essentially free for me as CEO — I won’t rub it in, it’s a job perk and I deserve it.) This morning, when I got up and was making coffee, just hanging around, waiting for the drips to start, of course I started looking at the chumby on the windowsill over the kitchen sink. Read a few hilarious Chuck Norris “facts,” that he sleeps not with a gun under his pillow, but rather with a pillow under his gun, got the weather (okay, duh, it’s San Diego, and it’s going to be nice — but at least it’s nice to see that the forecast isn’t for “smoke” any more), received a “chow down” flashcan ecard that my daughter sent me (I love hearing the pig burp), and saw the panda in the zoo (from the PandaCam widget) chewing on bamboo. All was good in the world. And now I had a funny Chuck Norris line to make my son laugh when he walked into the kitchen for breakfast. This would not have happened with a PC or an iPhone or a digital picture frame or anything else. It could only happen, for now anyway, on a chumby.
Our Insider’s Release is going well: many of you who have sent us your email addresses (http://www.chumby.com/store/index) are hearing from us letting you know that you can now purchase a chumby out of limited early release. The list is getting pretty long, but we’re doing our best to get back to everyone as quickly as we can.
For those of you who have a chumby, let us know how you’re using it. If you’re a blogger, blog about it too (many of you already are). Where did you put it, how is it integrating into your life, what do you enjoy watching on it or doing with it, what would you like chumby to do that it currently doesn’t do?…yet. Remember, the chumby’s open for further improvement and we’ll be pushing significant new functionality to everyone’s chumby over-the-air as we go — so let us know what you want chumby to do and that will help us make it even better for you over time.