Archive for March 22nd, 2011

chumby’s New Big Brother, the chumby8

March 22, 2011

I want to announce that today we are accepting orders for the latest chumby device, the chumby8. The chumby8 builds on the legacy of the chumby classic and the chumby one, bringing the chumby experience to our largest device yet. While chumby fans have loved the first two iterations, there was a lot of interest in a bigger device, especially with the release of the Sony Dash and the Insignia Infocast last year.

Both the Dash and the Infocast are great first cousins to the original chumby devices and while we are fans of both, we felt it important to give our customers a product that was truly a chumby and brought together the things that people expect from our products. In addition to launching a larger product, we are debuting a number of new features on the chumby8 which will be rolled out to all chumby products. Let me elaborate.

For those of you who want to cut to the chase, you can get all the specifics of the new chumby here. Beyond the technical details I want to hit a couple of the high points. First, like it’s predecessors, the chumby8 is open and hackable. We are committed to letting developers hack both the software and hardware to do fun things like people have done with the older devices.  We can’t wait to see what people come up with this time around..

Aside from the technical specs, perhaps the most impressive aspect to the chumby8 is its industrial design. The chumby8 is in the mold of a digital photo frame with a certain Scandinavian-inspired design which consistently excites people when they see it live. The screen is over twice the size of our previous devices and does a great job of showing off the new UI and screen layouts. And it has a unique, rubberized paint finish that has to be felt to appreciated.

So, essentially, the chumby8 is bigger and badder than its predecessors. In addition it has a completely re-worked user interface and experience that builds on lessons learned. One of the biggest new pieces on this chumby is the addition of a browser. There are a number of applications like Twitter, Reddit and Hacker News that really need a browser to complete the experience. Today you would have to fire up your laptop or tablet and find a referenced link but with the new chumby, you can just click on the article and launch a browser. We think this really completes the user experience and we plan to refine the experience over time. Also, as a big shoutout to our current customers, we will be rolling out a browser to the chumby one and we are working on getting browsers on the cousin devices.

TO THE DEVELOPER COMMUNITY — In addition to the dedicated devices, we’re been working to expand the chumby platform to tablets and televisions. In order to do that we have to work with Flash 10.x on tablets, Stagecraft 1.x on televisions as well as Flash Lite 3 on dedicated devices. With the chumby8, we will be rolling out Flash Lite 4, as an OTA upgrade sometime post launch. We have a version that will soon be available as a developer firmware upgrade in order to test applications , but we are addressing a few final issues that will require us to do the upgrade post launch. We didn’t want to delay the product any longer as this does not affect the overall consumer experience. The great thing about Flash Lite 4 is that it enables the development of applications using Action Script 3. We think this is long overdue for our developers and are excited to get it into their hands as soon as possible.

Please let us know what you think and send us your comments and feedback.