I bought a Chumby a number of months ago. According to their site, Chumby is:
“…a compact device that connects via a wireless internet connection
and gives people a fun, hassle-free way to enjoy what they want most
out of the Internet, always on and simply at a glance.
Chumby Industries also runs the Chumby® Network, a rapidly expanding
open pipeline of user created and commercial widget applications for
chumby owners to enjoy and share with each other. Chumby Industries
works with leading media partners, including CBS, MTV Networks,
MySpace, The Weather Channel, AOL and Scripps Networks and other top
consumer brands to provide unique content for the Chumby Network.
The Chumby Network constantly broadcasts to chumby devices…offering the latest news, weather and entertainment as well as the
ability to share photos, widgets, e-cards and more with family and
It’s a great idea in concept: Chumby’s homepage is it’d be great to have a ‘mini digital billboard’ device that showed my pictures, the weather, the news and was an alarm clock. Chumby is pretty good, but there are some aspects that have prevented me from more fully using it:
- For instance, the music directory is confusing. They have a few different listening options from their own listings to Shoutcast to podcasts, which makes things confusing.
- Additionally, I’d like to have the alarm clock wake me to the radio, but I still haven’t figured out how to do this.
- Since it doesn’t run on a battery, I am leery of using it as my main alarm clock
- There’s no local storage so I’d have to either upload all of my photos to Facebook or put them on a USB drive and attach it to the device.
I like how they have an open system to allow developers to write widgets for it but I think the interface and software aren’t quite there yet. If I were to put it in another room in the flat other than my bedrom, I’d probably use other features more like the video widgets for youtube and cbs clips. Right now Chumby is the swiss army knife of gadgets – it’s internet radio appliance, alarm clock, digital picture frame (and more) but it doesn’t do any of them particularly well. But they’re not far off.