Friday, January 25, 2008

Fun With Chumby

For Christmas I was very fortunate to receive a Chumby as a gift (my dad's pretty hip). Not too many people have heard of the things, and many of my officemates were confused (perhaps a little disturbed) when I brought it in to the office and placed it on my desk.

The Basics
Chumby describes their device as a "personal Internet player." It essentially plays a host of widgets, including twitter, weather, stock updates, simple games, and Flickr feeds. How does it work?

  • Connects to any available WiFi network (don't worry, you can enter passwords for locked-down networks).
  • Touchscreen controls let you interact with many widgets, including scrolling to read.
  • Connects to an ipod via USB to play music (very cool). It'll recharge your ipod while it's at it.
  • Motion sensors let you move/shake the thing to control some widgets, especially games.
  • Streams videos from YouTube, pictures from Flickr, and anything with an RSS feed.
  • Widgets are managed from chumby's website.

The Usefulness

It's not useful, in the sense that it doesn't solve any problems. I like having it for the "what the hell is that?" reactions from coworkers. But also because it streams headlines without taking up valuable monitor space. I especially like the stock tickers, since that's important info for me personally, and I don't have to go anywhere to keep checking current prices.

There's a community around the things, apparently. But since I don't really know anyone else who has a chumby, it's hard to gauge how useful it is. So if you get one, let me know and we can be "chums" (my chumby is tonyleachsf, of course).

Other reviews:

1 comment:

Dad said...

The Chumby is the least I could do since you introduced me to both Tivo and Slingbox...