Chumby on Wednesday announced the release of the Chumby 8, the latest version of the uber popular Internet appliance. The Chumby 8 launches on April 5 and is available via pre-order now for $200. It comes with a sleeker design, 8-inch LCD touchscreen, over 1,500 apps, and a handful of enhanced features. More specs after the break.
If you've always wanted a Chumby but couldn't get past it's $200 price tag (it's actually been slashed to $150, while the Chumby One goes for $120), perhaps the new Internet Clock Radio from Altaz is more your speed. With a street price of around $90 shipped, it's cheaper than a Chumby.
Altaz equipped its device with a 3.5-inch touchscreen with a 320 x 240 resolution. Internet radio is obviously part of the mix, as well as the ability to play MP3s, scroll through JPEG photos, and play MPEG videos. Other features include built-in 802.11g Wi-Fi, 128MB of internal memory, an SD card reader, and a 5v mini-USB connector.
If you like the Chumby, you’ll dig Best Buy’s take on the Internet appliance. The Infocast runs the Chumby operating system, but it has a much larger touch screen, a faster CPU, a memory card reader, and 2GB of internal memory.
The original Chumby—a beanbag with a touch screen, a speaker, and an always-on Internet connection using Wi-Fi—was an interesting hybrid of an always-on smartphone, a digital picture frame, and an old-fashioned alarm clock. The new Chumby One updates the original hardware with a few new features, strips away a few others, and comes in at a much cheaper price of $120 (the original was $200).
For lack of a better term, the Chumby is an information appliance. Using the web interface at Chumby.com, you can configure the device to show pretty much any info that’s available on the Internet, from the local weather to your Facebook news feed to the latest from popular gossip sites. Heck, you can even set it to simply show the current time. On top of that, the Chumby One includes a programmable alarm clock, which makes it perfect for your nightstand.
Sony has announced yet another product at CES. This one is a bit of a head-scratcher for us, though. The Dash Internet Viewer is a sort of touchscreen widget station. Think Chumby, but with a larger (and frankly, beautiful) 7 inch screen and sleeker design. As it turns out, that’s exactly what it is; the Dash runs the Chumby OS.
Sony is pushing the app angle hard, because well, isn’t everyone? The Chumby OS already has over 1000 apps available, and Sony will be making some new ones of its own. The Dash will have Wi-Fi so you can use it to pull down data for those data-hungry apps. There is no internal battery, so don’t confuse this with a tablet device as some already have. Is this something you need? If so, the Dash will be shipping in April for $199.
The newly released Chumby One arrived in the mail today, and we couldn't wait to see how it compared to the original digital connected companion device. The Chumby, in case you haven't heard of it, is a multi-function gadget that can serve as an alarm clock, RSS reader, gaming device, or music player. It connects to the internet with Wi-Fi, and runs user-created widgets to do cool things like read your Gmail or send you Twitter updates. You interact with it through a 3.5 inch resistive touchscreen, but it also has an accelerometer inside, since it's made to be held and encourages user interaction.
We liked the first Chumby an awful lot, and the One doesn't look like it's meant to be a successor or replacement for that. In fact, we're not sure not exactly sure how the Chumby One is being positioned in the marketplace. One the one hand, it's a budget model, sacrificing the original's squishy appeal for a significant price cut.
On the other hand, it also adds new functionality that makes it a better device than the Chumby Classic.
Remember Chumby, the squishy Internet appliance with a 3.5-inch touchscreen display and WiFi connectivity? Basically a glorified alarm clock, Chumby could also stream news feeds. stock quotes, photos, weather info, and whatever else could be imagined through widgets.
Well, Chumby's back, this time without the squishy exterior and renamed the 'One.' The new model puts a bigger focus on radio features with Pandora support and the ability to access other internet radio stations. And like the original, you can install widgets, of which there are about 1,500 to choose from. The One touts a faster processor, bumping up from 350MHz to 454MHz, but otherwise the specs look to be the same.
Look for the One to retail for about $100 in a month or so.
At first, I just didn't get it--the Chumby, that is. This little LCD display wrapped in a hug of padding looked like a bizarre cross between my car's antiquated GPS device, the throw-up of an OSX dashboard, and a big plushy hunk of love. To its genius, that's exactly what the Chumby is... and so much more. And did I mention that it's open-source as well?
Contrary to most of the open-source hardware projects I've mentioned on Maximum PC, the Chumby is ready for your attention the moment you pop it out of the box. But that doesn't mean that you can't tweak and tinker beyond its simplistic exterior. Although cracking open the soft, loveable digital toy will violate your warranty, the official Chumby site is more than happy to give you a listing of the device's full hardware--schematics as well. From there, only your conscience toward ripping open friendly, plush, communication devices stands in your way of complete hardware transcendence.
If hardware hacking isn't your thing, however, the second best part of the Chumby is the comprehensive list of software widgets that you can display and interact with on the device. To find these, you can go the official route and download apps directly off of Chumby's main site or you can scour the internet for custom, USB-deployable software to stick into your device.
Just what do these tweaks entail? Click the jump and find out--featuring examples you can play with too!
Everyone's heard of Linux, right? We wouldn't be wrong in suggesting that Linux is the most well-known representation of the open-source platform. Or, at least, we're willing to bet that it's going to be on the tip of your friend's tongue the next time you sit down at bar, order up a drink, and ask, "What's an example of Open Source?"
But we think you'd spit out your drink if your friend answered "Chumby," or "RepRap." You might even try calling out your buddy because you think he's just feeding you jibber-jabber to sound smart. Well, you'd be wrong to do so. These are indeed open-source creations, but you aren't going to find these projects no matter how much you scour SourceForge. That's because they're examples of open-source hardware, not software. That's right. The concept of throwing back the curtain and revealing all the working pieces of a particular item for you to modify at your leisure isn't an act that's constrained to bits and bytes.
Click the jump, and we'll show you the Open Source hardware projects you can make right now!