Sony have raised a few eyebrows by announcing their own tablet at CES 2010, though they're describing it as a "personal internet viewer". The Sony dash has a 7-inch touchscreen, integrated stereo speakers and support for the 1,000+ of chumby applications already available online. That means things like internet radio streaming, webcam viewing and basic games.
After iFixit released the photoset of their Chumby One teardown, we knew the compact WiFi widget device had the potential - via circuit-board connections - for composite video output; now some enterprising modders have taken advantage of it. The mod requires soldering an RCA extender cable to the appropriate places on the mainboard, and slightly modifying the Chumby's firmware.
One day we'll stop posting Chumby case-mods, but nothing cheers up a cold Sunday like a touchscreen penguin. Modder Ankorite took one of the Chumby guts kits from the MAKE store and squeezed it into a penguin Christmas toy, producing a battery-powered widget and internet radio Tux.
Let this be a lesson, gadgets: no matter how cute you are, you'll still get the teardown treatment. Notorious screwdriver-wielders iFixit have coaxed their latest device in front of the camera, and it's the Chumby One touchscreen WiFi radio/alarm clock/widget display. The components themselves aren't too much of a mystery - after all, the Chumby team encourage such acts of hackery and modification - but there are still a few surprises lurking inside.
Since you can now pick up a set of chumby guts without bothering with the standard casing, the real fun for the platform is in fashioning a unique housing for the internet-connected widget display. That can be as basic as the cardboard box the components come with, or you can go the route of one particular Etsy seller and put together a somewhat Steampunk-esque retro enclosure.
Called the Chumbophone, as far as we can tell the various brass horns, controls and other appendages are all decorative rather than functional. The only real controls are the power button, the front panel key and the chumby's 3.5-inch 320 x 240 touchscreen, which is still enough to browse various web widgets, control music - either streaming or local - and do everything else that makes chumby so appealing.
The original Chumby was a curious, beanbag-esque blob of WiFi connectedness and difficult-to-explain purpose; the new Chumby One, meanwhile, strips away the squishy exterior and drops the price. Currently up for preorder at $99.95, one of the first Chumby One units has dropped onto the desk of jkOnTheRun's Kevin C. Tofel.
The original chumby - a hacky sack with a WiFi-enabled touchscreen widget engine stuffed inside - perhaps confused more people than it converted, but the company isn't giving up. Details on the chumby one have emerged, keeping the 3-inch 320 x 240 display but boosting the processor to a 454MHz chip and packing all that into a hard-shelled plastic casing. There's also a built-in FM radio along with stereo speakers.
chumby's widget catalog now amounts to over 1,500 apps, including social networking integration, news and weather apps, Pandora and other streaming radio receivers and more.
So, the Chumby came out awhile ago. It's this little box-like device that pulls information off the internet, like weather, news, and sports updates, and then displays them in Flash format in real-time. It was a pretty original idea, and while it may not have been the sharpest looking thing on the block, its functionality was close to making it worth it. Especially if you don't like alarm clocks, and can't afford the alternative. But, apparently the hardware wasn't the top of the pick for many, and so Chumby is moving over onto the software front, hoping to make a name for itself.
Chumby and Broadcom have announced a collaborative effort to put the formers widget platform on internet-connected TVs, using Broadcom-based set-top boxes, DTVs and Blu-ray players. There are currently in excess of 1,000 widgets available for the Chumby, a compact touchscreen WiFi device, and these will now be accessible along the bottom of big-screens too.
Current owners of the cute-looking Chumby device will be glad to hear new features are on the way. In fact, the multimedia device will soon be equipped with additional music-listening features.
This clock radio that can connect to the Internet and is wrapped in leather will let you connect to radio stations you create by using the Pandora service. Plus, you can stream music videos by means of the Avot Media's tool. Additional features include music news from the likes of UsMagazine.com and RollingStone.com.