Our “alpha prototype” Chumby arrived yesterday. Plugged it in, turned it on, went through a brief configuration and now we’ve got both a souped-up wifi-enabled digital clock, and a physical object on which to do some interesting widget development using content from The Old Farmer’s Almanac.
The Chumby joins our Nabaztag rabbit in our stable of “smart networked objects,” a class of things that I’m finding particularly interesting of late: I like the idea of “using the Internet without a computer” and I like the idea of “ephemeral” or “accidental” information flow as opposed to “directed information gathering” (like “search Google for information about Keith Richards”).
Stay tuned. (Can a Plazes widget be too far in our future?) Meanwhile, here’s my favourite exchange from the Chumby Forums so far:
User: If we hack or Mod do we still get a warranty.and a repair if it brakes
Chumby: No. We obviously can’t finance an industry of folks mangling their chumbys, because, well, that would be insane.