Thursday, October 25, 2007

Chumby - they're still doing that?

A couple of years ago I saw a device, somewhere, somehow -- some kind of digital wifi toy called a 'Chumby.' It was essentially a very small appliance that could display a variety of Flash-based widgets via wifi. Don't know what I'm talking about? Take a look at your Vista / Google Desktop Sidebar, and imagine those widgets being displayed on an LCD screen next to your bed.

Better yet, click on the link to visit their homepage - currently they've got a "live demo" up and a picture is worth a 1,000 words.

Pretty cute! But, I was honestly surprised to find the website still up. I first heard of the Chumby about two years ago (rough guess -- can't remember) and they still haven't started selling them to the public. Even now, they've got a live demo up to entice people, but there's no ETA on a release date -- just a big orange "contact me when they're available!" button in the upper right corner.

The Chumby to me seems like an impulse buy -- another gadget to play with. I would have bought one then, if they were available, and I would have bought one just now, if they were available, but they're not, and by the time they are I probably won't, because the idea will have lost its shine. (The urge to buy one just now was much, much less than what it was when I first heard of the Chumby).

Even stranger, though, is that their website looks like they're pitching the device hard. They've got a "store," their sidebar is pitching new and updated widgets... they even have a link to activate the Chumby they're not even selling to the public yet. Kind of surreal. Is this some kind of clique-only thing?


Either way, I'm bored talking about it now. See you when I see you.

1 comment:

Garrick Anson said...

They are on sale now, just not to the general public. They have an invitation only system that they are going by for now.

It will be available to everyone once they have sent out invites to EVERYONE that had signed up in the orange square on the website.

I got my invite about 2 weeks ago, and have been hacking away at my own chumby for about 5 days now.

I have a little more info on my site.