After much anticipation, my Chumby arrived today and I am completely addicted. If you haven’t heard of Chumby yet, it is “a compact device that connects via a wireless internet connection and gives people a fun, hassle-free way to enjoy what they want most out of the Internet, always on and simply at a glance.” The thing is one of the coolest pieces of technology I have seen in awhile and I really think it rivals the iPhone as the biggest tech launch of last year. The only issue is that the Chumby was released by a small start-up in San Diego instead of Apple so the build in buzz isn’t there.
The open platform of Chumby is what makes it truly amazing. Anyone can create a widget and instantly become part of the Chumby community. Already you can view your Facebook photos, check your Gmail, see the latest sports scores on CBS or wake-up to your local weather report. Like all open source programs, the Chumby only stands to get better when more people discover it and start adding to the applications. I am really curious to see how brands find a place to leverage Chumby. So far, the only companies that have created widgets are your content or media ones like CBS, New York Times, Google News and even CollegeHumor.com. The opportunities are endless though, just like widgets on Facebook or blogs. A smart and nimble financial company could easily create a way for you to track your accounts (listen up Mint.com) or a travel company could broadcast the latest deals. Really the opportunities are endless for brands that think smart.