I tend to agree with the proponents of technology free bedrooms. But this Chumby thing looks really neat, and the most useful place for me to have one would be the bedroom, since I have a laptop in the living room along with a handful of gaming consoles.
I really just want this thing for wantings’ sake, but it would be an excellent gift for someone who isn’t all that tech savvy. Imagine a digital picture frame that you could send little e-cards and messages to. The downside is that the perfect recipient of the Chumby as a gift would most likely not have a computer, or be very computer illiterate and unlikely to check email regularly. Which would also mean that they likely wouldn’t have a wifi network in place. Which kills the usefullness of the Chumby.
So it’s a bit of a niche piece of hardware. Not as useful as a small laptop, but infinitely better than many single use piece of hardware such as a digital photo frame or an internet radio player like the Grace Digital box.
I’ve got a few questions as to its usability. First, can it use services like Orb or TVersity to stream my personal music collection? Second, how does it go about displaying Flickr photos, does it just use a persons RSS feed, missing anything marked private, or does it log into the service and actually display private/friends/family marked images?
If I do get one or figure out answers to these questions through a forum or faq I’ll be sure to post up.
*update – The Flickr widget for the Chumby does allow you to “approve” the chumby via Flickr and allow it to display personal photos. Unfortunately some people are reporting that the Flickr widget also tends to freeze up. Nothing so far on whether it works with tversity and/or orb