Feeds
70%
Chumby

Chumby internet-connected alarm clock

Widget-tastic bedside companion

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

Music can also be sourced directly from iPods – and only iPods - or USB sticks. DRM-free MP3, Ogg, AAC and Flac files are all supported. The alarm clock lets you wake up to any radio station or music source of your choice and those two speakers chuck out a decent enough sound even though they won't keep the audio engineers at Logitech or Pure awake at night.

Chumby

You manage Chumby's widget Channels on your PC

Curiously, you can't access image files from USB sticks, which seems a bit of an oversight to us, nor is there any support for video playback other than Flash-encoded files streamed by an on-screen widget. At the end of the day, the Chumby has to make the best out of its 350MHz ARM processor and 64MB of RAM so you can hardly expect it to be a multimedia powerhouse.

Loading widgets involves setting up an account on Chumby's website and then mating your Chumby with your account. It's all very simple and once done you can create different channels with different sets of widgets. Moving to a new channel is a simple matter of tapping New Channel in the Chumby's settings menu. If you find you have loaded a truly annoying widget, you can delete it directly from your Chumby.

The Chumby website currently hosts some 1300-odd widgets - you can find a complete list here - which range from the useful – a Gmail client, Facebook and Twitter apps – to the wholly frivolous, such as the one that simply shows a video of a dog licking the 'inside' of your screen. In between, there are a host of weather and news feeds, and widgets to let you access images from the likes of Flickr, Picasa and Photobucket. Inevitably, there are more than 200 different clocks.

The amount of functionality you get varies from widget to widget. Some also take advantage of the Chumby's built-in accelerometer, which allows you to shake it for a reaction. You can also download the Chumby source code – the OS is based on Linux - if you fancy cooking up some widgets of your own.

Chumby

More 'nightstand' than 'bedside table'

When in use, the Chumby continually cycles from one widget to the next unless you are actually doing something with it. The time a widget spends on display can be altered on an individual basis so, for instance, you can have ten minutes of your Flickr account followed by 30 seconds of Twitter, ten of the weather and 20 of the news. If that sounds like information overload, you can also pin one widget to appear continually. Any music streams continue to run in the background while the widget player does its thing.

The essential guide to IT transformation

Next page: Verdict

More from The Register

next story
Apple takes blade to 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
Shaves price, not screen on mid-2014 model
Top Gun display for your CAR: Heads-up fighter pilot tech
Sadly Navdy kit doesn't include Sidewinder missile to blast traffic
iPhone 6 flip tip slips in Aussie's clip: Apple's 'reversible USB' leaks
New plug not compatible with official Type-C, according to fresh rumors
FEAST YOUR EYES: Samsung's Galaxy Alpha has an 'entirely new appearance'
Wow, it looks like nothing else on the market, for sure
YES YES YES! Apple patents mousy, pressure-sensing iVibrator
Fanbois prepare to experience the great Cupertin-O
TV transport tech, part 1: From server to sofa at the touch of a button
You won't believe how much goes into today's telly tech
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
Things are looking up in Flappy Bird sequel
'Swing Copters' offers the same gameplay but in a different direction
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.