When Chumby, makers of the boutique gadget of the same name (a sort of cross between an alarm clock radio and digital picture frame, housed in a leather ‘bean bag-esque’ casing), announced that is was porting its widget-based platform to third-party hardware, the emphasis was on Internet-connected TVs, Blu-ray players and set-top boxes. Now it seems that the first ‘powered by Chumby’ device will be something much closer to the company’s own hardware: a digital picture frame, to be released in time for the holidays, reports Forbes.
Chumby, along with an unnamed device maker, thinks it can help re-invent the digital picture frame category with its combination of content-driven widgets and social networking.
Steve Tomlin, Chumby CEO, is quoting as saying: “Selling someone an LCD in a plastic frame with a memory card is not a compelling product… The challenge is to reinvent how to share photos and media.”
The first Chumby-powered photo frame will be able to display content from photo sites Flickr and Photobucket, along with accessing social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as news feeds, Internet radio and weather forecasts. Content can be be pushed to other ‘powered by Chumby’ devices so that, for example, users can share photos with other members of their Chumby social network.
Forbes rightfully points out that the Google-led Android OS is also being adopted by manufacturers of similar products to deliver the same set of features (and more), although Tomlin argues that Chumby offers a better User Interface for such devices. “Chumby is much more of a media device… There will be no browser or desktop full of icons that need to be clicked to launch.”
Internet-connected TVs still remain next on the road map, according to the report, with Samsung and Broadcom said to be partnering with Chumby.