While chumby has been available in beta for a while and we had our hands on the final version last week, today is the official public launch of the little Wi-Fi beanbag, as well as the Chumby Network, with big media content partners CBS, MTV, The Weather Channel, AOL Shoutcast, Scripps and more. The network is ad-supported, but you'll be able to watch Letterman Top 10, grab MTV news (the scrolling app I sorta complained about) and more. We'll have a full review later this week of the new fully loaded chumby.
CHUMBY INDUSTRIES DEBUTS ITS INNOVATIVE chumby™ INTERNET DEVICE AND CHUMBY™ NETWORK
Company secures deals with leading content providers including: CBS, MTV Networks, MySpace, The Weather Channel Interactive, AOL's SHOUTcast and Scripps Networks to offer always-on personalized Internet broadcasts
San Diego, CA - Feb. 25, 2008 - Chumby Industries announced today the public launch of the chumby™, its much-anticipated compact consumer Internet device that enables people to receive a constant personalized broadcast of their favorite parts of the Web. The chumby device is currently available in the U.S. at www.chumby.com for $179.95 including shipping.
A little bigger than a coffee cup, the Wi-Fi connected chumby provides people with a fun, hassle-free way to enjoy what they want most out of the Internet at a glance and wake up to thousands of different streaming Internet radio stations, custom "alarm tones," videos and more. With a large and growing base of content from the Internet, including the latest news, weather and entertainment, as well as the ability to share photos, widgets and e-cards with family and friends, the chumby is one of the most versatile and lifestyle-friendly Internet enabled devices on the market today.
The company also announced that CBS, MTV Networks, MySpace, The Weather Channel Interactive, AOL's SHOUTcast and Scripps Networks will offer compelling content through the Chumby™ Network, a dynamic and rapidly expanding open pipeline of user created and sponsor-supported commercial widget applications.
ABOUT THE PARTNER CONTENT
CBS programming will provide the Chumby Network with up-to-date CBS news, CBS sports and entertainment buzz from Entertainment Tonight and more, as well as video widgets of the Late Show with David Letterman, Big Brother, The Early Show, Wallstrip and college basketball games.
"We are excited to provide a range of CBS content to the Chumby launch community," said George Schweitzer, president, CBS marketing group. This unique device is a great new platform and an imaginative and friendly interface. And you can't spell chumbys without C-B-S! "
MTV Networks will feature the latest music, movie and game news from MTV and VH1, interactive Babealizer photos from Spike.com and an animated SpongeBob SquarePants character widget from Nickelodeon.
"Across every demographic we serve, our fans want to connect with our brands through devices and platforms that are fun, engaging and relevant to their lifestyles," said Greg Clayman, executive vice president, digital distribution and business development, MTV Networks. "With its innovative design and open technology, the chumby device is a great fit for the sensibility of our brands and the growing variety of ways our audience interact with our content."
MySpace will enable chumby users to stay connected and interact with their MySpace friends. Its widget supports interactions with users' photos, friend requests, messages, comments, blogs, bulletins and much more. Users will also be able to view their friends' profiles and send messages straight from the chumby.
The Weather Channel Interactive will offer up-to-date custom local weather conditions, forecasts and radar images from weather.com.
AOL will provide its SHOUTcast service and allow chumby owners to tune in to over twenty thousand free online radio stations from DJs and broadcasters around the world.
"We're pleased to provide the Chumby user with unparalled access to radio stations and programming from around the world via SHOUTcast," said Lisa Namerow, general manager, AOL Radio and SHOUTcast.
Scripps Networks will offer a widget from its popular Food Network. The Food Network widget will present users with a variety of tantalizing, tasty recipes from the experts at the Food Network Kitchens - served fresh to your chumby daily.
"Food Network fans can use their chumby to get recipes from the famous Food Network Kitchens that can be used right where they need them most - in their kitchen or even by their grill," said Doug Hurst, senior vice president and general manager of non-linear distribution for Scripps Networks, parent company of Food Network. "As the leaders in lifestyle media, we continue to create new ways to deliver our content - like the fun, bite-size format the chumby offers - to best serve our audience's current digital lifestyle."
The Chumby Network is supported by commercial sponsors and provides free content to chumby owners and "virtual chumbys" that can be placed on other connected consumer devices and social networking sites. In addition, chumby users can exchange content with other users ("chums") and share their customized widgets, photos and more.
"The richness and diversity of information on the Web has become critical to our everyday lives, so it becomes more important than ever to stay connected to our 'Internet life' and be able to access a wealth of information simply at a glance," said Steve Tomlin, founder and CEO, Chumby Industries. "The powerful combination of the free Chumby Network and the open and always-on chumby creates a compelling offering to consumers to easily create, view and share what matters to them most from the Web without the need to browse on a PC. And media companies can showcase and monetize content on an exciting new distribution platform that reaches consumers in different parts of their lives and at different times of the day."
With an LCD touchscreen and embedded squeeze and motion sensors, the chumby delivers a robust audio and video entertainment experience to owners, including:
• Personalized wake-up experience - programmed wake-up to any of the thousands of audio sources available on the chumby
• Fun - games, humor, e-greetings, gossip, cool entertainment content
• Photo sharing through top photo-sharing sites such as MySpace, flickr, Facebook and Photobucket
• Music - over twenty thousand free radio stations
• Constant updates from top Internet sites
• Monitoring - auction updates, on-going searches, such as Craigslist, and friend status updates from MySpace
The chumby can be plugged into any electrical outlet, so users have the flexibility of placing it on a nightstand, bathroom counter, office cubicle, coffee table, kitchen counter or out on a patio. It automatically finds an available Wi-Fi connection and streams personalized channels from the Chumby Network, which continuously delivers refreshed content via widgets such as music, games, movie previews, customized alarm clocks, special offers and more.
Some of the most popular content and widgets include top streaming Internet radio stations, podcasts, daily video clips, news from The New York Times and Google, various fun and animated clocks, the addictive chumball™ game that uses the chumby's embedded motion sensor, moon phases, sports news and game updates, tech news from Engadget and TechCrunch, entertainment gossip blogs, and web-cams pointed at traffic, zoo animals and everything you can imagine.
The chumby, which measures about 5" wide, 4" tall, and 3" deep, comes in a soft Italian leather casing in a variety of colors including black, latte and pearl. In addition, chumby owners may express their personality by decorating their devices with chumby charms for sale on the site or their own "bling."
About Chumby Industries
Headquartered in San Diego, CA, Chumby Industries makes, sells, and licenses the chumby™, 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. Chumby Industries also runs the Chumby™ Network, a rapidly expanding open pipeline of user created and commercial widget applications from high-profile media partners such as CBS, MTV Networks, MySpace, The Weather Channel Interactive, AOL's SHOUTcast and Scripps Networks among many more. Offering the latest news, weather and entertainment as well as the ability to share photos, widgets, e-cards and more with family and friends, Chumby Industries provides an open platform, enabling the chumby to be constantly updated by any user, developer, media company or content creator to enhance and improve the Chumby experience.