Chumby: One Year Later

Chumby is a small, wifi-enabled linux hardware device is designed to be hacked and changed by its owners. The device has a 350MHz ARM controller, 32MB SDRAM, 64 MB Nand Flash Rom, a 320×240 3.5 inch touch LCD screen, two speakers, audio output, a microphone, and two USB ports. Chumby also has a squeeze sensor. All of this is housed within a soft, sqeezable shell about the size of a coconut.

It was announced a year ago at Foo camp, and the company gave out about 500 of the first generation devices. Users register the device on the Chumby home page and connect the device to their network via wifi. Once registered, content widgets are added – so the Chumby may include a news widget, flickr widget, etc.

Now, a year later, the company has made upgrades to the hardware and sofware that makes up the device, and say they will make it available for sale in a couple of months. The biggest change is that Chumby now runs Flash Lite 3, which is the first mobile version of Flash to support streaming audio and video. Users can now run music or video over the Internet and play it on the Chumby. The Chumby will be sold for $179.95, fully delivered.

The company has 23 employees and is headquartered in San Diego. They raised just over $5 million from OATV, Avalon Ventures and Masthead Venture Partners in December 2006.