The original Chumby was soft, cuddly, and cute. The new Chumby One is uptight, all-business, and commercial. I hate it.
The draw to the original Chumby was that there was nothing like it on the market two years ago. You could load it up with all sorts of pre-made widgets like YouTube, weather, news, or one you made thanks to the open source hardware and software. Sure, the upcoming One still has the original capabilities if not more thanks to the upgraded 454MHz CPU, but it doesn’t have the same crazy beanbag form factor. It’s missing something.
Not only was the functions innovative two years ago, but the design was as well. The pillow-like design had character and style. It was something you wouldn’t see at Target. But the new One model is made out of cold, lifeless plastic and will look right at home next to clock radios and cordless phones at Walmart – if it ever reaches that distribution channel of course. But anyway, the new model is expected to run $100 when it drops in a month or two.
UPDATE – Chumby is reporting that the Chumby One is much different from the Chumby shown here. The plot thickens.