Those of a certain age may be fans of Gumby, a character created by stop-motion pioneer, Art Clokey who merged his favorite color, green, with his wife’s suggestion that he shape the character like a “gingerbread” man. Those who frequent Caribbean tourist spots and hang out with the locals may be familiar with the Jumbie or Jumby, a ghostly presence that can possess you and lead you into wild dancing fits. Not entirely a bad thing. But farewell to all that. In the twenty-first century folks are talking about Chumby, the newest of characters with the “by” suffix.
Chumby is technology for the way we live today. It’s a media player that constantly streams your favorite web sites without requiring you to sit at a computer. And yes, lots of other devices already perform this very same function but Chumby has its charms. Though it may be another rectangular screen vying for our attention, it’s got a stylish, curvy design, accessorized with Italian leather in decorator colors – especially if your idea of decorator color is basic black or beige.
Like a small radio or alarm clock, (and we realize these are practically obsolete as devices) the Chumby can sit on a kitchen counter while the Food Network site displays the recipe you’re working on. It can be setup just about anywhere, though it needs to be plugged into an outlet. Chumby also has a collection of widgets, including several unusual clock screens, an egg timer and Playbill, as well as Odd News from Reuters. It recently reported on a South African study demonstrating it was faster to send news via carrier pigeon than by that country’s Internet carrier.
But Chumby is not just about the actual device, it also allows you to stream personalized Internet content to all sorts of other devices such as, predictably, Blu-ray players and televisions. And if you thought digital picture frames were headed for the next charity pickup service, Chumby is revisiting this as another Internet content delivery device – totally invented phrase there. Tell all your Chumbs? about it.
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