'Chumby' Internet Terminal Hits Japanese Market

Dec 15, 2008
Yukiko Kanoh, Nikkei Electronics
The Chumby
The Chumby
[ If it clicks, the expanded picture will open ]

BicCamera Inc, Sofmap Co Ltd and Zyyx Inc started selling the "Chumby," Chumby Industries Inc's Internet terminal that displays widgets, Dec 13, 2008, in Japan.

The terminal is sold at BicCamera Yurakucho Store, Sofmap MegaStore in Akihabara and the online stores run by BicCamera and Sofmap. Starting from those stores, they are planning to sell the product at their other stores in the future. Its price is ¥29,400 (approx US$324) including tax.

The Chumby is a compact Linux terminal equipped with a 3.5-inch touch screen and wireless LAN capability. Shaped like a compact LCD TV wrapped in leather, it is small enough to fit in a palm.

Users can download and customize the widgets that are delivered to the Chumby via the Internet. They can use more than 1,000 widgets, including those for displaying news, weather forecasts and photos. Incorporated with "Flash Lite 3.0" flash player, it can play video in the Flash Video (flv) format served on "YouTube" and other video sharing sites.

Also, the terminal features a three-axis acceleration sensor and another sensor that detects when it is being held in a hand. And It is possible to play video games using those sensors.

With a preinstalled music player widget, the Chumby can play music stored in portable music players and USB memory devices when they are connected them to its USB ports. It is also possible to create original widgets using Flash.

The display is a 320 x 240 resolution TFT LCD panel. It features 64-Mbyte synchronous DRAM, 64-Mbyte flash memory and a pair of 2W stereo speakers. Its interfaces include three USB 2.0 ports and a 3.5mm stereo headphone plug.

The users of the Chumby need an environment where the Internet is always accessible via wireless LAN.