You could be forgiven for not remembering the Chumby. It was a soft, adorable little device that sat on your bedside table and kept you up to date on everything happening in your day before it started. After a year-long absence, the Chumby service has been redesigned and reinvented with new apps and a new subscription model.
Chumby was meant to be the clock-radio of the future: a device you plonk on your nightstand to supply you with a stream of news, jokes and social news as you wake up. The service went on an extended leave of absence last year, with the Chumby service maintained solely via donations through the store and the purchase of new Chumby devices.
Chumby has announced this week that it's now back, and will be giving new and existing users access to a new stream experience and over 1000 apps. It won't be free, however. Chumby wants to charge users $3 per month for the updated service.
Here's the blog post:
After a year-long hiatus, the Chumby Service has finally been completely restored. The new service is a nearly complete rewrite of the original service - it's been brought up to date with newer technologies and made faster and more efficient than ever.
We want to keep this service running and not repeat the past - which means we need to pay for this new system.
While we have managed to defray some of the costs over the last year with The Chumby Store and the CafePress store, that hasn't been enough to cover everything.
With a $3 monthly subscription, you now can have access to a selection of over 1000 apps for your chumby and Insignia devices. All of the original user accounts have been restored, and any apps, channels and registered devices are back the way they were.
Without a subscription, your device will operate the same way it has for the last year - with all of the music sources, alarm clock functionality and other built-in features. Please consider making a donation, since even that incurs costs for us.
However, to get a full Chumby Experience, consider buying a subscription - it's same price no matter how many devices you have, or how many channels and apps you select for your device.
You're going to have to put in a bit of extra effort to get the Chumby service back into your life, however. The Chumby folk still don't have a decent international shipping procedure in place. You'll have to send an email to one of the Chumby reps who will work out shipping on a case-by-case basis. That's how few of these things are being sold. Hopefully that picks back up now!