Interfacing android and arduino through an audio connection.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Break time for 'Gadgeting'

After a time looking for a lot of useful info on the web, now I have in my hands a Chumby. It's the first time I heard about this gadget, so I decided to find out the different possibilities it offers.

The Chumby is an ambient consumer electronics product made by Chumby Industries, Inc. It's an embedded computer which provides Internet and Lan access via a wifi connection. Through this connection, the Chumby runs various software widgets. Roughly resembling a small clock radio, it consists of a small touch-screen with a leather and plastic exterior. It uses AC power and turns off if unplugged and moved.

The design has evolved over time, as well as its initial technical specifications, but without losing the essence of the first model.

At first sight, when I started to discover its performance, I thought, this is a modern clock/alarm clock, but later I found out more interesting options. Chumby can acts as:
  • Digital Photo Frame/web, where you can see your Facebook/Flickr photos.
  • RSS Feed/News Reader: You can be informed about the news around the world.
  • Gaming device: several basic games, Sudoku, sliding puzzles...
  • iPod speaker, thank to the speaker it has behind. (the only thing I didn't like, is that i couldn't connect my iPhone...)
Once I discovered all the performance it offers, I wondered, why isn't it developed with Android? It's important to take into account that this device came out into the market at the end of 2007, in those days Android didn't have such a big importance as nowadays. But this question made me find this new device:

It's called Webby and it's an evolution of the Chumby developed by Avantis. As I said, the main difference is the implementation of Android over a Linux kernel.

But this device was not the only one which came from the Chumby, Sony also decided to join this race with his SONY Dash, defined as "Your Personal Internet Viewer".

So, after knowing how this market was, I concluded that this sort of devices was a good alternative to the newest tablets that we can find such as iPad, Samsung Tablets... Chumby was original designed for a home use, that's why the device here commented can't be really compared to the ultimate tablets.

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