Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Will Chumby be Your Chum? "eBay Anywhere" at eBay DevCon 2007

Yesterday's afternoon keynote brought a handful of speakers, but the one who fascinated me most was Steve Adler (V.P. of Business Development for Chumby Industries), who unveiled the cutest little electronic device since the iPod. It's called the Chumby, and it will allow you to do all sorts of cool Internet things like hear Internet radio, check on your eBay auctions, get bidding alerts, etc etc.  Well, Ina Steiner and I went up to take a photo of an actual Chumby so let's just go with a visual here:


That's the Chumby, sitting in all its glory on the podium at the eBay DevCon. I think people here are going to get a chance to play with actual Chumbys (Chumbies?) today, too.

Below is a shot of what they showed it would look like with eBay running on it:

Well, it may be hard to see in the pic, but that's eBay running on it. You can click on the pic to get a better look at it.

Chumby will cost around $200 -- you plug it in, and it's "always on," kind of like your broadband Internet connection.

It runs over your wifi connection. It can bring you any content/service from the Internet. So if you don't feel like schlepping your laptop around to hear the latest AuctionBytes podcast, now you can listen to it from the cuddly comfort of your own lil' Chumby.  (At least it looked cuddly to me..the thing looked like someone had wedged a tiny computer into a hackysack).

A little more about eBay on the Chumby, paraphrased from the presentation:

- get your eBay anywhere

- check auctions at a glance

- bid directly from Chumby

- tightly integrate with eBay and other related affiliate services.

So what do the developers want to know? Chumby is an open platform, like the firefox browser. It's a widget platform built on top of flash 3.0. Chumby is building developer and widget partner programs.

The first 2 chumby and eBay widgets are up and running.

When is Chumby coming? This summer, in late July. The price he threw our was $165. It will be "a new footprint in the consumer household."

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