I tend to be a gadget guy. The latest and greatest always interests me, but at some point about five years ago I changed my view of it. I began to want ease of use and affordability. Cell phones and camera’s became too time consuming and I didn’t really care enough to figure them out. That is why the Nintendo Wii struck a cord with me. I could play it for 15 minutes, have fun, and turn it off. I can’t commit to more involved gadgets or games.
But there is one device that I love. The Chumby . I got it for Christmas this past year and I use it several times a day. It’s basically an internet alarm clock that can do so much more.
Why it’s great is because it’s an open platform that starts practically as a blank slate. You then go onto the internet, register, and start loading applications and widgets on it. So much of it is customizable. I have the weather, local news, the time, stocks, and some fun quotes rotating every 20 seconds. It has other features I use as well like the music function. I listen to either Pandora internet radio or I stream WBER as I shower. But you can do other things too. There’s Youtube, email, and games as well. Each one available if you want it and they are all very simple.
Other more fancy internet alarm clocks are coming to market as well. The NY Times ran a story called While You Were Sleeping… about devices including the Chumby, a HP device , and Sony . But what I find most important about it is the slimmed down emphasis of it. The apps are widgets, meaning they are very light weight in what they do.
Less is more is a new computing trend and it’s leading to another level of the internet. The movement is called The Internet of Things and the next five years will be the turning point in it.