Chumby, which sold Linux-based tabletop devices that ran Flash-based apps, is back in business under Blue Octy, with an overhauled website and 1,000 apps.
Chumby Industries went out of business a year ago, leaving Chumby owners and subscribers in the lurch. Blue Octy LLC, quickly snatched up the assets and revamped the website. As reported first by Engadget, the company has now reopened the Chumby service.
Chumby devices display a continuous stream of rotating, personalized “push content” channels from the Chumby Network. The service was free, but now costs $3 per month. It’s been completely rewritten, and brought up to date with new technologies, and stocked with a selection of over 1,000 of the Adobe widget-like Flash Lite apps, says Blue Octy. “All of the original user accounts have been restored, and any apps, channels and registered devices are back the way they were,” says the company.
Previously, the Chumby service had offered more than 1,500 applications, including podcasts, news, gossip, video clips, and sports scores. Other features included the ability to monitor social networks like Facebook and Twitter, and view and share photos from sites like Flickr and Photobucket.
The company announced no plans to build new devices, but the Chumby Store continues to sell Linux-based Chumby devices including the Chumby One ($80) and a slightly newer Chumby 8 ($100). The Chumby 8 provides an 8-inch, 800 x 600 resistive touchscreen. It also provides two USB ports, a stereo headset jack, and CompactFlash and SD slots for storage.
Looking back at the LinuxDevices archives, the last of many Chumby entries arrived in 2011, when Chumby announced a Linux-based, Chumby-compatible IPTV set-top box called the NeTV, which could be remotely controlled by a Wi-Fi connected Android device. According to Engadget, the NeTV shipped, but it appears to have faded quickly. Prior to that, in 2010, Sony announced a Chumby-compatible Sony Dash device, which also appears to have been discontinued. Insignia also built Chumby-ready devices that are said to be supported by the new service.
Back in 2009, Chumby overhauled the original, circa-2008 Chumby with the still available Chumby One. The WiFi-enabled tabletop device moved up to a faster ARM processor, with 64MB each of RAM and flash. As before, the Chumby One featured a 3.5-inch touchscreen, and it added an FM radio tuner.
The Chumby 8 is available in black or red at $100 apiece, and the Chumby One goes for $80. The revamped Chumby service is available for a $3 per month. More information may be found at The Chumby Store, as well as in the announcement on the Chumby Blog.