A decade after devices like 3Com's Audrey and the Netpliance I-Opener came and went, a new crop of devices is fulfilling their vision of creating a world filled with Net-connected gadgets.
The Chumby One is a versatile Internet media receiver that can do everything from check local weather to wake you up in the morning; it is also the heir apparent to the Internet appliance vision that spawned the Audrey and Netpliance I-Opener a decade ago.
It features a 3.5-inch touch screen, a USB 2.0 port, 3.5mm audio output, and retails at around $99.
With a built-in Wi-Fi connection, the Insignia Infocast ($169) quickly accesses Web content like Pandora Internet radio, Facebook, and The Weather Channel and more than 1,500 applications from Chumby industries--all available without a subscription fee.
Though game consoles aren't traditionally thought of as Internet appliances, the PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii, and Xbox 360 all take advantage of the Internet for both Web video and social-gaming features.
Photo by: Josh Lowensohn/CNET / Caption by:
Internet-connected TVs, such as the Panasonic Vieracast model seen here, are the modern day reincarnation of earlier visions like Microsoft's WebTV (later MSN TV).