Chumby grows up, dates Samsung

Reference designs from major manufacturer point to consumer digital picture frames in Chumby's future.

Rafe Needleman Former Editor at Large
Rafe Needleman reviews mobile apps and products for fun, and picks startups apart when he gets bored. He has evaluated thousands of new companies, most of which have since gone out of business.
Rafe Needleman
Chumby gets framed by Samsung. Chumby

The cute little beanbag-encased, open-source Chumby (my review), an Internet display device, is growing up through a partnership with Samsung. The original Chumby software makes the device into a good digital photo frame functionally, but the hardware is too small and bulky to compete with other dedicated frames. This partnership will get the Chumby software into more consumer-friendly hardware--eventually.

The Samsung product is a reference design, not a shipping item. I do hope we see Chumby-powered full-sized photo frames this year. The Chumby architecture makes it easy to upload photos to your device from a photo sharing site like Picasa Web or Flickr, as all the work is done on a PC in a browser and updates go to the display device over a home's Wi-Fi.

The Chumby platform can also deliver other widgets to a display device: weather forecasts, RSS feeds, and so on.