Was the Chumby an innovative product, or a missed opportunity?
The Chumby was something of a hard sell from the start. As an open-source, internet-connected alarm clock with support for downloadable apps, it competed with smartphones, which offered a much broader universe of apps, even when the first Chumby was released in 2008. As smartphones and tablets became more versatile, the Chumby suffered even more by comparison, and the lack of battery support on some models made it much more like a traditional alarm clock and less like an internet appliance.
Personally, I liked the Chumby, and wanted it to succeed. However, it seems destined at this point to join products like the 3Com Ergo Audrey in the graveyard of innovative, but fatally flawed, connected devices.
Of course that was 3 years ago. I expect that anyone with the disposable money to buy a Chumby, is also the type of person who may own a few smartphones, a tablet or two... now, my chumby is outdated, sluggish, underutilized... but it does make for a great alarm clock.
I am anxious about the day the Chumby servers get shut down. I've been researching the 'offline' mode that is possible with a little bit of programming... Or maybe I'll just get a Raspberry Pi to ease the pain.