This project began as a shopping experience on one of my favorite websites woot.com. The Woot.com deal that day of the day was a Sony Dash personal internet viewer. The Dash is Sony’s version of a Chumby device. If you have not heard of Chumby before here is a brief definition from WikiPedia about the Chumby:
The Chumby is a consumer electronics product made by Chumby Industries, Inc.. It is an embedded computer which provides Internet and LAN access via a Wi-Fi connection. Through this connection, the Chumby runs various software widgets.
from WikiPedia about the Sony Dash
The Dash is a device manufactured by Sony that connects using Wi-Fi to the Internet. It has a touch screen which the user can use to browse information or listen to music. It is not a portable device since it does not have an internal battery. It is positioned as a personal internet viewer which can act as an alarm clock, internet radio, digital photo frame and many other uses. It has applications which can be downloaded onto the device. These are the same as those supported by the Chumby device.
One of the main reasons I purchased this device was to test devices that connect to the Internet but are not computers. It is estimated by Ericsson President and CEO Hans Vestberg that there will be 50 Billion Internet Connected Devices by 2020.
Having played with the Dash for the past few hours I think that this device takes a little more work to setup than the average electronics consumer is ready for.There is a multi step process required to get the device ready for use. Logging into the Sony portal on the chumby website, choosing from a long list of possible apps, and making “channels” to display the apps on the device.
There are a few Chumby apps that really stand out:
- NBC Real-Time
- TechCrunch news
- Makes a great Internet connected alarm clock
- Netflix Instant Queue video streaming support
- Nice intro video explaining what the dash can do.
- Nice size for a nightstand
- 1500+ apps available
- The learning curve is a little steep for the average consumer.
- It take a little while to boot and get set up.
- No battery backup.
- Side access panel is a bit flimsy.
- Sony locked it down … It is not hackable 🙁