Meet the Chumby: An Interactive Stress Ball with 700 Features!

Dennis Faas's picture

In my experiences working with technology, I have come to learn that devices can be classified under three categories: gadgets that are essential to everyday living, gadgets that are necessary to have in case of emergency, and gadgets that serve no useful purpose other than being extremely cool to own.

For fans of the third category, let me introduce you to the Chumby.

The Chumby has a small and squishy design, like a cross between a beanbag and a stress ball. However, what sets it apart is that the Chumby has a 3.5-inch interactive touch screen attached to one side of the object.

So what does the 'Chumby' do?

The Chumby sits atop an office desk or home table and plugs into a power outlet and wireless home network. Its small design is deceiving; the Chumby has over 700 unique features and programs that allow users to check local weather updates, sports scores, and stock statistics. (Source:

Since the programs are relatively quick and easy to create, boasts an average of 25 new features ready for download and installation each week.

The Chumby has a YouTube feature that allows users to scan through the most popular video uploads. The 320-by-240-pixel color screen reveals optimum precision and clarity. Also, the Chumby has stereo speakers that are pre-installed at the back of the device (on one of the squishy sides) and can also be plugged into external speakers for a louder sound. (Source:

The Dailio feature gives users their own Chumby email address. Any photo received as part of an email attachment will automatically appear in random rotation, morphing the Chumby into a digital picture frame. Unfortunately, the Chumby has no current feature that allows users to write and send outgoing emails.

Speaking of using the Chumby to write messages, features include interactive notepads that allow users to write quick messages or doodle using their index finger. Think of it as having a digital way to leave "be right back" notes without wasting any paper.

Other interesting features include a word of the day option, a program that teaches users how to play the piano.  There's also 2 USB drives, 53 webcams, 89 separate clock features, 50 gaming options and a seemingly endless array of other convenient time-wasters. (Source:

The Chumby is currently available for purchase at and sells for $180 USD.

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